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Only Bernie Sanders could raise $5.2 million off a speech bashing money in politics

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016, in Concord, New Hampshire.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016, in Concord, New Hampshire.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

After learning that he had won the New Hampshire primary in a 22-point landslide over rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders declared in a victory speech that his campaign was the antidote to big money in politics. Then, in the same speech, he asked his supporters to help him raise more money.

"I'm going to hold a fundraiser right here, right now, across America," he told the crowd. "My request is please go to BernieSanders.com and contribute."

And contribute his fans did. The campaign raised $5.2 million over an 18-hour period after polls closed, with the average donation coming in at $34, according to the campaign.

That impressive haul is about a quarter of the total he raised in January, when he outpaced Clinton in fundraising for the first time. It’s a testament to Sanders’s brilliance as a candidate that he can make his central pitch a searing critique of money in politics, and use that same line to raise money.