Expert says voters need to get to know Pete Buttigieg better

NOW: Expert says voters need to get to know Pete Buttigieg better


After the first Democratic primary debate, there was no significant change in Pete Buttigieg's polling numbers, but there was a surge in donations to his campaign. An election expert says the surge in donations means supporters are there, people just need to get to know him better.

“Buttigieg’s numbers didn’t shift remarkably one way or the other after the debate," said Geoffrey Skelley, Elections Analyst for FiveThirtyEight.

Skelley says that while Mayor Buttigieg is well liked, he’s still not very well known.

“Some people I think had really positive initial reaction to Buttigieg but then other events in the campaign have led people to look elsewhere. Like Joe Biden getting into the race. But I think for Buttigieg it’s important to remind people who first heard about him and had an initial positive response, and maybe even supported him, why they were supporting him," Skelley said.

According to FiveThirtyEight, after the first Democratic debate some big contenders like Joe Biden lost voters to Buttigieg. But that still doesn’t mean Buttigieg came up on top.

In a survey where voters were asked who they would vote for before and after the debate, Buttigieg lost one percent of his voters to other Democratic candidates.

“I think he’s proven himself to be really strong in social formats and I think that just Warren and Sanders overshadowing him on stage, there’s more of an opportunity to showcase those abilities and to present himself in an attractive way that’s going to draw more support," Skelley said.

Skelley thinks Tuesday's debate will be Buttigieg's opportunity to stand out.

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