Pete Buttigieg may be lingering near the bottom of the 2020 Democratic primary polls right now, but come debates he will be ready to make a big splash, a political analyst says.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor has been steadily building his stature in a race filled with big names and established politicians, and political analyst Jammal Simmons believes that Buttigieg is nearing a breakthrough. In an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Simmons said the 37-year-old candidate seems to be “among the most mature” candidates in the race and will likely climb in the polls once voters have a chance to meet him.
“I think Mayor Pete Buttigieg is going to be the factor on the debate stage that we will all be talking about afterwards,” Simmons said.
“He’s somebody who’s willing to say what he thinks.”
Once seen as a long-shot in the crowded race, Pete Buttigieg has been building a following and flexed some fundraising prowess. Many see the former Afghanistan veteran as a strong foil to Donald Trump, and he has been able to gain appeal from voters across the spectrum.
As he builds name recognition, Buttigieg has also seen some important gains in early primary polls. A recent survey from Quinnipiac University showed that Buttigieg hit his highest point ever, reaching four percent support. Though that number may still seem small, Buttigieg’s previous high in a poll was just 1 percent, so the jump toward the middle of the pack of Democratic contenders was seen as “statistically significant” in a CNN report.
“Buttigieg’s standing lands him at fifth and tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg is ahead of both Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, who are each at 2 percent. In other words, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is polling in the same area as a number of candidates who are regarded as having a legitimate chance of winning the Democratic nomination,” the report noted.
Pete Buttigieg has also performed well in some key areas for the Democratic primary. A recent survey from Emerson Polling showed that Buttigieg had jumped to third in a poll of Iowa voters, with 11 percent of voters saying they want Buttigieg to be the 2020 presidential nominee.
I wrote about Pete Buttigieg, Larry Agran and the collapse of the old gatekeeper class https://t.co/bJQlBYDZ6D
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) March 31, 2019
A strong performance in Iowa could help vault Pete Buttigieg into consideration and help voters see him as having a realistic chance of winning the nomination and taking on Donald Trump, political experts said.