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Superdelegates ‘overwhelming’ opposed to a Bernie nom, would rather risk ugly intra-party showdown, report says

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If front-runner Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders fails to accrue enough delegates to win the Democrat nomination outright, the Democrat Party as a whole may wind up facing one of the most devastating internal civil wars in its history.

As it stands, if Sanders lacks the delegates needed to win during the Democrat National Committee’s first ballot or vote in July, the nomination process will enter into a second-round during which superdelegates will possess the power to pick the nominee.

The problem for Sanders is that, like many other Democrats, an “overwhelming” majority of superdelegates reportedly oppose his accession to the throne.

“Dozens of interviews with Democratic establishment leaders this week show that they are not just worried about Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, but are also willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance,” The New York Times reported Thursday.

“Since Mr. Sanders’s victory in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday, The Times has interviewed 93 party officials — all of them superdelegates, who could have a say on the nominee at the convention — and found overwhelming opposition to handing the Vermont senator the nomination if he arrived with the most delegates but fell short of a majority.”

This is an especially big problem for the Democrat Party as a whole, as Sanders’ growing swath of supporters already distrust the Democrat establishment. They’re the same voters who helped propel President Donald Trump to a victory in 2016 by abandoning the party out of anger over their preferred candidate being robbed of the nomination.

Complicating the matter is the fact that, in contradiction of what he originally said in 2016, Sanders has now come out against allowing superdelegates to make the final decision.

“[I]f I, or anybody else, goes into the Democratic convention with a substantial plurality, I believe that individual, me or anybody else, should be the candidate of the Democratic Party. And I’ll tell you why,” he said during a CNN-hosted town hall Monday.

“It will be incredibly divisive for the Democratic Party if a candidate who has won the support of people all over the country. … All of the candidates are working really hard. And if one candidate comes out on top, to say to the country “you voted for that candidate, oh, but by the way, we don’t think that candidate should be the nominee,’ I think that will be a serious, serious problem for the Democratic Party. And I think it will wreak havoc on that person’s campaign.”

Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

Were the nomination process to enter into the second round and superdelegates used to nominate someone besides Sanders, what happened in 2016 could happen all over again — and even more furiously this time, given the senator’s newfound stance on superdelegates.

“Not only would a messy convention fight risk alienating a sizable part of the Democratic base that supports Mr. Sanders, it would also give Republicans ammunition to use in the general election,” the Times noted.

But establishment Democrats are so afraid of Sanders’ lack of viability against Trump that some of them don’t seem to even care.

According to the Times, they “view Mr. Sanders as such an existential threat that they see stopping him from winning the nomination as less risky than a public convention fight.”

“Many feared that putting Mr. Sanders on the top of the ticket could cost Democrats the political gains of the Trump era, a period when the party won control of the House, took governor’s mansions in deep red states and flipped statehouses across the country.”

And it appears they’re not alone in their worries. Last week Politico revealed that fellow presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg “is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his more-moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him — and block Bernie Sanders — in the event of a brokered national convention.”

The report spawned mass outrage:

Of course, any potential DNC complications hinge on Sanders performing well-enough to remain the front-runner but not well enough to win the nomination during the first round of voting.

Vivek Saxena

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