Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally on March 21, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo: George Frey, Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is spending $1.8 million on ads this week in states with nominating contests Tuesday, NBC News reports.
That’s nearly three times the ad spending of front-runner Hillary Clinton, who is buying only $600,000 worth. It’s also more than Republican contenders Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ($989,000) and Donald Trump ($520,000).
As both parties hold contests in Arizona and Utah and Democrats conduct caucuses in Idaho Tuesday, Sanders was far behind in the polling average in Arizona, losing to Clinton 53%-23%. But he was ahead in Utah 52%-44% and slightly up in Idaho, 47%-45% in the most recent surveys.
Those tight races could explain his buying $109,000 in advertising in Idaho and another $352,000 in Utah, according to the SMG Delta data cited by NBC. And he is still dropping $1.4 million in Arizona.
Sanders has been racing through campaign cash in recent months as he tries to keep his long-shot bid against Clinton alive. He spent more than any other presidential candidate last month, blowing through $41 million. Clinton spent the second-highest amount at $32 million.