by WorldTribune Staff, February 28, 2020
A group of Democratic superdelegates told The New York Times that they would be willing to sacrifice party unity in order to stop Bernie Sanders from getting the party’s presidential nomination.
In a report published on Feb. 27, the Times said it spoke with 93 superdelegates following Sanders’s victory in the Nevada caucuses. Most said they believe the Democratic Party is headed toward a contested convention on July 13-16 in Milwaukee.
Sanders would not deserve to become the Democrats’ nominee based solely on having secured the most, but not over 50 percent, of the delegates during the primaries and caucuses, 84 of the superdelegates interviewed by the Times said.
New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told the Times that in the event of a contested convention, superdelegates such as himself should nominate the candidate with the best chance of beating President Donald Trump, regardless of who won the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses.
“Bernie wants to redefine the rules and just say he just needs a plurality. I don’t think we buy that. I don’t think the mainstream of the Democratic Party buys that,” Jacobs said, adding: “If he doesn’t have a majority, it stands to reason that he may not become the nominee.”
The odds of a contested convention are at 48 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecasting model Thursday.
“If 60 percent is not with Bernie Sanders, I think that says something, I really do,” Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas told The Times.
For a Democratic Party candidate to win the nomination before the convention, they’d have to win at least 1,991 of the 3,979 “pledged” delegates during the primaries and caucuses.
The FiveThirtyEight model showed that Sanders has a 37 percent chance of clinching the nomination before the convention and Joe Biden has a 13 percent chance.
If no candidate reaches the 1,991 delegate threshold, all 3,979 “pledged” delegates would then be free to vote for anyone of their choosing, and the 771 superdelegates, comprised of elected Democrats and high-ranking members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), would be able to cast votes for whomever they wish as well.
Many analysts say that Sanders is the only candidate with a realistic path to the nomination during the primaries and caucuses.
During the Feb. 19 debate, Sanders was the only candidate to say that whoever enters the convention with the most, but not over 50 percent, of the “pledged” delegates should be the nominee.
“Bernie seems to have declared war on the Democratic Party — and it’s caused panic in the House ranks,” New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who has endorsed Mike Bloomberg, told the Times.
Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes told the Times: “We’re way, way, way past the day where party leaders can determine an outcome here, but I think there’s a vibrant conversation about whether there is anything that can be done.”