Buttigieg campaign memo says Sanders will have delegate lead after Super Tuesday

Buttigieg campaign memo says Sanders will have delegate lead after Super Tuesday
© Getty Images

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Harris's office undergoes difficult reset The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE’s presidential campaign said that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan Sanders urges Biden to delay Medicare premium hike linked to Alzheimer's drug MORE (I-Vt.) will have a delegate advantage after the Super Tuesday contests next week, but that it is confident it can make up ground in later primaries and caucuses.

The campaign for the former South Bend, Ind., mayor said in the Tuesday memo that its strategy to maintain its path to the nomination is contingent on keeping Sanders’s anticipated lead from becoming insurmountable.

“Bernie Sanders will be the delegate leader after the March 3rd contests, but whether that makes him the prohibitive nominee is highly dependent on Pete’s performance,” the campaign wrote.


“If Sanders’ expected delegate lead is not held within 350 delegates coming out of Super Tuesday, it helps solidify his pathway to becoming the nominee. The key to winning is to minimize Sanders’ margins on Super Tuesday and rack up delegates in the following contests as the field winnows.”

The campaign expressed confidence that Buttigieg could perform well on dates later in March that have a smaller number of contests clustered together. 

Buttigieg’s camp specifically pointed to March 10 and March 17, when six and four states, respectively, will hold their primaries, as opportunities to offset Sanders’s anticipated lead. The memo also said Buttigieg’s standing will also improve after a possible winnowing following Super Tuesday.

“In the current multi-candidate field, Super Tuesday contests are highly favorable to Senator Sanders, but his position will diminish dramatically as the field of candidates narrows and contests move to the Midwest,” the memo said. “March 17th and April 28th states feature major delegate hauls and are highly favorable for Pete with a narrowed field of candidates.” 

The campaign said its biggest obstacle to performing well deep into March is raising enough money to expand Buttigieg’s name recognition in later primary states with an ad campaign in specific media markets.

“We have a definitive path to the nomination, and our team should be extremely proud of what they’ve built and where this campaign is headed,” the campaign wrote. “But we need to increase our paid media spending in order to broaden Pete’s name recognition as we head into Super Tuesday.” 

The memo comes as centrist candidates like Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden should seek some ideological diversity House passes bipartisan bills to strengthen network security, cyber literacy Klobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas MORE (D-Minn.) and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg divide up support among centrist voters in polling in Super Tuesday states, leading to handwringing that Sanders has a path to a possible overwhelming delegate haul on March 3.

The concerns have led to an avalanche of attacks on Sanders, including over his past record on gun control, how he would pay for his “Medicare for All” proposal and past comments on Latin American dictators.

Bloomberg’s campaign also released its own internal polling earlier Tuesday showing that Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist, would be an anchor on front-line Democratic House members who are facing tough reelection campaigns. 

“Sanders is less popular than Trump, loses significant support when attacked for his socialist positions, and will negatively impact these vulnerable Democrats if he heads the top of the Democratic ticket,” Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey wrote.