Openly Gay Presidential Hopeful Places Third in Iowa Poll

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(EDGE) An openly gay hopeful for the 2020 presidential election surprised pollsters by coming in third in a poll released over the weekend, reports political news outlet The Hill.

Pete Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is also known by the nickname Mayor Pete — came in at third place in the Emerson Poll of which candidates in the already-crowded Democratic slate likely voters in Iowa would go for. Leading the pack was former vice president Joe Biden, who commanded 25 percent of responses. Lagging behind Biden by only 1 percent was 2016 hopeful Bernie Sanders, an Independent who changed his party affiliation to Democrat for the last presidential election, then changed back to Independent after failing to secure the Democratic nomination.

The 37-year-old Buttigieg took 11 percent, The Hill reported, barely surpassing Sen. Kamala Harris' 10 percent.

"The biggest surprise in this poll is Mayor Pete, last week we saw him inching up in our national poll, and now he's in double digits in Iowa," the poll's director, Spencer Kimball, said, reported the Washington Examiner.

The Examiner took note of Buttigieg's characterization of former Indiana governor Mike Pence, whom Buttigieg dubbed a "cheerleader of the porn star presidency." That witticism seemingly helped Buttigieg's fundraising efforts; the Examiner recalled that the day after making that remark, the 2020 hopeful received $600,000 in donations. It didn't take long for Buttigieg's donor based to swell to 65,000 — a threshold no other potential Democratic nominee for 2020 has matched as yet.

Buttigieg has been forthright and unabashed about being openly gay and seeming the presidency. Speaking in South Carolina this past weekend, he took note of the fact that he, like other gay and lesbian Americans, gained the right to legal marriage "by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Asked earlier this year during an appearance on "The View" whether America was "ready" for an openly gay president, Buttigieg gave a vote of confidence to the American electorate, saying that, "people will evaluate you for the job that you do."

Buttigieg also answered that question with the more humorous response, "Well, there's only one way to find out."