Despite his recent victory in New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) may still have real cause for concern in the 2020 race.
While thus far, Sanders has won the popular vote in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, he finds himself trailing former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the total delegate count, Breitbart reports.
Numbers tell the tale
Two early primary contests are now in the books, and there is no doubt that Sanders is among the leaders. But the fact is that he isn’t in first place.
That honor, surprisingly, goes to Buttigieg. The former mayor can currently claim 22 delegates, while Sanders sits in second place with 21.
Although uncertainty still swirls around the final results of the Iowa caucuses, it does appear that in that contest, Buttigieg will be awarded 13 delegates, and Sanders will receive 12, according to NPR. In New Hampshire, the situation is clearer, with both candidates laying claim to nine delegates each, according to Fox News.
As such, Buttigieg has the edge over Sanders in the delegate count by a margin of one, but when it comes to the popular vote, Sanders is leading all the way.
Unfortunately for Sanders, though, much like with the Electoral College in the general election, it is the delegate total that truly matters, not the popular vote.
Onward to Nevada
The good news for Sanders is that he will have plenty of time to try and take the lead. After all, he and Buttigieg are currently at 21 and 22, respectively, and they are fighting to be the first to reach 1,991, which is the number needed to secure the nomination at the Democratic National Convention this summer.
Next up will be the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, although the state does permit early voting that is set to begin this Saturday. The state has a total of 36 delegates up for grabs.
The question on everyone’s mind is whether Buttigieg will be able to sustain the success he has achieved to date.
In this regard, Nevada will be telling in terms of whether the current trend will continue or if other contenders, such as the long-touted Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, will finally get into the mix.
The fact that Sanders isn’t leading the delegate count, even though he is leading the popular vote, has to be weighing on his mind, especially considering that he and many of his supporters believe the Democratic National Committee rigged the nomination process in 2016 in favor of Hillary Clinton. The last thing Sanders wants right now is a nagging sense of déjà vu.