- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If fundraising numbers are any indication of one’s strength or support, then Bernard Sanders is going to be around for a while in the Democratic presidential primary.

Mr. Sanders out-raised rival Hillary Clinton for the fourth month in a row. The Vermont senator took in $26.9 million in April, narrowly inching out Mrs. Clinton’s $26.4 million intake.

“Only 5 percent of Sanders‘ total came from donors who have given the maximum $2,700 an individual may donate to a candidate,” the Sanders campaign said Friday in an press release. “Almost half of Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign committee money comes from maxed-out donors.”

Although Mr. Sanders has no mathematical path to the White House, he’s committed to staying in the race, vowing to take his campaign all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July. It seems his financial backers are fine with that decision, continuing to pledge money to the candidate, despite his chances.

Mr. Sanders has run a historic campaign and has shown how deep the divides are within the Democratic Party. The self-described socialist has championed a populist, progressive agenda that has pushed Mrs. Clinton to the left on many issues. He’s also jabbed at her ties to Wall Street and has questioned her judgment on foreign policy — jabs that Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has echoed.

The longer Mr. Sanders stays in the race, the less time Mrs. Clinton has to consolidate her base and take on Mr. Trump. Several national polls have Mr. Trump closing the gap with Mrs. Clinton — largely because he’s got the Republican nomination locked up and is lining up support within his own party.

In order to win the White House in November, candidates from each party need net positives of at least 80 points within their own party. Every day that passes with Mr. Sanders still in the race, the harder achieving those numbers it will become for Mrs. Clinton.

But if fundraising is any indication, Mr. Sanders isn’t going anywhere.

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