Buttigieg Isn't Backed by Black Leader in His City

Council member likes Biden's experience
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2019 4:15 PM CST
Black Leader in Buttigieg's Hometown Backs Biden
Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The senior black member of the city's Common Council has endorsed Joe Biden for president instead of South Bend's own Pete Buttigieg. Oliver Davis prefers Biden's experience to his mayor's, Politico reports. "When you're flying in the middle of a storm, you want to make sure you have steady, experienced leadership," Davis said, adding that some backers at home thought Buttigieg should remain in office in Indiana longer to gain experience before running for president. Davis also appeared miffed that Buttigieg didn't consult him and other black council members before launching his campaign, especially given his weak support among black voters nationally: "Don’t you think that you would take some time to talk to us in town before you lift off?" Davis ran to succeed Buttigieg this year but was defeated by the mayor's choice.

Davis' decision doesn't reshape the race, but it highlights the difficulty Buttigieg is having in drawing support from people who aren't white. A Quinnipiac University poll shows less than 1 percent of likely black voters in South Carolina support him, per the Washington Post. A major reason could be that Buttigieg is gay; black Americans are much less likely than whites to endorse same-sex marriage, Pew has found. But experts and analysts say there are so many factors in this election that it's more complicated than that, per NBC. "The true Pete Buttigieg test, the one he’s unquestionably failing, has to do with the résumé and the issues," one political scientist said. (Read more Pete Buttigieg 2020 stories.)

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