The moment served as a window into the anxieties this young generation has about the inaction of older political leaders on major issues like the climate crisis — and how much of that anger is now being trained squarely on Buttigieg, who, while their peer in age, has offered moderate views that often align him with older voters.

Increasingly, their opposition to Buttigieg is turning to fury, fueled by a boisterous online ecosystem of progressives who are driving anti-Buttigieg commentary and memes. They view him as beholden to corporate interests, unable to win over the diverse Democratic base that these activists take pride in, and disinterested in the systemic change they believe the country desperately needs on issues like the influence of big money on politics and climate change and systemic racism.

Buttigieg supporters say the criticism has become unhinged, with some progressives eager to latch on to virtually any negative narrative about Buttigieg whether it is true or not.

There is no question: The youngest candidate in the 2020 presidential race, at age 37, isn’t doing well with young Democratic voters.