Pete Buttigieg struggles in diverse California

Pete Buttigieg has risen to the top of the Democratic presidential polls in Iowa, where 90% of the population is white. But he’s lagging in California, in part because he’s having difficulty winning over Latinos and African Americans, who make up a large chunk of the Democratic electorate in the country’s biggest state.

Buttigieg is riding a mini-wave of momentum after a recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll showed him as the favorite of 25% of likely voters in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, nearly triple his showing from a September survey. In the RealClearPolitics aggregation of Iowa polls, Buttigieg now has a narrow lead on Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Eric Kingsley, a delegate at the California Democratic Party’s convention over the weekend in Long Beach who watched Buttigieg at an event there, said the South Bend, Ind., mayor “gives those speeches like an Aaron Sorkin character would.” It’s a common theme among Democrats who pine for a measured, moderate candidate out of Sorkin’s Clinton-era show “The West Wing” to take on President Trump. …

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