Buttigieg surrogate: Impeachment is 'literally a Washington story'

A surrogate for South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE’s presidential campaign told Hill.TV that impeachment is not top of mind for most voters across the country.

“It is literally a Washington story,” Jennifer Holdsworth said in an interview that aired Wednesday.

She added that as the battle over impeachment further dominates the news cycle, it becomes even more crucial for Democratic candidates to get their message across to the public.

“The cable news media is going to be sucked up into it, which is why it’s important to have a really great ground game in the early states,” said Holdsworth, who is a senior political strategist at the public relations firm MWWPR.

House Democrats last week passed two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A Senate trial is expected in January, even though Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Andrew Yang condemns attacks against Asian Americans Congress in lockdown: Will we just 'get used to it'? MORE (D-Calif.) has yet to send the articles to the upper chamber.

Holdsworth said White House hopefuls will need to get serious about ramping up their digital presence in 2020 to counter Trump and his reelection campaign.

“There were nefarious intentions, but aside from those and the Russia influence, he and his team had an incredible digital-first program,” Holdsworth said. “It’s something the Democrats have to be serious about. So if you really make sure that your message is going to get out in these early states, that is what you have to focus on.”

Though Buttigieg entered the race as a relative unknown on the national stage, he has since climbed to the top tier of the crowded 2020 field. Some recent polls have shown him leading the pack in Iowa, which will hold its caucuses on Feb. 3.

However, Buttigieg trails his rivals by a sizable margin in national polls.

The RealClearPolitics average of national polls shows Buttigieg in fourth place at 8 percent support. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE leads the pack at 28 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Democrats break COVID-19 impasse with deal on jobless benefits MORE (I-Vt.) at 19 percent and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.) at 15 percent.

—Tess Bonn