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Pete Buttigieg barrelled into a slim lead in crucial Iowa caucuses in ‘remarkable’ rise and it’s divided opinion

Josh Milton February 5, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg waves with his husband Chasten Buttigieg after addressing supporters at his caucus night watch party on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg waves with his husband Chasten Buttigieg after addressing supporters at his caucus night watch party on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

After wrestling with the delayed results of the Iowa caucuses, potential Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg barrelled into the lead, and the reactions were mixed.

The first-in-the-nation nominating contest was mired by mishaps after precinct captains struggled with a new app which would send caucus-goer votes to the state party.

But with 71 per cent of the precincts reporting so far, Buttigieg rocketed to the lead with a razor-sharp gap between he and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

‘This validates for a kid somewhere in a community wondering if he belongs.’

Buttigieg voice started to shake Tuesday night. After the first tranche of Iowa caucuses results gave him a lead, he reflected on what his success means for the LGBT+ community.

“This validates for a kid somewhere in a community wondering if he belongs or she belongs or they belong in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there is a lot backing up the belief,” he said at a New Hampshire rally.

With his husband Chasten by his side, he later explained to CNN how not only have the results electrified his campaign, but they are “extraordinary” for the community.

Pete Buttigieg campaigns before the Iowa Caucuses. (Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Pete Buttigieg campaigns before the Iowa Caucuses. (Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

“It also, I hope, means something to a lot of people wondering if they fit in,” he said, “people who are different, people who don’t know if they belong in their community, or in their family. This is a proof you can believe in yourself and in your country.”

Countless Twitter users praise Pete Buttigieg and his ‘remarkable’ rise.

Across Twitter, political pundits’ takes on Pete Buttigieg’s success were a laundry bag. No matter how the primaries go, some said, the fact a gay elect has soared should not be ignored.

Although, others highlighted that his rise from small-town mayor to household name is down, in part, to him being white and cisgendered.

Pete Buttigieg. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

After the chaos of the causes results, some members of the LGBT+ community took a brief moment to take stock of Buttigieg’s success, with the South Bend, Indiana, mayor scoring 26.8 per cent of state delegates equivalents.

Sanders trailed tightly behind at 25.2 per cent, a slim gap that is still up for grabs. Nevertheless, some commentators noted that it is “remarkable” that an openly gay man is on the cusp of winning the Iowa caucuses.

Pete Buttigieg’s rise weathered complaints from LGBT+ activists.

Despite the surge of pride some spoke of, others skewered the 38-year-old for “having the chance” and platform to come out swinging for trans people of colour and sex workers, but failing to do so.

Some have hounded Buttigieg’s policies for being moderate, and his success reflective of an America refusing to give up on a candidate so white, so strait-laced and so palatable.

 

More: Bernie Sanders, democratic nomination, iowa caucus, Pete Buttigieg, presidential election 2020

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