Speed Reads

Rags to riches

Bernie Sanders could beat Hillary Clinton in fundraising this quarter

Hillary Clinton may have a lead on Bernie Sanders in the polls, but when it comes to fourth-quarter fundraising, she might be lagging behind. For the first time ever in Clinton's run, Politico reports that her donors are saying they don't think she'll raise more money this quarter than the socialist Vermont senator.

"People are feeling very complacent — and more reluctant to contribute — because they don't take Bernie Sanders that seriously," a top Clinton donor told Politico. Clinton is still on track to raise roughly $100 million in total this year.

Aside from the assumption that Clinton will be the nominee sidelining potential donors, another issue driving the fundraising discrepancy could be the difference in the candidates' donor pools:

While Sanders has been building up a grass-roots list of small donors who can be tapped and tapped again for donations throughout the campaign, Clinton's team targeted its list of core supporters early and had many donors write the maximum checks of $2,700 months ago. "Those of us who snap to attention when she snaps her fingers — they tapped into that a long time ago," said one top Clinton donor who has hosted a house party for the candidate. [Politico]

"Let Bernie outraise her — he's not going to be the nominee," another Clinton donor said, adding that Clinton will undoubtedly pull through in the general election. "The idea that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could actually be the president is going to be the greatest fundraising mechanism in the history of the world, and it's just too early for that."

Sanders' camp declined to comment on whether they think he'll outraise Clinton.