Update: Pete Buttigieg is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race on March 1, 2020.
Who is Pete Buttigieg?
Current job: Democratic candidate for the United States.
Family: Buttigieg is married to junior high school teacher Chasten Glezman Buttigieg.
Hometown: South Bend, Indiana.
Political party: Democratic
Previous jobs: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012 to 2020, Consultant for McKinsey & Company from 2007-2010, US Navy Reserve officer from 2009 to 2017, seven-month tour as a counterintelligence officer in Afghanistan.
Who was Buttigieg’s direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Pete Buttigieg’s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
- The average Buttigieg-satisfied respondent said they were satisfied with 5 other candidates, which is ok: it means that people who like him tend to be considering just a few other choices. To stay competitive, he’ll want to be in line with the top candidates in the race, for whom that number is less than 4. Just 3 per cent of his supporters liked him and him alone.
- Buttigieg had a great spring. He went from rock-bottom name recognition among likely Democratic primary voters to the low thirties. Buttigieg then had a mediocre summer.
Insider has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Pete Buttigieg’s policy positions?
- Supports moving to a single-payer healthcare system in the long run, but has proposed implementing a public option on the Obamacare marketplace first. He calls this “Medicare for all who want it.” He doesn’t believe a Medicare-for-all system would require eliminating private insurance.
- Unveiled a plan to expand mental health services, targeting addiction, with a goal of preventing 1 million deaths caused by addiction and suicide by 2028.
- Buttigieg defended his plan as a moderate alternative at the September Democratic primary debate and criticised the sweeping proposals of his progressive rivals.
- He unveiled a plan to aggressively lower drug prices by limiting out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare recipients to $US200 per month, and take patents away from pharmaceutical companies whose prices are too high.
- During the November 20 debate, Buttigieg framed single-payer healthcare as “divisive” and attacked Sens. Warren and Sanders’ Medicare for all plan.
- Supports the Obama administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, which protects young people who come to the US illegally as children, and wants a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants.
- Opposed to Trump’s border wall, but supports increasing border security, which could include fencing.
On climate change:
- Would spend between $US1.5 and $US2 trillion on climate policies. Wants 3 million new clean energy jobs. Supports a carbon tax.
- Wants the US to be carbon neutral by 2050.
- Wants the US to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and was one of more than 400 American mayors to sign a pact to continue adhering to the international pact after Trump pulled the US out of it in 2017.
- On campaign finance:
- On abortion:
On LGBTQ rights:
- Supports the Federal Equality Act, which would extend nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ+ people. He supports transgender individuals’ rights, including the right for prisoners to receive gender reassignment surgery.
- At the September Democratic primary debate, Buttigieg invoked his experience coming out as a gay man during an election year in South Bend. “What happened was that when I trusted voters to judge me based on the job that I did for them, they decided to trust me and re-elected me with 80% of the vote.”
- In October, Buttigieg unveiled a comprehensive set of policies, including a law banning employment discrimination, adding a non-binary gender option to US passports, and restoring benefits to LGBTQ veterans discharged because of their sexuality.
- On education:
- Supports universal background checks, banning military-style assault weapons, a national gun licensing system, stricter “red flag” laws.
On criminal justice reform:
- In July 2019, released a plan calling for broad policing reform, including new restrictions on the use of deadly force, and pushing states to publish more information on police conduct.
- Supports eliminating incarceration for drug possession, mandatory minimum sentencing, and private prisons.
- Supports abolishing the death penalty, legalizing marijuana, and “ban the box” – prohibiting employers from asking about an job applicant’s criminal record until later in the process.
- Critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he believes has moved jobs in the Midwest overseas.
On Native American rights:
- Buttigieg supports creating a commission to study the disproportionately high numbers of missing and murdered indigenous women and requirements that the federal government to take treaty rights into account when taking action related to natural resources.
On foreign policy:
- In favour of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. He’s opposed to an “open-ended commitment” in Syria, but supports maintaining a “very limited” counter-intelligence and special operations presence there.
- Supports repealing and replacing the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of military force.
- In favour of recommitting to the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accord.
- In favour of cutting US aid to Israel if it expands its territory into the West Bank.
- Suggested he’s in favour implementing some sort of wealth tax and expanding the Earned Income tax credit.
On democracy reform:
- Supports eliminating the electoral college and relying on the popular vote to determine the outcome of presidential elections. He supports statehood and full political representation for Washington, DC.
- Supports expanding the Supreme Court to 15 justices.
- Proposed “A New Call to Service,” which would create 1 million paid national service jobs for high school graduates.
- During the second round of primary debates in July, Buttigieg suggested it would not be as difficult as many think to make significant constitutional reforms like abolishing the Electoral College and make structural reforms to the Supreme Court like packing on more justices.
- “This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn’t drink and changed it back because we changed our minds, and you’re telling me we can’t reform our democracy in our time,” he said. “We have to or we will be having the same argument 20 years from now”
On social safety net:
- Says the country should “have a conversation” about Universal Basic Income.
- Supports raising the minimum wage to $US15
What are Pete Buttigieg’s policy successes?
- Buttigieg implemented “Smart Streets” in South Bend, which involved converting one-way streets to two-way, adding bike lanes, and building new footpaths in an effort to revitalize the city’s downtown.
- Oversaw a $US50 million investment in South Bend’s parks and riverfront.
Where did Pete Buttigieg poll best?
Based on the 12 polls conducted by Insider since late August, we can gather a sense of the geographic regions where candidates are overperforming when it comes to how satisfied voters would be if they were chosen as the presidential nominee. Though the first four primaries are in the Western Midwest, New England, the South Atlantic and Mountain regions, the four regions that allocate the bulk of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention are the South Atlantic (16%), Pacific (16%), Mid-Atlantic (16%) and Eastern Midwest (15%).
Voters in New England were most satisfied with Buttigieg as a candidate at a rate of 5.7 percentage points over other regions. He also does well in the Western South (+3.5 percentage points) and Western Midwest (+4.3 percentage points). He polls worst in the MidAtlantic region (-5.3 percentage points) and Eastern South (-4.6 percentage points).
How is Pete Buttigieg viewed by different wings of the Democratic party?
Buttigieg does especially well among those who identified as moderately liberal. He underperforms his polling among Democratic primary voters who don’t identify as liberal or conservative, and barely beats it among the left and the slightly liberal wing.
How much money did Pete Buttigieg raise?
Buttigieg’s campaign reported that it raised about $US600,000 from 22,000 donors in just over 24 hours following the candidate’s March CNN town hall. Buttigieg announced in mid-March that he reached the 65,000 donor threshold to participate in the first Democratic primary debate.
Buttigieg’s campaign raised over $US7 million from nearly 160,000 donors in the first quarter of 2019, and $US24.8 million from 294,000 donors in the second quarter – more than any other 2020 candidate. In the third quarter of 2019, he raised $US19.1 million.
How is Pete Buttigieg viewed by voters compared to the competition?
Insider has conducted a number of other polls to check in on how these candidates are perceived in comparison to one another. When we asked respondents to one poll to rank how far to the left or to the right they considered the candidates, Buttigieg was generally considered to be one the most centrist candidates in the field. Given his lack of national platform it’s unsurprising to see he was viewed as is among the least experienced candidates int the field by far when we asked respondents to rank the candidates based on how prepared they are for the rigors of the presidency given what they knew about their history of public service and experience with government. However, when asked how likable or personable respondents perceived the candidates to be, Buttigieg came in second place behind only Joe Biden.
Could Pete Buttigieg have beat President Trump?
Referring back to Insider’s recurring poll, Buttigieg is on-par with other Democrats when it comes to the perception of electability, which is really something for the mayor of a small Midwestern college down.
How did Democratic voters feel about Pete Buttigieg’s qualifications?
Insider has conducted polling about how voters feel about candidate attributes or qualifications. We asked respondents about a list of possible qualifications and if they made them more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for president.
For example, among respondents who said they’d vote in the Democratic primary, 19% said a candidate being a college professor made them likelier to support them, while 4% said it made them less likely to, for a +15% net favorability. We can then see how different candidates’ resumes stack up compared to those preferences.
Attributes perceived as most valuable include his released tax returns (+43%), him being multi-lingual (+25%), age 50 or younger (+23%), a child of immigrants (+21%), armed forces veteran (+17%), mayor (+15%), Rhodes scholar (+12%) and his Ivy league education (+7%).
Attributes considered to be a liability based on the preferences of self-reported Democratic voters include his past as a management consultant (-18%), that he has spent little time in government (-22%) and that he grew up wealthy (-42%).
Read more of our best stories on Pete Buttigieg:
- Pete Buttigieg wants to end the Electoral College, add more seats to the Supreme Court, and become America’s youngest president
- Pete Buttigieg is an openly gay military veteran, Rhodes scholar, and Democratic mayor in a red state. He’s also running for president
- Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, launches 2020 presidential bid
- Pete Buttigieg says ‘disruption’ of blue-collar industries has helped fuel white nationalism
- Read more of INSIDER’s 2020 Election coverage
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