Pete Buttigieg rides momentum from Iowa, despite criticism of his lack of experience

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Former South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg joined ABC’s The View on Thursday, still riding on the wave of the results from the Iowa caucuses — which are still trickling in.”Well its momentum, you know, it brings us into the next contest in New Hampshire with with just a tremendous amount of momentum because we were able to show, not just in the fact that we reached this position, but how we did it, that we’re putting together a kind of politics,” Buttigieg told the hosts. “It’s about addition, it’s about welcoming people in.”Iowa caucuses: What we know and what went wrongWith 97% of the Iowa precincts reporting, Buttigieg has 26.2% and Sen. Bernie Sanders has 26.1% of state delegate equivalents (SDEs), according to an analysis of the data from the Iowa Democratic Party.As the battle for the top spot in Iowa narrows, and Buttigieg runs neck-in-neck with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as they campaign in New Hampshire, he said he’s working to widen his tent not only to earn the nomination, but “to beat Donald Trump.””If you look at the numbers, even as they’re getting through that muddle of finalizing it, we already can see that we were able to succeed in rural areas, urban areas, suburban areas. We did well with older voters, younger voters …” Buttigieg, among the top two, told the hosts. “I’m especially proud that we lead with women.”In the final days before the caucus, Buttigieg went on the offense and sharpened his opposition to electing former Vice President Joe Biden, calling it a “risk” for voters to fall back on the “familiar.”On Wednesday in New Hampshire, Biden shot back at Buttigieg, arguing that his lack of experience was too great a risk.”Pete. Just say it out loud. I have great respect for Mayor Pete and his service to this nation,” Biden said. “But I do believe it’s a risk — to be just straight up with you — for this party and to nominate someone who’s never held an office higher than mayor of a town of 100,000 people in Indiana.”Asked by co-host Megan McCain about Biden’s attack on him, Buttigieg pointed to his strong finish in Iowa as an example of what voters are looking for.“Well if that argument is about electability, and the ability to win, we just had the first election of the 2020 process,” he said. “And I think that’s my answer.”Even as the Iowa Democratic party failed to deliver a final outcome Monday night after they found “inconsistencies” and “coding issues” in the reporting of results, Buttigieg didn’t wait for the results.Instead, he leaned on the campaign’s internal data that he says showed them ahead of everyone else.”This is the coalition that no pundit saw coming,” Buttigieg said at his Monday night rally. “And it’s the coalition the president won’t see coming either… Iowa you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications, we are going onto New Hampshire victorious.”It will be a remarkable feat for Buttigieg if final numbers are in his favor. The 38-year-old, openly-gay former Midwestern mayor from South Bend, Ind., was largely unknown when he first launched his presidential exploratory committee in January 2019.Buttigieg had amassed one of the best ground games in the state, building a team of 180 paid staff and over 30 field offices. In the final sprint to the caucus, Buttigieg capitalized on his time in Iowa and held 55 town halls in the final three weeks.The mayor wasted no time in capitalizing from his momentum out of Iowa and was in an all-out blitz through New Hampshire on Tuesday.He held eight events throughout the day and at a town hall in Laconia said it’s “never been more important” for his supporters to knock on doors and spread the message of his campaign.”This is what we had been working more than a year to convince our fellow Americans of. That a new and better vision can bring about a new and better day,” Buttigieg said on Tuesday. “And now we come to New Hampshire, a state that famously thinks for itself. And as we enter this new phase, this week ahead to convince New Hampshire to support this vision and then go on.”He added, “I have never been more confident in our campaign in our team, and in the vision that brought us to this point.”The latest CNN/UNH poll — out of the first-in-the-nation primary — shows Buttigieg now in third place with 15% of support.As the general election inches closer, He trails Sanders, who has a commanding lead with 25% of support among likely Democratic primary voters, and Biden, with 16%. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.