Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, battling to emerge as the choice among moderates in the Democratic primary, are heading to Los Angeles next week to tap Hollywood and Los Angeles donors for badly needed campaign cash in advance of the Nevada and South Carolina contests followed by the juggernaut of Super Tuesday.
Also set to return to L.A., on Tuesday, is President Donald Trump, whose support from Hollywood has been scant compared to potential Democratic rivals.
With Bernie Sanders reaping a haul in small-dollar donations and Michael Bloomberg already investing $250 million in TV and radio ads for his presidential bid, other Democratic candidates are under the gun to raise tens of millions to remain viable through March 3, when 14 states vote and more than 1/3 of the delegates are allocated.
Klobuchar is scheduled to headline a fundraiser on Monday at the home of Lorraine Sheinberg, the activist and actress, with tickets starting at $500 per person. With Klobuchar exceeding expectations in New Hampshire, interest in the event is said to have spiked, although it got moved from a Saturday date as her campaign schedule shifted.
Buttigieg is scheduled for an event on Feb. 20, next Thursday, hosted by Seth MacFarlane. The evening reception, with Lee Daniels also hosting, has tickets starting at $500 per person (lower dollar price points, at $250 and $54 have already sold out). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Buttigieg has raised more from showbiz sources than all of the other candidates still in the race — $1.2 million as of the end of last year.
Trump is scheduled to arrive Tuesday afternoon for an event in Beverly Hills, with donors being told that they will learn of the location closer to the time of the fete. The event will be for the Trump Victory Committee, and the Republican National Committee has been promoting a contest in which the winner will be flown to L.A. and get to meet the president.
The event is a reminder that even though L.A. is a blue stronghold, the pool of well-heeled donors, such as developers and private equity moguls, is strong enough to warrant a presidential trip. In a fundraising swing last September, Trump raised money at an evening event at the home of Geoff Palmer, the real estate developer known for his Tuscan-themed apartment complexes, as well as a breakfast in downtown L.A. The events reportedly raised $8 million.
Trump also is scheduled to meet with members of the LA 2028 Olympic Committee to discuss preparations for the games. The committee is led by Casey Wasserman.