Four Democratic candidates were nearly broke at the start of February

Four of the remaining Democratic candidates were running short of cash as of the beginning of February. Elizabeth Warren in particular was nearly out of cash but Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg weren’t looking much better.

Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren each started the month scraping perilously close to the bottom of their campaign bank accounts, posing an existential threat to their candidacies as the Democratic primary goes national…

While Sanders started February with nearly $17 million in the bank, according to campaign finance disclosures filed Thursday night, his next closest rival (nonbillionaire class) was Biden, at $7.1 million. Warren was closest to the red, with just $2.3 million left in her account, while Buttigieg ($6.6 million) and Klobuchar ($2.9 million) were in between…

On Thursday, Buttigieg issued a new call for money to his supporters, asking them to give $13 million to keep his campaign competitive after he raised just $6.2 million in January.

The Times of London reports that Warren was close to running out of money because she spent more than double what she brought in during the month of January:

Elizabeth Warren’s finances were in the most precarious condition in January, according to the campaign records filed on Thursday night. She spent almost $23 million — more than double the $10 million that she raised — and her campaign had to tap $400,000 of a $3 million credit line as a contingency plan. She entered February with only $2.3 million in her account.

The good news for Warren is that she reported a big haul after her strong debate performance:

The most-watched Democratic party debate ever, seen by nearly 20 million viewers, paid immediate dividends for the Warren campaign. By Thursday lunchtime she had raised $5 million in under 20 hours. Having identified Mr Bloomberg as the ideal foil for her anti-corruption message, she was still baiting the billionaire on Thursday night, appearing on CNN with a contract for him to sign that would release the unknown number of people whom he has “muzzled” with non-disclosure agreements from their legally-binding commitments.

The problem for Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar is that now is the moment they need to spend big if they hope to capture some of the delegates available on Super Tuesday. But because of the cash shortages, they haven’t been able to do that:

[Warrren] has so far spent only $300,000 on adverts in the Super Tuesday states, which together will deliver more than a third of all the Democratic delegates available across the US in a single day.

Neither Joe Biden, 77, nor Pete Buttigieg, 38, had bought a single Super Tuesday advert as of Thursday night, according to the spending tracker Kantar/CMAG. Amy Klobuchar, 59, had spent $874,000 in smaller Super Tuesday states.

Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg has hundreds of millions of dollars to spend (he’s spent nearly $500 million so far) and his focus is on Super Tuesday.

I’m not going to offer any predictions beyond what already seems obvious: Biden and Klobuchar are probably going to be out of the race soon. It’s not clear to me how Warren can re-take the progressive lane from Sanders which means she’s going to be fighting for his fundraising scraps. How much longer can that continue at the rate she’s burning cash?

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