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Mayor Pete continues to climb in (some of) the polls:

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was initially seen as a long-shot presidential contender, has surged within striking distance of former vice president Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds….The poll, taken Wednesday through Friday, put Biden at 18%, Warren at 17% and Buttigieg at 13% among 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers.

There is something weird about Mayor Pete. I mean, the guy is a small-town mayor who compiled an OK record thanks to a long economic expansion. He’s 37 years old and looks it. His political positions are entirely conventional. And yet he’s remained steadily viable in the polls, even creeping up a bit over the past few months. What’s more, he’s raising a ton of money. Who is it that believes in this guy so much that they’re funding his campaign to the tune of $50 million so far?

Buttigieg is not a flavor-of-the-month candidate who enjoys a brief surge in the polls and then crashes. We see a few of those every election cycle. Rather, he’s been plodding along, waiting for his chance, while people shovel enormous sums of money his way.

I don’t get it. I have nothing against him, but it makes no sense that someone with his background could remain a serious contender for so long, even if he does talk a good schtick. It makes even less sense that he could attract so much money. Can someone please enlighten me about what’s going on here?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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