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Sanders claims he is the only “leading candidate” funded “exclusively by grassroots donations.”
“I believe in Democracy, not billionaires owning the system,” Sanders says in the ad. “Our campaign is funded by the working people of this country.”
A number of 2020 candidates swore off receiving contributions from big political action committees and large corporations, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
However, the reality is not so simple. More than $10 million was transferred from Warren’s 2018 Senate campaign to her presidential one, which likely included money raised at events with high-net-worth donors from some of America’s largest companies, as reported by The Washington Post. The New York Times noted that her “big-money fundraising through 2018 helped lay the foundation for her anti-big-money run for the presidency.”
Sanders, meanwhile, transferred more than $4 million from his previous presidential campaign, when he had less stringent rules about donations.
Both Sanders and Warren have been critical of the country’s wealthiest corporations and individuals, and are in favor of redistributing that concentrated wealth across America’s working class.
Last month, Sanders’ campaign announced it had received more than 4 million individual contributions, which made him the first candidate to reach that fundraising mark so quickly. Between July and September, his campaign raked in $25.3 million, which exceeded that of any of his rivals.
However, in a recent Fox News poll former Vice President Joe Biden was still the top choice among likely Democratic primary voters — at 30 percent. Sanders trailed with 20 percent, which was a 7 percent increase from June. Biden is also perceived to be the candidate with the best chance of beating President Trump.
The ad comes before Sanders is set to take the debate stage on Thursday night, alongside Warren, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. It is Sanders’ seventh to run in the key primary state.