WASHINGTON (AP) — Pete Buttigieg said Friday that he has raised $4 million since the Iowa caucuses, an impressive haul for a candidate looking to capitalize on his strong showing to continue building a national political brand.
The campaign of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced that it had collected $4 million since one minute after midnight on Tuesday.
The results from Monday’s caucuses are too close for The Associated Press to call. In figures released Thursday by the state party, Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by a margin of 0.09 percentage points. Both candidates have declared victory.
It’s another sign of strength for Buttigieg, who was unknown in national politics a year ago and has risen to become a front-runner in the Democratic primary. He is offering a centrist message and promising a fresh approach to politics as a 38-year-old Washington outsider.
Buttigieg’s campaign also said it was launching digital ads in Nevada and South Carolina starting on Saturday. Those states vote after New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary on Tuesday.
Sanders has announced raising a massive $25 million in January and is planning to use his flush campaign account to add staff and increase television and online advertising in states that vote on “Super Tuesday” on March 3.
Their twin strong finishes in Iowa have also increased tensions between Sanders and Buttigieg.
Appearing at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday, Sanders read a series of headlines about wealthy donors backing Buttigieg.
“I like Pete Buttigieg. Nice guy,” Sanders said. “But we are in a moment where billionaires control not only our economy but our political life.”
Channeling an old folk ballad, Sanders added: “This campaign is about ‘Which Side are You On,’” then quipped, “I will not sing for you.”
Sanders questioned whether candidates taking big checks from corporate interests would be willing to stand up to them and suggested the larger issue may not come up on Friday night, when he and other Democratic presidential candidates debate in Manchester.
“Tonight, I’ll be in a debate. They’ll ask me 500 questions about this issue, that issue. That’s fine. We gotta hear the answers,” Sanders said. “But it’s deeper than that: Which side are you on?”
Buttigieg’s campaign said Friday that during the first week of February, he had raised more money online than in all but two months of last year. Sanders also relies heavily on funds raised online, mostly from small donors.
Buttigieg’s campaign said that there had been 30,000 new donors since Feb. 4 and t hat more than a third of all donations came from first-time donors. It had raised $1 million in the past 24 hours, as Sanders began swiping more openly at Buttigieg.
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