I’m a very flawed man who doesn’t understand a lot of things, but I feel a little better about myself after reading this Buzzfeed article on Buttigieg’s white Iowan supporters failure to understand why he isn’t doing better with black Democratic voters.
DES MOINES — The white voters who come to Pete Buttigieg's rallies just don't understand.
Many of them fell for the 37-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, the first time they heard him speak: his calm demeanor, his intelligence, the way he seemed to appeal to progressives and moderates alike.
But his support among Democratic-leaning black voters nationally is stuck in the abysmally low single digits.
“I don’t understand that,” said Bill Koeneig, a physician in Des Moines who said Buttigieg is one of his top choices in the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
“I don’t understand it,” said Julie Walstrom, a retired teacher in Perry, Iowa, who is deciding between Buttigieg, former vice president Joe Biden, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
“I don’t understand what that issue could possibly be,” said Doug Gardner, a retired sales worker in Urbandale.
In nearly two dozen interviews across Iowa this month, white voters struggled to reconcile their affection for Buttigieg with how black voters see the candidate. Some said it simply didn’t matter to them. Many more had been grappling with how to think about the disconnect and Buttigieg’s challenges: Some were worried, others frustrated.
The vast majority of white Iowa voters said they’d heard about Buttigieg’s difficulties with voters of color. Many had heard, particularly, of his record in South Bend, where he was criticized for his handling of police relations and housing issues in communities of color.
“I think it’s partly because of the incident that happened in South Bend,” said Sue Seidenfeld, a retired physician assistant in Waukee who said she was undecided in the race and had come to see Buttigieg in Winterset. She did not specify the incident.
“I think that maybe that black voters feel like he wasn’t as empathetic as he could have been, and as on top of the situation as he should have been,” she said. “Which is kind of a shame — because he has to be impartial, and he has to take some time to see what really the facts were, and I think people are too quick to judge sometimes.”
She paused and added: “But maybe not, you know. There may be something to it.”
They heard? You know there is this thing called the Google machine on their cell phones. Maybe they could do a quick Google search on Buttigieg and race?