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Mayor Pete continues to climb in (some of) the polls:

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was initially seen as a long-shot presidential contender, has surged within striking distance of former vice president Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds….The poll, taken Wednesday through Friday, put Biden at 18%, Warren at 17% and Buttigieg at 13% among 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers.

There is something weird about Mayor Pete. I mean, the guy is a small-town mayor who compiled an OK record thanks to a long economic expansion. He’s 37 years old and looks it. His political positions are entirely conventional. And yet he’s remained steadily viable in the polls, even creeping up a bit over the past few months. What’s more, he’s raising a ton of money. Who is it that believes in this guy so much that they’re funding his campaign to the tune of $50 million so far?

Buttigieg is not a flavor-of-the-month candidate who enjoys a brief surge in the polls and then crashes. We see a few of those every election cycle. Rather, he’s been plodding along, waiting for his chance, while people shovel enormous sums of money his way.

I don’t get it. I have nothing against him, but it makes no sense that someone with his background could remain a serious contender for so long, even if he does talk a good schtick. It makes even less sense that he could attract so much money. Can someone please enlighten me about what’s going on here?

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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