Pete Buttigieg is struggling with black voters — and not just because he’s gay

That has left two questions generating a stream of television commentary, social media memes and heated disputes. How much of Buttigieg’s difficulty with black voters, and in many cases religious voters, is because of his sexuality? And, given that black voters make up about 20 percent of the Democratic Party’s base nationwide, why is he still considered a serious contender for the nomination when he doesn’t have black voters’ support?

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the veteran African American congressman from South Carolina who serves as House majority whip, told CNN recently that there was no question that support for an openly gay candidate was a “generational” issue for older African American voters and would affect Buttigieg’s popularity in the state.

“I know of a lot of people my age that feel that way,” Clyburn, who is 79, said. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you otherwise. I think everybody knows that’s an issue.”

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