The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Bernie Sanders raised $15.6 million in May, has $9.2 million on hand

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Washington on Thursday June 09, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saw his fundraising pace decline in May, as he barnstormed western states -- especially California -- for what ended up being decisive losses to Hillary Clinton.

According to Sanders's latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission, his campaign took in $15.6 million during the last full month of campaigning. That compared with $26.2 million for Clinton, the first time all year that the presumptive nominee has decisively out-raised her surprisingly powerful challenger. And it represented a steep fall from April, when he raised $25.8 million.

As the money came in, however, Sanders spent it at a slower clip than previous months. He ended May with $9.2 million on hand, having ended the previous month with just $5.8 million. The new pace came after high-profile layoffs of staff in early states, and after a strategic decision to focus on grass-roots rallies instead of TV ads in the California primary. And even that swing eschewed some of the expenses of a similar romp through New York, as Sanders traveled by motorcade, renting a pricey campaign plane only for the final weekend of events.

Sanders, who publicly plans to continue his campaign until the Democratic convention, has since stopped campaigning. A rally near Washington's RFK stadium was the last of his major public events; he's spent the days since hunkered down in Washington or in Burlington, Vt. That may help prevent the fate that befell Clinton after her 2008 -- a towering debt that took four full years to pay off.

Anu Narayanaswamy contributed reporting.