Pete Buttigieg's breakthrough in Iowa

Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks to the media in Laconia, New Hampshire, Tuesday, February 4.
Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks to the media in Laconia, New Hampshire, Tuesday, February 4. SPENCER PLATT / AFP

The Iowa caucuses, Monday, February 3, are the first step in the Democratic nomination contest for the November 3 presidential election, and "Le Monde" launches its campaign logbook. A daily update, first of all five days a week until September, with campaign facts, political advertisements, polls, maps and figures that allow us to follow and experience the most important electoral competition in the world.

The results are still partial following the computer jamming which paralyzed the Democratic Party of Iowa on caucus day, Monday, February 3, but the publication of the first figures, Tuesday, reflects the spectacular breakthrough made by the youngest in the race. for the presidential nomination, Pete Buttigieg, 38, only three years older than the minimum age required to be a candidate. Certainly, he is closely followed by the independent senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders (25.2%), who the distance even in the popular vote, counted for the first time. but the 26.8% of delegates obtained in the state on Tuesday is the biggest surprise of this Democratic race.

Less than a year ago, Pete Buttigieg's main challenge was to make a name for himself, with the added obstacle of a surname of Maltese origin, guaranteed unpronounceable. His first election for Indiana treasurer in 2010 ended in a sharp defeat. After his election and re-election as mayor of South Bend, his hometown, in a state that is the bastion of Republican Vice President Mike Pence, his attempt to become the head of the Democratic Party had also come to a halt in 2017. This head well done went successively through the best schools, the McKinsey consulting firm, and Afghanistan, after joining the ranks of the Navy as a reserve officer.

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An improbable victory in Iowa, if it is confirmed, would rekindle the memory of Barack Obama, whose presidential fate was tied during the 2008 caucuses. He also alluded to it directly during his speech on Monday evening , establishing a parallelism between the skin color of the one who was a young senator and his sexual orientation. Claimed homosexual, he was accompanied on stage by her husband, Chasten. No gay candidate has ever been a candidate for a presidential nomination in the United States.

The young candidate must now obtain a good score in New Hampshire, on February 11, to hope to continue his adventure. He is currently facing distrust from the African-American electorate, notably because of his record as mayor of a city where the police have been accused of racial bias. If he fails to win over a part of this electorate, his chances could be quickly compromised when, after February 11, the nomination contest moves to more sociologically diverse states.


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