Bernie Sanders out-raises Republicans in first day of campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders raised more than $1.5 million in the 24-hours since he announced his presidential run, his campaign announced Friday.

It’s a strong performance for a candidate many pundits have dismissed as fringe, outpacing Republican candidates who have recently announced. Sen. Marco Rubio raised $1.25 million in the day after announcing his campaign, Sen. Ted Cruz raised $1 million, while Sen. Rand Paul raised about $750,000.

Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, announced Thursday that he will run for president as a Democrat, challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

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100,000 people signed up on Sanders' website, the campaign added, and 35,000 made contributions. “This is a remarkable start for Bernie's campaign,” Sanders top strategist Tad Devine said in a statement.

“People across America are yearning for authentic leadership that tells them the truth about what is holding back our nation. Bernie Sanders understands the problems we face, and is proposing bold policies to deal with those challenges -- the crushing impact that inequality of wealth and income are having on working families and the middle class; the catastrophic threat of climate change; and the attack on democracy itself from Super PACs and the wealthy special interests that fund them,” Devine continued.

Devine has said previously that he thinks Sanders will need to raise about $50 million to vigorously compete in the 2016 Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton, a figure many doubted Sanders could match. But that may now be in reach.

Sanders' Senate campaign has an additional $4.5 million in the bank, while his leadership PAC has several thousand dollars on hand.

Clinton's campaign has not announced how much money they raised since she announced last month.