ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The newest Democratic front-runner in the state of Iowa is in Atlanta.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke at Morehouse College Monday night to a crowd of a few hundred ahead of Wednesday’s debate. Right now the mayor of South bend, Indiana is holding a clear lead in Iowa.

The latest poll has him climbing to 25-percent among likely Iowa caucus-goers. But he has a lot of ground to make up when it comes to African-American voters.

He started the hour long talk by speaking about President Trump saying, "You cannot love our country if you hate half of the people in it."

Buttigieg also mentioned faith.

"God does not belong to a political party in the United States of America" he said. And he also brought up Georgia Politics saying: "If it were not for racially motivated voter suppression Stacey Abrams would be the governor of this state right now."

The latest Quinniapiac University poll has him with just 6 percent support among South Carolina Democratic primary voters. But when it comes to South Carolina black democrats it's less than one percent.

"Most of the conversations I'm having with black voters in the course of this campaign come down to two questions: one question is can you win?,” he told the audience.

During the event Buttegieg also told the audience about the Douglass plan, which is named after American hero Frederick Douglass and aimed at dismantling systemic racism in our country: from more money for HBCUs, to health equity, to DC statehood.

Tuesday morning, the mayor will attend a breakfast with The National Action Network.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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