South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigeig has officially joined the crowded pool of Democrats running in the 2020 Presidential election.
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The first openly gay candidate, Buttigeig is said to be gaining traction with his progressive politics and Midwestern values. On Monday, an Emerson poll placed Buttigeig third behind Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There is simply no question that the relentless positive coverage and sometimes gushing commentary is what’s fueling the rise in the polls and the fundraising,” said Kurtz.
Kennedy asked whether Mayor Pete could be a Barack Obama-like candidate that Democrats can nominate to go up against President Trump in 2020.
“Buttigeig is sort of emulating Obama in that he is running on his biography, on his personality, and not on a whole bunch of specific policy prescriptions. He thinks storytelling is what you do in politics,” said Kurtz.
Kurtz warned that with such a crowded field, the media could sour on Buttigieg as his record and personal life are explored more in the coming weeks.
“He’s a rookie. [Buttigeig] is still feeling his way. Eventually, if he continues to really become a serious contender, the press will turn a bit. They will look at his record and he will see more scrutiny but right now he is in the Honeymoon phase,” said Kurtz.