Senator Bernie Sanders raised $25.3 million in the past three months, his campaign said on Tuesday, a total that continues to demonstrate his strength with small donors as he fights to maintain support in key early-voting states.
The financial haul, among the first that a candidate has announced for the third-quarter, will place Mr. Sanders in the top of the field for fund-raising.
It is also a much-needed boost for his campaign, as it looks to move past a summer slump that coincided with staff shake-ups in New Hampshire and Iowa and a slip in some polls in early-voting states. And it will perhaps help quell the narrative that his campaign is in decline.
Mr. Sanders received 1.4 million donations in the third quarter, his campaign said.
His third-quarter dollar total exceeds the $18 million he raised in the second quarter, which was roughly the same amount he collected during the first six weeks of his campaign at the beginning of the year. His campaign did not say how much cash it had on hand.
Mr. Sanders announced his total for the quarter just minutes after Mayor Peter Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., said he had raised $19.1 million in the same period.
The fund-raising announcement comes as Mr. Sanders’s campaign begins a crucial phase of his presidential bid. He and his advisers had tried for months to portray the race as a battle between Mr. Sanders and Joseph R. Biden Jr., but the surge of Ms. Warren, his chief ideological rival, has scrambled that strategy. The top tier of candidates in the field has narrowed fasted than his advisers expected, complicating matters: Rather than competing for the nomination with a half dozen candidates, he is essentially battling just two right now — Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren.
Seeking to alter the course of the race, Mr. Sanders has shifted his message in recent weeks to focus more on electability. During a recent tour of eastern Iowa and campaign stops elsewhere, he has tried to make the case to voters that of all the Democratic hopefuls, he is the candidate most likely to prevail against President Trump. He has also introduced a series of audacious policy proposals, including establishing a national rent control standard, eliminating existing medical debt and instituting a wealth tax that goes farther than Ms. Warren’s plan.
Yet perhaps more than ever, Mr. Sanders is betting on the grass-roots appeal that propelled his 2016 campaign, a factor that his campaign says polls often fail to capture.
Rather than relying on high-dollar fund-raisers — events he categorically rejects — he instead hopes to energize enthusiastic supporters who can donate to him again and again. In a show of force last month, his campaign said it had logged contributions from more than one million individual donors. His campaign said the average donation for the quarter was $18.07
His strategy means he does not have to worry about donors maxing out; his campaign said more than 99.9 percent can give again. But it also poses challenges: Though he has a loyal army of supporters and volunteers, many of them do not donate large amounts of money, meaning he must appeal to a huge pool of donors in order to keep pace with rivals like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is willing to collect large sums of money on the traditional big donor fund-raising circuit.