WASHINGTON (CBS News) – Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is confident that the tens of millions of dollars he’s raised over the course of his campaign has him well-positioned to beat President Trump in November.
“I think we are the strongest campaign to defeat Trump because of the nature of our grassroots movement,” Sanders said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “We will have more than enough money through individual contributions from the middle class and working families of this country to defeat Trump.”
Sanders heads into Super Tuesday, when 15 states and territories will vote, with an estimated 56 delegates, two more than Joe Biden, according to the latest CBS News delegate estimate. The Sanders campaign announced Sunday that it raised $46.5 million in the month of February alone.
“We have enough money now not only to take us through Super Tuesday but to take us through the entire process, fueled by the contributions of working class people all across this country,” Sanders said.
Sanders has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination following wins in New Hampshire and Nevada and a strong finish in Iowa. The Vermont senator placed second in South Carolina behind Biden on Saturday, narrowing his lead in the national delegate race.
Super Tuesday is likely to be pivotal for several of the Democrats still in the race, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will appear on the ballot for the first time in states voting Tuesday. With a net worth of more than $60 billion, Bloomberg has been self-funding his campaign and vowed to keep his offices open through the general election even if he is not the Democratic nominee.
But Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders’ campaign, said last week it would not accept financial assistance from Bloomberg, and Sanders said Sunday they believe they can beat Trump in November based on their own fundraising efforts.
“At this point, we are confident that we can receive the kind of campaign funding that we need from working class and middle class people, that we don’t have to be beholden to any powerful special interests,” he said.
The Democratic presidential hopeful added that his roster of donors differentiates his campaign from Biden’s, as Sanders has received contributions from more Americans than any other candidate in history, with the average donation at $18.50.
“It is not only the amount of money that we raised and that is a phenomenal amount,” Sanders said of the $46.5 million raised last month. “It’s how we raised it. We don’t have a super PAC like Joe Biden. I don’t go to rich people’s homes like Joe Biden. I think Joe has contributions from more than 40 billionaires.”
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