In a state where residents cherish their “Live Free or Die” motto, 42% of voters are not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican Party, and they range from progressive to conservative.
“They’re looking for a candidate that is selfless and authentic,” Judith Kaufman, the chairwoman of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee, said about independent voters.
So as Buttigieg crisscrossed New Hampshire during a four-day swing that ended this week, he tried to woo voters outside of the Democratic Party. Making inroads with independents may be a matter of survival nationally for the 37-year-old political neophyte, who has struggled to appeal to nonwhite voters and is banking on strong performances in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“I’m not pretending to be conservative, but I am offering a message that will involve and welcome Democrats, independents and a lot of these Republicans I talk to who are as disgusted as the rest of us by what’s happening in this White House under the banner of their party,” he said.
The message may be working in New Hampshire.