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Biden hits Buttigieg—Why Hogsett endorsed—DCCC calls 5th 'Clown Car'
Days until the Nevada caucuses: 12
Days until the South Carolina primary: 19
Days until Super Tuesday: 23
Days until Indiana primary: 85
Joe Biden this weekend laid bare what could prove to be Pete Buttigieg’s fatal flaw as a Democratic presidential primary candidate, one that the former South Bend mayor has touted as his strength: His non-traditional experience as an outside-the-Beltway mayor of a city of around 100,000.
In a digital ad released Saturday, Biden excoriated Buttigieg’s mayoral tenure, juxtaposing the former vice president’s achievements (“helped lead the passage of the Affordable Care Act”) with the former mayor’s (“installed decorative lights under bridges”). It’s an ad that could easily be adjusted and recycled by Republicans if Buttigieg were his party’s nominee.
Buttigieg’s National Press Secretary Chris Meagher responded to the ad shortly after its release.
“At this moment, the American people are crying out for something completely different from this classic Washington style of politics. While Washington politics trivializes what goes on in communities like South Bend, South Bend residents who now have better jobs, rising income, and new life in their city don't think their lives are a Washington politician's punchline. Pete’s on the ground experience as mayor, turning around a Midwestern industrial city, is exactly why he is running for president. The Vice President’s decision to run this ad speaks more to where he currently stands in this race than it does about Pete’s perspective as a mayor and veteran.”
The ad followed Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s debate line of attack on Buttigieg’s experience Friday evening, in which she referred to him as a political “newcomer.”
Together, the fussilades seemed to have sent Buttigieg a polling brushback. A Boston Globe/WBZ/Suffolk poll showed that prior to the debate, Buttigieg led the field with 25 percent to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 24 percent, Klobuchar's 14 percent, and Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 12 percent. After the debate? Buttigieg dropped six points to 19 percent behind Sanders, who polled at 27 percent.
Meanwhile, on the ground, Buttigieg held the largest events of any candidate of the cycle in Dover, where he drew 1,113, according to his campaign, and Nashua, where 1,800 people gathered to hear him campaign.
Buttigieg is running a series of digital ads in seven Midwestern Super Tuesday states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia.
IMPORTANTVILLE TAKE: With each passing caucus and primary without a clear delegate leader, we’re inching closer to Indiana having a potentially outsized role in our May 5 primary.
Good Monday afternoon, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE. Last Thursday, Buttigieg became the first Hoosier on a presidential ballot in his home state since Gov. Roger Branigin ran as a favorite son candidate against Robert F. Kennedy in May 1968.
WHERE’S VEEP? He’s headed to New Hampshire, where he'll participate in a Cops for Trump event in Portsmouth, and then rally with the president in Manchester
WHERE’S BUTTIGIEG? He holds rallies in Milford and Exeter.
THE PETE BEAT
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is nothing if not a cautious politician. So his endorsement of the onetime fellow Hoosier mayor Thursday took some by surprise. Why endorse a presidential candidate after a somewhat murky Iowa result, before New Hampshire and nearly 100 days before Indiana’s own primary?
The answer is nuanced. Hogsett and Buttigieg have been longtime Hoosier allies. Hogsett attended Buttigieg’s campaign launch in South Bend last April but avoided endorsing later in the year as he navigated his own re-election campaign. The two camps had been talking for months about an endorsement and fundraiser.
Now, Buttigieg gets one of his biggest mayoral endorsements yet. And Hogsett gets the ability to introduce himself to a larger statewide audience for a future political if he crisscrosses Indiana to stump for Buttigieg in the days before the May 5 primary.
WHAT’S NEXT: Watch Rep. André Carson. Will Buttigieg National Co-Chair Anthony G. Brown, a fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus, pressure Carson to endorse?
FIFTH DISTRICT IN FOCUS
The field is set in Indiana’s 5th Congressional primary to replace retiring Republican Rep. Susan Brooks: 16 people will run on the Republican side, and three will pursue the Democratic nomination.
For Republicans, the race could come down to who can turn out their own sub-division.
“The stark reality is that Republicans are nervous about keeping this seat they once easily carried,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Spokesperson Courtney Rice. “Instead of a clear field, they have an absolute clown car of weak candidates lining up to tear each other to shreds, and light the precious few dollars they have raised on fire while they do it.”
On the Democratic side, Christina Hale continues to rack up endorsements: This morning, the center-left New Democratic Action Fund endorsed her.
"NewDems stand for fresh approaches, bold ideas, and meaningful progress,” said Rep. Ami Bera, Chair of the NewDem Action Fund, in a statement. “Christina has committed to that same approach and has what it takes to win in this competitive district. We look forward to standing side by side through 2020 and beyond.”
Democratic State Sen. Eddie Melton endorsed his fellow state Sen. Karen Tallian for Attorney General this morning.
Gov. Eric Holcomb joins the Indiana Builders Association on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. for an announcement at the Columbia Club.
The Indiana Citizen hired veteran journalist Kevin Morgan, formerly of The Indianapolis Star, to serve as its director of digital content. The Indiana Citizen is “focused on giving Hoosier voters unbiased information about the candidates who will appear on their 2020 general election ballots.”
Morgan previously worked at the nonpartisan Indiana Legislative Services Agency.
The group is trying to increase turnout in Indiana this November.
Me, Indianapolis Monthly: How Pete Buttigieg Called His Shot In Iowa
Buttigieg’s Iowa performance also began to show the outlines of what his supporters could look like in other states. He won among first-time caucus-goers. He won caucus-goers identifying as “somewhat liberal.” He overperformed with non-white caucus-goers, finishing second behind Sanders. He won women. He was second among men.
Ryan Lizza, Politico: Buttigieg reluctantly embraces his barrier-breaking candidacy
Buttigieg reluctantly embraces his barrier-breaking candidacy
“For a while it felt like we were winning the Iowa caucuses on a daily basis,” Buttigieg said on Saturday afternoon, recalling in an interview the series of moments when his victory was hinted at but not confirmed.
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