The Houston debate, pared down to 10 presidential primary candidates, offered an opportunity for Pete Buttigieg to raise his standing among 2020 Democrats. But the South Bend, Indiana, mayor largely got crowded by his Democrat rivals on stage.
Flush with the biggest war chest among Democratic candidates — more than $21 million through the fundraising period running through June — Buttigieg has yet to translate his campaign’s financial juggernaut into strong poll numbers.
“It was a stage so crowded, it’s a clutter right now. Pete would be so much better served if he was on the stage and just the top tier candidates,” said Brian Howey, a leading Indiana political columnist and publisher of Howey Politics Indiana.