Many agree that there are way too many white dudes running for president in the Democratic primary. As the third round of debates draws near, some Democrats are beginning to wonder why some of the low-polling vanity candidates shouldn't quit the presidential race and run for a statewide office they might actually have a shot at winning.
This week, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper became the first such candidate to take this route, ending his campaign to launch a bid for the U.S. Senate. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) and Gov. Steve Bullock (D., Mont.) are also facing calls to run for Senate in their respective states, even though Beto already tried that once and failed.
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Huffington Post reporter Kevin Robillard asks a reasonable question:
why is ‘Why won’t Beto/Hickenlooper/Bullock run for Senate?’ such a thing while ‘Why won’t Pete run for governor?’ isn’t?
— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) August 15, 2019
Indiana's current governor, Republican Eric Holcomb, is up for reelection in 2020. Launching a gubernatorial campaign would seem like a much more practical career move for the mayor of Indiana's fourth-largest city who, let's be honest, isn't going to win the Democratic nomination. Sure, he's raised a ton of money, but so did Jeb! Bush.
Buttigieg is the ideal vanity candidate for rich white liberals with graduate degrees. He dominates in the "boat shoe" strongholds of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Cape Cod. He speaks obscure languages and plays the didgeridoo, because of course he does. And yet he's still trailing frontrunner Joe Biden by 25 points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. In fact, Mayor Pete is only a couple points ahead of Beto at this point. The latest Fox News poll has him tied with Andrew Yang at 3 percent.
Buttigieg doesn't have to stay in Indiana and run for governor, but if Democrats are interested in aggressively winnowing the enormous field of presidential candidates, what exactly is the point of keeping Buttigieg over Yang? Why not just accept the fact that they're probably going to be stuck with Biden and hope he doesn't blow it like Hillary did?
Numerous polls have indicated Buttigieg's lack of support among black voters, a key demographic in the Democratic primary, and a significant chunk of Biden's base. A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that black voters comprise less than 4 percent of Buttigieg supporters, who are "about 82 percent less likely than all Democratic voters to be black voters."
The Associated Press published an article on Friday detailing what one African-American church leader in South Carolina described as the "heavy lift" confronting Buttigieg when it comes to winning over black voters in the early primary state.
Iowa, on the other hand…
me, after lenten fasting pic.twitter.com/Ek5OkPcqfM
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) August 16, 2019