Should 2020 Democratic candidates claim upper hand this early in presidential primary race? 'The View' weighs in

PHOTO: "The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain discuss Mayor Pete Buttigiegs projection about the 2020 race, Nov. 4, 2019.PlayABC News
WATCH Beto O'Rourke bows out of 2020 race

After Mayor Pete Buttigieg predicted that the 2020 race would be between himself and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and following Beto O'Rourke's announcement that he was dropping out of presidential race, "The View" co-hosts discussed if candidates should ever make claims about having the upper hand in an election.

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On Monday, co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain weighed in on the South Bend, Indiana, mayor's comments about the Democratic primary becoming a two-person race, and the former Texas congressman's decision to bow out of his 2020 campaign.

In an interview with Showtime on Sunday, Buttigieg, 37, said of the 2020 Democratic race, "I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say. I'm not saying it is a two-way." Later, he said the race seemed to be turning into Warren versus the rest of the Democratics vying for the nomination.

On his campaign bus in Iowa on Monday, Buttigieg backtracked on that statement, saying, "I don't think that came out right."

While it's "not yet" a two-person race, he said, "there's an amazing amount of energy behind our campaign right now."

PHOTO: The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain discuss Mayor Pete Buttigiegs projection about the 2020 race, Nov. 4, 2019. ABC News
"The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain discuss Mayor Pete Buttigieg's projection about the 2020 race, Nov. 4, 2019.

"Why shouldn't [Buttigieg] toot his own horn?" Goldberg asked "The View" co-hosts on Monday.

"He has to," Behar quickly responded. "Nobody else is going to do it for you. You have to do it yourself when you are running for president."

McCain pointed out that Buttigieg is doing well, but doesn't like the way the media is covering his confident remarks. "I think the media would go after a woman saying that in an entirely different way than they’re going after him," she said.

"Mayor Pete, you are hot to trot right now. We were just talking Beto. He was on 'Vanity Fair,'" McCain added. "Slow your role right now. You haven't won anything yet."

Huntsman, meanwhile, came to Buttigieg's defense.

"I do like Mayor Pete," she said. "He’s done the opposite for me than what Beto has done, and he has worked the ground in Iowa, and it's clear that, you know -- he can say it or not say it -- but the polls, if you believe in them, sort of speak."

"If you get through Iowa, I think that's a big deal for someone like Mayor Pete," Huntsman said. "If you’re Kamala Harris and you say you’re not polling well because of sexism and race and all those other things, at some point you gotta look at the mirror and say, 'Maybe I’m just not connecting. Maybe I’m just not performing the debates.'"

Sen. Harris responded to Buttigieg's comments on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, saying, "It’s naive for him to think that at this point, that the fate of this election has been determined."

Pete Buttigieg is among the top four Democratic candidates campaigning for the 2020 nomination, standing with former Vice President Joe Biden, Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders in ABC News’ latest poll of registered voters.

"You can't tell people who they're going to vote for," Goldberg said. "They're going to tell us."

O'Rourke, 47, announced on Twitter Friday that he's dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, He urged his supporters to get behind "whoever the nominee is" for the Democrats, and to not only "support them against Donald Trump and make sure that they're successful in November of 2020, but also, importantly, making sure that they help to bring together a very divided country in the face of the greatest set of challenges that we've ever known."

Goldberg responded to O'Rourke's announcement on Monday, saying, "People are waiting for someone to be the one so we know what direction to go into," but she added that "it doesn't happen that way."

"You have to pay attention to everybody so you know what's happening," she said. "You have to pay attention to it, and you got to listen and hear what you are looking for."

McCain said that she thought O'Rourke was "actually like a beta test for why going so national and being beloved by media is so dangerous."

Both O'Rourke and Harris made waves early in the 2020 race, but have since slipped in the polls. In this survey, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, Harris went from polling 11% in July to 7% in September, and now 2% as of recently.

"I have been shocked at how poorly some candidates are doing in polling," said McCain. "I'm shocked Kamala is doing as poorly as she is, just because, I thought she had a bigger base than that."

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