The Buttigieg Bump

Quick! Name that presidential campaign slogan: “Win the era!” If you guessed South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, you are following US politics much more closely than most Americans.

In a big weekend upset, the 37-year-old wunderkind now leads the Democratic presidential pack in the first in the nation vote in Iowa. According to a new Des Moines Register/CNN poll, fresh faced Mayor Pete beats Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in the heartland state by an impressive nine points.

CNN analyst Harry Enten claims “you could see the potential a mile away.” Iowa Democrats “love,” not just “like,” Mayor Pete — maybe like a grandson. Iowa’s Democrats tend to be older, white, and college educated. The precocious politician from Harvard University who is the first openly gay candidate to run for president promises, “It’s time for a new generation of American leadership.” Buttigieg has also spent $2.1 million dollars since September reassuring Hawkeye voters with 3,841 television ads that he’s the responsible moderate they are looking for. Nearly 40% of Iowa caucus goers now believe that progressive warrior Warren is too liberal, while 63% think Buttigieg’s brand of liberal pragmatism is just right.

But with great polls comes greater scrutiny. And a new survey out this week finds that in South Carolina, considered to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s stronghold, Buttigieg earns zero support among African Americans.

While a win in Iowa can boost a candidate’s ego and media coverage, many Iowa stars, like senators Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders in 2016, burn brightly only to flicker out.

For now, the “Buttigieg Bump” is real. Mayor Pete is the man of the hour.

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