Buttigieg gaining popularity ahead of Iowa caucus

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is gaining popularity in the state, putting him high on the list of Democratic candidates.

This late surge in support comes at a crucial time in the Democratic presidential primaries.

The Iowa caucus in February is the first major contest in the race, and Buttigieg’s jump is considered impressive.

The presidential hopeful from Indiana has the most field offices of any candidate and has over 100 staffers in Iowa alone.

His strategy in Iowa is clearly paying off.

Many undecided voters, like Robert and Linda Ofner, have recently been swayed to support Buttigieg, and they are hoping others will sway their support to this underdog as well.

Linda said, “He just has a way of speaking to you that makes you feel better and makes you feel like you can trust him.”

Robert agrees, saying, “His values are much the same as mine. He’s more centrist than an awful lot of Democratic candidates."

Other Iowans echo those opinions saying he is "kind," "smart," and "keeps his cool," and that "he’s reasonable, he’s authentic and he’s just got that clear and concise message I was looking for.”

Part of the reason that the couple is caucusing for the mayor is that they believe he has a good chance of beating President Donald Trump.

A new poll from Monmouth University has Buttigieg polling at 22% in Iowa. Joe Biden follows him at 19%. Then Elizabeth Warren trails behind them with 18% and Bernie Sanders falls behind her with 13%.

While it is significant that Buttigieg is on top, the poll has a margin of error of almost 5%, so there is no clear leader in the poll.

Erin Murphy, a political correspondent from Des Moines has been following the 2020 race closely and says Buttigieg’s surge in the polls is something he saw coming.

“What I see on the ground in Iowa... the support for him is definitely growing.  Some of the biggest events that they have had here lately in Iowa, his crowd of supporters has been among the biggest and loudest if not the biggest and loudest, so his organization is growing, his support is growing so from those standpoints it wasn’t really a surprise at all.”

With “no other campaign like this,” according to Murphy, the relatively unknown mayor has a good chance at winning the Iowa caucus come February.

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