The latest polls in Iowa are very encouraging for Pete Buttigieg.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor is looking to gain ground before the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.
"You know, We felt over the last few weeks that there's a real groundswell of support for us," Buttigieg said of his jump to the top tier of candidates as he campaigned in the Granite State. "We have a fantastic organization now on the ground. I think our message is getting through."
Buttigieg put in a good performance in the last debate, taking it straight to Elizabeth Warren, calling on her to explain how she would pay for her Medicare for all plan.
"We still haven't seen a full answer there," Buttigieg said. "I think the bigger issue is that we just have a difference in terms of what the right thing to do is here. I believe the right approach, which I call 'Medicare for all who want it,' is to get everybody the chance to get in on a Medicare-like plan but, if you prefer to keep your private plan, I don't want to take that away from you."
Buttigieg was asked if he thinks that a Democratic nominee supporting Medicare for all would mean the re-election of Donald Trump.
"It’s going to be a tough sell to go to Americans, when even most Democrats don't want to have their private plans taken away," he said.
Buttigieg seems to be doubling down on moderate-leaning positions as the longtime front-runner in the race, Joe Biden, has slipped in some polls. So how does Buttigieg convince voters but he is not a member of the "radical left," as Trump and Republicans are already describing the Democratic candidates?
"They'll go on and on about socialism, but I got started in the business world and made sure that my city thrived with the private sector growth that benefited workers," he said. "I'm a mayor on the ground in the industrial Midwest. And I've also served this country in uniform and I'm happy to compare that to what the president did when it was his turn to serve."
Buttigieg has been very open about being gay. But some Democrats, who think he is a good candidate, are concerned that that could be a barrier for Buttigieg, particularly in the more conservative states.
"I came out during a re-election year in Indiana when Mike Pence was the governor of our state in a socially conservative community, and I got re-elected with 80% of the vote," he said. "If I can succeed in Indiana, then I believe this campaign can succeed anywhere."