The third quarter fundraising totals are in for the presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came so surprisingly close to frontrunner Hillary Clinton that MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell said he was stunned, and that it called into question Hillary’s supposed ability to raise vast sums of money.
“I find it stunning that Bernie Sanders is so close to Hillary Clinton on total dollars raised,” he said. “That makes it a very unimpressive outcome for Hillary Clinton. She’s the one that everyone said had the giant fundraising capacity,” said O’Donnell to former MSNBC host and now contributor Alex Wagner, appearing on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Wagner replied that Democratic operatives consider Sanders to be a real threat to the Clinton campaign, and that she is taking steps to address it:
Bernie Sanders may win Iowa and maybe even New Hampshire. For the Hillary Clinton campaign, that is a damning emerging consensus.
Sanders has been polling well against Clinton lately, but the fundraising numbers are a big surprise to political observers. Clinton received $28 million in the third quarter, with Sanders right behind at $26 million. Plus, the Sanders campaign announced that they have reached one million online contributors, which tops all presidential candidates on either side, showing the strength of his grassroots campaign.
This is a stark difference from the previous quarter in which Clinton swamped Sanders by a margin of $47.5 million to $15.2 million.
Even though Clinton remains the frontrunner at this stage, her campaign is clearly suffering from doubts about her ability to win the nomination. She remains burdened by the email scandal that continues to fester and her inability to convince voters that she genuinely cares about them, which she really doesn’t.