Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg - who raised around $23 million dollars in a strong third quarter finish - is poised in the coming weeks to tap into his deep financial resources to boost operations in several early-voting states... His campaign is planning to hire staff and open new offices in Nevada, South Carolina and California.
The expansion could level the competition between Buttigieg and his top rivals, including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden… The contenders are building up war chests and campaign infrastructure ahead of so-called 'Super Tuesday' in March, when 14 states hold nominating contests in the Democratic primary.
The 37-year-old openly gay candidate - who was one of the lesser-known and lesser-funded candidates in the race- has invested heavily in Iowa, which holds the first presidential nominating contest on February 3rd… His campaign has more than 100 staffers and 20 offices in the state, among the most of any candidate - and the South Bend Mayor is betting on a strong finish there… In Nevada, which holds its caucuses on February 22nd, the Buttigieg campaign said it is planning to expand its staff of 36 to better compete with Sanders and Warren, who have 50 and 70 staff members, respectively More hires are also planned soon in South Carolina- which holds its primary on February 29th… A Buttigieg staff totaling about 40 people will be among the highest of any Democratic presidential team there.
The most expensive state -- California -- will be playing a more significant role in 2020 after it moved up its primary voting from June to March 3rd, Super Tuesday... But Buttigieg has much work cut out for him there, where Sanders has the largest presence with 22 staff members and five offices..
As Buttigieg prepares to pour money into building out a more robust multi-state campaign, he will also need to keep his eye on winning over a key voting bloc: African American voters, who have been critical of his performance as mayor.
Currently the South Bend mayor is receiving almost no support among African Americans, suggesting his bid could tumble as the contest moves to more diverse states after Iowa…