A major selling point for Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, has been his electoral success, winning elections by 70% to 80% in a Rust Belt city. The talking point is that if he can do well in the Rust Belt, he could beat Trump.
But, as usual, the media is holding back some key details. As I discuss in this week’s article about Buttigieg that is going viral.
1. South Bend barely has a white majority anymore after years of white flight. It’s not typical of the Rust Belt. Hillary Clinton narrowly won St. Joseph County, where South Bend is located. So the idea that Buttigieg has cracked a Trumpian stronghold is a myth.
But there’s a more significant fact.
2. That 80% victory margin. It means Mayor Pete won 5,000+ votes.
Buttigieg beat relatively unknown Republican challenger – and political newcomer – Kelly Jones. With 100 percent of precincts reporting he had 8,515 votes to her 2,074.
Jones acknowledged early on in this race that it was like a David v. Goliath style battle. Buttigieg’s name recognition, political organization and money raised far outpace Jones.
That huge margin victory is actually very tiny.
The media cheers that Buttigieg won 80% of the vote. It neglects to mention that it was 8,515 votes. That’s about the 8,369 votes that came in during the primaries. Buttigieg raised $337,161 dollars while his Republican opponent, Kelly Jones, had raised $584 dollars. The millennial wunderkind needed $40 bucks a vote while his unknown Republican opponent managed at around a quarter a vote.
Like the rest of the Dem field, his backstory is a myth.