Iowa caucus: Gay US presidential candidate Buttigieg takes early lead
The Democratic candidate for United States President, Pete Buttigieg, took an early lead in Iowa's caucuses, as per partial data released for Monday's caucus tallies. Incomplete data from 71% of the precincts showed that Buttigieg (38) led with 26.8% of the delegate share. In an emotional speech on Tuesday, Buttigieg addressed the historic nature of his candidacy for President as a young, gay man.
Buttigieg spoke at an election rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday. He said, "A campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea, a campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt, has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the president with a better vision."
In a rare display of emotion, Buttigieg choked up saying, "It 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's a lot backing up that belief." A former South Bend (Indiana) mayor, Buttigieg came out as gay in 2015.
Mayor @PeteButtigieg chokes up in (possible) Iowa victory speech: “It 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.” pic.twitter.com/hFIL6IdgLc— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) February 4, 2020
Due to a technical malfunction, Iowa's Democratic Party could only share data of 71% precincts. The data showed Buttigieg had 26.8% delegate share, a slight lead over Senator Bernie Sanders' 25.2%, followed by Elizabeth Warren (18.4%), and Joe Biden (15.4%). Sanders had the popular vote, securing 32,673 votes. The eventual Democratic nominee will contest against President Donald Trump—a Republican—in November's White House election.
Buttigieg's lead is historic as a recent USA TODAY/Ipsos poll showed that 32% of Americans and 23% of Democratic voters felt that being gay makes a candidate less appealing. Meanwhile, half of Americans and two-thirds Democratic voters felt that being gay makes no difference.
Separately, a video of an Iowa woman who supported Buttigieg for President went viral. In the video, the woman discovered that Buttigieg is married to a man, which is common knowledge, and asked to withdraw her support. An Iowa caucus organizer is then seen telling her, "What I teach my son is, love is love and we're all human beings."
#PeteButtigieg precinct captain in rural Iowa responds to a caucus-goer flipping out upon learning that he has a same-sex partner. It’s a masterclass in patience, persistence, and love. Bravo @nikkiheever #IowaCaucuses #cresco #howardcountyiowa pic.twitter.com/PhX7vRFh8X— Annabel Park (@annabelpark) February 4, 2020