Nov 22, 2019

Black South Bend city council leader endorses Biden over Buttigieg

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Oliver Davis, the longest-serving African American man on the Common Council of South Bend, Ind., endorsed Joe Biden over Pete Buttigieg, the city's mayor, reports Politico.

Why it matters: The endorsement highlights two common criticisms of Buttigieg: his lack of political experience beyond local government and his struggle to appeal to black voters.

  • Buttigieg is polling at 0% among black South Carolina Democrats in a Quinnipiac poll released Monday. That's a key demographic in a key early state on the primary calendar.

What he's saying: "I believe that Vice President Biden has demonstrated throughout the years by having a steady hand, he can help lead us through these times, and with all of the challenges we face nationally and now even internationally, he has the relationships, has the skills, and I think he can bring us together in different ways," Davis told Politico.

The big picture: Several 2020 Democratic candidates attacked the South Bend mayor on the debate stage this week for not having enough experience to sway black voters.

  • Tulsi Gabbard criticized Buttigieg for his lack of experience on foreign policy.
  • After Kamala Harris asked him to address how he plans to appeal to black voters, he said he welcomes "the challenge of connecting with black voters in America who don't yet know me."

What to watch: Buttigieg has has ascended to the top the polls in Iowa — which is over 90% white — but it remains to be seen if he can translate potential early success there across the country.

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Debate night: Buttigieg says he welcomes the challenge of attracting black voters

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg acknowledged his struggle with black voters at the 5th Democratic debate Wednesday, saying that he welcomes "the challenge" and relates to the fight for civil rights through his experience as a gay man.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Buttigieg to face frontrunner scrutiny after surprise Iowa poll

Pete Buttigieg, Rochester, New Hampshire, Nov. 11. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Top Republicans are taking Pete Buttigieg seriously as a potential general election candidate after his breakout poll in Iowa. The respected Des Moines Register poll, released Saturday night, has Buttigieg at the top of the Democratic pack in Iowa.

What they're saying: "He'd be a fresh face with a message of unity and a more traditional Democratic program that's not as scary to suburbanites," Karl Rove told me. "His weaknesses would be in motivating African Americans and connecting with blue-collar middle America that's dubious of any Harvard-educated elites."

Go deeperArrowNov 17, 2019

Pete Buttigieg responds to backlash over minority education comment

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that he has spoken with the author of a recent article in The Root that disparaged him for saying in 2011 that kids in "lower income, minority neighborhoods" don't have evidence that education leads to success.

Driving the news: Buttigieg acknowledged his struggle with attracting black voters at the fifth Democratic debate last week, saying he welcomes "the challenge." Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been closing in on Joe Biden's lead with black Democrats.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019