Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is deploying campaign staff to Colorado next week in an effort to maintain the former mayor's momentum into Super Tuesday following strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign said Thursday.
Organizers are scheduled to arrive in Colorado and other states that vote on March 3, the Buttigieg campaign said, to assist teams of volunteers that have been on the ground for months. In addition, the campaign plans to boost activity by local groups of Buttigieg supporters, including students and veterans.
"We are building the campaign that will not only win this nomination but will defeat Donald Trump in November," said Samantha Steelman, the campaign' organizing director for Super Tuesday states, in a statement.
"To compete in all the states on Super Tuesday, you need a massive network of grassroots volunteers. For months, we have had a team that has been building that organization by harnessing the energy and grassroots momentum behind Pete and turning it into real organizing work.”
Mail ballots started going out this week to Colorado voters, who cast ballots along with 14 other states and territories on March 3, known as Super Tuesday, when 34% of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination will be awarded.
Caz Margenau, the campaign's volunteer lead in Colorado, told Colorado Politics that Buttigieg supporters have been networking and staging voter-contact events in the state since last April, with some 150 volunteer staff and a growing roster of nearly 2,000 supporters ready to campaign ahead of the primary.
After the Democrats' first two contests, Buttigieg has amassed a slim delegate lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist who edged Buttigieg in this week's New Hampshire's primary by a narrow margin and finished in a virtual tie with Buttigieg in last week's Iowa caucuses.
The 38-year-old former management consultant and Navy veteran is staking claim to the Democrats' moderate lane, along with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who outperformed expectations in New Hampshire, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who didn't.
Buttigieg has scheduled a town hall in Aurora on Feb. 22 and drew large crowds to a fundraiser in Denver in January.
After concentrating for most of the last year to the early states — including Nevada and South Carolina, which vote later this month — Buttigieg is attempting to ramp up full-fledged campaigns in states like Colorado that have been relying on volunteer-driven organizing.
He'll be playing catch-up in Colorado with Democrats including Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who have extensive organizing operations on the ground in the state.
The campaign announced a six-figure digital buy on Wednesday in Super Tuesday states Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, focusing on populous counties that flipped from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016.
A spokesman for the Buttigieg campaign told Colorado Politics that future rounds of digital ads will target Colorado voters.