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Scoop: Mayor Pete's South Bend polling
The mayor leads the Democratic field in his hometown.
In one of his last acts as both mayor and presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg commissioned a poll of his own South Bend constituents showing he leads the Democratic field and President Trump in a hypothetical matchup—and that the city’s non-white voters approve of his time in office.
The poll comes at a time when Buttigieg is defending his record in South Bend.
Buttigieg hinted at the polling on the trail yesterday.
“In South Bend, Indiana, right now, I’m winning,” he said at a stop in Las Vegas. “I don’t know if we’ve pushed that polling out or not. I’m making news right now...I don’t usually get into poll numbers, but I think it’s important to share that.”
The poll, conducted by Change Research from Dec. 16-18, shows that “a significant majority of South Bend voters have a positive view of his tenure in office, seeing real improvements in their day to day lives and the economy as a result of his mayorship,” according to a memo obtained by IMPORTANTVILLE. The pollster used a sample size of 406 South Bend voters, and the margin of error is 4.8%. (FiveThirtyEight’s Pollster Ratings rank Change Research as a “C” pollster.) Interestingly, the poll targeted 2019 mayoral voters: 88% of respondents said they voted in the 2019 mayor's race—roughly 15% of voters.
“With Pete’s time as mayor coming to a close, the campaign conducted a poll of South Bend residents which found an overwhelming majority have a positive view of his time in office and saw real improvements in their day to day lives,” a campaign spokesperson said. “The poll also found an overwhelming majority of South Bend voters support Pete’s candidacy for president, including a significant majority of voters of color.”
Among Democratic primary voters, Buttigieg leads the field with 26%, ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden (18%), Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (17%) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16%); 78% back Buttigieg’s candidacy, including 69% of non-white voters; 62% of voters favor Buttigieg in a hypothetical matchup with Trump, who garners 28%.
Some 70% percent of South Bend voters say that “life in South Bend as a result of Mayor Pete has generally gotten better.” Among non-white voters, the figure rises to 76%.
When it comes to the mayor’s handling of the South Bend Police officer-involved shooting of Eric Logan, voters surveyed approved of his actions by a 3-to-1 margin, at 55% to 15%, with 31% uncertain. Among non-white voters, that approval falls to 48%, while 16% felt the steps taken were negative, with 36% uncertain.
The mayor’s terms as mayor come to an end on Jan. 1.