The underdog Democratic candidate has dropped into early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and on Friday, Gabbard’s campaign announced a pair of town halls in Nevada. But Gabbard, who is Hindu, has focused more on stopping in communities with large South Asian communities in states with less 2020 influence — a scattershot approach that calls into question whether Gabbard and her noninterventionist foreign policy can make a mark on the 2020 race…

The schedule has baffled Democratic operatives. Former Gabbard staffers, who declined to go on the record for this story, were equally confused, saying they would not have advised the approach she’s taken.

“It does appear to me that her candidacy is really not one that’s trying to win, it’s one that’s trying to bring a foreign policy perspective to the race in terms of nontraditional alliances and nonaggression and form a peace plank,” said a former adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, when Gabbard served as one of the few congressional surrogates for the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign. “So she doesn’t care about going to South Carolina because she’s not legitimately trying to seize the nomination.”