When Bernie Sanders suspended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, his crowd of passionate backers began to worry — not only about the race for the White House, but also about their personal information. Over the course of Sanders' campaign, he amassed an estimated 5.3 million email addresses of supporters who donated more than $220 million to his cause. Politico called it "perhaps the most coveted and valuable catalog of potential voters and donors in the Democratic Party," causing concern for Sanders fans who didn't want their data turned over to Hillary Clinton or political groups aligned with the establishment.
On Monday, Roll Call revealed where the list is going next: to U.S. Senate races in November. According to anonymous sources in the campaign, Sanders doesn't plan to flat-out give the donor list to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee but instead use it himself to fundraise for likeminded candidates running for office.
"Anybody who has given to Bernie in 2016 can be rest assured that [their] info won’t be turned over to the DSCC or any other arm of the Democratic Party," the unidentified source told Roll Call.
Sanders, himself a senator, will reportedly attempt to translate the support for his presidential campaign into enthusiasm for individual Senate candidates as he tries to help the Democrats recover control of the chamber.
Last week, he launched Our Revolution, a political group that outlines its goals as "to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness." Sanders told USA Today he wants to use his popularity to promote candidates down the ballot and aid them financially.
One such beneficiary has been Tim Canova, a progressive House candidate from Florida up against former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Though the Hill predicted he may not win the primary Tuesday, Canova's donations skyrocketed when Sanders mentioned him on CNN in May.
"The Sanders endorsement has been like a big shot in the arm for excitement and energy and fundraising, and I'm very grateful for his support," Canova told NPR at the time.