Klobuchar campaign's last minute ad push seeks to continue Iowa, NH momentum in diverse Nevada

Her bid could be tested in Nevada which is nearly 30% Latino, over 10% black.

February 19, 2020, 12:28 PM

LAS VEGAS -- Amy Klobuchar's presidential campaign’s push to expose the Minnesota senator to the diverse slate of Nevada voters in the critical days before the caucuses will get a boost with the release of two more 15-second TV ads in the “Silver State” focusing on health care and lowering prescription drug prices.

The two fairly short ads are part of what the campaign told ABC News Saturday is a seven-figure ad investment in just Nevada alone, and includes one Spanish-language ad released two-days ago.

This brings her to five total ads in this state since the day after the New Hampshire primaries.

The push on the airwaves comes just days after Klobuchar herself announced on ABC News “This Week,” that her campaign had fundraised $12 million in the week. The money flowing in the days since her standout performance on the ABC News debate stage in Manchester, New Hampshire, and since her surprising third place finish in New Hampshire.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks at the Clark County Democratic Party "Kick-Off to Caucus 2020" event, Feb. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas.
John Locher/AP

Klobuchar called her race for the White House a “happy, scrappy campaign,” at her New Hampshire primary night party. Since then she has experienced a surge in fundraising.

However, her momentum could be tested in Nevada which is nearly 30% Latino, over 10% black and encompasses one of the nation's fastest-growing Asian-American and Pacific Islander populations. She is at 0% among black voters in a recent national poll from Quinnipiac University. And she is at 1% among black, Latino and Asian American voters according to a recent Monmouth University poll.

By contrast, she fared solidly in similar polls leading up to the first-in-the-nation states of Iowa and New Hampshire where more than 90 percent of Democratic voters are white.

Her campaign has 50 paid staffers and two field offices in the entire state of Nevada.

Klobuchar told a crowd in Henderson, Nevada Saturday, that an increase in money would allow her to run ads in places her opponents have been in for some time.

“We were not able to put TV ads like some of my more well-funded opponents until just recently, and the reason we were able to start big time running ads in Nevada is because after that first -- that last debate, we started to literally get in, I think in two days, from regular people online,” Klobuchar said.

And yet, Klobuchar’s record might be her biggest hurdle once voters, specifically voters of color, get to know her.

Interviewed by ABC News’ Rachel Scott this past weekend, Klobuchar said she regrets voting for a bill that included an amendment to make English the official language of the U.S more than a decade ago.

“I think I once took a vote on English as the official language, that I wouldn't take that vote again,” Klobuchar said.

Looking beyond Nevada and into a number of other diverse states, Klobuchar said of voters of color who might be skeptical of her record, including her time as a former prosecutor who sought to project a tough on crime image, that it’s on her to share her record.

“I need to get to know them because my name ID wasn't very high -- my bank account, not as big. And so it's on me now to share with people my record,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar’s blitzing of the Nevada airwaves also comes as she, along with four of her Democratic opponents will finally face multi-billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a debate stage in Las Vegas, Nevada Wednesday night.

In recent days, and since Bloomberg made the debate stage, Klobuchar has been saying she would still not be able to compete against Bloomberg’s ad buys, but would push to compete on the debate stage itself.

“I actually welcome the mayor to that stage because I think it's really important that someone not just be out there on the TV because I'm not going to be able to compete with that with the billions that he has, but that he's got to be on the debate stage, and I do and I also I mean, honestly, the way I look at it I don't think people look at the guy in the White House and sink thing to themselves. We need someone richer,” Klobuchar said at a Las Vegas event Tuesday.

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