Buttigieg Draws Larger Crowd in New Hampshire than Frontrunner Biden

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared to draw larger crowds in New Hampshire on Friday than Democrat frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden.

Both men hosted rallies in Dover, New Hampshire to discuss their presidential ambitions and court supporters ahead of the state’s first in the nation primary. Although Biden supposedly leads the mayor among New Hampshire voters in the polls, Buttigieg was the one who pulled exponentially more attendees to his event in the state.

Mike Memoli, an NBC News correspondent, was the first to note the disparity in crowd size on social media.

“Joe Biden has a couple hundred outside in Dover this afternoon, where earlier today Pete Buttigieg drew 800+ across town,” Memoli tweeted.

Even though the crowds were more intimate at Biden’s event, that did not mean he got a warm reception. The former vice president was confronted by immigration activists about the three million deportations that took place during the administration of President Barack Obama. The activists demanded Biden apologize for the deportations and promise to halt any future ones if elected in 2020.

“I will not apologize for the deportation of people who have committed a felony,” Biden said in response to the demands. “I will apologize for deportations if in fact you were deported because in fact you were engaged in a misdemeanor… or your family was separated.”

“We need family separation,” Biden said in an apparent gaffe.

Buttigieg, on the other hand, appeared to have a much warmer welcome from the crowd attending his event. The South Bend mayor, however, has seen a surge in popularity, despite mounting public safety issues at home.

Biden’s shrinking crowds comes only weeks after a poll showed him trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in the state. The same poll found Buttigieg in fourth place.

Polling, however, is not a direct indicator of success or support in New Hampshire, especially given the state’s small size. In previous primaries, voters have been known to reward candidates adept at retail politics over more established and better funded competitors.