As support for Pete Buttigieg surged in Iowa, the site of the first Democratic presidential primary in February, so too has his popularity among a different kind of constituency. Venture capitalists, start-up founders and tech workers have warmed to the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, backing him with their cheque books and social networks.
The Financial Times reports that Californians have contributed the bulk of Mr Buttigieg’s campaign funds, making up 22.1 per cent of his nearly $51m raised through mid-October, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr Buttigieg’s $8.9m haul lags that of Kamala Harris, the California senator who has raised $13.4m from the state but is more than double the amount raised by Cory Booker, the historically tech-friendly New Jersey senator. Supporters in Silicon Valley say Mr Buttigieg drew them with his youth, “big tent” rhetoric and policies that appear more practical than those of his rivals. Others see Mr Buttigieg, a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar and former McKinsey consultant, as a friendly candidate tailor-made for a tech industry facing a barrage of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.