DES MOINES — Long-shot Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, has vowed that he will not suspend his campaign before the New Hampshire primary after he failed to make the debate stage in Miami last week.
Burgum has stagnated in early-state polls in recent months and failed to qualify for the third GOP presidential primary debate, hosted by NBC News on Wednesday.
Asked by NBC News if he could guarantee his campaign would last at least through the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15, Burgum said Saturday after a campaign event here: “100%.”
“Iowa, New Hampshire — absolutely, positively, we’re going to be here,” Burgum added.
A NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll released late last month showed Burgum in seventh place, polling at 3%, only a slight uptick from 2% in August, among likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa.
Since he launched his bid in June, Burgum’s campaign has failed to jump-start despite having spent millions, along with its super PAC, on television advertising.
The candidate’s personal wealth may be what’s still keeping his campaign alive. Former Vice President Mike Pence recently suspended his campaign amid financial woes, but Burgum’s successful career as a tech mogul and businessman has allowed him to self-fund much of his long-shot bid.
He first came into fortune after selling his technology company, Great Plains Software, to Microsoft in 2001. He then worked for Microsoft and created multiple investment firms, amassing the wealth he would eventually use to partially fund his campaigns for North Dakota governor and now the presidency.
After not meeting the RNC’s qualifications to appear on Wednesday’s debate stage, Burgum has upped his criticism of the RNC for what he calls its “clubhouse rules.”
“The RNC has no charter to say we’re going to narrow the field artificially two months before the voting starts,” he said Saturday, adding that “two months is an eternity in presidential primaries.”