CNN: Buttigieg raises $600K after town hall forum

In this Feb. 16, 2019, photo, Indiana's Sound Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a stop in Raymond, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WTHR) — Pete Buttigieg got a major boost in funding after his nationally televised town hall with CNN's Jake Tapper.

An aide to the South Bend mayor told CNN Buttigieg raised $600,000 in the 24 hours after his town hall aired Sunday night, from more than 22,000 donations. That averages out to roughly $27 each.

"I'm thrilled by the support we've received over the last day," Buttigieg said in a statement to CNN. "We're not accepting corporate PAC money and we don't have the gilded fundraising base that comes with being a more established figure in Washington, so grassroots fundraising will be crucial for this effort."

While most polls aren't giving the Hoosier native much of a shot in the race for the Democratic nomination, Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of political analysis website, said his best chance for victory is among young voters, who could make up about a third of all primary voters in 2020.

He seems aware of that, talking about the issues millennials face during a February appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and an interview on NPR's "Morning Edition" (with fellow Hoosier, Carmel-native Steve Inskeep). He's also pushed back against critics who say he doesn't have enough experience, telling "CBS This Morning," "I've got more experience in government than the President of the United States, I've got more years of executive experience than the vice president and I have more military experience than anybody...since George H.W. Bush."

He's also painting Republican leadership, specifically Vice President Mike Pence, as being out of touch with mainstream American values by supporting "the porn star presidency" of President Donald Trump.

The Rhodes scholar was first elected mayor of his hometown in 2011 at age 29, making him the youngest mayor of a U.S. city with at least 100,000 residents at the time. A lieutenant in the Navy Reserve, he took a leave of absence from his position as mayor in 2014 to serve a tour in Afghanistan.

Buttigieg first started raising his national profile in 2017 with an unsuccessful run for Democratic National Committee chairman where he painted himself as a third option as the party split between its traditional path and its emerging progressive wing.