Bernie Sanders is raising a lot more money than many people expected, and he's doing it a lot faster. His campaign announced just before the Wednesday filing deadline that it has received more than a million online donations, making him the first 2016 candidate to pass that milestone and the first ever to pass it so early, reports the Wall Street Journal, which notes that the Obama campaigns got there in February 2008 and October 2011. According to the filing, Sanders' fundraising is rapidly catching up with Hillary Clinton's, with the Vermont senator raising $25 million in the third quarter of this year, not far off the $28 million his rival raised during the same period, although her second-quarter numbers were much higher, CNN reports.
Most of Clinton's cash in the third quarter came from the 58 fundraising events she headlined that asked donors to pay $2,700, CNN reports, while almost all of Sanders' take came from the online operation, which had an average donation of $24.86. But he has had to spend money to make money: The New York Times estimates that the Sanders campaign has already spent $15 million, mostly on hiring staff and on online fundraising, without spending much on commercials or polling. Politico calls his haul "eye-popping" and notes that it undercuts arguments that Sanders couldn't compete with a well-funded Republican. Clinton, however, has affiliated super PACs on her side and Sanders shuns such groups. (Polls show that Clinton is falling behind in New Hampshire.)