Pete Buttigieg will attend at least four events and launch a black outreach initiative while in Atlanta for the upcoming Democratic presidential debate.
A new poll also shows the gay South Bend, Ind., mayor neck-and-neck with President Trump in Georgia in a hypothetical general election matchup.
The centerpiece of Buttigieg’s (photo) visit will be the Nov. 20 debate at Tyler Perry Studios. He is one of 10 candidates who qualified for the event, which takes place just four months before Georgia’s 2020 Democratic presidential primary. This will be Buttigieg's fourth campaign visit to Georgia.
Buttigieg will attend a pre-debate luncheon on Nov. 19 in Atlanta. The location is only provided to those who buy tickets, which range in price from $500 to $2,800. Buttigieg is tentatively scheduled to appear at a free pre-debate rally outside the debate venue at Tyler Perry Studios on Nov. 20.
Gay state Rep. Matthew Wilson and Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi will host a debate watch party that night at Oz Pizza in East Point. Wilson and Farokhi also hosted a fundraiser for Buttigieg during a June visit that raised over $100,000.
Buttigieg will then appear at a fundraiser on Nov. 21 in Atlanta. Buying a ticket opens access to the location of the event, which runs between $500 and $2,800 per ticket.
Buttigieg will also attend an event at a historically black college in Atlanta to roll out a lineup of African-American supporters who will join him on the campaign trail, according to CNN. The date and location of the event is unavailable.
Buttigieg focused on black voters in his last two visits to Atlanta as well. He spoke at the African-American Leadership Council Summit in downtown Atlanta in June. And he attended a forum with black church leaders and thousands of black millennials in Atlanta in August (in addition to a high-dollar fundraiser at HGTV star Vern Yip’s house).
Meanwhile, LGBTQ Atlanta leaders, the Center for Black Equity and the Democratic National Committee will host a free pre-debate happy hour that’s not affiliated with any of the candidates. It will take place Nov. 19 at the black- and queer-owned Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar in College Park.
Buttigieg, Trump head-to-head
The pastor of an Atlanta megachurch recently said that the U.S. isn’t ready for a gay president, but he might want to look at a recent AJC poll.
The poll, released earlier this month, has Buttigieg beating Trump by almost three points in Georgia in a head-to-head matchup. But that’s within the poll’s margin of error.
Buttigieg beats Trump in the poll by 15 points with Georgia women, 35 points with those with post-graduate degrees, 35 points with those making less than $25,000, 10 points with those making $25,000 to $50,000, 13 points with those making over $150,000, 65 points with black voters, 13 points with those ages 18 to 29, 20 points with those ages 30 to 44, and 10 points with independents.
However, Trump beats Buttigieg in Georgia with men, those with a high school education or less, those with some college, those with vocational or technical school experience, those making between $50,000 and $150,000, those over 45 years old, whites, conservatives and Republicans.
UPDATE | The Buttigieg campaign announced on Friday that he will speak at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College on Nov. 18. The event is closed to the public.
Buttigieg will also attend a breakfast at the National Action Network's Southeast Regional Conference on Nov. 21 at the Gathering Spot in Northwest Atlanta.