CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) – Pete Buttigieg, the only veteran in the top tier of candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is turning to South Carolina’s large military community to help shore up his nagging lack of support among black voters.
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at the First in the South Dinner in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
The primary on Saturday in the diverse southern state is seen as an important durability test for the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has yet to prove he can motivate minority voters and dispel criticism that the economic revitalization in his city bypassed residents of color.
Despite a narrow win over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses and a close second place finish to the Vermont senator in the New Hampshire primary, Buttigieg has struggled to gain ground with African Americans, a core Democratic constituency.