}

Politics

50 town halls, 3 weeks, 1 outfit: Pete Buttigieg’s race to the top

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg hustled around Iowa during the weeks before the caucuses, holding more than 50 town halls in a frantic three-week period.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Buttigieg wore the same outfit every day during his final Iowa push — a white shirt, blue tie and navy blue pants. Occasionally, he added a blazer.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

When a voter asked about his “uniform,” Buttigieg said he makes decisions all day and enjoys having to make one fewer choice each morning.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

His campaign focused on districts that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election, pitching Buttigieg as someone who could attract Independents and disgruntled Republicans to the Democratic Party.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

The 38-year-old was endlessly consistent in his Iowa stump speeches, altering a word here and a word there before taking a handful of questions at every stop along the way.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Often, those questions dealt with the cost of health care, student debt or healing divisions in the country. Occasionally — like at his final rally in Des Moines — the questions were about his favorite Beatles song or similar frivolities (Buttigieg said his is “Come Together”).

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

When the caucuses were over, the former mayor became the first openly gay candidate to win delegates for a major party.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Now, after a strong finish in Iowa, Buttigieg is taking the same approach during his final week in New Hampshire, where polls show him gaining credibility among the state’s Independent-heavy electorate. With a win here, Buttigieg could find himself an unlikely front-runner as primary season begins.

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Matt McClain/THE WASHINGTON POST