NBC said it last night at the Democratic debate in Nevada and the six candidates acknowledged it. The Democratic primaries could be heading for the most entertaining of political spectacles, a brokered convention.
That means that no one goes into the first ballot with enough delegates to win. Then, the “brokers” (the party boys and girls) step in to put their thumbs on the scales for somebody. There will be 500 party appointed super-delegates (supers) there to do just that. Given that scenario, how will the six candidates now left in the race possibly do?
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Let’s give the odds a whirl.
Bernie Sanders– He’s the target. The supers are designed to stop a guy like him the party thinks can’t win in November. They stopped him in 2016 and they will try again. But his people are hip to the scam and will raise hell if they are denied. They may even walk out and go third party. How he picks up second ballot convention votes from supers or moderates is beyond me. But how he gets to the convention with a bundle of delegates in his pocket from big states like IL, CA, and maybe NY is not hard to guess.
Joe Biden– No chance. If he gets that far, nominating him would be electoral suicide and the party knows it. It’s not that he doesn’t look good on paper, he does. Just not when he opens his mouth on a stage.
Pete Buttigieg– If Biden drops out by then or at the convention, and Buttigieg continues to win debates and the press primary, then Pete has a real shot on a later ballot, probably 3-5, because those Biden delegates would find him a good bet.
Mike Bloomberg– He will have a well financed and copiously cash oiled operation at the convention. But he is too moderate and capitalist to get nominated. The Bernie and Liz people would probably walk at that point. He could win the NY primary, and a couple more, and have some say in a compromise candidate.
Amy Klobuchar– A possible compromise choice that the moderates and the feminists could get behind. But not until many other options are discarded. Look for her to be interesting if the balloting goes past 10 rounds.
Liz Warren– Will give a rousing and insane convention speech calling for a guillotine to be set up on Capitol Hill. Aside from that, meh.
The Dark Horse– In the past people have come out of nowhere when no one will drop out for one of their opponents. Look for a female Democrat governor to be in play then.
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Want a primer on the process? Check out the great 1964 film, “The Best Man.”