The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada

The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: The Democratic contenders are gearing up for tomorrow's Nevada caucuses. The contest will be vastly different from Iowa and New Hampshire, two states which are largely rural and white. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE is banking on a comeback in the Silver State, with his campaign citing his ties and popularity with the African American and Hispanic communities.  Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Minn.), who performed well in the first two states, will have to contend with a much more diverse group of voters in Nevada. Neither of them have polled particularly well with minorities, and both have baggage on the issue of policing. 

On the progressive front, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.) is leading recent polling in Nevada. Sanders lost the state to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus MORE in 2016 by roughly 5 points. Despite not having much standing with voters of color in 2016, Sanders's campaign has since made an effort to reach out to minority communities and has especially made in-roads with young Hispanic and African American voters. However, his fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) is coming off of a strong debate performance in Las Vegas, which could give her a much-needed boost in the state. Warren's campaign announced on Thursday that it raised $5 million since the Wednesday night debate. Warren's also received quite a bit of media attention from debate night. A successful showing for Warren in the caucuses has the potential to peel progressive support away from Sanders. 

But it's not only the winners and losers we'll be looking out for in the contest. Nevada's caucuses are the first since Iowa's caucuses earlier this month, which were mired in chaos after the app used to count votes failed.

Our colleague Maggie Miller reported this week that experts and officials have anxiety over the Nevada Democratic Party's plans to use a Google calculator uploaded to new iPads to tally results. The Nevada Democratic Party originally planned to use the same app the Iowa Democratic Party used, which was built by Shadow, Inc., but immediately announced it would abandon those plans after the Iowa debacle.

Keep up with TheHill.com for the latest in Nevada results. Jonathan Easley will be on the ground in Nevada, while Max Greenwood and I will hold down the fort here in Washington. 

--Julia Manchester 

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READ MORE: 

Five takeaways from new fundraising reports for 2020 Democrats by The Hill's Max Greenwood

The Memo: Chaos deepens among Democrats after Bloomberg's misfire by The Hill's Niall Stanage 

Progressives hope Nevada offers roadmap for pro-union 2020 victory by The Hill's Jonathan Easley

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Bloomberg cleared the way on Friday for three women who have accused the former New York City mayor of sexist and misogynistic behavior to be released from nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) barring them from speaking publicly about their allegations, Max reports. In a statement, Bloomberg said that his company, Bloomberg LP, had identified three nondisclosure agreements it had entered into with women who have accused the former mayor and billionaire businessman of making inappropriate and offensive comments. "If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they'll be given a release," Bloomberg said. "I've done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I've decided that for as long as I'm running the company, we won't offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward."

 

The moderate candidates in the presidential race are raising alarm bells over the possibility of Sanders amassing a majority of delegates post Super Tuesday. Bloomberg's campaign sent out a memo on Wednesday warning that Sanders will be "all but impossible to defeat" after Super Tuesday, and called on Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar to drop out of the race. Buttigieg's campaign released a similar memo on Thursday, calling on Bloomberg to drop out of the race. Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester report that there are growing concerns among centrist Democrats that the race's moderates are not aligning behind a moderate alternative to Sanders quick enough. "Whether you're talking about Bloomberg or Biden or Buttigieg or Klobuchar, is that they just won't come out and say it. I don't understand why no one is coming out and saying, 'Do you want two more Supreme Court seats to go to Donald Trump and Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump digs in on criticism of Democratic governors Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Arizona lawmaker warns Pence state may end coronavirus testing due to shortage MORE's nominees?'" Demoratic strategist Jon Reinish told The Hill. "Putting a socialist at the top of the ticket will lose you the House and all of those moderate seats that we picked up." 

 

This sentiment was seen on Wednesday night's debate stage when Sanders was the only candidate who said he would support the candidate with the most delegates, even if they did not have a majority. The Hill's Amie Parnes reports that Democrats originally skeptical of the prospect of a contest convention now view it as a likelier scenario. "If the number of candidates scoring in the double-digits that are splitting delegates continue to do so through Super Tuesday and beyond, it's just math, unless all of a sudden a number of candidates drop out," Adam Parkhomenko, who worked on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, told Parnes. 

 

FROM CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), the largest super PAC supporting Senate Republicans, funneled  millions of dollars through another political action committee to boost the candidacy of Erica Smith, a progressive Democratic seeking her party's nomination to take on Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisCampaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Senate leaving DC until April 20 after coronavirus stimulus vote Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads MORE (R-N.C.) in November, The Hill's Reid Wilson reports. Federal Election Commission filings released late Thursday show that SLF funneled nearly $3 million through a Jacksonville, N.C.-based group called Faith and Power PAC to run advertisements supporting Smith's candidacy. In fact, SLF was the source of all of Faith and Power PAC's funding. National Democrats are backing former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham in the Senate primary on March 3. But the GOP efforts to boost Smith illustrate how the party is seeking to bolster a Democrat that they view as a more favorable opponent to Tillis in the general election. 

 

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerRomney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Markets expected to plunge amid partisan squabbling MORE (R-Colo.) is widely regarded as the most vulnerable Senate Republican facing reelection in 2020. Not only has his state shifted to the left in recent years -- as of 2018, Democrats control both state legislative chambers and the governor's office -- but he faces a likely challenge from former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperSenate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race Progressive challenger: How we overcame Chuck Schumer meddling MORE (D), who is vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Gardner in November. So, it's no surprise that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE is doing what he can to push the Colorado senator across the finish line. The president rallied supporters in the Centennial State on Thursday in an effort to boost Gardner's odds come November, The Hill's Brett Samuels reports. "We are going to win Colorado in a landslide," Trump declared to the thousands of supporters. "And you're going to help us get Cory Gardner across that line because he's been with us 100 percent. There was no waver." Of course, Trump's brand in the state isn't as strong as Republicans would like. Hillary Clinton carried Colorado by about 5 points in 2016 and recent trends suggest that it's only becoming friendlier territory for Democrats.

 

MONEY WATCH:

FUNDRAISING FEVER: The Democratic presidential candidates raised a combined $58 million in January, the latest batch of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings shows. But if the candidates are raising at a faster pace than ever, they're spending it even faster. In the period between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, the candidates spent nearly $357 million combined. Of course, most of that money – about $220 million – came from former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE, the billionaire businessman who's self-funding his presidential bid. Another billionaire candidate, Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE, spent a little less than $53 million over the course of the month.

With the exception of Bloomberg and Steyer, all of the Democratic candidates are burning through money faster than they can raise it. But the rate of spending is most alarming for Buttigieg and Warren, who both spent more than twice as much in January as they took in. In a sign that money may have been scarce in January, Warren also secured a $3 million line of credit, though her campaign only accessed about $400,000 of it. And February is shaping up to be a better month for her. Her campaign said that she has already raised more than $17 million this month.

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All that aside, none of the Democratic candidates came close to matching the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and their affiliated groups in fundraising last month. Together, the groups raised about $60 million in January and ended the month with more than $200 million in cash on hand.

 

Here's a quick rundown of the most recent FEC filings:

*Denotes a self-funding candidate

 

Who raised the most?

Sanders: $25,174,337.90

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Warren: $10,406,657.18

Biden: $8,908,526.96

Buttigieg: $6,219,398.15

Klobuchar: $5,528,070.21

Gabbard: $1,086,363.32

Steyer*: $638,402.18

Bloomberg*: $0.00

 

Who spent the most?

Bloomberg*: $220,620,861.64

Steyer*: $52,854,844.39

Sanders: $26,534,551.08

Warren: $22,445,998.02

Buttigieg: $14,107,183.62

Biden: $10,747,841.73

Klobuchar: $7,638,527.90

Gabbard: $1,834,201.71

 

Who burned through their money the fastest?

Buttigieg: 226.83 percent

Warren: 215.69 percent

Gabbard: 168.84 percent

Klobuchar: 138.18 percent

Biden: 120.65 percent

Sanders: 105.40 percent

 

Who has the most cash on hand?

Bloomberg*: $55,138,310.42

Steyer*: $17,857,605.33

Sanders: $16,835,494.84

Biden: $7,106,499.08

Buttigieg: $6,631,290.46

Klobuchar: $2,863,123.68

Warren: $2,299,980.10

Gabbard: $2,010,048.41

Want more fundraising news? Here are five takeaways from the latest filings from Max. 

 

POLL WATCH:

UMASS LOWELL – MASSACHUSETTS (DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL)

Sanders: 21 percent
Warren: 20 percent

Buttigieg: 15 percent

Biden: 14 percent

Bloomberg: 12 percent

Klobuchar: 9 percent

Gabbard: 3 percent

Steyer: 2 percent

 

UMASS LOWELL – MASSACHUSETTS SENATE (DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY)

Kennedy: 35 percent

Markey: 34 percent

Undecided: 23 percent

 

UMASS LOWELL- CALIFORNIA (DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL)

Sanders: 24 percent

Warren: 16 percent

Biden: 13 percent

Buttigieg: 12 percent

Bloomberg: 12 percent

Klobuchar: 7 percent

Gabbard: 4 percent

Steyer: 2 percent

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

The Nevada causes are tomorrow. There are 8 days until the South Carolina primary and 11 days until Super Tuesday. 

 

ONE FUN THING:

Since he announced his presidential campaign back in November, Bloomberg has sought to give the impression that he's already running a general election challenge to Trump. So far, most of the contrasts he's drawn between himself and the president have hinged on political differences. But now Bloomberg appears to be getting more personal. The former New York City mayor's campaign welcomed Trump to Phoenix this week with a set of billboards:

 

 

 

 

We could see that last billboard moving the needle in Florida, as well. We'll be back Monday with more news from the campaign trail. Have a great weekend!