A look at what Mayor Pete needs to do to pull ahead in Democratic field

NOW: A look at what Mayor Pete needs to do to pull ahead in Democratic field


Mayor Pete Buttigieg will take the stage in the second Democratic primary presidential debate Tuesday evening. He’s facing off with some big names like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. ABC News Political Director Rick Klein explains what Buttigieg needs to do to pull ahead.

“This is a big moment for Pete Buttigieg," Klein said.

Klein explained how the South Bend mayor can stand up against big names like Sanders and Warren - and stand out to voters.

“I think there’s a natural contrast for him as someone from Indiana. That can go to these two senators from New England, from very blue places and say look you have to govern in a very different way. You have to talk to people in a very different way," Klein said.

Drawing on his experience in the Hoosier state could be a benefit in Michigan, Klein said.

Although racial tensions in South Bend and the deadly police shooting came up the last time, Klein says that likely won’t be the focus Tuesday night.

“I think he answered that effectively and the campaign has moved on. There’s no doubt he was focused on other things at that first debate. That’s what makes this debate more important for him. He’s a little more clear of those distractions and he can talk more proactively about his message," Klein said.

What does he need to do to gain ground on the top candidates?

“He needs to show not just that he’s a favorite of the donor class but that he can have real resonance with voters more broadly. He needs to bring a fight in some ways and I think he needs to show that he belongs up there," Klein said.

Buttigieg is a favorite of the donor class. The latest numbers show he has the highest fundraising numbers of all the candidates at the debate.

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