Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took the national delegate lead from former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Saturday night with a big win in the Nevada caucuses.
And he may never look back.
Buttigieg held a slim delegate lead after the first two contests, thanks to a slender win in the Iowa caucuses (though Sanders won the popular vote and has challenged the final state delegate count). But after Nevada, Sanders has a wide lead — and Buttigieg seems to have no way to recover.
A delegate tracker at Business Insider had Sanders with 34 and Buttigieg with 23 as of Saturday night.
The fourth contest will be the South Carolina primary next Saturday, where Buttigieg has consistently polled poorly.
Super Tuesday offers him some hope, but he will also be competing with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is competing for second or third place in national polls.
Sanders is the first candidate for the nomination of either major party to win the popular vote in the first three contests, going 1-2-3 in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. He is barely behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the Palmetto State, offering the possibility of a clean early-state sweep.
Buttigieg tried to warn Democrats in a speech to supporters that Sanders would lose the general election. Sanders “believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans,” he said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Sanders supporter, shot back: “Try to not be so smug when you just got your ass kicked.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.