It’s a dynamic that’s unsettling the Democratic presidential primary in California — home to an early 2020 March contest that offers a mother lode of nearly 500 delegates. No two candidates are crowding each other quite so closely here, or elbowing each other quite so aggressively, in the pursuit of some of the party’s most generous and influential donors.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., isn’t viewed as a direct threat to Harris. But his rapid rise, appeal to millennial voters and newfound popularity among Hollywood and Silicon Valley donors stands to hinder her ability to lock down her backyard. And it could enable the 37-year-old mayor to net a solid cache of delegates from Harris’ home state — perhaps even more than he can capture in early-voting states like Nevada or Iowa.
Democratic strategist Garry South says the growing buzz about Buttigieg’s success in wedging his way into California’s lucrative fundraising base has shocked many longtime politics watchers in the state.