The Facts about the Nevada Democratic State Convention on Saturday
These are the facts about what happened at Saturday’s Democratic Convention. It’s important that everyone understand what happened and why it happened so we can come together and move forward.
It all comes down to simple math:
- Based on the county convention results, Bernie Sanders had 2,124 delegate slots to the State Convention and Hillary Clinton had 1,722 delegate slots to the State Convention.
- On Saturday at the State Convention, after all of the alternates were seated, Hillary Clinton filled 1,695 of her delegate slots and Bernie Sanders only filled 1,662 at the State Convention — giving Clinton a 33-delegate margin of victory.
- Clinton only had 27 delegate positions vacant on Saturday. Sanders left 462 vacant. Clinton filled 98 percent of her available delegate slots at the State Convention, and Sanders only filled 78 percent of his available delegate slots.
- In plain terms, the Clinton campaign organized and got nearly all of their delegates to the State Convention. The Sanders campaign did not.
On the false and wildly inaccurate accusations that there were 64 potential Sanders delegates in question who were “denied” by the State Convention’s Credentials Committee on Saturday:
- Six of the 64 potential delegates were seated as delegates after investigation.
- The remaining potential delegates were ineligible for two main reasons: 1) They were not registered Democratic voters in Nevada by May 1, 2016, and 2) Their information — such as address, date of birth and name — could not be found or identified, and they did not respond to requests from the party and campaigns to correct it.
- Only eight of the ineligible delegates even attempted to register at the State Convention.
- The so-called “minority report” about these ineligible delegates was not written by the Credentials Committee — it was written by national Sanders campaign staff on site. A member of Sanders’ National Delegate Operations Team drafted and arranged for a member of that committee to attempt to deliver an incendiary report that caused chaos and violence at the convention. It was inaccurate, misleading and subsequently discredited by the Credentials Committee.
- The Credentials Committee, the panel that made decisions on these issues, was co-chaired by supporters of both campaigns and the membership of the committee was also equally divided between supporters of both campaigns. This was done to ensure that the entire process was fair, transparent and accountable for both campaigns and their supporters. The committee worked diligently and cooperatively all day, under incredibly trying circumstances, to be fair and impartial in its work.
National Delegates Results
In terms of the final results for National Delegates, Nevada’s 23 District-Level Delegates are allocated based on the percentage of the precinct caucus vote on February 20. Clinton won 13 of these, compared to 10 for Sanders. The seven At-Large and five Pledged PLEO Delegates are determined based on the State Convention results. Because Clinton had a majority of delegates at the State Convention, she carried the At-Large Delegates 4–3 and the Pledged PLEO Delegates 3–2. So Clinton earned 20 pledged delegates and Sanders earned 15 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention in July.
We understand that the caucus to convention process can be confusing. That’s why we have said it’s time to re-examine the caucus system. But everything the State Party did here was fair, transparent and appropriate according to our delegate selection plan. The convention rules were consistent with how previous State Conventions have been run in previous election cycles. And we made sure to include an equal number of supporters from both campaigns to run the State Convention committees.
The Tone and Tenor of this Democratic Primary
It’s unfortunate that while we were making these efforts to ensure that we conducted a fair State Convention, the Sanders campaign was deliberately sharing misinformation about how the convention operates to get people riled up. And after starting this fire, they had no capacity — and no desire — to control their own supporters from hurling threats and insults and being disruptive to the proceedings. We were forced to conclude the State Convention at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel quickly because event security no longer had the capacity to control the unruly and unpredictable crowd.
Our State Party chairwoman Roberta Lange has led Nevada Democrats with honor and integrity since 2011. We’re proud to be one of the most effective state party organizations in the country, and that’s in no small part thanks to her leadership. Since the State Convention was adjourned Saturday night and Sanders supporters posted her cell phone number and other contact information online, our chairwoman has received thousands of death threats and threats of violence and misogynistic insults that aren’t fit to print. Our chairwoman had to be given a security detail throughout Saturday just to be able to move around the room and go to the bathroom safely. Our office was vandalized by protesters with hateful insults. This activity is beyond the pale.
Nevada is a major battleground state in 2016. Winning Nevada is critical for Democrats to hold the White House and take back the Senate this year. It is time to fix the tone and tenor of this Democratic primary so that we can move forward and unify to defeat Donald Trump and elect Democrats up and down the ballot this November.