The Party Bosses Can Block Bernie if…

It has become clear that Bernie Sanders is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. However, it is not yet clear if he will be able to win over 50% of the delegates in such a crowded field of candidates. The stats gurus at give him roughly a 30 to 45% chance of hitting the needed number, depending on the day. They also give him a 40 to 50% chance of having at least a clear plurality of the delegates. There has been a lot of chatter lately that the other candidates and the party elites may try to deny him the nomination if that happens. This would be a clear violation of the spirit of the primary and would likely split the party, hand the election to Trump, and possibly bring about the demise of the Democratic Party as a whole.

That said, there are, theoretically, situations in which in might make some sense to try to do this. Let’s take a look at those scenarios.

3. The only other argument that can be made for blocking Bernie’s nomination if he has a clear plurality would be that he is incapable of defeating Trump. While many media pundits have tried to make this case, there is no data to back up their ‘gut feelings.’ The polling has shown that Bernie performs quite well against Trump in national polling and polling in key swing states. With the exception of Joe Biden, Bernie has been getting the best polling against Trump over the last year. In recent weeks, with Biden’s numbers dropping, Bernie is actually doing the best against Trump. The polling has been very clear on this trend.

The reality is that there is no realistic or likely scenario in which it makes logical or democratic sense for the party to step in and try to block Bernie if he has a plurality. If they choose to do so it will be because they do not want a progressive who is not beholden to them and the donors to run the country and the party. The battle lines are being drawn in preparation for the DNC convention in Milwaukee. It will likely be a convention under siege from grassroots groups demanding that the party support the nomination of the clear frontrunner. Maybe Bernie will hit the needed number of delegates and this will all be moot. Only time will tell.

Ron Widelec is a history teacher in NYC, a progressive activist in Westchester NY, and a delegate candidate for Bernie Sanders in CD 17.



Stories and Commentary from Progressives on Long Island, NY

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