Sanders vows a contested convention, will go after Hillary’s superdelegates

Bernie Sanders is not going to play out the script Hillary Clinton has written for him.  Via Bloomberg:

Bernie Sanders on Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of his bid for the White House by vowing that the Democratic convention will be "contested," despite Hillary Clinton's wide lead in pledged and overall delegates.

"It's virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone," the Vermont senator told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington.  (snip)

"The evidence is extremely clear that I would be the stronger candidate to defeat Trump or any other Republican," Sanders said of the Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He cited several polls showing him doing better than Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head contest against the real estate magnate.

By going after Clinton’s superdelegates, Sanders can go to the heart of what Donald Trump is calling the “rigged” political process, and with far more accuracy than is possible in the GOP’s case.  The superdelegates are the very essence of rigging, designed specifically to prevent the Democrats from nominating another radical like George McGovern, who brought a historic 49-state defeat to the party.

Calling for reform of the Democratic Party's nominating process, Sanders said he felt "entitled" to support from superdelegates in states whose nominating contests he won, such as Washington state and Minnesota. The same should also be true for Clinton, he said: superdelegates should cast their votes "in line with the people of their states." 

Many superdelegates—party leaders and elected officials not formally bound to any candidate—committed to Clinton before the 2016 campaign formally started. Sanders said they should reconsider that support in states where he defeated Clinton by a large margin, and if he did very well in the remaining contests, which include California and New Jersey on June 7. 

The math is tough for him, as he acknowledges.  Via The Hill:

Sanders said during the news conference he expects to do well in the upcoming primaries. Indiana votes Tuesday, where a new poll shows Sanders trailing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by 4 points.

He said he has won state after state after a strong majority of younger people have voted for him, noting he hopes to win Indiana in next week's primary. His campaign has sparked energy and excitement, he said, which will translate to a large voter turnout in November.

Sanders then detailed the delegate math, saying that to win the majority of pledged delegates, he needs 65 percent of the remaining delegates in the upcoming contests. 

"There are 10 states remaining where we are going to be vigorously competing, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam," he said.

"We believe that we are in a very strong position to win many of these remaining contests and we have an excellent chance to win in California, the state with far and away the most delegates."

He admitted that the road ahead is a "tough road to climb," but not an "impossible road to climb."

"We intend to fight for every vote in front of us and for every delegate remaining," he said.

"In terms of super delegates," he said, "obviously we are taking on virtually the entire Democratic establishment."

He is going after that establishment with an appeal to their desire to win the election. Via The WaPo:

 “They’re going to have to go into their hearts, and they are going to have to ask, do they want the second strongest candidate to run against [GOP front-runner Donald] Trump or do they want the strongest candidate?” Sanders said, suggesting that he is the strongest based on polling data.

A speech to the delegates at a contested convention could be a decisive moment, especially if backed by huge demonstrations outside the convention site in Philadelphia. Sanders has proven his ability to draw huge crowds, and the fact that the Democrats’ chosen venue is in the heart of the Acela Corridor, accessible to the largest concentration of population in the country means that if Sanders can get within striking distance, he could potentially draw tens of thousands of enthusiastic and rebellious backers,  angry at the prospect of a corrupt and stale candidate being forced on them by superdelegates.

But sustaining that plausibility will be a challenge.  Sanders’s fundraising has already sharply declined:

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he raised $25.8 million in April, well shy of his eye-popping totals of recent months.

The figure comes as Sanders’s chance of defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination have dwindled, with his loss to her in the New York primary on April 19 widely viewed as a turning point in the race.

Sanders’s take, raised almost entirely online, fell about $20 million short of the $46 million he posted in March. His haul was still sizable by some measures: Clinton reported having raised about $27 million in March, not much more than Sanders’s take in April.

Because of his profligate spending (after all, socialists tend to run out of other people’s money rather quickly), Sanders has very little cash on hand, unlike Clinton.

With the FBI primary yet to yield results, it is difficult to predict anything, and as Joe Herring posits this morning, Hillary may already be preparing to pull the ripcord, with the connivance of President Obama.  Who knows?

The most unpredictable presidential election cycle of my lifetime continues to generate surprises.

Bernie Sanders is not going to play out the script Hillary Clinton has written for him.  Via Bloomberg:

Bernie Sanders on Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of his bid for the White House by vowing that the Democratic convention will be "contested," despite Hillary Clinton's wide lead in pledged and overall delegates.

"It's virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone," the Vermont senator told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington.  (snip)

"The evidence is extremely clear that I would be the stronger candidate to defeat Trump or any other Republican," Sanders said of the Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He cited several polls showing him doing better than Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head contest against the real estate magnate.

By going after Clinton’s superdelegates, Sanders can go to the heart of what Donald Trump is calling the “rigged” political process, and with far more accuracy than is possible in the GOP’s case.  The superdelegates are the very essence of rigging, designed specifically to prevent the Democrats from nominating another radical like George McGovern, who brought a historic 49-state defeat to the party.

Calling for reform of the Democratic Party's nominating process, Sanders said he felt "entitled" to support from superdelegates in states whose nominating contests he won, such as Washington state and Minnesota. The same should also be true for Clinton, he said: superdelegates should cast their votes "in line with the people of their states." 

Many superdelegates—party leaders and elected officials not formally bound to any candidate—committed to Clinton before the 2016 campaign formally started. Sanders said they should reconsider that support in states where he defeated Clinton by a large margin, and if he did very well in the remaining contests, which include California and New Jersey on June 7. 

The math is tough for him, as he acknowledges.  Via The Hill:

Sanders said during the news conference he expects to do well in the upcoming primaries. Indiana votes Tuesday, where a new poll shows Sanders trailing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by 4 points.

He said he has won state after state after a strong majority of younger people have voted for him, noting he hopes to win Indiana in next week's primary. His campaign has sparked energy and excitement, he said, which will translate to a large voter turnout in November.

Sanders then detailed the delegate math, saying that to win the majority of pledged delegates, he needs 65 percent of the remaining delegates in the upcoming contests. 

"There are 10 states remaining where we are going to be vigorously competing, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam," he said.

"We believe that we are in a very strong position to win many of these remaining contests and we have an excellent chance to win in California, the state with far and away the most delegates."

He admitted that the road ahead is a "tough road to climb," but not an "impossible road to climb."

"We intend to fight for every vote in front of us and for every delegate remaining," he said.

"In terms of super delegates," he said, "obviously we are taking on virtually the entire Democratic establishment."

He is going after that establishment with an appeal to their desire to win the election. Via The WaPo:

 “They’re going to have to go into their hearts, and they are going to have to ask, do they want the second strongest candidate to run against [GOP front-runner Donald] Trump or do they want the strongest candidate?” Sanders said, suggesting that he is the strongest based on polling data.

A speech to the delegates at a contested convention could be a decisive moment, especially if backed by huge demonstrations outside the convention site in Philadelphia. Sanders has proven his ability to draw huge crowds, and the fact that the Democrats’ chosen venue is in the heart of the Acela Corridor, accessible to the largest concentration of population in the country means that if Sanders can get within striking distance, he could potentially draw tens of thousands of enthusiastic and rebellious backers,  angry at the prospect of a corrupt and stale candidate being forced on them by superdelegates.

But sustaining that plausibility will be a challenge.  Sanders’s fundraising has already sharply declined:

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he raised $25.8 million in April, well shy of his eye-popping totals of recent months.

The figure comes as Sanders’s chance of defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination have dwindled, with his loss to her in the New York primary on April 19 widely viewed as a turning point in the race.

Sanders’s take, raised almost entirely online, fell about $20 million short of the $46 million he posted in March. His haul was still sizable by some measures: Clinton reported having raised about $27 million in March, not much more than Sanders’s take in April.

Because of his profligate spending (after all, socialists tend to run out of other people’s money rather quickly), Sanders has very little cash on hand, unlike Clinton.

With the FBI primary yet to yield results, it is difficult to predict anything, and as Joe Herring posits this morning, Hillary may already be preparing to pull the ripcord, with the connivance of President Obama.  Who knows?

The most unpredictable presidential election cycle of my lifetime continues to generate surprises.