Feb 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg sweeps Sunday shows just one day before Iowa caucuses

Buttigieg on "Meet the Press" on April 7, 2019. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg took over cable news on Sunday, appearing on nearly every major network just one day before the Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: While his Senate competitors like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been tied up with the impeachment trial, Buttigieg has been free to campaign in full force ahead of the official start of primary season.

  • Cable news appearances and Buttigieg's willingness to accept media invitations — including in conservative-leaning environments like Fox News — were part of what skyrocketed him to popularity in spring 2019.
  • Buttigieg often polls around third or fourth nationally but has strong favorability in Iowa, where polls show a close race between him, Sanders, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

What he's saying: Buttigieg discussed what Iowa means to his candidacy, his experience as a mayor, his polling with voters of color and the state of President Trump's impeachment trial.

  • "Face the Nation" on CBS: "It is, of course, very important for us to do well in Iowa. You know, the process of actually proving that we can earn support, that we have the right kind of campaign organization, that we can turn folks out with enthusiasm, that starts right here tomorrow night. And we're very aware of that."
  • "This Week" on ABC News: "Remember, every single time in the last half-century — every single time that my party has won the White House — it’s been with a candidate who was new to national politics, opening the door to a new generation focused on the future."
  • "Meet the Press" on NBC: "If the Senate is the jury right now, we are the jury tomorrow. And however frustrating it is to watch that process, you can't switch it off, you can't walk away, and you can't give up."
  • "State of the Union" on CNN: "Right now we are reaching out to everybody. I will not take any vote for granted, and I will not leave any vote on the table. That means reaching out to folks, including a lot of black and brown voters who have felt taken for granted by the usual politics, in addition to reaching out to people who maybe haven't voted Democrat in a while or haven't voted Democrat at all."

Buttigieg also responded on MSNBC's AM Joy to a Des Moines Register poll that was canceled Saturday after his name was reportedly left off of one interviewer's survey.

  • "That must have been a tough decision to make, and at a moment when you've got a president demonizing the media. One of the things that I've noticed ... how seriously folks actually take the integrity of their reporting, their polling and their work. And I think that's reflected in them making this difficult decision," he said.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg's campaign doesn't think he needs to win Iowa

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What to watch for at tonight's Democratic debate

Candidates at the last Democratic debate in Iowa. Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The biggest story heading into New Hampshire is Pete Buttigieg's meteoric rise, which has the potential to shift the dynamics of the primary field and is rattling his rivals to his left and right.

The state of play: Following his strong showing in Iowa, Buttigieg jumped 12 percentage points in a New Hampshire poll between Monday (the day of the Iowa caucus) and Thursday, and his opponents are saying his name more regularly in their stump speeches throughout the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg responds to Biden's electability criticism

While on "The View" Thursday, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg fired back at Joe Biden for his remarks that it would be a risk for the Democratic Party to nominate Buttigieg, given his limited experience as a small-town mayor.

"Well if that argument is about electability and the ability to win, we just had the first election of the 2020 process. I think that's my answer."
— Pete Buttigieg on "The View"

Polls show Buttigieg bounce after debate night

Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg moved into a statistical tie with Sen. Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, in a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll released Friday night.

By the numbers: Buttigieg is at 25% and Sanders polls at 24%. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was at 14% and Joe Biden was only at 11%. The margin of error is 4.4 points.