Hillary Clinton raised $28 million in the campaign finance period ending Wednesday night – but Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders came within striking distance of the front-runner with his haul of $26 million, according to their campaigns.
But that is only part of the story according to the Washington Post:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton technically beat Bernie Sanders by $2 million in the chase for campaign cash over the past three months. But that isn't the story — not even close.
Clinton held 58 fundraising events to raise her total; Sanders held seven. As of the end of September, Sanders had brought in 1.3 million total donations from 650,000 individuals since he began running. Clinton's campaign did not release how many total donors she has. And Sanders ended September with $25 million in the bank; Clinton did not release how much money her campaign had on hand.
Read between the lines, and you get this: Sanders is drawing huge amounts of small-dollar donations via the Web. That means two important things: (1) Sanders has been able to concentrate on meeting and greeting potential voters rather than spending his time courting donors, and (2) He has been able to conserve money because he isn't spending cash on lavish events for donors.
Some are beginning to suggest that ultimate Sanders might have more cash on hand than Hillary, and therefore more to use for his campaign. (This seems to be backed up by another Washington Post article which claims that Clinton has blown through 90% of the money she raised over the summer.)
And since Bernie does not believe in negative campaign ads, and is a man whose reputation appears to be above reproach, that also means less money spent on opposition research and less money spent on damage control and spin.
Ultimately this might prove to be one of the more important facts about this nomination progress.
It is no longer reasonable to discount Bernie Sanders' chances of emerging victorious.