Bye Bye Big Money: Sanders Campaign Sees $20M Drop in Contributions


If there’s any sure way to mark the end of a campaign, it’s when the money stops flowing.

Back on April 19th when Hillary Clinton won New York, pundits said the primary race was over. She further entrenched her lead the following week with wins in four successive states (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut).

Yet her opponent hung in there, refusing to concede or suspend or to many, face reality.

On the night of the NY Primary, campaign boss Jeff Weaver told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki the campaign would keep fighting to the convention floor.

STEVE KORNACKI: The popular vote and the pledged delegate count — if you are not leading at least one of those counts, when we finish this primary process, you don’t have a claim to get those super-delegates to flip. Are you still going to try to flip super-delegates if you’re not winning one of those?

JEFF WEAVER: I don’t think that’s the case. Look, we’re going to go to the convention. It’s extremely unlikely that either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates….so it’s going to be an election determined by the super-delegates.

Meanwhile, analyst Tad Devine keeps telling anyone who interviews him that the campaign might re-evaluate or reassess, depending on such-and-such, a comment that is now his trademark. Here he is talking to NPR after the NY loss, as reported on CBSNews:

“If we think we’ve made enough progress, then we’ll keep on the path that we’re on,”  Devine said in an interview published Saturday. “If we think we have to, you know, take a different way or re-evaluate, you know, we’ll do it then.”

The bravado and bluster of the Sanders campaign cannot stamp out a singularly depressing fact – the money is drying up – big time. And when campaign coffers shrink and donors shy away, that means one thing – the end is near.

Money Talks

The campaign’s May report to the FEC is the death knell for Bernie Sanders. It covers the previous month of April and tells observers much about the campaign. For starters, look at this graphic:


In a months’ time the total donations dropped dramatically. In March, the donations flowed to the tune of nearly $46 million. But after the fiascos of April – the “corporate Democratic whore” slander, the losses in five states, the bombastic pledge of Weaver and his boss’ refusal to acknowledge delegate math, the fraud charge by David Plouffe, the firing of several hundred campaign staff, and the very real possibility that the Democratic nominee would face Donald Trump – after all that, the Sanders’ supporters took a step back and said, “I don’t think so.” In a word that Tad Devine favors, they “re-evaluated.”

From March to April, the Bernie Sanders campaign saw a shrinkage of nearly $20 million. Put this number in context. Twenty million dollars is nearly half of the amount collected just 30 days before.

During this same month, Sanders and company spent over $38 million. In other words, its expenses exceeded revenues by $12 million.


The figures show a campaign in desperation, putting all its eggs in the NY Primary basket, betting against the odds in a gamble that precluded negative poll results. Bernie Sanders lost. He lost the popular vote in five states. He lost the all-important delegates. He lost that precious “momentum.” He lost the confidence of his followers. And he lost money – lots and lots of money.


apr summaryThe Bernie Sanders campaign has blown through $201,796,499. Let that sink in for a moment.

Now, the candidate who declared war against Big Money can rightly be labeled the Big Money candidate. Worse, he’s the losing Big Money candidate.

Now operating on $5 million, Sanders continues to assault the Democratic Party structure, its leaders, its followers and its presumed nominee. His path to victory has dissipated, along with any possibility of flipping super-delegates.

If I were a Sanders supporter who put my hard-earned money toward his cause, I’d be an angry person. I would definitely be re-evaluating. And if I were a Democratic who wanted to keep the White House, I’d be looking hard at Hillary Clinton. But obviously, this is exactly what’s happening. Money talks and that is its message.

Covering Period 04/01/2016 Through 04/30/2016

Total Disbursed in April:

Total Disbursed to Date:

Receipts this Period:

Receipts to Date:

Beginning Cash on Hand:

Ending Cash on Hand:


1 Comment

  1. Last night’s Maddow show on MSNBC reported Sanders purchased more than $1.2 million worth of TV ads in California — a state that’s excessively expensive for ad buys. While that seems futile, given his delegate count, Sanders appears to be mounting a platform for his over-whelming ego.


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