Bernie Sanders Starts Calling for a Contested Democratic Convention
The news seemed to suggest that Bernie Sanders was giving up. He lost big the last few weeks. Like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton won the Solid South AND the Eastern Seaboard. Donations were down, and Bernie was even laying off hundreds of workers. It seemed like the end.
Bernie’s vast network of individual donations was his strength. With many contributors of small amounts, they could give and give again. But that flow has slowed.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign raised $25.8 million in April, a notable decline from a month earlier, when he raised $44 million.
The Sanders campaign reported the latest fundraising haul on Sunday, noting that it surpassed “the campaign’s average monthly total of $17 million.”
Still, what was far more conspicuous was the decline in the most recent fundraising numbers from a month earlier.
Meanwhile, he has been cutting staff.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign started letting hundreds of field staffers go on Wednesday, hours after five states in the Northeast voted and the Vermont senator fell further behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, five people familiar with the situation told POLITICO.
It’s not the campaign’s first round of departures, but it’s by far the most significant, coming at a time when Sanders is signaling that he is looking to shape the Democratic platform at the party’s convention, but also insisting he will remain in the race until then. . .
Sanders insisted to a crowd in Indiana on Wednesday that he is still in the race to win it, but his focus now is primarily on influencing the Democratic platform if Clinton is the nominee. He continues to seriously compete in Indiana and California, where the race is likely to be far more expensive than any other to date.
In fact, Bernie admitted how hard it would be.
“For us to win the majority of pledged delegates, we need to win 710 out of the remaining 1083,” Sanders said. “That is 65 percent. That is, admittedly, a tough road to climb.”
That’s what people thought: That Bernie was giving up on the nomination, and was focusing, instead, on getting his planks into the platform.
But suddenly—there’s talk of a contested convention on the Democratic side.
Bernie Sanders predicted Sunday that Hillary Clinton would not win enough pledged delegates to claim the nomination ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, and he delivered his most forceful call yet for superdelegates in states he’s won to consider throwing their support to him. . .
Sanders said that in the states where he handily defeated Clinton, superdelegates who aren’t supporting him should reconsider aligning themselves with the will of voters of those states. . .
Clinton currently has 1,645 delegates and 520 superdelegates, while Sanders has 1,318 delegates and 39 superdelegates. In total, 2,383 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Sanders conceded that it wouldn’t be easy for him to close the margin, but he said he would continue fighting.
At a press conference, Bernie made it quite clear.
“Let me be very clear. It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone. In other words, the convention will be a contested contest.”
Meanwhile, Hillary is trying to paint herself as “the presumptive nominee,” as did Donald Trump last week. She’s trying to pull the party together, with ads such as this, focusing on women and African-Americans.
But even if she gets the nomination, it’s not going to be easy to woo back Bernie supporters. An April poll shows that one-out-of-four Bernie supporters won’t vote for Hillary.
One out of every four Bernie Sanders supporters said they will not support Hillary Clinton in the general election if she is the Democratic Party’s standard bearer, according to the results of a McClatchy-Marist poll out Wednesday. .with Sanders holding wide advantages among those younger than 30, Latinos, political independents, unmarried people and those identifying as liberals.
Clinton, meanwhile, leads by significant margins among those 60 and older, among African Americans, married people and those identifying as Democrats.
In order to win the nomination outright, Bernie would have to woo Superdelegates and also, as he says, win 65% of the pledged delegates from here on out. That’s a tough challenge. In Tuesday’s Indiana primary, for example, Real Clear Politics’ average of recent polls puts Hillary ahead, 49.7% to 43.5%. And the odds makers are giving Hillary a solid 3-to-1 chance of winning the state.
But remember, Bernie doesn’t have to win the nomination ahead of the convention. He just has to keep Hillary from winning it. However, that will be tough, too. If she can hold onto her Superdelegates, Hillary stands at 2,183 delegates (New York Times count)—just 200 short of the prize—and there are well over 1,000 yet to be awarded.