Democratic presidential candidates who received the greatest amount of donations from Iowa and New Hampshire residents also finished at the top of the polls in the two early primaries.
If those results are any indication of what can be expected from the upcoming Nevada caucuses, then this time, it’s former Vice President Joe Biden who could finally make a breakthrough in the state.
Biden has raised almost $842,000 from Nevada donors, topping his Democratic primary contenders by a large margin. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) comes in second, raising around $528,000 in the state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has received over $292,000 in contributions.
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Biden is slated to be one of the top contenders in the Silver State after finishing fourth and fifth in Iowa and New Hampshire respectively. While FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls earlier forecasted a comfortable lead for Biden in Nevada, Sanders has now overtaken him for the lead.
Until last week, FiveThirtyEight projected a Biden win with almost 23 percent of the vote. But after his poor performance in the first two contests despite spending a lot of time and money in both states, he dropped more than 4 points to 18.5 percent.
Biden’s campaign, which is banking heavily on the African American and Latino voter base for a win in Nevada, reportedly tried to reassure worried top donors and contributors on a conference call on Tuesday. The Super PAC Unite the Country backing Biden also warned supporters of a “doomsday scenario” if Biden is forced to exit the race, urging them to contribute.
It was reported that the former vice president boosted Nevada spending, putting an estimated $290,000 into broadcast, according to FiveThirtyEight. Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign has spent almost all of the $60 million it raised last year, leaving Biden with less than $9 million cash on hand.
Warren, who trailed in both primaries, is projected by FiveThirtyEight to finish third in Nevada. She vowed to continue aggressive campaigning after the losses and pulled her television ad buys in South Carolina to pour additional money into Nevada advertising. Warren has spent approximately $430,000 on TV ads in the state.
Riding on his success in Iowa and New Hampshire, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg, doubled his staff in Nevada and increased investment in television ads. He has spent over $150,000 on TV ads so far, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad data firm. Super PAC VoteVets, which is backing the former mayor, also reportedly bought over $500,000 worth of TV ads in Nevada.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) team will spend $70,000 on advertising in Vegas and an additional $94,000 on cable statewide. Her team has increased spending after a surprising third place finish in the New Hampshire primary, following a spike in polls after her debate performance last Friday. Additionally, after the New Hampshire primary, her team also announced they raised $2.5 million in four hours.
Meanwhile, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who isn’t on the ballot in Nevada or South Carolina, has spent $350 million on nationwide advertising but under $2,000 in Nevada, according to estimates by FiveThirtyEight.
President Donald Trump has raised the highest in contributions in Nevada at almost $872,000. Running four TV advertisements in the state, Trump has spent around $880,000. Trump lost Nevada by less than 3 points in 2016.