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In Wake of Iowa Loss, Super PAC Backing Biden Ramps Up New Hampshire Spending

PACs have spent hundreds of thousands on ads for Buttigieg and Biden to challenge Sanders, who has a clear lead.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden listen as Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on January 14, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.

If the Iowa caucuses are any indication of a link between fundraising and results, then competition in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Feb. 11 could be between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Sanders has raised over $535,000 in New Hampshire, topping all his Democratic primary contenders. Buttigieg comes in second, raising around $406,000 in the state. While Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has received more than $321,000, former Vice President Joe Biden ranks fourth with around $238,000 in contributions. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) received almost $126,000.

New Hampshire neighbors Sanders home state of Vermont and that is expected to give him an advantage Tuesday, similar to 2016 when he beat Hillary Clinton with a 20 percent margin in the state. But this has not deterred the Democratic frontrunner in the state from aggressively campaigning, reportedly spending $3.6 million on 2020 advertising in the state.

FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls forecasts a comfortable lead for Sanders at nearly 26 percent, with Biden and Buttigieg battling for second. A WBZ/Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll released Tuesday showed Sanders in the lead with 26 percent, and Biden and Buttigieg virtually tied for second place at 15 percent each. That poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Buttigieg’s rise in the New Hampshire polls coincides with VoteVets’s PAC arm spending more than $197,000 in advertisements for the former mayor, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Biden had taken a backseat in the state, spending just around $5,000 on television and radio advertising. But Monday, his team increased the budget to $215,000 following the Iowa caucuses.

Unite the Country, the super PAC backing the former vice president on Tuesday said it will invest $900,000 on television and digital ad campaigns on behalf of Biden in the Granite State. The announcement came following early results that indicated Biden was lagging in Iowa, despite the super PAC having spent $5 million in ad campaigns in the state.

The super PAC spent more than $5.5 million overall in support of Biden, who is leading the polls in Nevada and South Carolina, the third and fourth states staged to hold caucuses or primaries.

Among the other candidates, billionaire Tom Steyer reportedly spent roughly $16 million on advertising and Warren spent around $128,000 on television and radio advertising in New Hampshire.

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is banking heavily on New Hampshire and South Carolina to propel his campaign, and spent more than $100,000 for a two-week ad buy ahead of the primaries on Tuesday with an additional $60,000 for South Carolina. The late entrant in the Democratic presidential race continues to trail in the polls. Reason to Believe, a super PAC backing Patrick, spent $2 million in 2019.

Following confusion in the Iowa caucuses, billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that his team will spend double the amount it has already spent on national advertising. Bloomberg — who snubbed the Hawkeye State — has spent at least $315 million in national airwaves so far.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has received $308,533 in contributions in New Hampshire. He was unable to win the state in the previous general election and as Democratic candidates scramble to make headway in the primaries, team Trump is setting the ground running for November.

“We should have won New Hampshire. That was taken away,” Trump had said at an August rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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