As the Democratic Party struggles to regain its footing following its disastrous November election, one vestige of the 2016 campaign has taken on much importance: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ email list. Sanders, who raised $218 million online from a record 2.8 million donors, rewrote the rules of email fundraising during his campaign by relentlessly courting small-dollar contributors.
Democrats have made no secret they covet Sanders’ list, which Sanders controls through his Senate campaign and the political nonprofit he founded, Our Revolution. The decision on what to do with it rests with Sanders. “Our Revolution won’t be giving over the list,” says the group’s president, Jeff Weaver, who was Sanders’ presidential campaign manager.