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Buttigieg May Be a Frontrunner, but He’s Going Nowhere with Black Voters

So the new narrative is that Pete Buttigieg is a frontrunner in the Democrat primary. That’s both astounding and sad.

Despite his good showing at the hilariously botched Democrat Iowa caucuses, it’s no great secret that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling terribly – and by terribly, I mean, like 0% – amongst black voters in the vast majority of candidate preference surveys. Given President Trump’s recent overtures – including a moving and memorable Super Bowl advertisement – to appeal to that demographic, and recognizing how crucial it is for the eventual Democrat nominee to secure a near unanimity of the black vote in order to win, many see Mayor Pete’s candidacy as untenable.

Desperate to reverse that perception, let’s consider what Team Buttigieg has to this point, implemented as their counter-strategy:

  • Defend Pete’s assessment that black kids don’t succeed in school because they don’t know anyone “personally who testifies to the value of education.”
  • Buy some stock photos of a black woman and child to slap all over the campaign website – nothing says vote for Pete like a random lady from Kenya who doesn’t even know his name.
  • Have the Mayor publicly claim three prominent black supporters for his Douglass Plan for Black America, only to have each deny they were supporters and were shocked to find their names included in Pete’s campaign literature.
  • Lean into Mayor Pete’s disgracefully anti-intellectual conclusion about how, “the people who wrote the Constitution did not understand that slavery was a bad thing.”
  • Dispatch South Bend Democrat Party Chairwoman Gladys Muhammed, a black woman, to travel to Iowa just to introduce the Mayor at his caucus night rally, specifically announcing to everyone watching that she was invited to show everyone that a black person does support Pete.

This is pure campaign magic. And just when I was inclined to believe that it couldn’t get any worse, this happened:

[I]t was how the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, claimed victory that caught more people’s attention than the fact that he was doing so without any election officials confirming who won.

Reporters in the capital city of Des Moines noticed something that they said didn’t feel familiar in their experience covering Mayor Pete’s campaign: There were a group of Black supporters seated prominently — and strategically — in the front row of a venue where the candidate who is polling the overall lowest with Black people was giving his victory speech…

Twitter timelines instantly lit up with suspicions that Mayor Pete had planted the Black supporters for optics’ sake to push back on the narrative that he has no support within the Black community.

Some were less gracious about the move (language warning):

One of the girls came forward on Twitter and testified that she was asked multiple times to leave her group of friends and come down to the front row. Because she’s black. Talk about using people. Talk about seeing someone as worthy only on the basis of their skin color.

I get that the Democrat Party is coming face to face with its paucity of options in this campaign. Biden is a mess, Warren and Sanders are socialists, Bloomberg is extremely unlikable. But this Pete thing? Yikes.


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