What’s the point in having primaries if party insiders at the convention just override the result?
By Nathan Robinson
The Guardian (2/25/20)
Something deeply troubling happened during last week’s Democratic presidential debate, though it was overshadowed by Michael Bloomberg’s spectacular implosion. Towards the end, the candidates were asked whether they believed that the person who receives the most votes should be given the Democratic nomination. The only candidate who said “yes” was Bernie Sanders. All of the others said they wanted the “process” to “play out”.
If “superdelegates” swung the nomination to a candidate with fewer votes, it would be confirmation that the country is ruled by elites rather than governed by the people.
It’s not surprising that the non-Sanders candidates don’t want “winning the primaries” to determine who the nominee is, because by that measure, it’s very unlikely to be any of them. Sanders has lately taken a commanding lead in the polls and is now the favorite to win in the vast majority of states. He received more votes than any other candidate in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which political scientists treat as a strong sign that a candidate will ultimately win. There are growing concerns in the party that Sanders’ lead may be becoming “insurmountable”.
But the other Democrats have not given up. They still hold out hope that they can win through what is known as a “brokered convention”. If Sanders has only a plurality of delegates at the Democratic national convention in July, rather than an outright majority, he might not win the nomination on the first ballot. Under convention rules, this would allow “superdelegates” to vote on the second ballot, and open up the possibility that other candidates can “horse trade” their delegates in order to receive the nomination, even if Sanders won all or most of the primaries and a strong plurality of pledged delegates. …