Kamala Harris presidential campaign attracts more donors in day one than Bernie Sanders’ first 24 hours in 2016

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Clark Mindock
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California Senator Kamala Harris has raised over $1.5m with an average donation of $37 per donation during the first 24 hours of her presidential campaign, aides to her campaign say.

Ms Harris received the support from over 38,000 donors, topping the 35,000 people who pitched in to prop up Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders when he began is presidential bid in 2016 against Hillary Clinton — but still roughly matching his first day total of $1.5m.

“These numbers reveal a campaign powered by the people — an energetic, nationwide movement eager to elect Senator Harris and support her vision of an America that actually works for the people”, Mike Nellis, the campaign’s digital aide, said.

Of those funds, around $1m was raised in the first 12 hours, according to the campaign. The official time the campaign reached that threshold was 7.27pm ET.

The campaign also received donations fro all 50 states within the first 30 minutes of the campaign’s announcement on Monday morning, and received $110,000 in revenue from the senator’s online store. The email list of the campaign grew by 20 per cent during that time, they said.

The ability to raise large sums through relatively small donations has come to be seen as a major indicator of a candidate’s viability and level of support in the Democratic field, which is expected to continue to grow over the next several months.

And, those small dollar donations become incredibly important for candidates — like Ms Harris and Mr Sanders before her — who say they will not accept corporate donations, which can make raising big sums much easier and quicker.

“I think that money has had such an outside influence on politics, and especially with the Supreme Court determining Citizens United, which basically means that big corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money influencing our campaigns, right?” Ms Harris said last year when asked if she would accept corporate donations, months before she announced her presidency.

Se continued: “We’re all supposed to have an equal vote, but money has now really tipped the balance between an individual having equal power in an election to a corporation. So I’ve actually made a decision since I had that conversation that I’m not going to accept corporate PAC checks. I just, I’m not”.

Ms Harris’ Democratic opponents like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have not made public their campaign fundraising totals yet. Mr Sanders has not made a public decision on whether to run again for the presidency.