3 Oct 2015

Meme Exposes Bernie Sanders Supporters Ignorance of Economics

The man who hates fundraising, Bernie Sanders, has just raised a large amount for 2016, CNS News reports:
For someone who rails almost daily against big money in politics, Bernie Sanders has suddenly become pretty good at getting it.
In the past three months, the independent senator from Vermont pulled in $26 million for his Democratic campaign for president. That’s several millions more than he’s raised from donors during his entire 26-year congressional career, and nearly as much as the $28 million haul of front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The sizable sum is all the more remarkable because Sanders raised it without engaging in the typical dance with donors that has become a hallmark of running for president.

Sanders has held just seven fundraisers, compared to the more than 110 fundraisers thrown by Clinton since she launched her campaign in April. His cost typically around $100 to attend, while hers routinely charge $2,700 — the most allowed by law.
The receptions are more of a rally than the catered affairs at a wealthy donor’s home that are typical of political fundraisers. And forget about the boutique hotel retreats, strategic briefings and other perks often given to high-dollar donors.
One event, held in the suburban Los Angeles backyard of actor Larry Dilg, featured the host singing an ode to Sanders, a version of the Neil Young song “Rockin’ in the Free World” modified to include Sanders-centric lyrics like “got a man from Vermont telling folks the truth.”
“We don’t have a small room of people who contribute $1 million apiece,” Sanders said last month in New York. “Many of you contributed 50 bucks, many of you don’t have a lot of money. We appreciate it.”
Sanders has instead raised the bulk of his funds online, with an active Internet presence aimed at recruiting smaller givers. But the success of the strategy has surprised many, including the candidate himself. The average online contribution was about $30, and 99 percent of his donations were $100 or less, according to his campaign.
“The kinds of crowds we’re drawing, the kinds of small donations that are coming into the campaign, the kind of volunteer organizations that we’re putting together has gone a lot faster than I thought it would,” Sanders said Thursday in an interview on the NPR show “On Point.”

It’s an approach modeled on that of President Barack Obama, who demonstrated the power of an active base of small-dollar donors. As did Obama, Sanders’ campaign can return again and again to the same givers for more money, because they have not hit the $2,700 contribution limit.
But Obama also quickly won over large chunks of the traditional big-dollar Democratic donor base, allowing him to build the kind of large-scale national effort needed to win the general election. Only 34 percent of Obama’s 2008 general election donations ended up coming from individuals giving $200 or less.

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