Presidential hopefuls send cash to critical 2020 states
The final votes of the 2018 midterms have yet to be cast, but several Democratic presidential hopefuls have already been spending with the next campaign in mind.
The campaigns and committees associated with nearly two-dozen prospective 2020 Democratic contenders have collectively spent more than $1.3 million on contributions, travel and voter lists in the four early- voting states, according to aMcClatchy review of financial records.
Ostensibly, much of that money has landed in the coffers of state and local parties and candidates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to help their 2018 campaign efforts. But for ambitious Democrats, it’s a critical step in forming alliances and friendships that could be useful to them in a presidential campaign that will begin in earnest after Tuesday’s elections.
“People know who helps in them in previous elec- tions and who doesn’t,” said Gene Martin, the chair of theManchester, N.H., Democratic Party. “If you’re interested in helping out yourself, you need to help others.”
No one has done that more from a financial perspective than Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti through his Democratic Midterm Victory Fund. While presidential hopefuls typically set up leadership PACs to start collecting chits, Garcetti formed a group that is a hybrid between a super PAC and a more traditional PAC, meaning it can raise unlimited sums of money.
Garcetti’s group contributed $100,000 apiece to the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina Democratic parties, an amount that turned heads among Democratic activists and leaders. It also donated another $20,000 to candidates and groups in those states.
“For those who give real help, and that is financial help, a large swath of us in South Carolina Democratic politics … will return the favor,” said Boyd Brown, a South Carolina Democratic operative and former member of the Democratic National Committee. “That’s how politics works.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has spent the most of any senator in the early states, doling out more than $65,000 in contributions between her leadership PAC and campaign committee.
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks at campaign rally Friday for US Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Madison, Wis.