When Senator Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide, his victory sent a message to supporters and detractors alike: “We can actually do this!”

Fans answered back with a wave of donations, resulting in $5.2 million given to the campaign in just the 18 hours between when the polls in NH closed and the following afternoon.

Sanders made an appeal to voters during his victory speech, reminding them that he doesn’t have a PAC to give him money and asking for “10 bucks, 20 bucks, or 50 bucks” in donations. True to his past record of having small, individual contributions, the average donation was just $34.

For a candidate who so often has been limited by people who believe that no matter how good his politics may be, he has “no chance,” this sort of legitimization is everything.

The Sanders campaign reports that they plan to devote the additional funds towards expanding the campaign nationwide, establishing campaign offices and an advertising presence in vital states across the country.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com