The NYT — yes, even though they suck, they have this interesting article — has an article up on the early caucus and primary states and the Democratic presidential candidates gound game in each. Well, they focus more on Iowa than any place else, but they have some graphics on how many campaign offices each candidate has in IA, NH, NV, and SC. I wish I could get you those graphics, but I will just have to summarize for you the essentials the old fashion way.
- Buttigieg and Warren are tied for the overall number of campaign offices in the four early states (47 each). But Buttigieg has 22 offices in IA vs Warren’s 19.
- Biden and Sanders are tied with 34 offices overall, but Biden has 17 in IA vs 9 for Sanders.
- The next up is Harris with 20 overall and 9 of those in IA.
- Klobuchar has 16 overall campaign offices and 10 of them are in IA. The other 6 are in NH.
- Beto has 15 overall campaign offices with 11 of them in IA.
- Booker has 6 overall campaign offices with only 1 in IA.
- Yang has 6 overall campaign office with 2 in IA.
- Steyer has 3 overall campaign offices with only 1 in IA.
Sticking with IA for the moment, it appears that the people who are taking the biggest gambles on IA are Beto and Klobuchar, if you look at it from percentages (73% for Beto, 62.5% for Klobuchar). And the data on Klobuchar is that she has no ground game in NV or SC. Beto has a total of 3 offices in those two states. It really is betting most of their chips on IA.
For now, Booker, Yang, and Steyer are looking to get creamed in IA, at least based on this ground game data. Correct me if I wrong, but IA is a caucus state. And it always comes down to organization, organization, and organization in IA from what I have seen from the outside. You have to get your people to the caucus and have them engage other voters.
I’m surprised that Sanders is not more heavily invested in IA, but he seems to have evenly distributed his campaign offices across the four early voting states.
As for NH, Buttigieg has the most campaign offices there (14). Warren and Sanders each have 10, while Biden has 8. Klobuchar has 6, while Harris has 4. The other candidates are two or less in NH.
SC is interesting. Biden the heavy favorite there for now, only has 4 campaign offices. Meanwhile, it’s Warren and Sanders with 9 offices each in SC. Yes, I know. Both Warren and Sanders have a lot of work to do to court black voters in SC. It’s a weakness for both candidates. BUT Buttigieg only has 2 campaign offices in SC. Harris has 5 in SC. Klobuchar and Steyer have ZERO in SC. The rest of the candidates are 2 or less.
If SC is supposed to be Biden’s firewall, he sure isn’t putting the ground game into it. Warren and Sanders appear to be trying to build some ground game in SC, but Buttigieg is not doing that. And it is not like Buttigieg is hurting for cash. It’s just interesting that the candidates who have been dinged the most for not reaching out to black voters — Warren and Sanders — seem to be trying to build a ground game.
Whether Warren and Sanders efforts to build a ground game in SC works, I have been reminded that any Democratic candidate must win the votes of one of the most reliable groups in the Democratic Party: black voters. It’s why I am more than a little surprised by the moves of some of the candidates with regards to SC. While some campaigns are not stressing this, it sure looks like the strategy is to win IA and NH and worry about SC at some later date.
As for NV, Buttigieg is the biggest investor with 10 campaign offices. Next up is Warren with 9, then Sanders with 6. Biden comes in with 5, and most of the rest are two or less with Klobuchar with zero offices in NV.