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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign said it raised more than $46.5 million in February, a show of financial strength announced Sunday, after the Vermont senator finished a distant second behind Joe Biden in South Carolina’s primary.

Sanders’ team also announced that it was making television ad buys in nine more states: Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington, which vote on March 10, and Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, which vote a week later. The campaign said it is “currently on the air in 12 out of the 14 states” that are voting on Super Tuesday, in two days.

“The senator’s multi-generational, multiracial working class coalition keeps fueling his campaign for transformational change a few bucks at a time,” Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement. He said that, of the more than 2 million donations received this month, more than 1.4 million were from voters in Super Tuesday states.

The eye-popping haul follows an already impressive January that raised more than $25 million, the Sanders’ campaign announced. Sanders immediately said he’d use the January funds to purchase $5.5 million in television and digital advertising in 10 Super Tuesday states. That investment could still be paying off at a time when some rivals in the still-crowded Democratic field may potentially struggle to raise money after disappointing finishes in early states. Other candidates have yet to announce the totals they raised in February.

Sanders continues to demonstrate the formidable power of attracting small, online donations nationwide — where contributors can give repeatedly without exceeding federal limits. A similar model has helped Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and is a departure from traditional methods, where candidates organize high-dollar fundraisers or approach powerful supporters for big checks early in the campaign — and then can’t ask again without the intervention of an outside political group.

The campaign said the February totals came from more than 2.2 million donations, including contributions from 350,000-plus people who donated to the campaign for the first time. It also said it raised $4.5 million on the final day of the month, as Sanders finished second in South Carolina on Saturday, the best fundraising day since the campaign’s launch a year prior.

Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid has now surpassed the total number of individual contributions received by his unsuccessful challenge of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. Since launching in February 2019, Sanders’ campaign says it has raised more than $167 million from over 8.7 million individual donations, with an average contribution of $19. To date, more than 1.9 million people have donated to Sanders.

After wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, the senator appeared to be emerging as the Democratic primary’s established front-runner. But Sanders finished behind Biden in South Carolina, a state featuring heavy concentrations of African American Democrats and where Clinton trounced him in 2016. The former vice president’s victory was decisive, with him claiming almost half of the votes cast in a six-way race.

“You can’t win ’em all,” Sanders told a crowd of 3,500 in a college gym at a rally in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Saturday night.

That prompted the crowd to boo, but Sanders continued: “That will not be the only defeat. There are a lot of states in this country and nobody wins them all.”

Sanders at one point predicted that he could win South Carolina, but stopped making such pronouncements in the days before the primary. He has said for weeks that he will win California, the largest delegate prize among the 14 states voting on Super Tuesday.



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