Indiana mayor and Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is struggling mightily to attract the crucial support of Black voters in the Democratic primary, and it appears his campaign is resorting to underhanded tactics to shore up his base among the community.
Buttigieg appears to have mostly faked a list of 400 Black Americans he described as endorsing a set of policy proposals intended to benefit the black community.
Buttigieg’s campaign emailed some South Carolina state legislators and activists involved in Democratic party politics over their potential endorsement of the South Bend mayor’s “Douglass Plan.” But before signing them up for a list of supporters who had endorsed the plan, the campaign didn’t wait to receive their approval or actual endorsement. Those who were emailed were merely given the option of “opting out” of endorsing the Douglass Plan.
A South Carolina legislator named Ivory Thigpen who was falsely listed as a Buttigieg supporter by the campaign rejected the notion when asked about the list, and clarified that she was actually a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter.
Another South Carolina activist who had himself removed from the list of Black Buttigieg supporters went on CNN to reject claims that the gay candidate was struggling in the state because of his sexuality.
Research from the Intercept also revealed a significant proportion of the individuals Buttigieg listed as Black supporters are actually White.
Buttigieg largely appeals to a nostalgic set of liberal Americans who maintain an unquestioning allegiance to America’s elite institutions, and see Buttigieg as a messianic figure destined to use his elite credentials to reassert the credibility of the widely disgraced neoliberal political class.
It’s probably not surprising that such a proposal isn’t as appealing to many Black Americans. However, polls generally reveal that Joe Biden leads handily with Black Americans in the primary, with candidates such as Bernie Sanders usually taking second place.
Polls show Buttigieg lagging behind in states such as South Carolina. But recent Iowa polls have showed the “polite” Democrat surging to first place in the state, suggesting he could win the first primary to occur in what could be a drawn-out Democratic nominating process.
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