Buttigieg’s campaign said in a memo that its objective on March 3 is to “minimize” Sanders’ margins and maximize “delegate accumulation by [congressional] district, not states.” Anticipating a drawn-out primary process, Buttigieg is looking to survive deeper into the calendar, making it to mid-March contests in the Midwest that might provide more opportunities for him.

Buttigieg is focusing on selected districts in smaller media markets throughout the country to rack up delegates, from Austin, Texas and its suburbs to San Diego, northern Maine, and other locales where Democrats flipped House seats in 2018. But it’s a risky strategy to maintain momentum, and that risk is born out of necessity.

Buttigieg doesn’t have the money to compete more broadly across the 14 Super Tuesday states, like Bernie Sanders and especially Mike Bloomberg, nor is he expected to set up Super Tuesday by finishing strongly on Saturday in South Carolina, where he’s struggled to gain any traction among voters of color. He’s not wading into more favorable demographic territory, like Joe Biden in the other Southern states coming up. And he’s not getting the benefit of home-state primaries on March 3 like Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.