Fox News Anchor Reacts to Bernie Sanders $34.5 Million Donations, Says Candidate Is 'Speeding Up'

Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier pointed to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' $34.5 million fundraising haul, noting that the senator from Vermont is "not slowing down at all" and is instead "speeding up" as the first primaries draw closer.

Baier's comments came during a segment of Fox News show America's Newsroom on Thursday, as he discussed the fundraising results of the leading Democratic candidates in the fourth quarter of 2019, as well as President Donald Trump's massive $46 million in contributions. While the Fox News political anchor highlighted Trump's large political war chest, he emphasized Sanders' growing momentum in the Democratic primary race.

"You have to give Bernie Sanders credit," Baier said. "Remember he's raising money with a big field that at one time was [more than] 20 candidates." The anchor pointed out that "the key part" of Sanders' $34.5 million in donations is that "they're all small donors."

"It's about 18 bucks, is the average donation to Bernie Sanders and all of those people have a lot more that they could do as he continues to raise money," he asserted. The Federal Election Commission limits the amount that individuals can contribute to a particular candidate, with the max for the 2020 presidential primary cycle set at $2,800 per candidate. Donors can then contribute up to another $2,800 during the general election, for a total of $5,600 to any individual candidate.

"So, Bernie Sanders is not slowing down at all," Baier stated. "In fact, I think he's speeding up. As you get closer and closer to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, don't be surprised if Bernie Sanders is right there at the end." The anchor also explained that Sanders faces opposition from within the Democratic Party, noting that "some are very concerned" about his popularity with voters.

Some prominent Democrats have criticized and dismissed Sanders' candidacy, as they see him as too far left to run a successful campaign against Trump in the general election. Sanders serves in the senate as an independent, not a Democrat, which also has frustrated members of the political party. He describes himself as a democratic socialist who believes in "vigorous democracy," but some are concerned about negative perceptions of socialism among American voters. Despite the pushback, however, Sanders has demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with as he continues to poll well nationally, as well as in early voting states.

Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) speaks at a New Year's Eve campaign event on December 31 in Des Moines, Iowa Stephen Maturen/Getty

The Sanders campaign and its surrogates have touted the candidate's success in garnering more than 5 million small donations over the course of 2019, noting that this is "more contributions than any campaign has received at this point in a presidential election in the history of our country."

"We have 5 million individual donations in a Democratic primary that hasn't even cast its first vote yet," the senator said in an email to supporters on January 1. "Against Trump, I believe we will have 50 million individual contributions, at least. And at $27 a piece, that would be more than $1 billion," he added optimistically.

In a Thursday afternoon tweet, Sanders said that "an incredible 300,000 people donated to our campaign for the first time" in the fourth quarter of 2019. In total, he received 1.8 million contributions during the final quarter, and raised more than $96 million last year alone. Among the Democratic pack, Sanders is the clear fundraising frontrunner in terms of dollars raised and the number of contributions.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has remained the frontrunner in the Democratic race, according to an average of national polls by Real Clear Politics. Biden leads with 28.3 percent support, followed by Sanders with 19.1 percent, then Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 15.1 percent, and in fourth place, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, at 8.3 percent.

An average of Iowa polls by Real Clear Politics also showed Sanders in second place at 20 percent, but behind Buttigieg who has 22 percent. Biden was close behind with 18.8 percent and Warren was at 16 percent. In New Hampshire, Sanders narrowly led with 19 percent, followed by Buttigieg at 17.7 percent, then Biden at 14.3 percent and Warren at 13.3 percent.

Fox News Anchor Reacts to Bernie Sanders $34.5 Million Donations, Says Candidate Is 'Speeding Up' | U.S.