Pool report #3 - Pete Buttigieg, Iowa, 4/16/2019

4/16/2019 at Franklin Junior High Gymnasium, in Des Moines, IA

The following is a pool report from Pete Buttigieg’s rally on 4/16/2019 at Franklin Junior High Gymnasium, in Des Moines, IA. If you are a reporter and wish to use the information contained within for your reporting, please read my content notice.


Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke to a crowd of 1,600 people for approximately 30 minutes. The speech was 14 minutes, and he took questions for 16 minutes. Buttigieg made news by announcing new specifics on climate change and gun control policy. I strongly advise reading the transcript that preceded this pool note.

Your pooler notes that the advance team’s work has improved dramatically since New Hampshire. The advance team placed three pieces of bunting on the wall behind the candidate and filled a riser with people (also behind the candidate) improving the visuals for photographers and videographers.

A female child, probably around age 7, spent the entire speech watching Pete Buttigieg with her head peeking out between the upper press riser and the lower press riser.

The crowd contained mostly middle-aged white people, but your pooler spotted college students attending as a group and a couple high school age students with their parents.

Your pooler spoke to two voters:


Kristi Vaile, age 57, from Williamsburg, IA, says Chasten Buttigieg called her after she donated $10.

“In the course of the call, I told him about my 81-year-old fatehr, who really has been impressed with Pete for a long time, and has been posting about it on Facebook and has also donated. So he called my dad.”

“I donated to him and Julian Castro, just because they asked on Facebook -- like we need this help and, and, you know, through my dad, I knew he -- really my dad really liked him. And he's pretty, you know, I watched him on Rachel last night he handled yourself really well with her. Very impressed with him.”


Katie LeClair, age 43, former Bernie supporter, from Minneapolis says she drove 4 hours, 32 minutes to see Pete Buttigieg speak. This is the first political rally she has ever attended. Her top three candidates are Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Kamala Harris.

“We're all about Pete. We want everyone to be here the week that he launched, because I feel like that's where you're going to get the biggest -- like -- most expectations, most hopes -- and I really wanted to encourage him. I wanted a big crowd so that he feels good about announcing and coming out.”

“He’s got the future in mind, but he’s got a stake in the future. He’s going to live through it. I love that he talks about his faith. I work at a church. And I like how he connects that in an inclusive way. It’s not like “I have faith and I’m going to bludgeon you over the head -- and divide,” he’s bringing everybody in, that’s a really big deal to me.”


After the rally, Buttigieg took photos with voters and shook hands along metal police barricades. There was a line of about 30 people waiting to speak with him when your pooler left.