Sanders: 'The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention'
As Hillary Clinton fights tooth and nail to avoid an embarrassing defeat in Calfornia on Tuesday, Republicans are continuing their effort - with much success - to unify their party in advance of the convention in Cleveland in July.
By this point in the campaign, Hillary Clinton fully expected to have wrapped up the nomination and pivoted to the general election where she would be stressing the themes and issues she expects will bring her victory in November.
But the coronation has been delayed by her pesky nemesis Bernie Sanders. Even if Sanders doesn't win California, he is promising to continue the fight all the way to Philadelphia and the Democratic convention.
"Hillary Clinton will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination at the end of the nominating process on June 14,” Sanders told reporters in Los Angeles Saturday, according to CNN. “Won't happen. She will be dependent on superdelegates."
"The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention," he said.
Sanders criticized the media for accounting for superdelegates when talking about Clinton’s lead in the race, saying that their backing of a candidate is fluid and those who support Clinton now have six weeks before they actually cast their votes.
Still, the Vermont senator acknowledged the difficulties of getting enough superdelegates to switch over to him in order to secure the nomination.
"We understand that we have a steep climb," he said. "I'm not here to tell you that tomorrow we're going to flip 300 superdelegates. You don't hear me say that. But I am saying we are going to make the case."
Clinton is outpacing Sanders among pledged delegates — 1,769 to 1,501 —and superdelegates, 547 to 46.
What makes Sanders' effort to secure the nomination so futile is that the vast majority of superdelegates were carefully wooed by the Clinton campaign months ago. There are hundreds of Democratic House and Senate members who have endorsed Hillary while hundreds more union members, social justice activists, high ranking state party officials, and state level officeholders have also tied their fortunes to the Clinton machine. It is a solid phalanx of support - Clinton's ultimate firewall - that Sanders will look to break up between now and the vote for the nomination.
Sanders only chance - and it's a hail mary - is that Clinton is indicted before the convention. Even then, he probably isn't the second choice of many Democrats.
So while the Republicans are prepping for the November election, Clinton is still begging for primary votes. Between today and Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton have scheduled 30 appearances in California - a sure sign that she is panicking. She doesn't want to give Bernie Sanders any excuse to continue his campaign. But it sounds like Sanders won't withdraw under any circumstances.