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Buttigieg calls on Bloomberg to drop out after debate

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSenate confirms former Michigan governor Granholm as Energy secretary Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary Biden to detail 'roadmap' for partnership with Canada in meeting with Trudeau MORE's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergOn The Trail: The political perils of Snowmageddon Five things to watch in the New York City mayoral race Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 MORE to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race in a memo released on Thursday, warning that Bloomberg's presence in the race would propel Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Sanders slams parliamentarian decision on minimum wage Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill MORE (I-Vt.) to the Democratic nomination. 

"If Bloomberg remains in the race despite showing he can not offer a viable alternative to Bernie Sanders, he will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead siphoning votes away from Pete, the current leader in delegates," Buttigieg's campaign wrote. 

The campaign projected that if the dynamics of the primary do not change, Sanders would emerge from Super Tuesday as almost unbeatable, adding that Buttigieg was the strongest alternative to the progressive senator. 

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Buttigieg's campaign pointed specifically to what critics called a shaky debate performance from Bloomberg.

"Bloomberg had the worst debate performance in presidential debate history and he showed he can’t handle Sanders, let alone Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE," the campaign wrote. 

Buttigieg currently holds a slim delegate lead over Sanders, with the former mayor carrying 22 delegates and the senator carrying 21. 

However, Bloomberg has not yet contested a state, and the billionaire's presence on the ballot in the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states is likely to shake up the race. 

The Buttigieg memo comes one day after Bloomberg's campaign released a memo calling on Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOpen-ended antitrust is an innovation killer FBI, DHS and Pentagon officials to testify on Capitol riot Five big takeaways on the Capitol security hearings MORE (D-Minn.) to drop out, warning the presence of so many moderates in the race would ensure Sanders the nomination. 

"If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar remain in the race despite having no path to appreciably collecting delegates on Super Tuesday (and beyond), they will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead by siphoning votes away from [Bloomberg]," the memo read.