Pete Buttigieg Tops Latest Iowa Polling

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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133 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    Now we know were Biden voters are going to migrate too when they feel Biden is just not up for the task of competing against Trump. TBH, I have not been paying attention to Mayor Pete. He has my vote if he gets the nomination but he seems kind of slight. More intelligent and ready than Trump but mayor of a mid-sized Indiana city is not quite great executive experience. I suppose most of the media has been concentrated on Warren so Buttigieg could have stalked a dark horse position.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      One of the benefits of 2016 is that it has become true that anyone, literally anyone is qualified to become President of the United States.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      With Trump as his opponent all arguments about relative experience fly out the window as a matter of course though he still has to win the primary. I still prefer Amy but Pete is my #2 choice so I’m very pleased by this development.

      *edit-Chip beat me to it*Report

    • James K in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Didn’t you endorse Warren, who has no executive experience at all?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to James K says:

        She was involved in creating and running an executive agency. Warren is also a Senator, so has experience in the federal government. Mayor Pete was mayor of a college town. Not exactly the most challenging position in the world.Report

        • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

          My complaint about Mayor Pete has two parts. The first, one that other people have raised, is that his experience is with a city smaller than my inner-ring suburb. The second, and more concerning to me, is that it’s a city with a slightly smaller population than it had in 1930, and that has shrunk by ~5% over the last 20 years. A very significant portion of Clinton’s EC votes came from states where the state problem, and especially the metro areas in those state’s problem, is nearly unmanageable growth and the consequences of that. The party can’t write off the high-growth areas.Report

          • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Pete isn’t my #1 choice, but I have a few questions on your position: Does choosing someone who was mayor of a low to declining growth region really mean the party is writing off high growth areas? And considering that the swing regions the Dems need to try and compete in are, by and large, low to declining growth areas is that a bad strategy? Finally, aren’t housing and growth questions like that sub-federal issues by and large in the US?Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

              South Bend, Indiana is not where the Democrats need to compete. The Democratic wins on election night were in inner-ring suburbs with bigger populations than South Bend. How is mayor of South Bend attractive to inner-ring PA suburb?

              Now is not the time to play it cautious like we need a walker for balance and mobility.Report

              • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Indiana is a hell of a lot closer to the Midwest and the fallen blue wall states than Massachusetts is Saul. And if beating Trump is important, and I’d say it is, then maybe tickling the heart strings of the tiny liberal wing of the party instead of playing to the much larger moderate voter population is a luxury we can’t afford.

                I’ll vote for her if she gets the nomination but I am worried she’s staked herself way too far to the left to be an asset in the general.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I saw a tweet the other day that moved me. I’ll have to paraphrase it because, of course, I can’t find it:

                “A Democratic Party that cannot win coal miners is worthless.”

                I’ve been thinking about that.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                A Republican Party that can’t win suburban moms is worthless.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                It certainly does, and explains that tweet you saw as well.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If the democrats make themselves aesthetically pleasing enough, they might find themselves with problems among the aesthetically displeasing that cannot be resolved by pointing out that this is a Moral Issue.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Pretty sure that there’s no group of 50 000 people that a US political party absolutely needs to win.Report

              • North in reply to pillsy says:

                Yeah, sorry Jay, gotta go with Pillsy on this one. Coal miners were once a vast constituency who were get-able with appeals to their bread and butter self-interest issues. Current coal miners aren’t interested in that; they’re a numerically small constituency that wants someone to tell them they are going to wave a magic wand and turn their industry back into a viable going concern. They aren’t getable unless you’re willing to lie to them and since they’re also culturally conservative even if the Dems did lie to them the way Trump does the coal miners wouldn’t believe them.

                The Dems can be sympathetic to coal miners plights (and they are) they can offer assistance in transitioning to something else (they did) and they can restrain themselves from trying to import coastal social mores into coal miners regions (they do) but that just isn’t good enough for the coal miners.

                So the tweet you’re mulling over is basically the same as saying “A Democratic Party that cannot win the board members of Heritage is worthless.”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Margin in Michigan in 2016: 10704

                Margin in Wisconsin in 2016: 22748

                Margin in Pennsylvania in 2016: 44292

                So that’s a group of 77744.

                But, more to the point, remember when Todd Akin had his, ahem, “controversial” quotations? My take on that was that those statements not only cost him his own election, but his statements cost him votes in districts that were not his because of how closely he was able to be tied to The Republican Party Proper.

                As such, I think that Todd Akin cost Republicans votes in places like New Hampshire due to how poorly he handled himself.

                In the same way, it ain’t just about the coal miners, it’s what the coal miners see and whether others can see it too.

                “Canaries”, I think the analogy would be.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                we need Tod here to yell about how nobody cares about Akin anymoreReport

              • North in reply to DensityDuck says:

                It’d be nice just to have Tod around more; whatever he’d yell about.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m not holding a brief for Dems going around snarling and crapping on coal miners like Aikin wiped his ass on the subject of women. The Dems have a perfectly humane and defensible approach to coal miners: “It sucks for your community that this industry is dying, we sympathize and we want to help you out with healthcare and keeping the wolf at bay until you find a new career.” They aren’t going to win coal miner votes with that (the coal miners want someone to promise them a fantasy and the GOP will do so) but they won’t turn off anyone else.

                But it’s nonsensical to say the Dems can’t win in those states unless they win this particular constituency. It’d be like saying the GOP can’t hope to win Wisconsin unless they can be competitive with the urban gay vote in Milwaukee.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I get the idea that the statement was not a utilitarian one but a deontological one.

                In any case, it is certainly possible to make the case that the coal miners need to evolve or die, lest they become like the dinosaur leftovers that they, until recently, were digging out of the ground.

                Clinton made the case so very, very badly that I find myself still surprised by it.

                And people argue against me as if I am saying that I would prefer the case not be made to the case being made well, when, really, I would merely prefer the case not being made to it being made poorly.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well the funny thing about that is that the carping and complaining you’re remembering is part of the process wherein the case ends up being made poorly or well amongst the audience. Spin and messaging, partisan arguing and interpreting. If you read the whole “basket of deplorables” speech, for instance, HRC was very ham handedly trying to say that not all conservatives were terrible people and that there were people on the opposing side that needed to be understood and emphasized with (half of them in fact). But that deplorables line got pulled out and magnified and basically inverted the meaning of what she’d been saying and it was a disaster. So next time some line gets pulled you can expect that whatever position you take one side of the other is going to rag on you because they’re doing their little bits to try and shape the meta-narrative.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I don’t see any evidence that would justify using coal miners as a “canary” for much of anything.

                There are many more slaughterhouse and meatpacking workers, many more farm workers, many more healthcare workers, and they all tend to vote Democratic.

                Even if we went back and re-ran the 2016 election, with the only change being HRC going to WV and gushing about how much she loved burning coal in her F-150 pickup truck, it wouldn’t have changed a single vote.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Running candidates who want to ban meat might not be the best idea if you want to hang on to the slaughterhouse and meatpacking vote.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                Si, se puede!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Even if we went back and re-ran the 2016 election, with the only change being HRC going to WV and gushing about how much she loved burning coal in her F-150 pickup truck, it wouldn’t have changed a single vote.

                I disagree.

                For that matter, I think that saying as much effectively argues that Trump was inevitable.

                He was not. There were things that Clinton could have done differently that would have had her win.

                Her tone-deaf arguments in front of the West Virginian miners turned off a *LOT* of people. More than just those in West Virginia.

                But I say that as someone who thinks that Clinton could have won, had she not been awful.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well that is what is so infuriating about HRC’s 2016 outcome. The margin was so enormously close that you can point at ANY error or misstep and quite credibly claim that said misstep had an impact that encompassed the different between winning and losing. Because the difference between winning and losing in 2016 was a tiny fraction of people in a handful of states.

                But HRC and her very unique weaknesses and errors will not be on the ballot in 2020.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                But HRC and her very unique weaknesses and errors will not be on the ballot in 2020.

                But if leadership takes the attitude that no mistakes are being made (even though mistakes are being made), then we will find that the weaknesses and errors of leadership ain’t as unique as we had hoped.

                It’s not just being able to look, after the fact, and say “that may have been a mistake”. That’s easy.

                It’s the being there, at the time, and saying “THAT’S NOT A MISTAKE, YOU’RE A PARTISAN!”

                Here is an argument we got back into in March. I got some stuff right. Some stuff wrong.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I like most of what I said on it. Obviously I was overly optimistic about how HRC would run her campaign. Trump didn’t end up making any significant inroads on the AA vote at all so that is some consolation.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                It’s one of those things where if our baseline is how Bush got 16% of the AA vote, that leads us to one conclusion. If we look at how Romney achieved a magnificent 4%, we have a different one.

                I (still) suspect that there will be a regression to the mean at some point.

                But maybe that regression to the mean has to wander through “not showing up” first.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I gotta ask again though, what examples can you come up with of a candidate doing a major course correction mid campaign and pulling it out? I’m really struggling with ones. McCain and Romney toughed things out to win nominations but that was more sheer perseverance than it was corrections of errors.

                Is this major course correction thing you’re talking about something that actually happens?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I suppose saying “Trump” might come across as too easy. Before that was Obama in 2008 (who ran when even Clinton would have won) and Dumbya in 2000 might give some (SOME) examples.

                Prior to that… we might have Nixon in ’68 on Vietnam?

                Been a while!Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                So Trump is an example? Obama an example? Of politicians running a campaign and making a mistake and then recognizing that mistake and changing course?? I think you’ve lost me.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I didn’t mean to imply that I think that Obama was an example. I think that he is *NOT* an example. Indeed, he ran at a time when *ANYBODY* with a (D) next to their name would have won. From there, I went back to Dumbya and said “no” and then Clinton in 1992 and said “no” and then Bush Pere 1988 and said “no” and then Reagan in ’80 and said “no” and then I investigated Wikipedia for Carter in ’76 and said “no” and then I jumped to Nixon in ’68 and think that he might be the most recent example if Trump changing his mind mid-sentence for 14 months doesn’t count as one.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ok I think I am grokking your point now. I’m reading up on Nixon in 68? I’m assuming you’re not talking about him sabotaging peace talks but some different vole face?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Vietnam, maybe?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                No, he wasn’t inevitable, and the election was decided by fewer than 80,000 votes out of 120 million cast.

                But what WAS inevitable, was that the election would be razor close.

                And WV was trending red long before HRC came on the scene.

                Because what we have seen over the past decades are deeper structural changes in the American electorate that have little to do with individual candidates.

                Coal miners as an economic group aren’t really a leading indicator of anything.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                But what WAS inevitable, was that the election would be razor close.

                While this may be true, this was not anywhere near the dominant narrative at the time.

                I can find you threads from the time, if you like.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                The dominant narrative assumed America would never elect a Trump.

                It also assumes that coal miners are representative of working class voters.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Is your current dominant narrative faulty like the dominant narrative in 2016 was?

                Because, as far as I can tell, the officials in charge of schtuff have not done the soul-searching required to fix it up.

                I mean, dig this video:

                If I thought that the folks in charge took the lessons in this rant to heart, I’d be willing to think that the Dems have it in the bag in 2020.

                I do not think that the Dems took the lessons contained in this rant (but certainly not limited to this one guy!) and, as such, I think that we’re in an “I dunno” state when it comes to the election.

                Did you hear that Deval Patrick announced today?

                That, to me, is not a sign of strength at this point.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I just don’t get this fixation with “The Dems are making mistakes” stuff. It is premised on a serious misreading of what is going on in America right now.

                For example, take this dominant narrative about coal miners.

                Most pundits and talk shows assume that coal miners are the quintessential “American Worker” and that their political preferences are the key to winning the entire working class demographic.

                That isn’t true and hasn’t been for quite some time. Coal miners are an odd duck, an outlier among the working class as a whole.

                And there really is no way that any national elections will be “in the bag”, for anyone no matter what their strategy.

                We aren’t a nation with a “Sun and Moon” configuration of parties like there was in the New Deal era, or the Reagan era.

                Right now, all national issues are closely contested because America is highly polarized.
                The GOP has defined itself explicitly as the party of white male supremacy, and an explicit rejection of anything that could be construed as liberal.

                So to add a Republican voter, a candidate has to jettison a Democratic one in a zero sum game.

                This won’t change in 2020. No matter who wins, the election will almost certainly be close.
                The election will turn on turnout and enthusiasm.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You misunderstand. People make mistakes. It’s what people do.

                An important thing about mistakes is noticing them and correcting them and moving on.

                Because, hey, you’re going to be going up against someone who is also making mistakes and the edge might just go to who is better at noticing that they’re making mistakes and then mitigating it.

                That’s the fine point of my fixation. It’s not the making mistakes, that’s universal and, dare I say, unavoidable.

                It’s the responding to someone saying “you’re making a mistake” with all caps and accusations of concern trollery that is the thing that is avoidable.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                FFS, where on God(ess?)’s green earth is the idea coming from that there’s some committee of Democrats who can just thumbs up or thumbs down candidates for the nomination? This committee of experts who should have said “Hillary is a bad idea, lets axe her and nominate someone else” or should be narrowing the current field or telling Deval no shot in hell Patrick he should spend his time on other persuits?

                I am getting fishing whiplash on this. One moment it’s “evil Democratic committees ROBBED Bernie!” and the next moment it’s “Why won’t the virtuous Democratic committee narrow the 2020 field?” What the hell? You all are political wonks. You know exactly how someone goes about getting the nomination. You know how the vast diffuse constituent layers of the party generally operate. Where is this committee of leaders coming from!??!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I’m not suggesting that The Powers That Be should have yanked Clinton.

                I’m suggesting that The Powers That Be should have had Clinton put effort into mopping up the Coal Miner soundbite.Report

              • Shameless personal plug but I delved into Hillary vs Coal Country quite a bit in a piece I wrote about Joe Manchin’s re-election, if folks are interested. That one soundbite, here visit to try to clean it up, and the entire chapter in the “What Happened” book dedicated to it are touched on.Report

              • That’s a good essay.Report

              • North in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                That was some fine work Andrew. Well done.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                I think Andrew gives a good summation of why the window for Democrats like Joe Manchin is closing.

                “Fiscally liberal and socially conservative” used to be a wide lane in American politics, when it meant supporting the New Deal and being respectful of mainstream religious norms.

                But, it can’t mean that anymore.

                “Socially conservative” has come to be synonymous with the cultural preferences and dogma of the evangelical Christians, which means rejecting the modern norms that most of America lives.

                It wasn’t a poorly phrased sentence that turned WV against HRC; her support for abortion rights, same sex marriage and general embodiment of the modern vision of female equality made her a hated figure for the socially conservative segment of America.

                In 2020 it won’t matter what Liz Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg say or do; They represent the culture that the socially conservative folk despise.Report

              • I think Andrew gives a good summation of why the window for Democrats like Joe Manchin is closing.

                And other windows are opening. I have certain friends who are already planning President Warren’s legislative agenda. When I want to annoy them, I point out that any reasonable result that provides a (D) majority in the Senate includes Sen. Manchin and eight or nine Senators from the Mountain West.

                Does it matter? Those particular friends hate vote-by-mail. If you toss in the eight Senators from the Pacific states as well, any voters’ rights bills are going to have to be vote-by-mail friendly.Report

              • I haven’t written about it at length like that piece but will at some point that places like WV turning red is temporary IMO. Within the next 10-15 West Virginia will go blue again. As Chip points out the socially conservative part of those folks won out over the political side. For lack of a better way of explaining it, the culture change away from their preferences in the Democratic party just went too far too fast in their minds. But that is fixing itself, out of attrition if nothing else as polling consistently show those social issues normalizing across the board, even among conservatives, that things like Gay marriage are settled issues. Despite what right-wing media tells them, the culture war is over. This is the last generation of coal being a political issue (there are less than 15K miners working in WV, and only half of those are actually in the dirt) The three largest voting blocs in the state are healthcare workers, state employees, and pensioners all of whom will be more open to supporting progressive policies that fit their particular circumstances. The Democratic party will see a resurgence in the state before too much longer. Like with everything else, just need the right candidates.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                I hope so!

                But one of the disconcerting things I am witnessing is the amount of racism and misogyny among young people.
                Not in any one state or region, but all over.

                I guess my takeaway from that observation is that the desire for a hierarchical world founded on injustice is eternal.

                As much as I like to imagine that demographics will take care of the problem, there isn’t some magic quality to nonwhite people, women, or gay and trans people that causes them to support liberal democracy.

                Which is what I see as the real danger of the Republican party. Once we accept as legitimate the idea of an authoritarian government, it’s easier to just switch from one form to another, than to switch back to liberal democracy.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                And I am very dubious about the idea of there being “Powers that be”, especially ones that the nominee of the party for the Presidency is likely to listen to. Hell, I am dubious there is such a group in either party.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Here’s one of the discussions that I was sure I remembered (search for “Deplorables” and see what follows).

                But here‘s a thread where we were discussing murmurs in the Halls of Power about someone other than Clinton running.

                If the nominee has no one who they will listen to…

                Well, you’re going to end up with someone a lot like Trump, aren’t ya?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                Hillary’s election was supposed to be trivially easy, probably more so than Obama because her opponent was a joke. Hillary and the left wanted Trump to be the opponent, instead of having to face a seasoned politician and political campaigner. The press gave him millions worth of free air time just to let him run his mouth, figuring that nobody who was sane would vote for him. During much of the race, pundits on both the right and left explained that Trump had no idea how to run a campaign.

                For him to win required his opponents to deploy a staggering amount of incompetence.Report

              • The press gave him millions worth of free air time just to let him run his mouth, figuring that nobody who was sane would vote for him.

                Which was entirely correct, but left a step out.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I for one thought HRC should have had a resounding victory though I don’t -think- I was predicting a landslide.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy says:

                Pretty sure that there’s no group of 50 000 people that a US political party absolutely needs to win.
                Oh, I see what you did there!Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to James K says:

        What Lee said. She created an executive department from scratch and has tons of experience as a bankruptcy expert, consumer protection expert, professor, and Senator.Report

  2. Aaron David says:

    Is there someone in a tiara behind Pete?Report

  3. Jaybird says:


    He’s tripled his support. If he does that another three times by January, he’ll only have to triple it one more time by the election to win with Washingtonian numbers!Report

  4. George Turner says:

    Mayor Pete’s popularity illustrates the weakness of the current field. The feeling is shared by many prominent Democrats, who are either thinking of jumping in or encouraging other Democrats to do so (Bloomberg, Deval Patrick, etc). There are 300 cities bigger than South Bend, and just assuming those cities are evenly split between parties, there should at least be 150 Democrat mayors who are more prominent than Buttigieg. Last week I saw one prominent Democrat pundit dismiss Buttigieg as “the mayor of Whoville.” ^_^

    He can’t win the general, but he can be the next shiny thing for the chattering class to toy with now that Beto is out. It’s common to have plenty of vanity candidates running, but I would describe Buttigieg as more of a boutique candidate. He’s a character a room full of bad Hollywood writers would come up with by checking off enough boxes labeled “absolutely ordinary, quirky, heart-warming, intersectional, gay, small-town values, owns a hamster, military veteran, played ‘Frosty the Snow Man’ in his church Christmas festival” as they try to pen a movie about a wildly improbable candidate. Perhaps it’s similar to Charlize Theron and Seth Rogan in Long Shot, but without Charlize’s character’s experience, gravitas, and inevitability, because if anything, Buttigieg is the ‘Seth Rogan’ of this story.Report

    • North in reply to George Turner says:

      Man, Pete really has you rattled eh George?Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

        If Buttigieg was truly a wartime consigliere, he would troll Trump by posting a photo of his Time magazine Person Of The Year cover and mention how as mayor he created 14 million jobs in his city alone.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to North says:

        Eh. I’m pretty sure that the Wokies will do what they can to bring him down. (Remember the New Republic story? Golly!)Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Which would only demonstrate the utter political impotence of the “wokies” if such an implausible occurrence were to happen. They suffered some pretty sharp backlash even to those few sorties and it didn’t effect Pete’s actual electoral numbers in the least.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          I do remember how Mayor Pete told everyone how sad he was that Eric Logan got shot, and when Swalwell said “if the chief won’t fire that cop, you should fire the chief”, and Pete’s response was to tell us again how sad he was that Eric Logan got shot.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

            From what I understand, if everybody inclined to vote for the Democrat votes for the Democrats, the Republicans don’t have a chance.

            But there are a lot of groups out there who have reasons to not be fired up enough to vote for the Democrats if they feel their needs aren’t going to be met by the party.

            (My evidence for this is 2016, by the way.)

            I see Buttigeig as a perfect VP choice for Harris (because he moves her ticket from probably not to maybe not, maybe so). I see him as a bad VP choice for Warren (because, from what I can tell, he shifts the election from maybe not, maybe so, to probably not).

            But Buttigeig has an attack surface that Wokies will be able to target (even if Republicans can’t). Democrats ignore this at their peril. (My evidence for this is 2016.)Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              This isn’t 2016 Jay and we’re not coming off 2 terms of a Democratic President. The purity dragon is as dormant in the Democratic party now as it was after Gore fell to the very same beast in 2000. The ‘wokies’ are neither numerically significant nor electorally insane enough to go after Pete from the left in 2020 to matter.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to North says:

                I dunno. I remember 2004 and how it was Definitely Gonna Happen that Bush would lose to Generic Democrat who wouldn’t need any campaign beyond “I’m Not George W Bush”. And then the most Generic of Democrats was nominated and his entire campaign was “I’m Not George W Bush” and he…didn’t win.Report

              • North in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Well I’m pretty confident all of the candidates have more to run on than “I’m not Trump” though “I’m not Trump” is a lot more significant than “I’m not George W Bush” considering that in 2004 Bush still had his 9/11 flag to hug and the SSM issue to wedge with.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                True, it’s not 2016 and, indeed, we don’t know anything yet about what 2020 holds.

                Hell, we’ve still got an impeachment inquiry to get through.

                Super Tuesday is a million years away.

                But I’m noticing that we don’t have a white knight that we’re sure will be able to slay the Trumpian Dragon.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                So the only way the Dems win is if they get an Obama level politician to run? I don’t buy it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Perhaps all they need is someone who is not a Clinton level politician to run.

                Are we confident in our ability to tell whether Clinton was a bad politician?Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                She made some pretty poor decisions in her 2016 run, ignored the blue wall states (stopped polling in them) and generally ran a leisurely campaign. It’s pretty obvious she thought she had it in the bag. Comey’s intervention tipped it over to Trump (as Nate Silver has previously demonstrated) but HRC never should have let it get that close.
                She was a fearsome effective logistical politician when she had 8 years to prepare, but clearly was a bad leader and campaigner in 2016.

                Happily, the method she used to get the nomination isn’t easily repeatable.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I agree with this.

                And yet, at the time, I remember arguing that she was making mistakes and being told that I was partisan for thinking that they were mistakes.

                I’m not sure that that little dynamic has gone away.

                I mean, if (insert politician here) gets the nomination and starts to make mistakes, I am not confident that the people who need to be able to correct course will be able to do so.

                I mean, part of correcting course is the ability to say “we’re not going where we want to go” in the first place.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I can believe it, you do pour salt out on the liberals more than conservatives. That’s just how you do; perhaps it’s because you care about how liberals do more than how conservatives do. As I recall you weren’t particularly impressed with Obama’s candidacy either (I certainly wasn’t) when he was running and partisanship certainly plays its part.

                As for politicians making mistakes and changing course; well that’s a tough thing for politicians to do in general. Can you think of any time a politician was making a major mistake campaigning and then changed course and turned things around? I’m struggling to think of an example myself.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I admit: I thought that Jeb Bush was going to end up with the nomination and so dismissed Trump a hundert times before I noticed a pattern of “being wrong” when I was dismissing him so forcefully.

                What’s wacky is that I noticed a pattern of “being right” when I criticized Clinton… but there was a *LOT* of pushback.

                (If you want to go back and read what was said at the time, here‘s the time capsule post and here‘s the post-mortem.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, and this one here, from October 2012, is also great.

                Man, we used to be *SMART*!Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                We used to be so many more and different names too. God(ess?)! It is a nostalgic trip and makes me feel sad too.
                My predictions weren’t bad for 2012. Man was I ever hella off for 2016 though. First time I really -felt- the loss.Report

      • George Turner in reply to North says:

        Um, yeah, absolutely! I’m terrified that the Democrats will challenge President of the United States Donald J Trump with the mayor of Whoville, who looks like Alfred E Newman and who has no notable accomplishments except marrying another guy and probably something about Southbend’s downtown parking meters.

        The average age of the mayors in America’s 25 largest cities is 54, almost 20 years senior to Pete. Going on down the list of cities by population, the smaller city mayors typically aren’t any younger than big city mayors because small towns have the same old folks that big cities have. However, it’s problematic to compute average mayoral ages further down the list because those mayors don’t even have Wikipedia entries. Pete is from city #306. Nobody even half that far down the list has a Wiki entry unless they shot somebody.

        But was he lightning in a bottle, like Obama at the 2004 convention? Nope. Pete stayed stuck below 10% or so until the other horrible candidates faltered. His strength relative to the pack is that he doesn’t constantly say things that are completely crazy. When that’s what it takes to lead in Iowa, your party is in real trouble because almost any janitor sweeping up after a rally can meet that standard.

        The Democrats have plenty of potentially electable candidates, especially governors, but the ones who ran got booed by the party’s communist/socialist wing, or got attacked and dismissed for not being radical and hateful enough. I suspect that Pelosi, Schumer, and many other highly seasoned pros know they don’t have a prayer of beating Trump, thus the desperate impeachment gambit.

        But to beat someone who is larger than life, who fills giant arenas night after night, you need to run somebody big. As the Canadian Conservatives recently noted about Trudeau’s win, after he was lain low by scandal after scandal, “You can’t be somebody with nobody, and we ran nobody.”

        Democrats need someone prominent, an Al Gore, Kerry, Obama, or Hillary. What they’ve got are all third-tier folks who’d normally have trouble clawing their way out of the kiddie debates. For example, Biden has run before, back in his prime, and he still dropped out before Iowa. As VP, when he was on stage with Obama he might as well have stood over near the wall and tried not to be mistaken for a potted plant. Now he’s really old, and even less capable, but the rest of the pack is still trailing him. But they won’t trail him for long because somebody in the deep state torpedoed his candidacy by making his foreign deals front-and-center in the impeachment craziness, so everyone will have to wonder what he and his son were doing.Report

        • North in reply to George Turner says:

          Yeah he has got you rattled. Ya know, well spoken, moderate veteran with more executive experience than Trump had in 2016 and no loony left ties. Trump loses to the generic Democrat in polling and Peter definitely improves on that standard.

          *snort* and still no sign of HRC jumping into the race? She still plotting her comeback at Ping Pong Pizza according to your sources? Maybe using Vince Fosters corpse to keep her whiskery cold?Report

          • George Turner in reply to North says:

            Well, I guess Buttigieg is about as close to a generic Democrat as you can get, short of picking a random name out of a phone book.

            When Trump came down the escalator to throw his hat in the ring, he entered the race with more fame and name recognition than anyone else who got in the race. I knew who he was back in the 1980’s. He flew around in his own 757 and ran a major real estate business. That’s executive experience.

            Mayor Pete probably wasn’t even a familiar name to many of the people in South Bend until he joined the Presidential race and got lots of press coverage for it. He is way younger than any winning Presidential candidate in history, even the ones who ran back when most folks died young. You might as well run the manager of a local Best Buy. But if that’s what you want to do, more power to you! 🙂Report

            • Walter Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

              “Do I have executive experience? Why, buddy, I ran seven different businesses into the ground! I lost money on a casino! I started out with nothing but a few millions from my father, and earned less than a index fund!”Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    Iowa has been pretty good at predicting Dem nominees since 2000… so maybe they continue their streak.

    On the other hand, the Republican side has picked: Cruz, Santorum, Huckabee in the last three primaries.

    I guess those are mostly 2 different groups, so hard to say whether Mayor Pete would be the next Obama, or next Huckabee… or worse for y’all, the next Kerry.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    This stat is also somewhat notable:

    Harris: 3% (-9)Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    The bad-faith to serious debate ratio is pretty obvious on this thread.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      You’d think that an off-the-cuff news article that was talking about Buttigieg’s inevitable Iowa victory (and what that means) would be taken more seriously by the commentariat.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        TBF, I don’t have any strong opinions on Mayor Pete. If he is the nominee, I will volunteer for him, be a poll watcher, and vote for him. But I am angry, I am angry all the time. He is not my favorite candidate but he is far from my least favorite candidate.

        I don’t even know if this poll is permanent or not. It probably isn’t.

        But my issue is that I am angry. I am angry all the time. The Trump administration is a corrupt and moral monstrosity. I think it is going to do lasting damage to the civic body, to the United States, and to the world that will be hard to undo. Possibly impossible. And Trump and company are going to get away with it without censure because the media is filled with a rotting corruption and too many people are filled with delusions that we can go back to the good-ole-days. Maybe not to Biden levels but to something close to it. Somehow I feel like Mayor Pete benefits from this delusional nostalgia and captures the votes of people who want the good ol’ days but think Biden is too old.

        Trump is appointing far-right but relatively young ideologue judges who are severely homophobic, racist, believe in unrestrained executive power (as long as someone has an R next to their name). Stephen Miller was outed for being as close to a Nazi as possible for a Jewish person. The corruption is brazen. Stephen Miller being a guy so delusional that he thinks he can be friends with Richard “I’m a nazi” Spencer. He is not a friend. He will just be the last Jewish guy shot. The Supreme Court looks like it is about to invalidate DACA and cause 700K people to be deported to countries they have never known.

        American moderates still think that everything can go back to being 1992 forever. The media is in shock and acts like the proverbial ostrich with a head in the sand. Old guy Billlionaires look at everything Trump is doing and decide that the real problem is that Elizabeth Warren is too mean to them? What the fuck?

        And yet I can tell you who exactly at OT is going to launch into a trollish whataboutism “own the libs” response . And the opium-addicts of civility and can we put this all back in the bottle will applaud.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          People pretend we can go back to 1992 in a mystical and magical manner because the other alternative is totally unpalatable. If Trump is a symptom rather than disease itself, it means that we have an extremely large population of people with evil political beliefs and no real way to deal with them. You can’t de-Nazi your own population and our political system gives them a lot of power.Report

        • KenB in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Your overconfidence in the absolute rightness of your own beliefs is causing you to suffer. Accepting the limits of your knowledge, understanding, and power would make you not only wiser but happier.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to KenB says:

            Ah yes. I will feel so much better when I admit that Richard Spencer, who wants to kill me, might be right. Or maybe it was fine and dandy for Forbes to invite Trump’s former DHS secretary to a panel on women and power despite not asking what she used her power for.Report

          • pillsy in reply to KenB says:

            Which of Saul’s statements are wrong?

            Also, when’s the last time you took a shot at George for his absolutely delusional bullshit that he has every bit as much confidence in as Saul and then some?

            Or is it only folks on Team Blue who get this kind of scolding?Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

              Shouldn’t it be obvious?Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

              Also, Murc’s law. Only Democrats have agency. Everyone expects George to be George. Liberals need to behave so right-wingers don’t snap.Report

            • KenB in reply to pillsy says:

              George’s beliefs don’t seem to be causing him any suffering, at least based on his comments. Saul’s apparently do, though his followup comment suggests that he gets enough pleasure from his sense of righteousness to outweigh the constant anger.Report

              • George Turner in reply to KenB says:

                Saul needs some big right wing hugs! 🙂

                The right is never going to send him to one of Hillary’s “Happy Fun Camps.” We’re never going to question is right to own guns because the great object, as Patrick said, is that every man be armed. As much as he may demand that Trump send goons to ransack his house to make sure he isn’t armed, our response is “Ransack it your own self, you lazy bum!”

                We’re not going to seize his property to make a federal nature preserve to protect an endangered snail. We’re not going to tell him what kinds of light bulbs and toilets he can use. We’re not going to bulldoze his house because it doesn’t meet green energy guidelines. We’re not going to force him to buy a toy car that has to plug in to a collapsing energy grid. We’re not going to try to skyrocket his gas prices or electricity rates.

                We’re not going to force him to quarter soldiers, or tell him he has less rights than foreigners, especially one’s here illegally. We’re not going to make him renounce his religion or convert to Islam. We’re not going to try to kick him off the Internet for sharing the wrong meme. We’re not even going to tell him which pronouns he’s allowed to use.

                We’re not going to take away his private health insurance. We’re not going to increase his taxes. We’re not going to forbid him to join a union, nor allow him to be forced to join one. We’re not going to make him boycott Israel, or make him hire Hunter Biden.

                We figure the best thing we can do to give Saul the maximum shot at happiness is to leave him alone and let him make all the important decisions in his life, and make sure law enforcement and the courts are tools he can use against those who transgress against him in ways that violate state or federal law.

                Yes, he hates us for all that, but we don’t care, because if hating us makes him happy, then we’re happy because he’s being true to himself. His screams of outrage just remind us of what a good job we’re doing protecting his right to talk smack without fear of consequences, censure, or reprisals. Heck, even Conan knew that hearing the lamentations was the best part of life, and he was a barbarian! 🙂

                The real question is how much of what we’re doing are we doing just to keep him happily outraged. Maybe it’s a lot. Maybe it’s very little. But I feel that if we’re not pissing him off about something, however trivial, then we’re failing him. What we’ll probably do is return the country to Clinton era policies, because that would drive him absolutely bonkers! 🙂Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          “Old guy Billlionaires look at everything Trump is doing and decide that the real problem is that Elizabeth Warren is too mean to them? What the fuck?”

          …who is doing this?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Well, there is an election coming up. The eternal question is always “what are you willing to do to win?”

          It’s not just “are you willing to impeach Trump and make all of his supporters personae non gratae?” on the table but also “are you willing to compromise and nominate Biden?”

          Are you willing to admit that you’ve been priced out of San Francisco and move to Dallas and start voting for Beto-esque candidates in Texas and turn it purple before you turn it blue?

          What are you willing to do in order to win?Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

            Speaking on behalf of all Democrats everywhere, we will unanimously and as one body, rise up in support of Joe Biden if he is the nominee.

            And we are currently sending deep agents by the millions into red states like Texas and Georgia, restocking the dying small towns with young nonwhite immigrants who will reliably vote Democrat.

            We have entire divisions of suburban wine moms who are willing to spring into action and march to the polling place with pussy hats.


            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              While I appreciate you trying to help Trump, I, for my part, think that there ain’t anywhere near enough appreciation of Unintended Consequences anymore.

              I suppose we can always overcorrect for today’s overcorrection to yesterday tomorrow…Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I wouldn’t describe myself as angry all the time but more disappointed.

          The disappointment is less at the politicians, from whom I expect very little, but the Americans from whom I expect a lot more.

          I look at people in my life I used to respect, and see them swallowed by a cultish faith in someone whose agenda is unambiguously evil, and I feel a deep, bone deep sense of sadness and disappointment. No less deep than if I found them advocating pedophilia or dogfighting.

          The great debate taking place in America today isn’t over tax rates or the best economic theory to produce prosperity. It isn’t over the best policy which will ensure international peace.

          The great debate in America today is whether we all are created equal, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.

          And there is an entire political party that controls half of our government, in determined opposition to that proposition.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            I feel more angry to be disappointed to be honest but I agree with everything you wrote. The anger I feel is because so many people seem hell bent on treating things as the normal course of business. Maybe out of laziness, maybe out their own psychological coping mechanism but the status quo bias endures and I feel like real conversations are being ignored because it would not be profitable (in the money making sense) and would be uncomfortable.

            The whole thing about Nielsen at the Forbes panel is indicative. There is nothing wrong with a panel on women and power per se. Nor is there anything necessarily wrong about wanting it to be bipartisan. But the fact that the right-leaning women they can think of are women like Nielsen who have used power to do horrible things and no one seems to have thought “maybe this is not a good idea” is revealing. A good chunk of the power class is totally corrupt. Possibly beyond repair and they will get away with it.Report

        • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I love ya Saul but your fury is ill serving you. It doesn’t help your own side and it is pure manna from the heaven to the people you disdain. You are, in this comment, quite literally writing off the candidates who, by all indications, are the most competative in the general because you are angry and want to punish conservatives. You’re literally embracing a likely losing strategy because conservatives are making you angry. Think about that for a second, seriously.

          You think your anger upsets right wing trolls? You can bet your last dime George grins from ear to ear every time you write an intemperate line. You think your anger empowers you? It frightens the low info normies and empowers the right wingers. Professional nut farmer Rod Dreher flew to Russia to tour around using money raised by exagerating liberal anger and saying “They’re gonna oppress us poor hapless social conservatives” like some kind of South Park caricature of Mel Gibson. Do you like Rod that much that you want to help him swan around on european trips?

          I know that it sucks but that is their gig; that is our reality. We’re dealing with a conservativism and a Republican party that has so rotted out on the inside that it sustains itself on Cleeks law and tax cuts. The anger you’re expressing is the lightning that jolts that zombie into locomotion every day. It’s not fair but it still is real. They can’t do much with calm or genial liberal opposition. That’s why ol’ Joe scares them spitless (for my part his age and Joe-isms scares me spitless). Sure they can make shit up (they do) and hunt further and further afield for liberals to caricature (they do) but why make it so easy for them? What did the conservatives ever do for you that you would give them the gift of your fury?Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

            You thought that Clinton’s victory over Trump was all but assured, and that the Republicans wouldn’t nominate Trump, because of these reasons.

            I’ve been dealing with the Trump administration as a front line soldier against them for the past three and some years. Nearly everyday since its’ inception there was been an endless supply of some new racist, xenophobic shit that comes from the mind of Stephen Miller. It started with the travel ban. Now, its the threat to DACA and Miller making getting work authorization much more difficult for asylum seeker because he thinks people file fraudulent and frivolous claims to get work authorization.

            I can not take this anymore. Another four years of Trump is going to kill me. I need relief but relief never comes. Yet, there isn’t a clear and obvious path to get off the front lines. I can practice immigration law in California or across the United States but can’t move into another field of law because of the jealous of the CA Bar Association. I can not imagine how to get out of law in its’ entirety.

            Making things worse is that evil man Miller Is engaged to be married. His fiancé is an equally evil and loathsome woman but it angers and enrages me to know end that such an evil man is going to get married while I’m struggling with some rather long term bachelorhood. I need relief. I need a girlfriend. I’m in the last year of my thirties and utterly alone because apparently I can’t just make women feel the spark or chemistry on a date. The fact that I’m in an emotionally exhausting and demanding profession does not matter. They need their chemistry.

            And this is still second hand contact with the vileness that is Trump. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be one of the groups that Trump and Miller target directly. They lie, they rob, they cheat, they steal, and they kidnap and rape children. This is simply one of the most atrocious Presidential administrations in the United States. So just stop it. They need to go and they need to go to God damn jail till the day they die. Everything single one of them.Report

            • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Sure was, and I was wrong about plenty about HRC I won’t hesitate to cop to it.

              Everything you say is right as far as what you are experiencing and I have nothing but sympathy. But wild fury and rage won’t serve the people Trump and the fetid zombie of conservatism are targeting. Calm resolve and triumph will help those people and the best odds of winning is not to go off the deep end. If we get all livid and wild and lose the election how much will that help the minorities Trump is going after? Not one damn bit.

              Because that’s what Trump not only wants but desperately needs us to do; get furious. The more incoherent and emotional we get the closer we get to his level which is the only level he can beat us at. Same for what is left of conservatism- liberalism is devouring it wholesale; utterly routing it from the field on policy. The only way they can win is they can get us emotional enough to move out left beyond liberalism. Our rage and the fear our rage provokes in their marks is what sustains them. We need to provide as little sustenance as possible for them.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

            I am sure people wrote the same thing around Europe sometime in the 1930s too. Patience does not solve all things and this time it is important to make sure Republicans can’t memory hole Trump away and to make sure various BSDIers do not let them.Report

  8. J_A says:

    As a Pete supporter, it bugs me to no end that most of the commentary about Pete is rarely about his ideas, his proposals, his character.

    Most of it is several variations of “Who does that upstart mayor of Whoville thinks he is?”

    I confess I was one of those at some point. I turned out the invite to go to an in-person fundraiser of his exploratory campaign because, I, too, thought it a joke, fueled by an “a gay candidate, how woke!” mentality. ( I’ll always regret passing on the chance of meeting him in person)

    But he refused to go away. And I started to hear some of the things he said. Things that were in line with what I wanted a Democratic President to be. And I looked for a more “serious” candidate in, as they say, “his lane”. And Beto was the only other one. And Beto, regretfully, and surprisingly, was full of hot air. And, there, still, was Mayor Pete.

    I pulled out several stump preaches from You Tube (including one at a black community center in Harlem). The speech itself is good, but after the third time, it gets old very fast. I started fast forwarding to the Q&As at the end.

    Fish, the guy is brilliant. He can think on his feet. He’s articulate. He’s respectful. He weaves whatever the question is into his broader narrative, while at the same time totally answering the question. He knows stuff. It’s clear he’s thought a lot about a lot of stuff. He’s not talking general feel good platitudes only. He puts real examples, real ideas, real “I have a plan for that” attitude, backed by teal facts, even if they come from his Whoville mayoralty experience.

    I think the difference between his polling in IA and NH and in the rest of the country is that IA and NH have been exposed to him. They have seen him, heard him talk, asked questions, received answers, and found him the opposite of a lightweight. Like I did, some time ago.

    It’s a pity that most of the commentary in the media, even the left of center media, is a variation of trying to put him down. Just read Clare Malone’s piece today in fivethirtyeight. You can read her contempt (quote: “the foreign languages, Oxford, yada, yada, yada”) all over the piece, while she makes up (paraphrases, she’ll call it) things he never said or would have said. Their disdain for the Whoville mayor blinds them to the man and his ideas.

    And if Buttigieg does not win the nomination (which is likely he won’t) we will end with a far worse candidate, either too old, too leftist, too coastal elite, too out of touch, or a combination thereof, neither of which bodes well for a 2020 election

    (Thank God for small miracles, not even the GOP is bringing out that he’s gay as a disqualifier. Not even, except for the left of center commentators that assert black people would never vote for a gay person (yes, they do, see Houston, TX, Annise Parker, three terms mayor of)Report

  9. George Turner says:

    I see no other thread dedicated to Buttigieg, so here’s a new problem for Buttigieg.


    It discusses the dust up and controversy in some detail, but this caught my eye:

    “He’s done. Absolutely done,” Mike Freeman, a columnist and author, posted to Twitter. “Not a single Dem of color gonna vote for a dude who backed the g*****n Tea Party.”

    The Tea Party was of course opposed to many of the policies of Barack Obama, and vast numbers of Democrats defending by smearing the Tea Party as a bunch of unrepentant racists. Well, now plenty will view Buttigieg as “racist adjacent”, adding to the nagging doubts they might have about gay whites caring anything about black issues.

    If the race was already down to Buttigieg versus Trump this would be a tempest in a tea pot that wouldn’t last one news cycle, but the primary is still very much up in the air, and opinions about electability and turnout are driving many of the choices. Rerun this week’s primary debate where Buttigieg viciously attacked Tulsi for meeting Assad and she could win the exchange by retorting “You hung out with the Tea Party! You said you shared their concerns!” Then the other candidates could just pile on as he tries to explain it away.

    I don’t know if this would hurt him in Iowa and the Midwest (outside of major urban areas), but it’s not gong to help him on the coasts and down South.Report

    • North in reply to George Turner says:

      Interesting development. And interesting to see you acknowledge you find Pete threatening, George, and don’t fancy Trump having to face him. We’ll see how Buttigieg handles it. Maybe it’s gonna be a major problem, maybe nothing*, maybe an opportunity for an Obama style Jeremiah Wright speech; be interesting to find out.

      *hell, under certain messaging it could be spun as a positive to moderate Republicans.Report