Is Pete Buttigieg peaking too soon?

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined the leaders of the Democratic race for president in Iowa, up 14 percentage points since August, according to a new Monmouth University poll of likely caucusgoers.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 8:50 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 8:50 PM

The last 48 hours may well be the best 48 hours of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign.

First came a Quinnipiac University poll of New Hampshire voters on Monday that showed Buttigieg at 15% support -- clumped with the rest of the front-running pack, including former Vice President Joe Biden (20%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (16%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (14%). (Buttigieg began running ads in the Granite State on Tuesday.)

Then on Tuesday, Buttigieg got even better news: In a Monmouth University Iowa poll, he stood at the top, with 22%, followed by Biden (19%), Warren (18%) and Sanders (13%). Because their support falls within the margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points, there is no clear leader in the Iowa poll, with Buttigieg, Warren and Biden making up the top tier. Even more impressive for Mayor Pete is that he gained 14 points between an August Iowa Monmouth poll and this survey while Biden lost 7 points and Warren 2. (Sanders gained 5 from that August poll to now.)

Taken together, there now exists the possibility that the 37-year-old wonderboy could win the first two voting states, a sweep that, if it came to pass, would put him in the driver's seat for the Democratic nomination.

What could possibly rain on the Pete parade? Try this -- in tweet form from former Obama senior strategist Dan Pfeiffer:

"This is almost twelve years to the week that Obama made his move in Iowa, the only challenge for Buttigieg is that the Caucus is one month later this cycle so it's a bigger challenge to sustain the momentum," Pfeiffer tweeted about the Monmouth results.

Which is true! In 2008, due to attempts by other states to lessen the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, the Iowa caucuses were held on January 3. In 2020, they are scheduled for February 3.

Which means that Buttigieg needs to sustain his momentum in Iowa -- which he quite clearly has -- for the next (gulp!) 83 days. Not impossible, but a heck of a lot harder than keeping momentum for, say, 30 days.

For some perspective, 83 days ago was August 21, 2019. On that day, President Donald Trump canceled his planned trip to Denmark after the country's leaders made clear they had no interest in selling Greenland to the United States. And on that same day, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee dropped out of the presidential race.

Feels like a loooooong time ago, right? And it speaks to Buttigieg's challenge over the next 83 days.

The Point: Any of the candidates -- with the possible exception of Warren -- would change places with Buttigieg as of today. But that doesn't mean his work in the race is done.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to add the margin of error on the Monmouth University Iowa poll.

West Lafayette
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Quiet Conditions After Yesterday's Storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events