Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is dumping truckloads of money into the state ahead of the March Super Tuesday primary.
Ballots for the primary are finally hitting mailboxes this week, but the Bloomberg campaign has been blanketing the airwaves and digital landscape with ads. The campaign won’t disclose how much they’re spending, but Advertising Analytics, a firm that tracks political advertising dollars says Bloomberg has spent $2.2 million on television ads in Utah from November 25 of last year until now. That staggering amount does not include digital advertising.
Bloomberg’s campaign also has 19 staffers on the ground in Utah ahead of the March 3 vote. They’ve opened a campaign office in downtown Salt Lake City and are planning to open another in the southern part of Salt Lake County. Bloomberg also held a campaign rally in Salt Lake City in January.
“We are head and shoulders above any other organization in the state when it comes to capitalizing on the opportunity we have here,” said Lauren Littlefield, Utah State Director for the Bloomberg campaign.
Bloomberg is basing his run for the Democratic nomination on the 14 Super Tuesday states that will award 38% of the total delegates. Utah has 29 pledged delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday, and 6 unpledged, or “superdelegates.” It takes 1,991 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first vote at the party’s convention this summer. The unpledged delegates are not allowed to vote on the first ballot. If the nomination is contested and proceeds to a second ballot or more, a candidate will need 2,375 delegates to win the nomination.
Thee’s been very little activity in the Beehive States from other 2020 Democratic candidates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren visited Utah last Spring for a campaign event and Mayor Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to hold a town hall and other campaign activities next week. Several surrogates for the Biden campaign have visited, but the candidate himself has only come to Utah to hold a closed-door fundraiser.
In the first quarter of his campaign, Bloomberg dropped $188 million in total, which is more than most every other candidate in the race spent combined. More than ⅔ of that went to advertising, He is spending lavishly on salaries for the 2,100 staffers arrayed around the country and opened 125 field offices.
A Suffolk University poll last month from the Salt Lake Tribune put Bloomberg in 4th place in Utah behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden. A HarrisX survey at the end of January showed Bloomberg did the best head-to-head against President Donald Trump, pulling in 32% support from Utah voters, but he would still lose by 13-points.