Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg may have had a surprising rise into the top three spots in the popularity polls, but is his day in the sun already coming to a close? A couple of NBC hosts seem to think so, and they’ve delivered a humiliating blow to the South Bend, Indiana mayor.
Buttigieg rose to fame after making sure everyone knew he was a gay Christian candidate and trying to goad Vice President Mike Pence into attacking him. Pence finally replied to him, and he did it in a manner that was gracious and diplomatic.
But after NBC “Today” host Craig Melvin interviewed Buttigieg, he called the presidential candidate “kind of boring” and predicted a quick demise.
“I've covered politics for a while now. You don’t meet a lot of guys like Mayor Pete who last long on a national level, because quite frankly, he’s kind of boring,” Melvin told his fellow hosts on Tuesday.
"It's a little low-energy. I mean, yeah...yeah…” co-host Savannah Guthrie agreed.
Melvin addressed the fizzling out of Buttigieg’s campaign directly with him in a face-to-face interview.
"We've seen this from time to time in our politics, there's a man or a woman who manages to capture our attention for and then they fizzle, they fade, they peter out," Melvin said. "What's different this time?"
The mayor replied, "We are very mindful that vaulting into the top three is nice, but it doesn't win you the election. We've got a lot of work to do now that is the glamorous on-the-ground blocking and tackling and organizing, especially in the early states, that really carries you through to the nomination. And that's going to be our focus.
“I think we've established that this is not a flash in the pan,” he insisted.
Recent polls, however, are not supporting his optimism.
According to RealClear Politics’ roundup of major polls — like CNN, The Hill/HarrisX, and Quinnipiac — Buttigieg was No. 5 at the end of April and beginning of May. Joe Biden, at No. 1, saw a huge spike after he officially announced his candidacy, leading No. 2 Bernie Sanders’ popularity to fall off a precipice.
Elizabeth Warren has slowly risen to No. 3, just ahead of Kamala Harris, at No. 4. Behind Buttigieg in the race is Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who has seen a slow, steady decline in his popularity after announcing his candidacy.
We are, of course, still in the very early stages of the race, though. Plenty of time for even more Democrats to declare their candidacies.