AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is one of the states to which Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is shifting resources as she seeks to revive her presidential campaign after a distant fourth-place finish in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
The Warren campaign took out at least $37,000 in new TV ad buys in Maine on Wednesday, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The move comes as Warren has signaled a pivot away from South Carolina — which holds its primary before Maine and more than a dozen other states vote March 3 — as her campaign seeks to pick up delegates before the Democratic nomination becomes out of reach.
Warren’s new ad spending, which would bring her total TV ad spending in Maine to $83,000, still put her well behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has spent $740,000 on TV ads in the state, according to FiveThirtyEight. Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg has spent about $1.6 million on TV ads in Maine since announcing his candidacy in November.
Sanders narrowly won the New Hampshire primary, edging out former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in third. Sanders and Buttigieg also came out on top in the Iowa caucus, with Warren taking a distant third.
Polling on the Democratic primary in Maine has been sparse, though one poll in October found Warren ahead of Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. But she has fallen off significantly in national polling since then, and it’s not clear who is the favorite to win the plurality of Maine’s 24 delegates. Sanders easily won the Maine Democratic caucuses in 2016.
Presidential candidates have largely eschewed Maine so far this cycle, with states that are more populous and vote earlier in the calendar seen as higher priorities. Bloomberg campaigned in Portland and Scarborough in January, while Sanders and Buttigieg both visited Maine last fall. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is considered a longshot after winning just 3.3 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, will be in the state this weekend.