Bloomberg’s camp, which has been ascending in the polls, insisted that Sanders could take over a delegate lead that is insurmountable if some of the other moderate candidates don’t drop out. In a “State of the Race” memo that Axios published, the campaign specifically cited the need for former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to leave the race.
“The fact is if the state of this race remains status quo — with Biden, Pete and Amy in the race on Super Tuesday — Bernie is likely to open up a delegate lead that seems nearly impossible to overcome,” Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s top strategist, told Axios. “I don’t think many people understand the dire circumstances here.”
The campaign isn’t alone in its assessment. When FiveThirtyEight published their Super Tuesday delegate predictions this week, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe tweeted the same thing.
If this happens, Sanders would have a pledged delegate lead he’ll never relinquish. https://t.co/MhhoJMlUgn— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) February 19, 2020
In the memo being circulated on Wednesday, members of Bloomberg’s team break down how the delegate math could play out.
“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 says.
The memo also says Sanders has “already started banking his lead” thanks to early voting in California in Texas.
“Taking a step back: this is now a 3-candidate race between MRB, Sanders and Trump,” the memo says. “Both Sanders and Trump know that MRB poses the greatest threat to their chances of winning this election.”
Bloomberg is yet to earn a single delegate in the primary race, though he did qualify for Wednesday’s debate in Nevada after several national polls showed him in second or third place.