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Buttigieg goes up with first television ad in Nevada, Biden releases second

Megan Messerly
Megan Messerly
Election 2020
Democratic presidential candidates appear on stage with Harry Reid

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is going up on television with his first statewide ad on Tuesday ahead of his eighth visit to the Nevada later this week.

The Buttigieg announcement comes on the same day that Biden is releasing a new minute-long television ad, his second in Nevada.

Buttigieg’s 30-second spot, titled “Had To,” serves as an introduction of the South Bend mayor to voters in the Silver State, highlighting his military service in Afghanistan and experience as mayor. In it, Buttigieg talks about how he and his fellow soldiers “had to be united in our mission” and how his city “had to find a way forward” after corporate greed ripped apart the rust belt.”

“Whenever I visit Nevada, I hear the frustration with politics so broken for so long,” Buttigieg says, set against footage of him speaking at and meeting with voters at rallies at First Friday in Downtown Las Vegas and the East Las Vegas Community Center. “We keep sending politicians to Washington to fight for us, but then when they get there, they seem more interested in the part about fighting than the part about us.”

The ads, which will run statewide on cable television, aim to boost Buttigieg’s profile in the state. Though the South Bend mayor is polling at or near the front of the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire, the most recent polls in Nevada have Buttigieg at fourth place, significantly behind Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Biden’s ad, a minute-long spot called the “Soul of America,” contrasts the former vice president with President Donald Trump, set against footage from the civil rights movement and the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

“It’s always a fight, and it’s a battle that is never fully finished, but if Donald Trump is re-elected he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation,” Biden says in the ad, a clip excerpted from a speech he gave on Aug. 7 in Burlington, Iowa. “If we give Donald Trump four more years this will not be the country envisioned by Washington, this will not be the nation bound together by Lincoln, this will not be the nation lifted up by Roosevelt or inspired by Kennedy. It will not be the nation that Barack Obama proved bends toward justice.”

The ad, which is backed by the campaign’s previously announced $6 million buy in the early nominating states, will run in Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on cable.

Biden’s first ad ran in Nevada on Oct. 5 as part of a two-day national buy in the four early states.

Buttigieg also released on Tuesday his first Spanish radio and digital ads in Nevada, which he narrates himself. (Buttigieg speaks eight languages, including Spanish.)

In an ad titled “Primer Día Sin Trump,” Buttigieg talks about how on the first day after Trump’s presidency “this particular brand of chaos and corruption will be over” but the top issues facing the country, such as the economy and health care, “will not have disappeared.”

“I’m running to be the president who will turn the page and unify our very polarized country while tackling the issues that are going to be just as urgent then as they are now,” Buttigieg says in Spanish.

The ads, which come in 15- and 30-second versions, will run statewide on YouTube and Spotify, as well as on certain radio stations in Las Vegas and come just a day after Buttigieg released his plan to invest in the Latino community.

A Buttigieg spokeswoman said that the new television, digital and radio ads in Nevada are backed by a “significant” buy, but declined to specify the exact amount.

Buttigieg has substantially ramped up his Nevada operations over the last few months and now has 10 offices and 55 staffers statewide, making his campaign one of the biggest operations here. 

The South Bend mayor will return to Nevada for his eighth trip of the cycle on Friday. He is slated to attend events with members of the Latino, black and AAPI communities, as well as the Teamsters union.

Biden, who also has a substantial Nevada operation, recently wrapped up a two-day long swing through Nevada last week, during which he spoke at a town hall with members of the Culinary Union and toured a solar farm in Boulder City. He has been to Nevada seven times since launching his campaign.

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