“Amy is experienced, coming as she does from the Washington milieu, so she’s got the chops and she’s shown she’s strong enough to stand up to the opposition for what she believes in,” said Mauser, who lives in Merrimack and now enjoys bowling after a career in software development. He served four years on active duty in the Navy and 23 more in the reserves. “Pete is bright, articulate and a veteran, which is very good. The thing is that whoever wins is going to end up in a pit, and then in a brawl, with Donald J. Trump. He’s a no-holds-barred eye-gouger, so we need to pick someone with that in mind.”
In Iowa, promising generational change without an ideological edge, Buttigieg demonstrated an ability to build a broad coalition that transcends the traditional moderate vs. liberal “lanes” that pundits try to force candidates into. Preliminary entrance polls there showed that he tied for first among self-identified moderates (with Biden) and finished second among self-identified liberals (behind Sanders). He led among women and finished a close second among men. He was second among 17-to-29 and 30-to-44-year-olds, and he won among 45-to-64-year-olds. He fared just as well in rural parts of the state as the suburbs and cities over 50,000. Buttigieg even managed to get almost the same level of support among non-college graduates as those who earned degrees.
To be sure, Buttigieg continues to struggle to make inroads with black voters. This remains a challenge to his campaign in South Carolina and across the Southern states that vote on Super Tuesday. Biden is counting on black voters to offer a firewall, and the former vice president has leaned in on the argument that he’s the candidate most likely to defeat Trump in November.