A Brokered Dem Convention Could Be Coming. If So, Who Would Be Chosen?
Written by Selwyn Duke
There hasn’t been one in almost 70 years. But there’s a distinct possibility that 2020 will see a brokered (or “contested”) Democrat convention, a situation in which no candidate wins enough delegates to capture the nomination on the first vote, allowing the delegates to then vote for whomever they please. This could mean choosing an identity-politics candidate, the establishment’s Joe Biden, or someone who hasn’t even run in the primaries — such as Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton.
Pointing out that there hasn’t been such a convention since 1952, political consultant Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal:
There are now four candidates — Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — who have enough support and money to be competitive through March.
A fifth candidate, Mike Bloomberg, has enough cash to burn a wet mule and a strategy that says he doesn’t care how he does until the 27 primary contests and two caucuses in March. Many mules will perish at his hands.
That’s the field, but consider the rules. Democrats allocate delegates proportionally, meaning if you get 15% of the vote or more in a state or district, you’re in the money—you split the delegates with every other candidate who reaches that threshold. In addition, Democrats are front-loading the contest: More than 69% of delegates will be elected in February and March, when more candidates will likely still be viable and split the vote. That’s 13% more than the number of delegates selected in the first two months of the Democrats’ 2016 nomination battle.
Rove, the consummate politics wonk, goes on to crunch the primary delegate-battle numbers. While you can read his complete analysis here, the bottom line is that different candidates are dominant in different states. So it’s like trying to figure out who’ll win a triathlon knowing that one competitor is the great swimmer, another the cracker-jack runner, and yet another the nonpareil bicyclist.
As Rove concludes,
“Unless someone gets huge momentum with big early wins, the race could remain fractured through March, making it mathematically impossible for any candidate to waltz into Milwaukee with a first-ballot majority.”
That means the 765 “superdelegates” — party insiders and pseudo-elites who under a new rule are prohibited from voting on the first ballot — could determine the nominee. And just imagine the rage in some Democrat quarters, Rove remarks, if these Establishmentarians choose someone other than the first-ballot leader. The end result could be “back-room deals and horse trades that anger and fracture the party,” he writes.
So how did the leftists, who control the entire culture, get to this point politically? Realize first that the fracturing is already a reality, ideologically speaking, with the Democrat tent including everyone from old-line Biden-crats to “woke” socialists to snowflake social justice warriors to LGBTQ+++ sexual devolutionaries and beyond. This really just reflects how the whole country is ideologically fractured, mind you, which is what happens in a relativistic time, where everyone walks to the beat of his own drummer and citizens aren’t united by unchanging principles.
Not only do the Democrat candidates reflect this, but they also took the wrong lesson from socialist senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 success; thus, early in the campaign season they raced to the Left and left sanity and many old-line Democrats behind.
The result is primary contenders who can only please some of the people all of the time — and a new poll showing that Hillary Clinton would currently lead the field if she entered the race. Now let’s take a brief look at the top four contenders and money-bags Bloomberg and the liabilities keeping them from dominance.
Joe Biden: The ex-vice president’s name-recognition, association with Barack Obama, and his competitors’ unviability have enabled him to defy expectations and retain front-runner status up till now. But many in the Democrat electorate aren’t fond of old white men. Moreover, Biden’s continual gaffes — including a consistent problem of not knowing where he is — weird comments such as a recent one about children rubbing his leg hair, and displays such as his attacking of an 83-year-old Marine corps veteran will likely doom his campaign. Also, appearing wizened and weary, he lacks that presidential look (yes, this matters, as I explained here).
Elizabeth Warren: It seemed for a while as if the Massachusetts senator might dominate the field. But the lies (e.g., Indian heritage claims), childish pandering (“I’m gonna’ get me a beer”), a Medicare-for-all plan that would consume the majority of the budget, and juvenile defenses of it such as “There’s always money!” appear to be discrediting her.
It’s similar to what I believe happened with ex-candidate Irish Bob (“Beto”) O’Rourke: His skateboarding and live-streaming of a dental cleaning that didn’t actually cleanse his dirty mouth — he spouted vulgarity trying to be “cool” — made him seem juvenile and lacking in gravitas. Likewise, I suspect that to many who once considered ex-college professor Warren intelligent, she now appears a lightweight.
Bernie Sanders: 2016’s big anti-establishment phenom appears too radical and unelectable to many. He also has the anti-older-white-male bias against him — along with the anti-Jewish prejudice present in the Democrat electorate — and embodies the quintessence of an un-presidential look. Remember, too, that Obama recently promised to make sure Sanders didn’t get the nomination.
Pete Buttigieg: As evidenced by his articulateness, Buttigieg is perhaps the most intelligent of the candidates; he also possesses some charm and has effectively feigned moderation. But the South Bend mayor has a problem appealing to black Democrats — he’s polling at zero percent among them in South Carolina — and a candidate must capture a decent amount of their support to win the Democrat nomination.
Michael Bloomberg: While the ex-Big Apple mayor has his $54 billion, he may not be able to buy nomination-level love. Not only is he another older white man who has to deal with that anti-Jewish prejudice, but he epitomizes out-of-touch, billionaire, Gotham elitism. He’s also an uninspiring speaker who, to quote pundit Pat Buchanan, is “like Richard Nixon — without the charm.”
Moreover, Bloomberg gave a 2015 speech, which he tried to suppress, in which he “argued that in order to save lives, police should seize guns from male minorities between ages 15 and 25,” according to the Aspen Times. What are the odds his Democrat opponents won’t use that against him if he gains traction?
All this indicates a high probability of a brokered Democrat convention in July 2020. If so, who would be chosen? Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton have both been mentioned as possibilities. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if Clinton entered the race before then. She has hinted at this and says that many are urging her to run, and then there’s the aforementioned poll. She may find these ego-flattering facts irresistible.
Whatever the case, no current Democrat candidate is irresistible to the voters. This doesn’t bode well for the party. For the only thing currently uniting Democrats is hatred of Trump — and hate is not a strategy.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.
Courtesy of The New American