US Democrat Bernie Sanders raises staggering S$7 million since New Hampshire victory

Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles after winning at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire.
Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles after winning at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - White House hopeful Bernie Sanders raised a staggering US$5 million (S$7 million) in the 18 hours since winning New Hampshire's primary, his campaign announced on Wednesday (Feb 10), further evidence he can mount a protracted Democratic nomination battle against Hillary Clinton.

Mr Sanders' team described the US$5.2 million haul as "shattering the campaign's previous record for money raised in less than a day".

The fund-raising bump came after he trounced Mrs Clinton 60 per cent to 38 per cent in New Hampshire, the second contest to determine the party standard bearer for the 2016 White House race.

Mr Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist who represents Vermont in the US Senate as an independent, prides himself on having raised small donations from more than three million Americans, and not a handful of billionaire donors whom he has accused of seeking to buy US presidential elections.

Mr Sanders raised more than US$20 million for the entire month of January in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, mostly from online contributions averaging about US$27 each.

 

Mrs Clinton's campaign said in a recent fund-raising e-mail that she fell short of the Sanders tally "by more than US$5 million in January".

During his New Hampshire victory speech, Mr Sanders appealed to supporters to contribute what they could.

"I'm going to hold a fund-raiser right here, right now, across America," he told the crowd, urging them to donate online and "help us raise the money we need to take the fight to Nevada, South Carolina" and beyond.

Experts say outsider Sanders has an uphill battle for the nomination against the Clinton juggernaut.

 

But his message of addressing income inequality, and demand for campaign finance reform that would prevent billionaires from spending unlimited funds in propelling their candidates to the White House, has resonated with voters, particularly young Americans.