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Rising Democratic Confidence in Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Teamsters Vote 2020 Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., December 7, 2019. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Democrats have made electability a priority as they decide on a 2020 nominee. Joe Biden has remained ahead in national polls because Democrats agree with him on issues and believe he can defeat President Trump. But a lot can change in the final eight weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

For example, if I were advising Biden, I’d raise an eyebrow at the latest Fox poll. Yes, the poll shows Biden in the lead. The percentage of Democrats who say he can beat Trump has grown to 77 percent from 68 percent in October. By contrast, the percentage of Democrats who say Elizabeth Warren can beat Trump has barely moved. It’s 59 percent today. In October it was 57 percent.

But look out for Pete Buttigieg. He places second to Biden when Democrats are asked which candidate is “about right” on the issues. And though he ranks fifth when Democrats are asked which candidate can beat Trump, there’s room for growth. The percentage of Democrats who say he can win has skyrocketed to 48 percent from 30 percent in October. That’s an increase of 60 percent in three months. It shows that Democrats not only like Buttigieg the more they see him. They also become more confident he can unseat the president. And a victory in Iowa might make him look all the more electable.