Is Pete Buttigieg peaking too soon?

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined the leaders of the Democratic race for president in Iowa, up 14 percentage points since August, according to a new Monmouth University poll of likely caucusgoers.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 7:50 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 7:50 PM

The last 48 hours may well be the best 48 hours of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign.

First came a Quinnipiac University poll of New Hampshire voters on Monday that showed Buttigieg at 15% support -- clumped with the rest of the front-running pack, including former Vice President Joe Biden (20%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (16%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (14%). (Buttigieg began running ads in the Granite State on Tuesday.)

Then on Tuesday, Buttigieg got even better news: In a Monmouth University Iowa poll, he stood at the top, with 22%, followed by Biden (19%), Warren (18%) and Sanders (13%). Because their support falls within the margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points, there is no clear leader in the Iowa poll, with Buttigieg, Warren and Biden making up the top tier. Even more impressive for Mayor Pete is that he gained 14 points between an August Iowa Monmouth poll and this survey while Biden lost 7 points and Warren 2. (Sanders gained 5 from that August poll to now.)

Taken together, there now exists the possibility that the 37-year-old wonderboy could win the first two voting states, a sweep that, if it came to pass, would put him in the driver's seat for the Democratic nomination.

What could possibly rain on the Pete parade? Try this -- in tweet form from former Obama senior strategist Dan Pfeiffer:

"This is almost twelve years to the week that Obama made his move in Iowa, the only challenge for Buttigieg is that the Caucus is one month later this cycle so it's a bigger challenge to sustain the momentum," Pfeiffer tweeted about the Monmouth results.

Which is true! In 2008, due to attempts by other states to lessen the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, the Iowa caucuses were held on January 3. In 2020, they are scheduled for February 3.

Which means that Buttigieg needs to sustain his momentum in Iowa -- which he quite clearly has -- for the next (gulp!) 83 days. Not impossible, but a heck of a lot harder than keeping momentum for, say, 30 days.

For some perspective, 83 days ago was August 21, 2019. On that day, President Donald Trump canceled his planned trip to Denmark after the country's leaders made clear they had no interest in selling Greenland to the United States. And on that same day, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee dropped out of the presidential race.

Feels like a loooooong time ago, right? And it speaks to Buttigieg's challenge over the next 83 days.

The Point: Any of the candidates -- with the possible exception of Warren -- would change places with Buttigieg as of today. But that doesn't mean his work in the race is done.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to add the margin of error on the Monmouth University Iowa poll.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather