The Guardian reports:
Pete Buttigieg knew he was foraying into unfriendly confines when he was en route to Orange City, the seat of Iowa’s most conservative county.
“What you need to realize with Sioux county is there’s a very strong religious flavor there, from their courts to their public squares,” said Ned Bjornstad, a former elected prosecutor in north-west Iowa turned veteran defense attorney who practices regularly in Orange City. “For a candidate like Buttigieg, I’d expect protesters.”
There weren’t any.
As Buttigieg entered the Prairie Winds Events Center in downtown Orange City, a crowd of around 200 instead roared in a standing ovation.
Regan Harms, a 22-year-old senior majoring in biblical studies at Northwestern College in Orange City, said she wasn’t at all surprised with the turnout. As she introduced Buttigieg, she described him as a neighbor and fellow midwesterner, one who understands life in rural America. …
But Orange City is hostile territory to Democrats and fervently socially conservative. There, no Democrat running for governor or president has registered over 18% support since 2008. In Orange City, penalties are levied for work on Sunday.
If anyone can break the “red wall” it is Mayor Pete. Some of the reasons are:
- Is a military veteran who served in Afghanistan
- Is a regular church goer
- Happens to be gay, but doesn’t let that define him
- Has worked in business
- Is a capitalist, not a socialist
Now of course he is a Democrat and most of his policies are ones that Republicans don’t like. But elections are about people and values as well as policies, and Buttigieg doesn’t come across as some East Coast uber progressive liberal who doesn’t understand the rest of the country.
I don’t think he will win the nomination, but I think he has the greatest potential to beat Trump. By that I mean his “ceiling” is higher than Biden, Warren or Sanders. However his floor is probably lower also.