Intercept bureau chief: Buttigieg win in NH would be damaging for Sanders

D.C. Bureau Chief for the Intercept Ryan Grim said Friday morning that a win for former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Buttigieg confirmation hearing slated for Thursday James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot MORE in New Hampshire next week would be bad news for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE (I-Vt.).

"If Buttigieg is credited with a win in Iowa, then he wins New Hampshire, he might not go on to win the nomination, but that's extremely damaging to Bernie Sanders," Grim said on Hill.TV.

Grim added that some of the Sanders supporters he's interacted with online have pushed the idea that "elevating" Buttigieg in the short-term would hurt Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden to tap Rohit Chopra to lead CFPB, Gensler for SEC chair: reports Biden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector MORE (D-Mass.), who they see as Sanders' biggest threat. While some think that this is a smart strategy, Grim cautioned against this way of thinking.

"Whenever you get that clever, you have to be very careful," Grim said. "Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRep. John Katko: Why I became the first Republican lawmaker to support impeachment Can we protect our country — from our rulers, and ourselves? For Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team MORE thought that if they could elevate Trump and win the nomination, then they could walk right into the White House."

The Iowa caucuses were marred by technological failure and inconsistent counting, causing the Associated Press on Thursday to announce that they were unable to deduce a winner of the first-in-the-nation primary, even with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Buttigieg and Sanders are virtually tied, with Buttigieg edging out Sanders in state delegate equivalents, 26.2 percent to 26.1 percent with 100 percent of the votes in as of Thursday night. 

Sanders had the edge in the popular vote by just over 2,500 votes.

Buttigieg has also surged in New Hampshire this week. The latest Boston Globe/Suffolk poll has the former mayor only one point behind Sanders.