Metro Weekly

WATCH: Pete Buttigieg debuts first TV commercial in Iowa, focuses on “real solutions, not more polarization”

The openly gay mayor is currently fifth in polling, trailing Warren, Harris, Sanders, and Biden

Photo: Pete for America / YouTube

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has released his first TV commercial, focused on bringing everyday Americans together.

The new ad, part of the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s “phase 3” campaign rollout, is intended to “[share] Pete’s biography and vision with voters in Iowa,” according to a press release.

“We’ve believed from the beginning: If we could get Pete’s story before Americans, they’d tune in to what he had to say,” Buttigieg’s campaign said in a message to supporters. “And if they tuned in to what he had to say, they’d share the urgency of our fight and join our movement to win America the fresh start it needs.”

In the 30-second spot, Buttigieg emphasizes the need for Americans to come together and find solutions to issues such as climate change and healthcare.

“In today’s divided America, we’re at each other’s throats,” Buttigieg says in the commercial. “Our rivers and oceans are rising, healthcare costs are soaring, and our kids are learning active shooter drills before they learn to read.

“To meet these challenges, and to defeat this president, we need real solutions, not more polarization…because acting together to conquer these challenges is the only way forward.”

Watch Buttigieg’s new ad below:

Buttigieg is currently averaging fifth among the Democratic field, trailing Sens. Kamala Harris (CA), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The mayor, the first openly gay candidate to appear on a presidential debate stage — and subsequently mention their partner, husband Chasten Buttigieg — experienced a dramatic rise in polls after a number of positive media appearances at the start of the year.

RelatedVictory Fund endorsed Pete Buttigieg for president, but its lesbian members aren’t so sure

Buttigieg managed to raise almost $25 million in the second quarter of the year, and has drawn a number of high-profile backers and celebrity donors.

However, his momentum stalled after the fatal shooting of a black man by a white South Bend police officer on June 16, and Buttigieg has slipped in polling.

In Iowa, a CBS/YouGov poll at the start of June put Buttigieg fourth on 11%, ahead of Harris on 5%.

In July, after the shooting, a second CBS/YouGov poll put him in fifth place with 7%, trailing Harris on 16%.

He is now averaging 7.5% in the state, behind his four main rivals, all of whom are on double digits according to Real Clear Politics.

Related:

Pete Buttigieg: Opposition to same-sex marriage among black voters will “wash away”

New Republic deletes article calling Pete Buttigieg “Mary Pete” and questioning his sexual behavior

WATCH: Pete Buttigieg is ‘almost certain’ that America has had a gay president

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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