Pete Buttigieg’s fundraising efforts have paid off well over the past few months, and now he’s ramping up his presidential campaign in Iowa with his first TV ad.
As the first openly gay candidate for President to garner serious popular support, Pete Buttigieg has led a campaign for the Democratic nomination that has been surprisingly strong in light of his current position as the mayor of the fourth most populous city in the 17th most populous state of the union. Now he’s stepping things up in Iowa, the first state that will vote on which candidate they’d prefer to be the Democratic nominee, by launching a TV ad that will cost his campaign over $200,000 in the next year and a half.
The ad, entitled “The Only Way,” begins with a shot of Mayor Pete in military uniform, as he speaks in voiceover about his experience as a veteran and a mayor. His main talking point in the video is that our highly divided country needs leadership that will bring it together rather than continuing to forge further divisions. As for specific issues, Buttigieg mentions climate change, rising health care costs, and ongoing school shootings as problems he wants to solve. He also mentions that “solutions, not more polarization” is key, in his view, to defeating Donald Trump in 2020.
Watch the ad here:
In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Buttigieg acknowledged that his campaign’s current goal is to distinguish him from other Democratic candidates in the field, and specifically acknowledged that other candidates are further to the left than he is. “It’s not just a matter of style, it’s also a matter of approach,” Buttigieg told Colbert. “It’s why I’m not making the same promises that some of the candidates to my left are.”
The ad buy has come at a time when Buttigieg’s campaign is also ramping up its on-the-ground involvement in Iowa. Over the past week, Buttigieg opened 20 new campaign field offices in Iowa, and hired 30 more staffers to bring his Iowa-based staff total to over 100. While Buttigieg currently lags behind the top candidates in the Democratic field — Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and former Vice President Joe Biden — he led in campaign financing over the previous quarter, pulling in over $24 million. Now he’s using those funds both in Iowa and New Hampshire, opening 12 new field offices in the New England state who holds the second primary of the 2020 election last week.
A recent poll of Iowa voters by YouGov showed Buttigieg in fourth place, behind Biden, Sanders, and Warren, with 7 percent support. Will this ad buy ramp up support for the first (serious) openly gay candidate for President of the United States? We’ll soon see.
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