Who's The Richest Democratic Candidate? One Presidential Hopeful Stands Far Above The Rest
The 2016 Democratic presidential hopefuls have been incorporating wealth inequality into their campaigns, and for good reason. Of all developed nations, the U.S. has the widest gap between its rich and its poor. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley all talk about policies that will help the "average American." But financially speaking, are any of the them "average"? Who is the richest Democratic candidate?
As a self-described socialist, Bernie Sanders has made the unequal distribution of wealth a major issue in his platform. He writes on his website, "In the United States, we have one of the most unequal wealth and income distributions of any major country on earth ... Today the top one-tenth of 1 percent of our nation owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined."
Although there are differing reports on exactly how much Sanders is worth, there's no question that the Vermont senator makes significantly less than most other politicians in the race. In 2012, Open Secrets, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which is part of the Center for Responsive Politics, estimated Sanders' net worth at $460,506, making him the 84th richest of the 100 senators. In 2013, Open Secrets estimated that he dropped to 86th, with a net worth of $303,507. In May of this year, CNN repeated that figure. Some numbers have been higher — in July, Bloomberg reported that the Federal Election Commission puts Sanders' maximum net worth at $737,000.
Who's less wealthy than Sanders? Probably Martin O'Malley. Bloomberg reported that his estimated net worth is $256,000 at most, if you take into account the $339,000 he owes in student loans for his daughters' college tuition. He has a pension from serving as a city council member and mayor in Baltimore, a second pension from serving as Maryland governor, and he's also made some money from giving speeches.
In a time in which more than half of Congress is part of a "millionaire club," Sanders and O'Malley have significantly more reasonable financial assets for politicians. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is another story. She is by far the richest Democratic candidate.
In July, CNN reported that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Clinton is worth an estimated $15.3 million. Despite her infamous comments in June to Diane Sawyer that she and Bill Clinton came out of the White House in 2001 "not only dead broke, but in debt," now it looks like she's doing just fine. As Secretary of State, she was the third-richest member of the executive branch in 2012. The
Washington Post reported that, according to personal finance disclosure forms, she and her husband, Bill Clinton, made over $25 million dollars giving speeches just between January 2014 and May 2015. Additionally, she also made $5 million from her book, Hard Choices.
All that lands the Clintons in the top 0.1 percent of U.S citizens, in terms of wealth, meaning she's clearly the richest Democratic candidate by far.