CHICAGO (CBS) — In Campaign 2020 news…
Iowa and New Hampshire’s contests are over, but we still don’t have a clear Democratic front-runner.
That’s making the upcoming Illinois primary more pivotal than years past.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole shows us who’s stepping up their Illinois ground game.
With such a crowded field, there’s a good chance many of the Democratic candidates will still be in the running for the Democratic presidential nomination come Primary Day in Illinois on March 17.
It means our primary and Illinois’ 155 delegates, awarded proportionally by vote totals, should be more pivotal than in years past. Some candidates are already focusing hard on Illinois.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is already airing commercials in Illinois. The self-funded billionaire isn’t competing in a single primary until Super Tuesday. His deep pocketed campaign has nine offices open statewide, with more opening soon, employing a total of 80 paid staffers.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has conducted several rallies already in Illinois. Her campaign has one state office in Chicago to date with 20 paid staffers. They’ve coordinated frequent phone banks and text sessions with volunteers to get out the vote.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg chalked off impressive performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. His campaign has one downtown Chicago office with seven paid staffers. Sources said for now, it’s primarily coordinating donations from the Midwest.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar proved an over achiever in New Hampshire, finishing an unexpected third. Still, her operations in Illinois at this point are small consisting of at least 50 volunteers and one paid coordinator.
And then there is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. His campaign has no office open in the state, but does have the benefit of relying on a stronger than most volunteer corps, volunteers who have organized 1,200 grassroots events across Ilinois to date.
The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden which has been under performing responded late Thursday, only saying they have staff in the state working to build capacity.
Two other delegate rich states voting on the 17th are Florida and Ohio — both pivotal on the path to the nomination.