When Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg touted support from African American comedian and actor Keegan-Michael Key last week, his campaign was forced just hours later to clarify that the actor had not officially endorsed the former South Bend mayor, telling reporters he only sought to "encourage early voting and voter registration."
Key appeared with Buttigieg on Saturday to drum up voter support at his Henderson, Nevada field office.
Could this be an innocent misunderstanding? Possibly. But it's not the first time the campaign has been caught overstating its level of support from influential black leaders.
The Buttigieg campaign published a list of black supporters in South Carolina, which included three leaders and hundreds of other supporters. The problem is, those three leaders all said they had not endorsed Buttigieg. Even worse, many of the names on the list were shown multiple times — and about 40% of the names were white people.
Related to that situation, the Buttigieg campaign put out a promotion for a policy to benefit the black community, but in the promotion they used a stock image of a woman and a child in Kenya rather than an actual picture of black people who supported Buttigieg.
Buttigieg had moved up to 2% support with black voters in South Carolina in a January Fox News poll.