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Sanders launches $2.5 million television ad buy in California, Texas

Sanders launches $2.5 million television ad buy in California, Texas
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Progressives' majority delusions politically costly Sinema pushes back on criticism of her vote against minimum wage MORE's (I-Vt.) campaign revealed on Tuesday it will launch a $2.5 million television ad buy in California and Texas, marking the campaign's first ad buy in the Super Tuesday states. 

"It is thanks to our grassroots donors that we can make big investments in the vital states of California and Texas," Sanders's campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said in a statement. 

California and Texas are two of the largest delegate prizes in the party's primary. 

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News of the launch comes as Sanders leads in the Democratic primary pack in a number of state polls ahead of the first nominating contests. 

A new Los Angeles Times survey showed Sanders leading in California with 26 percent support ahead of the state's Super Tuesday primary on March 3.

Sanders appears to face more of an uphill climb in Texas. A CNN poll released last month showed Sanders in second place behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE with 15 percent support.  

If Sanders performs well in the early Democratic nominating contests, he could sustain enough momentum going forward into Super Tuesday. 

A New York Times–Siena College survey released last week showed Sanders leading in Iowa with 25 percent support, while a CNN survey showed Sanders leading with 25 percent support in New Hampshire. 

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However, the progressive senator, along with a number of his competitors, will have to contend with former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergAs Trump steps back in the spotlight, will Cuomo exit stage left? 'Lucky': How Warren took down Bloomberg Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison MORE, who has poured millions into the Super Tuesday states. 

Bloomberg, a billionaire who is not fundraising, has already spent $270 million on advertising across the country ahead of the primary contests.

His efforts appear to be paying off in polls. A new Morning Consult survey shows him surpassing former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE with 12 percent support nationally.