Pete Buttigieg's campaign's burn rate was 135% in the fourth quarter, with the campaign spending $34 million on primarily their organization in the first four states.
Buttigieg told CNN on Monday that they are making a bet that their performance in these first four states — especially Iowa — would be do or die for his campaign.
"These early states are absolutely critical. It's one thing to campaign for a year talking about why we believe we're the best campaign to go out there and beat Donald Trump," Buttigieg said. "This is our first chance to begin to prove it. And it all starts with the caucuses."
The campaign is keenly aware that they need to quiet concerns about electability by finishing strong in Iowa. According to conversations with multiple aides, the objective was not necessarily to finish in first place, but rather to show that they are a viable alternative to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. With the results coming in a day after the caucuses, his aides feel confident that they beat their own expectations.
But even while campaigning in Iowa, Buttigieg began pivoting to answer the other lingering question: his lack of support among black voters.
At his final rally of the Iowa campaign, he was joined on stage by a number of black surrogates, including Rep. Anthony Brown, Miss Black America Ryann Richardson, and the only two black mayors of Iowa cities.
At his election night speech, Buttigieg was introduced by Brown and the head of South Bend's Democratic Party Gladys Muhammed.
"The national media says blacks in South Bend don't support Pete Buttigieg," she said. "Here I am. Black and I'm proud!"
Watch Buttigieg address supporters: