February 7, 2020
With the results from the Iowa Democratic Caucuses finally in, three days after the vote, here's a campaign media analysis look at how much money the candidates spent in their attempts to secure support and delegates.
Media Trends - Spending Toplines
- In the current cycle, the 13 candidates on the ballot (12 Democrats and President Trump), and one pro-Biden group Unite the Country, spent $70 million
- The money spent by candidates on the 2020 Caucuses doubled the total spent by candidates in 2016 - in a year when only one party’s nomination is up for grabs
Iowa Spending Details
Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren took 26.2%, 26.1%, and 18% respectively, and accounted for a combined 41% of the $70 million spent.
Biden and Klobuchar received 15.8% and 12.3% of the raw vote count respectively, and combined accounted for 19% of the total spend. This sum includes money spent by the candidates themselves and a super PAC supporting Biden, “Unite the Country”.
Steyer, who received only 1% of the raw vote, spent more than both Biden and Klobuchar, accounting for 25% of the total.
The final group of candidates who garnered 1% or less - Yang, Bloomberg, Delaney, Bennet, Patrick, Gabbard - accounted for a combined 15% of total spending. This ranges from Yang's total of $6.8 million to Bloomberg’s mere $500k.
Iowa Spending and Outcomes
- The campaigns that won (Buttigieg and Sanders) ultimately spent more than the campaigns that didn't (Biden and Warren)
- Warren spent less than Biden, but beat him by 3 percentage points
- Steyer spent $18M in the state and received almost no return on that investment
- Spending spiked in January for all candidates, so even though we cannot claim a one-to-one correlation between spending and winning, there is apparently a clear mentality that victory won't be achieved without significant investment in airtime