INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — South Bend mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) made a stop in the Circle City Thursday.
Buttigieg took the title of keynote speaker at the Young Democrats of America Conference.
Polls place Buttigieg in the top five of a crowded democratic presidential candidate field. Buttigieg looked to help close that gap with the support of his fellow millennials. During his speech Buttigieg seemed to focus on generational equality, while also touching on issues like health care and gun violence.
“The good news is that this generation is also the largest and most diverse ever. And that gives us the power to shape politics for the next half century to come. So, it's good news we’re also the most democratic generation alive,” he told the crowd.
During his speech, Buttigieg also took aim at the president for recent racially charged remarks he made on Twitter towards a young group of democratic congresswomen.
Meanwhile, Buttigieg struggles himself in securing African American support. Particular as he deals with fall out of a police shooting of a black man in South Bend.
During an interview, Tony Mason, the president of the Indianapolis Urban league says if Buttigieg, or any presidential candidate wants wide African-American support, their message and actions needs to reflect a clear message.
“We want to have a good quality of life. So being able to speak to those issues is crucial,” Mason said.
Despite his age and message, analysts say Buttigieg also struggles with capturing the support of young people, making stops like the Young Democrats of America Conference all the more crucial.
“He has a lot of support with older voters right not. But whether or not he can build support with younger voters I think is an important question,” Politico contributing editor Adam Wren said.
Wren says it’s still unclear if Buttigieg will be in the race this time next year. He is however a leader in fundraising. Wren adds how he spends that money will determine if he has be staying power.