Politics Pete Buttigieg picks up the pace in Iowa as impeachment keeps others away

17:05  17 january  2020
17:05  17 january  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) surged into third place in a poll of the Iowa caucus released Sunday. Eleven percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucus-goers surveyed by Emerson Polling said that they would pick Buttigieg to be their 2020 presidential nominee.

Peter Buttigieg holding a sign: Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event at the Majestic Theater on December 29, 2019 in Centerville, Iowa.© Joe Raedle/Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event at the Majestic Theater on December 29, 2019 in Centerville, Iowa.

Pete Buttigieg had Iowa all to himself on Thursday. He responded by hitting the gas.

Buttigieg embarked on one of his most frenetic days yet in the Hawkeye State, speeding across the state's snow-covered northern border with Minnesota to pitch his candidacy to both diehard Democrats who are leaning toward caucusing for him and what the mayor calls "future former Republicans," those voters who backed President Donald Trump in 2016 but want to vote against him four year later.

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In Iowa , where the caucuses are less than three weeks away , the four leading contenders are Two can keep campaigning without restrictions: Joe Biden, the former vice president, and Pete Buttigieg With impeachment racing ahead, it can be hard to keep track of the daily stream of new developments.

President Trump has picked up a couple of Republican challengers, too. Ended his long-shot primary challenge to President Trump in November, saying that the impeachment inquiry had made it impossible for his message of fiscal conservatism to break through.

That sprint came at the same time that some of his top competitors for the presidency, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, were being sworn in to preside over the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, keeping them in Washington and far away from the frozen corn and soybean fields of Iowa.

Buttigieg's pace — which will continue as the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor is slated to spend four of the next six days in the state headlining at least a dozen town halls and events — reflects a newfound urgency within the Buttigieg campaign, where the people around him now see success in Iowa as necessary to avoid an earlier-than-expected exit from the Democratic primary. A recent CNN/Des Moines Register poll found the former mayor had slipped in the last two months, despite investing heavily in the state.

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South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg kicked off a day of events across small Iowa towns Wednesday and brought up impeachment , saying he would use 'every moment He brought up impeachment on a day the House voted for House managers. The trial could go for weeks and sideline top rivals in Iowa .

Iowa , with its mostly rural landscape and a predominantly white population of about 3 million, is hardly reflective of the United States as a whole. But over the weekend, Warren accused Sanders of sending his supporters in Iowa out to meet voters with specific talking points “to trash me.”

"If he does not place in the top two in either Iowa or New Hampshire, or I would argue if he places behind Biden in both of those contests, that will be it," said one source familiar with the Buttigieg campaign's thinking in Iowa, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the campaign. That view reflects the idea that without strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Buttigieg will lack the momentum his campaign is counting on to carry him into future contests.

It was clear on Thursday that Buttigieg was feeling that pressure as he sprinted across the state, looking to imbue his campaign with some of the energy that propelled him into the top tier but has waned in recent weeks.

Buttigieg has landed on a message here in Iowa that highlights his policy positions and personal story in equal measure, with the former mayor telling the story of his campaign from going from an unknown to a top candidate by tying his policy positions as part of that process. But as impeachment heats up in Washington and dominates national news coverage, most of the questions asked of Buttigieg were either about hyperlocal topics, like crop rotation, ethanol and the benefits of rural outreach, or more big picture issues, like his faith and why he wants to be president.

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Buttigieg may also struggle as people figure out where he fits in this huge Democratic field. Sanders is running again, as are others on the left. At least this weekend, voters interested in Buttigieg The main problem Buttigieg will face is that many of his rivals are still better known nationally, and some

Последние твиты от Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg). Afghanistan veteran, South Bend’s Mayor Pete , husband. Just got off the stage with this guy in Iowa ! I don’t usually get involved in politics, but @PeteButtigieg is just so inspiring, and he’s the person America needs as president right now.

Buttigieg was not asked about impeachment once during his town halls on Wednesday or Thursday.

'Exhausting to watch'

All of this comes as Warren, Sanders and Klobuchar — all of whom have also spent considerable time focused on Iowa — will be required to be in Washington to fulfill their role as jurors in Trump's impeachment trial, taking them off the campaign trail with only weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

Buttigieg's only mention of impeachment, which came up unprovoked, was to dismiss the fighting among lawmakers, arguing that Senate Republicans are telling the American people that they "have no power to make sure that there is accountability in Washington."

"It makes it exhausting to watch it, it makes you want to just switch to 'Ellen's Game of Games' or something to just make you feel better about the world than what's going on in Washington," Buttigieg said. "But the great thing is, this is a moment where the power comes back into the hands of the American people. And that entire process begins right here in Iowa, it begins in two and a half weeks, and it begins with you."

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That message resonated with voters on Thursday — especially those Iowans who voted for Trump four years ago.

a screen shot of Bernie Sanders:    A record number of candidates are vying for the Democratic   nomination to take on      President Donald Trump in 2020.       23 total Democratic contenders are competing in the primary,   including a former vice president, seven current US senators, six   current and former members of the US House, two governors, four   mayors, two businessmen, and one prominent author.       Former Massachusetts Governor      Bill Weld is also challenging Trump in the Republican     primary.      Here's a list of the major party 2020 presidential   candidates.            Visit Business Insider's     homepage for more stories.       Soon after assuming the office of the presidency in January 2017,   President Donald Trump    filed preliminary paperwork that laid the groundwork for   re-election in 2020.    With the first official votes in the primary over seven months,   23 Democratic contenders are already lined up to challenge Trump   - making for one of the largest and most diverse primary fields   in recent history. So far, an additional four Democrats have   dropped out of the race.    While California Rep.    Eric Swalwell dropped out of the presidential race to run for   re-election in the House on July 8, billionaire Democratic   activist    Tom Steyer - also from California - jumped into the race less   than a day after, pledging to spend at least $100 million on his   campaign.     Since then, former Gov.    John Hickenlooper has also dropped out and is considering   running for US Senate in Colorado instead.          Read more:           John Hickenlooper drops out of the   2020 presidential race and says he's giving 'serious thought' to   running for US Senate       Former Vice President    Joe Biden, seven current and former US Senators, six current   and former members of the House of Representatives, four mayors,   two governors, two businessmen, and one prominent author are now   in the race.    Trump is also facing opposition within his own party. Former   Massachusetts governor and Libertarian vice presidential nominee      Bill Weldannounced he will run against   Trump in the Republican primary.    Here are all the major party candidates running for president in   2020:

Slideshow by Business Insider

Melissa Hrdlicka, a 38-year-old caretaker for disabled people in Algona who voted for the President in 2016, asked Buttigieg about the economy during his town hall in the small town.

"How do you plan to beat him on the economy?" Hrdlicka asked, reflecting the fact that she backed Trump four years ago because of his economic promises.

Buttigieg replied: "The only economic promise that this President has kept is when he went and passed those big tax cuts for corporations, and all that other stuff about the working man and the forgotten men and women and farmers and workers, we haven't seen a lot come about there."

Hrdlicka told CNN after the event that she "really didn't see the economic changes" that Trump promised and that she thought he would have done more in his first four years.

"I think I am going to sign a caucus card for Pete today," she said. Asked what she would do if Buttigieg didn't win the nomination, Hrdlicka was direct: "I am going to vote for Trump."

Decision time

Buttigieg's campaign is enthused by these supporters, but knows it will take more than just a surge in former Republicans to win the Iowa caucuses. So Buttigieg has begun to put the hard ask on voters here in Iowa, urging them to embrace the next few weeks as decision time.

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News junkies are more than familiar with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg . After all, the articles on him (such as this one) from the national media seem to keep at a brisk pace . He's now a clear number 2 in cable news mentions. But why?

Pete Buttigieg boards his campaign bus in Iowa . | Scott Olson/Getty Images. Buttigieg is hoping to peel away at former Vice President Biden’s supporters in much the same manner McCain “When people see Pete for the first time, all of a sudden, they pick their heads up and listen and everything

"Right now, it's decision time and Iowa has a way of making history," he said on Thursday.

That urgency comes after Buttigieg's polling here has slipped. The latest CNN/Des Moines Register poll found Buttigieg lock in a tight race with the top four candidates, but down 9 percentage points from November 2019.

Buttigieg said this week that he knows he has "more hills to climb."

"There is no other campaign that I would want to trade places with right now," Buttigieg said this week. "I believe we have the best ground game in the state and that's going to help a great deal, too."

One reason for that confidence is voters like Craig Giddings, a 65-year-old who runs a small, organic farm in Burt, Iowa. Giddings voted for Trump in 2016 — and then watched the president fail to deliver on his economic promises, he said.

"I am disappointed in Trump," said Giddings, who said that he saw Buttigieg speak in late 2019 and that his "integrity" was the "first thing that grabbed a hold of me."

"It is Pete's integrity," Giddings said on Thursday in Algona. "Trump has no integrity. They are just polar opposites as far as I am concerned. I voted for Trump because he said he was going to drain the swamp and, in my mind, it has gotten a lot worse."

Buttigieg wouldn't entertain whether he has an advantage over voters like Giddings because the impeachment trial has sidelined some of his opponents, but he did argue this week that being in Iowa, and not part of the story in Washington, is the best way for him to rise in Iowa.

"We've advanced to this stage in the race with a message that obviously wasn't based on me having been a household name for or having an office in Washington, DC," Buttigieg said in Newton on Wednesday. "It's about making sure we connect with the lived experience on the ground of the voters who have so much to gain or lose by the decisions that are going to be made in the White House in the years ahead."

He added: "That's been a successful message for us up until now and I think it will be as we move forward."

Pete Buttigieg is missing support from another key Democratic group: unions .
As Pete Buttigieg competes for a victory in the Iowa caucuses in two weeks and hopes to find support among voters of color, it turns out the former South Bend, Ind., mayor is also missing support from another key Democratic demographic: unions. Buttigieg has embraced a policy platform that aggressively favors organized labor, but no unions so far have endorsed his bid to win the Democratic nomination for president. Labor groups instead have backed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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