CRESTON, Iowa -- If the cream rises to the top, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has to hope he hasn't peaked too early. "Help me build that future and start now because there is not a moment to lose," said Buttigieg. Hundreds packed into the Creston YMCA Monday as recent polls show Buttigieg leading among likely caucus voters in Iowa just 3 months out from the Iowa caucuses. "I have a lot of favorites in the democratic party. I'm not going to turn against any of them but I sure like Pete. Mayor Pete," said Kathy Barr from Osceola.
Mark Hensley voted independent party in 2016 but Buttigieg has garnered his attention. Hensley said, "Pete's a very intelligent person who handles stress well. I think he has a good plan for so many different areas."
For nearly an hour Buttigieg discussed areas from climate change and mental health to a new long-term care program for singing and ailing Americans. Saying too many, like his own father fail to qualify for Medicare they need. "The best option might be to spend yourself into poverty so they qualify for Medicaid in order to get any help on long term care. That's no way how to run things in the greatest country on Earth," said Buttigieg.
Creston is the county seat of Union County. A county that voted Barack Obama into the White House not just once but in two consecutive elections. It then went red for Donald Trump in 2016. Buttigieg supporters believe his work may be enough to break through that red wall in 2020. "Iowa, I believe you will make me the nominee and the next president of the United States. We will make history together and I'll work everyday to make you proud," said Buttigieg.
Pride that Larry Phillips of Lamoni hopes to experience the day after election day. "We need somebody in the White House that can be a uniter rather than a divider," said Phillips.
Buttigieg plans to open an office location in Creston on December 6th. He begins a three stop tour Tuesday in Denison at 10:30 a.m.