DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he needs to raise $13 million to stay competitive through the 14-state Super Tuesday contests on March 3, despite strong finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
The tricky financial picture for one of the surprise candidates of 2020 comes as the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, reported Thursday that he spent more than twice as much as he brought in during January, even as he was simultaneously ramping up for the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.
But the Iowa Democratic Party’s debacle in reporting results may have dampened what Buttigieg could have expected to raise immediately after Iowa. Buttigieg ended with a near-tie in Iowa with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has fielded a strong organization and fundraising this cycle after competing strongly against Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination.
“The Iowa deal took some luster off what would have been a great night and a great week,” said Bobby Mandell, a Florida lawyer among Buttigieg’s most influential donors. “I know he did fine that week, but not as well as he could have done, had he been able to claim outright victory.”
Mandell says he and Buttigieg’s donors remain upbeat and committed as the candidate squeezes fundraising events in Nevada ahead of the Saturday caucuses there, and campaign and fundraising jaunts to California, the most delegate-rich prize in the March 3 sweepstakes.
The pace rapidly quickens after Nevada, as Buttigieg races from Nevada to Colorado and Virginia, important Super Tuesday states, before spending most of next week in South Carolina. Buttigieg’s campaign in South Carolina must show signs of support from African American voters who make up a majority of that state’s Feb. 29 primary electorate.