Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is turning his debate performance (which featured an assist to scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton) into campaign cash and online chatter.
In the first four hours after the first Democratic debate began in Las Vegas, Sanders raised $1.3 million, his presidential campaign said Wednesday morning.
The contributions, the campaign boasted, were made by more than 37,600 individual contributions averaging $34.58 and peaked at 10.5 donations per second.
Indeed in his final remarks concluding the two hour debate, Sanders was the only candidate to make a point to call for donations.
“Jim Webb is right: Money is pouring in to this campaign through Super PACs. We are doing it the old-fashioned way: 650,000 individual contributions. And if people want to help us out, BernieSanders.com,” he said. “We are averaging $30 bucks apiece. We would appreciate your help.”
Sanders also received the most attention on Facebook and Twitter, particularly following the exchange in which the Vermonter took Clinton’s side in chastising Republicans and the media for focusing on Clinton’s use of a private email account while serving as secretary of state.
“Let me say something that may not be great politics,” Sanders said. “But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”
“Thank you. Me, too. Me, too,” Clinton responded.
The pair shook hands on the matter.
The Washington Post reports that the Sanders campaign also used that exchange in an email solicitation for donations during the debate, highlighting Sanders’ call for a discussion of the issues not Clinton’s email scandal.
In addition to gaining money and chatter, the Vermont socialist also attained 35,163 new followers during the debate, compared to the combined 13,252 new followers accrued by his four opponents, according to Forbes.