Clinton vs Sanders: Towards a contested convention?

Bernie Sanders said: The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention. But how realistic or unrealistic is this scenario especially when Hillary wins California primary? Is Sanders pushing for concessions (maybe Veep post, perhap not for him personally but maybe for somebody who is close to him)? Read few comments.

Steffen SchmidtUniversity Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University.

California and New Jersey are the Biggest super Tuesday of all. Clinton will NOT HAVE all the “pledged” delegates to become the candidate of the Democratic Party. What that means is that without “Super Delegates” Clinton is not the candidate until the “Super Delegates” vote at the national convention in July.

However, if on Tuesday Sanders does VERY WELL he can make a case that he could convince superdelegates to change their mind and actually vote for him at the convention.

Most of us analysis’s think that is NOT very likely. The super delegates are elected officials and other ESTABLISHMENT Democrats who think Clinton is the only one who can win the general election – they don’t think Sanders can do that. Barack Obama won his nomination in 2008 with Super Delegates.

What does Sanders want?

He wants progressive ideas to become more prominent in the Democratic party. he wants to help influence who Clinton would pick as VP on her ticket. He may want to also have some role (who knows what!) in a Clinton administration.  The young and progressive voters supporting Sanders may go home and not vote at all if Sanders is not the candidate for president. They are mostly independents not Democrats. They are “non-voters” for the most part (i.e. they are new to politics) – so Clinton wants to “inherit” them from Sanders.

However it now looks like Elizabeth Warren Sen MA will be more influential than Sanders and MAY even be Clinton’s running mate (an all woman ticket).

What a strange and complicated election year we are seeing!

David McCuan, Professor of Political Science, Sonoma State University

What’s likely to happen in CA on Tuesday, 07 June 2016, and the impact of any outcome on the resulting Election Season? While the California primary is close, with Senator Sanders doing well these last few weeks and he carries some momentum into Tuesday’s contest. Yet, Secretary Clinton is likely to pull out a victory, if a small or narrow one.

If Sanders wins, he carries some moral momentum to the Democratic convention, despite the fact that Clinton will go over the top, with the necessary Pledged and Super Delegates, early on Tuesday night – depending whether NJ puts her over the top or another early state.

In other words, EVEN if Sanders wins California, he’s a Conscientious Objector to a Clinton Nomination, but not the successful Nominee.

On the idea of Sanders’ contention of a contested Democratic convention: Senator Sanders is technically correct that the Democratic convention will be a contested nomination – those Super Delegates put Clinton over the top for the nomination early on Tuesday evening.

But Clinton still will be the nominee despite this technical, rules-based rationale. She wins the nod.

As for what happens as a result, Sanders is directing a MOVEMENT. He’s about something larger than being the Democratic nominee or even the President. For Bernie, it’s about reforming and re-making the modern Democratic Party. That’s a big deal and something he can manage and run with into the 2018 cycle. It sets Sanders forth as more than the “loyal opposition,” but as The Dude who re-makes today’s Democratic Party.

Leading a revolution in many ways IS the victory that Sanders gets by losing the nomination. He can shape the platform, pull Clinton to the left on some issues, and perhaps influence the Veep selection, maybe even get a prime time speaking slot during the Convention.

Not much of that matters & can be sandwiched between POTUS #42 (Clinton) and POTUS #44 (Obama) at the Convention itself.

So leading the Revolution after the race & the Convention itself is where Sanders heads. He builds a farm team across states and down ballot headed forward long after the cheering ends in Philadelphia – where the Democrats hold their Convention in late July.

Justin Holmes, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Northern Iowa

I just don’t see a contested convention as a scenario at this point, particularly if Clinton wins CA. She’s beating him on regular delegates, and he really has not made the party leadership happy, which is going to hurt him with the super delegates. There was a thought that the Republicans could have a contested convention this year because their rules require a majority, not just a plurality, but on the democratic side, only two candidates won any delegates, so whoever wins will have a majority.


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