Pete Buttigieg Draws Overwhelmingly White Crowd to Historic Black Chicago Neighborhood

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks with the media after a campaign event, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Ottumwa, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher

Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a grassroots event on Tuesday for supporters in the historically black neighborhood of Bronzeville in Chicago, but drew very few black supporters, according to local press reports.

“[T]he overwhelmingly white audience he drew to the event in a historic black neighborhood reinforced the difficulty the Democratic presidential hopeful has had in connecting with African American voters,” the Chicago Tribune wrote about the event.

Buttigieg hinted at the demographics of the room during his speech, urging his supporters to reach out to people who were different.

“Find the people who don’t look like most of you in this room and let them know they have the chance, not just to support this campaign, but to shape it,” he said.

One resident interviewed by the Tribune suggested Buttigieg get more black staff to help him out.

“This is a good, middle-class black neighborhood. I’m glad he’s here,” the resident said. “But he needs to get some brothers to help him out next time and get some more black support.”

Despite generating buzz among white liberals, media reports continue to note Buttigieg’s struggles earning support with black Democrats.

Buttigieg continues to reach out to black voters, attending a black church service on Sunday in South Carolina, speaking to the Black Church PAC forum, and eating fried chicken with Al Sharpton.

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