Rich liberals in Hollywood and New York City just love Pete Buttigieg.
In fact, they love him so much that they’re showering his campaign with cash. But it’s not translating into support in the polls.
The Buttigieg Money Pit
With great fanfare last month, Pete Buttigieg has announced “Phase Three” of his presidential campaign. Campaign adviser Lis Smith described the first two phases as teaching people how to pronounce his name and then raising gobs of money. For this new phase, the Buttigieg team plans to “blow them out of the water with our organization.” To that end, 20 new field offices in Iowa are opening this month, plus another 12 in New Hampshire.
Here’s a more accurate description. In Phase One, Buttigieg milked $32 million from 390,000 donors, most of whom knew next to nothing about his record, but were bowled over by a guy under 40 who can speak in complete paragraphs, sometimes in Norwegian. Phase Two was learning that Buttigieg has no strong and unique governing vision…
But his campaign will keep going for months thanks to those swooning donors, who don’t reflect actual voters. You may have seen Democratic presidential candidates categorized as “wine track” and “beer track.” Political analyst Ron Brownstein popularized those labels, observing that the “brainy liberals with cool, detached personas and messages of political reform” on the wine track tend to lose in Democratic presidential primaries to candidates with support “rooted in the blue-collar and minority communities” on the beer track.
But six months after Buttigieg wowed the Democratic donor class in a CNN town hall, and four months after he peaked at 8 percent in the RealClearPolitics poll average, Buttigieg can’t even crack the wine track. Instead, he seems to be pioneering a new campaign lane: the “craft beer” track.
He just can’t seem to break out in the polls.
“Flip the switch:” Stuck in the polls, Buttigieg plans to beef up campaign staff
Pete Buttigieg, who has dazzled Democratic donors but plateaued in the polls, plans to accelerate his presidential campaign in the coming weeks, with a concerted push to transform his fundraising success into fastened support in the early nominating states.
The South Bend mayor’s campaign is expected to announce in the coming days a flurry of staffing hires and new office openings in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as a director of African-American engagement, who will be crucial to outreach in South Carolina and other southern states that follow.
Changing his staff is not going to change his numbers.