Can Mayor Pete’s cash pile make up for his lack of African-American support?

Pete Buttigieg meeting with black supporters in Chicago
Photo: Pete Buttigieg’s Facebook Page

When the Democratic presidential candidates released their third quarter fundraising numbers, Pete Buttigieg stood out for raising more money than former vice president Joe Biden: $19.1 million to Biden’s $15.3 million. Buttigieg’s numbers didn’t quite compare with Bernie Sanders’ haul of $25.3 million (followed closely by Elizabeth Warren’s $24.6 million) or to his own second quarter record of $24.8 million, but they’re still very impressive.

That’s particularly true since Buttigieg is going through something of a polling slump. Despite solid performances in the presidential debates, the South Bend, IN mayor is languishing in the mid-single digits in polls. Real Clear Politics puts Buttigieg’s polling average at about 5.5 percent. In the first two states to vote, Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s at 10 percent.

But the really bad news for Buttigieg is in a subset of the polling. A recent poll of South Carolina voters found him at zero percent among African-Americans. A national Monmouth poll found him hardly better: one percent for black, Hispanic and Asian voters.

Those results underscore that Buttigieg’s base is really among white, college-educated voters — a group that has been dubbed “the wine track.” But the wine track is not reflective of the Democratic primary electorate. In 2016, black voters made up nearly a quarter of the Democratic primary electorate. That number is expected to grow this time around.

That reality complicates Buttigieg’s efforts to establish himself as a credible alternative to Biden. In recent weeks, Buttigieg has been…

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