Joe Biden’s low cash reserves compared to rivals and billionaire Michael Bloomberg could mean trouble for his campaign if he does poorly in early states.
While Biden has consistently led most national polls, he is currently trailing Bernie Sanders and New Hampshire.
The first primary that he is expected to win, South Carolina does not take place until February 29th and if he was to perform poorly in the first 3 contests before that anything could happen in South Carolina as well.
NYTimes reports in Iowa, Biden is not just chasing votes and delegates. He’s chasing cash.
A disappointing finish in the state, where there are four candidates bunched in the top tier in polls, could dampen his online fundraising at a crucial juncture. Candidates need resources to build up their operations in delegate-rich Super Tuesday states like California, where campaigning and ad rates can be prohibitively expensive and early voting begins next week.
Allies said the chief danger is that a fourth-place finish — or even a third, depending on who is ahead of him and by how much — could jeopardize Biden’s financial prospects, especially in a Democratic Party with a notoriously skittish political establishment. In recent weeks, Biden has begun to consolidate the traditional donor class, but his online money operation was the weakest of the four leading candidates for much of 2019, making him particularly vulnerable to falling behind financially if he stumbles early.
Such a result could also deliver the money advantage to rivals with more reliable and passionate digital followings — none more so than Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Yahoo reports former Vice President Joe Biden reported Friday that he had $9 million in reserve at the end of 2019, an underwhelming sum that suggests he could struggle to compete with his better funded rivals in the weeks ahead.
Biden has lagged behind Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in raising money for his presidential campaign. They reported having a minimum of about $5 million more than Biden in disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission ahead of Friday’s deadline.
With the Iowa Caucuses looming Monday, Biden’s campaign sought to get out in front of the news earlier in the day, telling supporters in a memo that January was their best fundraising month since he launched his Democratic bid for the White House. Yet his campaign declined to say how much it raised during that period, which falls outside of the reporting period reflected in the reports.
How much cash 2020 contenders have on hand offers a key indicator of the health of their campaign. And a poor performance in the caucuses combined with an anemic bank account balance has doomed candidates in the past.
“For the guys and gals who have spent substantial resources getting to this stage in Iowa, if they don’t meet expectations, they are going to be in a position where they have to live off the land in the coming weeks, which is not a fun place to be,” said Danny Diaz, a Republican consultant who was a senior adviser for Mitt Romney’s 2012 White House bid and the manager of Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.