LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Leaders of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could not say Wednesday night what their plan was for thwarting an effort by the Democratic Party establishment to deny him the nomination through the use of superdelegates.
Sanders raised the issue of superdelegates during the Democrat debate at the Paris Theater, after candidates were asked: “Should the person with the most delegates at the end of this primary season be the nominee, even if they are short of a majority?”
Of the six contenders onstage, only Sanders agreed. He is the current frontrunner; if current trends continue, analysts say, he would have a plurality of delegates at the convention, but not a majority.
Average projected delegates through Super Tuesday:
Sanders 608 (41% of delegates thru March 3)
Bloomberg 273 (18%)
Biden 270 (18%)
Buttigieg 157 (10%)
Warren 127 (8%)
Klobuchar 55 (4%)https://t.co/JDz2dZ8bqR
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 18, 2020
If no candidate wins a majority on the first ballot, then additional rounds of voting will be needed, according to current rules. Sanders pushed for reforms that will keep the superdelegates — senior Democratic Party officials — from voting until after the first ballot. However, after the first round, superdelegates would be able to vote, and could choose a candidate other than the one with the most votes.
Sanders has been discussing the possibility of a “brokered convention” since last year, but campaign manager Faiz Sakir and senior adviser Jeff Weaver appeared not to have a plan for heading off the possibility that the party establishment could use superdelegates to deny him the nomination.
Breitbart News asked both in the spin room after the debate what their strategy would be.
Shakir simply asserted the principle: “Whoever wins the most votes, and has the most popular support, should be the nominee.” He said the campaign had not through the possibilities beyond the first ballot.
Weaver suggested that some of the superdelegates would support Sanders, since many were elected officials who were aligned with him.
But he, too, seemed not to have a specific plan: “You know how we’re gonna beat them? We’re gonna win.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.