The three most ridiculed predictions I ever made all had to do with things people didn’t understand at the time. The first was an article I wrote in 2006 when I said MySpace, which had just surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States, would be usurped by a much smaller competitor at the time, Facebook. The comments on that article, which unfortunately is no longer live as the website disappeared, received the highest number of comments I’d ever received at the time. Almost all of them were negative.
The second bit of ridicule was my early 2015 prediction that the GOP nomination would come down to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Both of my selections were attacked for different reasons. Cruz was sitting at around 5% in the polls at the time and though Trump’s numbers were good, many still believed he wasn’t really running for president. My reasoning for believing it would come down to the two of them had flaws in it, such as thinking Cruz wouldn’t get personally attacked by Trump and would end up turning down a VP spot so he could be nominated to the Supreme Court, but the actual substance of the prediction came true.
The third prediction was seven months ago when I published an article titled, “Conservatives better start taking Pete Buttigieg seriously.” It was the day he announced his candidacy. What I saw in him then and still see in him now is an innate ability to be what his audience wants him to be. Is he a moderate? Yes. Is he a progressive? Yes. Is he a common sense Democrat of old or a modern day radical leftist? Yes.
“But, the polls!” I can already hear some squawk about the polls. Guess what. It’s nearly a year and a half before the general election. At this point in 2015, Donald Trump hadn’t even announced he was running for President. Polls showed Scott Walker and Jeb Bush running away with the nomination. Don’t tell me to look at polls.
“But, he’s just a mayor!” He’s a mayor who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. He’s a Rhodes Scholar who speaks over half-a-dozen languages. He’s a veteran from naval intelligence who served in Afghanistan.
“But, he’s too young!” Yes, perhaps he is. But he’s eight years older than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He’s at the tale end of being a millennial while still possessing the maturity to have meaningful conversations with baby boomers. In today’s world, being that young doesn’t really harm him very much, all things considered.
He has a friendly face, an assertive yet pleasant voice, a penchant for reading teleprompters that matches the 44th President of the United States, and he’s gay.
Now, let’s get one thing clear. I am NOT suggesting that he WILL be the nominee, but with so many pundits dismissing him over the last seven months, I want to remind everyone that his chances are higher than just about anyone. Yes, that includes his fellow frontrunners Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders. What Buttigieg possesses that the others do not is an ambiguity that allows him to appeal to a wider range of voters.
But he has one major challenge. He has yet to appeal to African-Americans in any solid form, and without a decent chunk of the black vote he will not win the nomination. As Representative James Clyburn noted, it’s likely his homosexuality that is turning off older black voters in South Carolina, the third state on the nomination trail. But it’s clearly not hurting him in Iowa.
A new poll in Iowa – the state that kicks off the presidential caucus and primary nominating calendar – shows Pete Buttigieg claiming a narrow lead over his top rivals for the Democratic nomination.
The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., stands at 22 percent among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, according to the Monmouth University survey, with former Vice President Joe Biden at 19 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 18 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 13 percent.
Buttigieg’s 3-percentage-point advantage over Biden is within the poll’s margin of error, but represents a remarkable surge in recent months.
It isn’t so much his merits but his competitors’ demerits that are propelling him higher. Yes, he spent nearly a million dollars in a week to get his message out in Iowa, and if he ends up winning the nomination, campaign strategists will be looking to this early large buy as a turning point that put him squarely on the map. But even a big buy so many months before the caucus can’t propel someone to the nomination without help from his competitors, and they all seem willing to oblige.
Biden, who is still considered the frontrunner in the “moderate” lane, is hanging on out of absence. He isn’t really winning more voters as much as he’s trying to prevent a hemorrhage of the ones he already has. Passions for Biden are low and driven mostly by the plurality who believe he’s the best candidate against President Trump.
Warren and Sanders are busy trying to out-radical each other to win the progressive lane’s voters, but in doing so they’re pushing further and further away from the mainstream. Their battle of “hold my beer” is turning more people against them, including the billionaires who wield tremendous power over the direction voters head.
There is still plenty of time for Pete Buttigieg to stumble or for another candidate to have a surge, but I stand by the prediction I made seven months ago: He’s on a strong path to get the nomination and Republicans have to be ready for him.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
[gravityform id=”2″ title=”true” description=”false”]