KTTV Hosts Town Hall With Buttigieg
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As California’s newly early Super Tuesday primary looms on March 3, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg held three public events in the past week in California — and returned on Thursday, Feb. 20, to Los Angeles, where he’s been a familiar face since his campaign began.
Buttigieg has done well with fund-raising here; he’s regularly held events in Hollywood and has gathered nearly $10 million from California donors, more than from any other state. His challenge is to translate that support to votes, experts say.
On the heels of Wednesday’s fierce Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Buttigieg spent Thursday at a televised town hall at USC, an event sponsored by KTTV, Channel 11. Fox-11 anchor Elex Michaelson hosted the event at Brovard Auditorium, filled with students eager to see the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who fared well in initial campaign skirmishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Later, Buttigieg appeared at a fund-raising event Thursday evening.
For candidates who can’t afford to blanket the airwaves with ads, earning free media through such events is critical, said Ace Smith, one of the state’s best-known political strategists.
Last week, Buttigieg visited Sacramento and the farming city of Turlock in the Central Valley.
Buttigieg’s campaign will hold volunteer organizing events in at least 47 congressional districts this weekend, spokesman Ben Halle said. He declined to say which six districts haven’t yet been organized.
Buttigieg’s campaign sent out a memo warning of a Super Tuesday scenario where Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders dominates.
Buttigieg, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — a late arrival who is trying to play catchup by focusing on major states such as California — is arguing he’s the single best candidate to go head-to-head with Sanders. Both have urged the other to drop out.
Recent polls show Sanders in front of other top candidates in the state, with Buttigieg, Bloomberg, former Vice President Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren all hovering near the threshold for receiving delegates.