View Poll Results: Should a Democratic candidate with a non-majority plurality of support be guaranteed the nomination?
Yes. "First past the post" should prevail, just like in most congressional and gubernatorial elections (outside of Maine and Louisiana). 2 2.94%
Only if the plurality is fairly close to a majority (say, above 40 or 45 percent) and/or the candidate has a large lead over the second place contender. 15 22.06%
No. Let the process play out according to the DNC rules all candidates agreed to when entering the race. 51 75.00%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:05 PM
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Let's talk about pluralities vs. majorities


When asked at the Nevada debate, only Bernie Sanders said the candidate with a non-majority plurality of support should be made the nominee, period. The other candidates said the process should play out as per DNC rules, requiring that there will be no nominee until there is someone who has the support of an outright majority.

I have an opinion which I'll share in time, but first I want to hear what others think.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:42 PM
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Your option #2 pretty perfectly sums up my opinion.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:52 PM
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No changing the rules after the game has started. Bernie wants to claim the nomination despite about 70% give or take of his party preferring
more moderate candidates. That's probably his best game for the nomination, but that's not the rules...
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:57 PM
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If one of the candidates has a large lead, but not a majority, after the first ballot, those hated superdelegates will probably come in and throw their support behind the leader, if only to keep the convention from turning into a bloodbath. That's how the system is supposed to work.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:00 PM
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I'll preface this by saying I hope Bernie doesn't win the nominations.

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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
No changing the rules after the game has started. Bernie wants to claim the nomination despite about 70% give or take of his party preferring
more moderate candidates. That's probably his best game for the nomination, but that's not the rules...
That being said, the Democrats can talk about rules all they want, but I'm not sure it would be smart to deny the strongest candidate in the field the nomination, just because the rules say the party can.

Looking at it another way, the fact that 70% of the party doesn't consider Bernie their first choice doesn't mean that they would necessarily consider Buttigieg, Biden, or Bloomberg a favorable alternative.

I think Bernie would be an ineffective president, but as a candidate, there's no questioning that he's built a hell of a campaign machine. It's the envy of every other Democrat in the race. Nobody gives a shit about the DNC's arcane rules - it's just common sense that you don't take that kind of energy and passion out of a race and expect anything good to come from it.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:08 PM
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If one of the candidates has a large lead, but not a majority, after the first ballot, those hated superdelegates will probably come in and throw their support behind the leader, if only to keep the convention from turning into a bloodbath. That's how the system is supposed to work.
That would be the smart move. IIRC, I don't think Hillary actually won enough vote-based delegates to win the nomination, but she clearly won enough contests to justify having super delegates push her past the finish line. It's only fair that Bernie Sanders' campaign would expect the same courtesy in return.

It would be utter insanity to take what's arguably the strongest grassroots movement in the country, take tens of millions of cast votes, and say "Sorry, our party bosses think you people are a bunch of nut jobs - but come out and support us in the general." Yeah, that'll fly.

Considering that probably nobody can outright beat Sanders at this point, the next best thing I can hope for is that either Bloomberg or Biden competes well enough to earn a virtual "draw" with Sanders. I think that would be at least easier for Sanders supporters to accept, particularly if Sanders somehow had a bad Super Tuesday (not likely, but I'll game it out for the moment). But Sanders will almost surely walk away having won more votes in a minimum of 3 out of 4 February contests, and possibly even all 4. If he goes on to dominate Super Tuesday, then it's time for the Dems to start coming to grips with reality and use their remaining leverage not to strategize how to screw Sanders out of a nomination, but how to infuse at least some of their influence into his campaign and possible administration.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:14 PM
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I picked the 2nd as closest to how I think things should go. If Bernie has a clear lead, even without a majority, picking someone else will almost certainly doom the party to be split with a big loss in Nov. If it's very close (say, Bernie has 28%, Bloomberg has 27%, and a few other candidates have 10-20%), then who knows what will happen, and I doubt we'd get out of the convention with a strong candidate.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:17 PM
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Looking at it another way, the fact that 70% of the party doesn't consider Bernie their first choice doesn't mean that they would necessarily consider Buttigieg, Biden, or Bloomberg a favorable alternative.
Recently we've seen some polls in which Democrats are asked who they would pick if they had to choose between only two of the candidates. Bernie beats all the others, and all of them except Warren and Biden by double digit margins. In contrast, Bloomberg loses to everyone else by at least 5 points.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:18 PM
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That would be the smart move. IIRC, I don't think Hillary actually won enough vote-based delegates to win the nomination, but she clearly won enough contests to justify having super delegates push her past the finish line. It's
Going by the numbers on Wikipedia, she did have a majority of the pledged delegates.
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If one of the candidates has a large lead, but not a majority, after the first ballot, those hated superdelegates will probably come in and throw their support behind the leader, if only to keep the convention from turning into a bloodbath. That's how the system is supposed to work.
The superdelegates will definitely "come in" after an inconclusive first ballot, but who knows who they will support - especially if there's a chance that all but one of the moderate candidates decides to withdraw.

Also note that the rules say, "All delegates to the National Convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." This could be interpreted as saying, "If you were pledged to a moderate, you need to vote for a moderate, and if you were pledged to a progressive, you need to vote for a progessive." It's possible that some states may have laws forcing pledged delegates to vote for their candidate up until a certain point; however, for example, California does not have such a law for the Democrats, although it does for the Republicans (a delegate may switch after the second ballot, or when the candidate gets less than 10% of the vote or withdraws).
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:13 PM
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This is all basically uncharted territory, but wouldn’t you think delegates would likely follow the express wishes of the candidate they were pledged to?

This process could require the nominee to accept an unlikely running mate (Sanders/Klobuchar! Bloomberg/Warren!).
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:30 PM
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That would be the smart move. IIRC, I don't think Hillary actually won enough vote-based delegates to win the nomination, but she clearly won enough contests to justify having super delegates push her past the finish line. It's only fair that Bernie Sanders' campaign would expect the same courtesy in return.
Why? Clinton was a Democrat, Bernie isn't.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:03 PM
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Note that option two may be, and likely usually would be, contained within option three.

"The process" is that delegates should vote how they believe those who voted for them would want them to vote, as their representative in the process. That does NOT mean taking orders from the candidate they were pledge to.

It is very reasonable for a delegate to conclude that a candidate very close to the majority and/or with a very large lead over the next closest is who those who voted them in would want them to next support and some no doubt would. It is also very reasonable for superdelegates to take their lead from the preferences of the pledged delegates as most reflective of the will of the voters in the primaries.

That would be the process playing out per DNC rules as it should.

OTOH a circumstance in which one candidate had maybe 33% of the vote and those who clearly represent a wish to take the party in a different direction had, put together, 60%, with one ahead at maybe 25%, would rationally lead a delegate to think that those who voted for them want something other than the plurality winner to get the nod.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:22 PM
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To the specifics of this circumstance - HRC had a solid majority of the pledged delegates (2205 to 1846), had over 3.6 million more votes than him, and Team Sanders was arguing up to the very end that the supers should OVERRULE the will of the voters as so expressed because he was, he claimed, more electable. When they would not his team spun it was the supers that gave HRC her win (because if they all went to him he still would have won with an overrule of both the pledged delegate majority and popular votes). Many of his supporters today still buy that crap line.

The hypocrisy of his current position, that it would be unfair for a plurality with no majority, to not be an automatic win, honestly makes me gag.

To refresh people's memories -
Quote:
Despite badly lagging in the delegate count, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager told NPR the campaign believes Sanders can and will be the Democratic nominee by winning over superdelegates at the 11th hour.

"If we can substantially close the gap between Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders in terms of pledged delegates," Jeff Weaver told NPR's All Things Considered, "he can go into the convention with a substantial momentum from having won the vast, vast majority of states at the end of the process." ...

... "Now we can argue about the merits of having superdelegates," Weaver continued, "but we do have them. And if their role is just to rubber-stamp the pledged-delegate count then they really aren't needed. They're supposed to exercise independent judgment about who they think can lead the party forward to victory."

Weaver added that superdelegates don't vote until they actually go to the convention, and he considers their allegiances as movable as poll numbers.

If by the convention Sanders has "substantial momentum" and has substantially "closed the gap" in pledged delegates, Weaver said, "I think there's a strong argument to be made to superdelegates that they should take another look."
  #14  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:08 PM
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Yes, Bernie's deeply held democratic principles seem to shift awfully conveniently based on what's the most advantageous for him personally.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Recently we've seen some polls in which Democrats are asked who they would pick if they had to choose between only two of the candidates. Bernie beats all the others, and all of them except Warren and Biden by double digit margins. In contrast, Bloomberg loses to everyone else by at least 5 points.

Which to me illustrates that Democratic primary voters are pretty confused and clueless, tbh. Bernie provides such a stark contrast to the rest of the field, as he and his most ardent followers would readily admit, that it makes little sense for him to be everyone's second choice, as this seems to imply. He is exactly the opposite of the kind of candidate who should be getting that kind of support. If the majority of the party is down for a revolution, he should already be getting a majority. If they aren't, why would they go for him as the next-best alternative to Biden or Klobuchar or Buttigieg or Bloomberg? It's incoherent.


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This is all basically uncharted territory, but wouldn’t you think delegates would likely follow the express wishes of the candidate they were pledged to?

This process could require the nominee to accept an unlikely running mate (Sanders/Klobuchar! Bloomberg/Warren!).

Or Biden/Klobuchar, or Buttigieg/Bloomberg. If the moderates really want to combine forces to keep Bernie off the ticket, that's more likely to be what we'll get, which of course is rough because it doesn't even stanch the bleeding by offering a progressive running mate as a consolation prize. But this is what Harry Reid is floating:

https://politicalwire.com/2020/02/20...han-plurality/
Quote:
Reid dismissed suggestions from Sanders and his supporters that he should become the nominee if he finishes with a plurality lead ahead of the still large pack of candidates, but short of the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination outright. Reid even suggested that a group of moderate candidates, trailing Sanders overall, could assemble a coalition ahead of the Democratic convention in July in Milwaukee to hand the nomination to someone else.

Speaking of Reid, did you check out that zoot suit he was rocking, complete with pinstripes and a feather in his hat, at the debate?
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:08 PM
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Note that option two may be, and likely usually would be, contained within option three.

"The process" is that delegates should vote how they believe those who voted for them would want them to vote, as their representative in the process. That does NOT mean taking orders from the candidate they were pledge to.

It is very reasonable for a delegate to conclude that a candidate very close to the majority and/or with a very large lead over the next closest is who those who voted them in would want them to next support and some no doubt would. It is also very reasonable for superdelegates to take their lead from the preferences of the pledged delegates as most reflective of the will of the voters in the primaries.

That would be the process playing out per DNC rules as it should.

OTOH a circumstance in which one candidate had maybe 33% of the vote and those who clearly represent a wish to take the party in a different direction had, put together, 60%, with one ahead at maybe 25%, would rationally lead a delegate to think that those who voted for them want something other than the plurality winner to get the nod.
Remember, though, that delegates are generally chosen precisely for their loyalty to their candidate. So they certainly shouldn't feel obligated to "take orders', but it seems reasonable to assume that a great many of them would do so voluntarily.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:35 PM
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I picked 3 but I hope it’s for 2020 only. This is such a weird primary with the Bloomberg money machine not even getting started yet, a compressed primary schedule with stupid TX and CA jumping in on Super Tuesday, and a party definitely divided between the Bernie cult and #NeverBernie.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:47 PM
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Note that option two may be, and likely usually would be, contained within option three.

"The process" is that delegates should vote how they believe those who voted for them would want them to vote, as their representative in the process. That does NOT mean taking orders from the candidate they were pledge to.

It is very reasonable for a delegate to conclude that a candidate very close to the majority and/or with a very large lead over the next closest is who those who voted them in would want them to next support and some no doubt would. It is also very reasonable for superdelegates to take their lead from the preferences of the pledged delegates as most reflective of the will of the voters in the primaries.

That would be the process playing out per DNC rules as it should.

OTOH a circumstance in which one candidate had maybe 33% of the vote and those who clearly represent a wish to take the party in a different direction had, put together, 60%, with one ahead at maybe 25%, would rationally lead a delegate to think that those who voted for them want something other than the plurality winner to get the nod.
In the other thread, you seemed to think it was OK for Bernie to not get the nomination with 38% of the vote and a 16 point lead over the runner up, with another 6% going to Warren. I would call that a pretty clear cut case of a candidate being close to a majority, with a very large lead over the next best. Exactly how close to a majority do you think a candidate has to be in order to be nominated?
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:51 PM
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Actually, I see the OP specified 40-45% as the cutoff for option 2. So probably the currently projected scenario is right in that dreaded gray area; at 33% or 43% there would likely be general agreement.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:30 AM
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Yeah, Bernie is happy with superdelegates if they help him, not if not.

BTW, I wish the DNC would make a majority 2,000 delegates instead of 1,991, it would just be a much tidier and simpler number.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:11 AM
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Actually, I see the OP specified 40-45% as the cutoff for option 2. So probably the currently projected scenario is right in that dreaded gray area; at 33% or 43% there would likely be general agreement.

I get the impression that for many Bernheads, there would not be agreement at 33%, even if he's leading someone by only one percentage point. "He has the most support, it's undemocratic not to make him the nominee!"
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:14 AM
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I'm sure there are people who would want to pull out every possible stop to deny Bernie the nomination if he were at 49.9%, too. What's your point?
  #22  
Old 02-21-2020, 07:24 AM
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Why? Clinton was a Democrat, Bernie isn't.
Yeah, try telling that to voters.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:51 AM
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If someone - Bernie or not - had a significant lead over all opponents, and yet the nomination did not wind up going to that person because their opponents conspired to prevent them from getting it, it would cause many voters - including me - to seriously question whether it's worth bothering. Yes, Trump and the Republicans are terrible, but is there a point where the better option is still so bad that it's unacceptable to agree with it? Really hard to say. Probably not because Trump really is that bad, and worse it's almost certain the Supreme Court would be completely lost in another four years, but damn if that wouldn't come really, really close to making me shake my head and give up on the whole situation and just not vote.

Now, a situation where someone's within a tight margin of the leader? Sure, it's reasonable for it to go to either one of them based on who the delegates think should be the nominee, and I don't have a problem with letting their judgement decide in a close situation. Any lead bigger than about 5-6%, though (and that's already a big enough lead that I'd be raising my eyebrow at a decision to shift to another candidate), and that's unacceptable to me. It would be better to simply scrap the primary and simply have party leaders meet and agree to a candidate, or set the rules so they have a veto on candidates even being part of the process, if they're going to want to exclude someone so strongly.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:10 AM
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In the other thread, you seemed to think it was OK for Bernie to not get the nomination with 38% of the vote and a 16 point lead over the runner up, with another 6% going to Warren. I would call that a pretty clear cut case of a candidate being close to a majority, with a very large lead over the next best. Exactly how close to a majority do you think a candidate has to be in order to be nominated?
Not much over a third with solidly more than half voting for a completely different approach is not near close to me.

Absent other information that would be available at the time (current polling in head to heads and performance in key states), I'd say both nearly 50% (at least 45%).

The way this would and should work out is how parliamentary systems work out - if you do not win an outright majority you need to form a consensus that is the majority to be the leader. Plurality is not enough.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:20 AM
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No changing the rules after the game has started. Bernie wants to claim the nomination despite about 70% give or take of his party preferring
more moderate candidates. That's probably his best game for the nomination, but that's not the rules...
That's really my complaint about Sanders' idea; if the agreed upon rules for the contest were plurality wins, then fine. But the rules are and have been a majority, so you don't switch it mid-game.

If Sanders wants a plurality to win, he needs to work on changing the DNC policies for 2024, not bitch about it in 2020.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:45 AM
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How much "bitching" has he done? I don't pay a super lot of attention day to day.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:50 AM
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That's really my complaint about Sanders' idea; if the agreed upon rules for the contest were plurality wins, then fine. But the rules are and have been a majority, so you don't switch it mid-game.

If Sanders wants a plurality to win, he needs to work on changing the DNC policies for 2024, not bitch about it in 2020.
Agreed. JUst like if people don't want a Democratic socialist to run for the Democratic nomination, they need to work on changing DNC policies for 2024, not bitch about it in 2020.

However, the question isn't about what the rules should be. I don't think Sanders is advocating in this case for a change to the rules. AIUI, he's suggesting what the most strategic decision would be. If Bloomberg has 40% of delegates and Sanders has 16%, and superdelegates all throw their support behind Sanders because they're terrified of running a sexist racist billionaire against Trump, they're pretty clearly ignoring what voters want--and since the general is decided by voters, that's strategically foolish.
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:21 AM
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It seemed to me that he was suggesting it the unqualified duty of the Superdelegates to vote for the nominee with the plurality.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:16 PM
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How much "bitching" has he done? I don't pay a super lot of attention day to day.
He was specifically asked about it during a debate and gave the answer that best served his political self-interest. Amazingly enough, so did all the other politicians on the stage! Who would imagine?!
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:32 PM
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I voted for option three, with the understanding that except in the most unusual circumstances, three would imply two. The Democratic party isn't suicidal. If Bernie comes in with 40-45% of the delegates, and all the other candidates are sitting at around 20%, they know that giving the nomination to someone else is going to fracture the party and the resulting hurt feelings will doom whomever comes out on top, leading to 4 more years of Trump. So they may as well roll the dice and hope that the Bernie bros are right.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:35 PM
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If someone - Bernie or not - had a significant lead over all opponents, and yet the nomination did not wind up going to that person because their opponents conspired to prevent them from getting it, it would cause many voters - including me - to seriously question whether it's worth bothering. Yes, Trump and the Republicans are terrible, but is there a point where the better option is still so bad that it's unacceptable to agree with it? Really hard to say. Probably not because Trump really is that bad, and worse it's almost certain the Supreme Court would be completely lost in another four years, but damn if that wouldn't come really, really close to making me shake my head and give up on the whole situation and just not vote.

Now, a situation where someone's within a tight margin of the leader? Sure, it's reasonable for it to go to either one of them based on who the delegates think should be the nominee, and I don't have a problem with letting their judgement decide in a close situation. Any lead bigger than about 5-6%, though (and that's already a big enough lead that I'd be raising my eyebrow at a decision to shift to another candidate), and that's unacceptable to me. It would be better to simply scrap the primary and simply have party leaders meet and agree to a candidate, or set the rules so they have a veto on candidates even being part of the process, if they're going to want to exclude someone so strongly.
I wouldn't go that far. Like if it's Sanders 38, Biden and Buttigieg both with 30, then I wouldn't expect Sanders to get the nomination.The concept of lanes makes sense up to a point. I think a 16 point lead is an awful lot to override. Both of the runners up are closer to the single digits than they are to the leader. At that point, delegates really have to ask themselves "If the voters in my State were that committed to not nominating Sanders, wouldn't they have figured out a way to avoid dividing the non-Sanders vote five ways?"
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:09 PM
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It makes sense to me to play by the rules as they were originally laid out at the beginning of the race. Change things next election if you don't like how the current rules made this election turn out.

But the DNC is a private organization. They can draw straws to pick a nominee. They can draw straws until it looks like the guy they don't like will win, then change the rules to rock, paper, scissors instead. Whatever. It's their show, and I'm not part of their club.

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The Democratic party isn't suicidal. If Bernie comes in with 40-45% of the delegates, and all the other candidates are sitting at around 20%, they know that giving the nomination to someone else is going to fracture the party and the resulting hurt feelings will doom whomever comes out on top, leading to 4 more years of Trump.
Do they know that, though? I doubt they'll overturn a clear overwhelming Bernie win if it happens, but I also doubt they'd spit on the man if he were on fire. Helping him out in any way, even if it ultimately helps the party, is not guaranteed, in my opinion.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:44 PM
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They really do NOT know that. It really depends on what the 55 to 60% of those who did NOT vote for Bernie think, as deduced by the delegates they elected to represent them.

In the recent Irish election Sinn Féin received the most votes, the plurality, and the most first preference votes. Before the election however both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had sworn to not form a coalition with Sinn Féin ... and the leader of Fianna Fáil had sworn no coalition with Fine Gael either.

Should it work that the other parties and their members automatically fall behind the plurality winner?

As it stands they've all been negotiating with each other. But odds are it won't be Sinn Féin in the leadership position.

Similar deadlock in Israel.

The nomination and parliamentary leadership both require either an outright majority or relying on the ability to form a coalition that is a majority. Which requires compromises ... something that is anathema to the Sanders revolutionary brand but is on brand for the Gang of Four (as RTF has called them) of Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Biden, and Klobuchar. Hell, even Warren is good at that.

Now if you have 40 to 45% of the vote it shouldn't take much negotiating and compromise to get enough over to your side to have a coalition with an outright majority (which the supers should endorse). An inability to do it would speak to someone massively disliked by the remaining 55 to 60%, which would be of its own significance. I don't think such a circumstance is likely in this cycle. But someone with a solid plurality but not a majority being unable to be the nominee because they could not negotiate into a majority coalition position to me would be a feature not a bug.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:56 PM
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It seemed to me that he was suggesting it the unqualified duty of the Superdelegates to vote for the nominee with the plurality.
Which, as I understand it, is completely and absolutely counter to the point of having superdelegates in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:56 PM
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#1. If a candidate has a majority of the delegates, they should get the nomination.
#2. If a candidate has the most delegates and would have a majority if all the super-delegates went to them, then they should get the nomination.
#3. If no candidate can get a majority even with all the supers, then the delegates need to start horse trading. Super delegates need to force a winner as soon as they can.

In 2016, Hillary satisfied #2 and Bernie did not. It was the obvious choice. If Bernie has #2 coming into the 2020 convention, then he should get the nomination without complaints.

A contested convention (#3) will be contentious no matter what, but the candidates should be building bridges right now to the others. Part of being the party leader is building coalitions.

I’m not a Democrat, but I’ll be voting for their nominee this fall. I really don’t think it matters as much as many people think who the nominee is.
  #36  
Old 02-21-2020, 02:13 PM
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They really do NOT know that. It really depends on what the 55 to 60% of those who did NOT vote for Bernie think, as deduced by the delegates they elected to represent them.

In the recent Irish election Sinn Féin received the most votes, the plurality, and the most first preference votes. Before the election however both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had sworn to not form a coalition with Sinn Féin ... and the leader of Fianna Fáil had sworn no coalition with Fine Gael either.

Should it work that the other parties and their members automatically fall behind the plurality winner?

As it stands they've all been negotiating with each other. But odds are it won't be Sinn Féin in the leadership position.

Similar deadlock in Israel.

The nomination and parliamentary leadership both require either an outright majority or relying on the ability to form a coalition that is a majority. Which requires compromises ... something that is anathema to the Sanders revolutionary brand but is on brand for the Gang of Four (as RTF has called them) of Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Biden, and Klobuchar. Hell, even Warren is good at that.

Now if you have 40 to 45% of the vote it shouldn't take much negotiating and compromise to get enough over to your side to have a coalition with an outright majority (which the supers should endorse). An inability to do it would speak to someone massively disliked by the remaining 55 to 60%, which would be of its own significance. I don't think such a circumstance is likely in this cycle. But someone with a solid plurality but not a majority being unable to be the nominee because they could not negotiate into a majority coalition position to me would be a feature not a bug.
Not an entirely valid comparison. Parties in a parliamentary election are competing against each other. Here there is obviously an element of that, but also a level on which they are supposed to be working toward a common goal. The Conservatives care a great deal about beating Labour, and very little for how Labour may feel about it. But convention delegates need to be looking for a solution that won't leave any faction feeling screwed over.

Hypothetically, let's say that with this delegate count, polls showed that a small majority of Democrats, like 52%, believed that Sanders should be the nominee. Would you think the delegates should feel obligated to nominate him at that point? If not, how large would the majority have to be to change your mind?
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:43 PM
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Barring other counterfactual information extant at the time I would think that the delegates pledged elsehow would in "good conscience" conclude that voting for Sanders would best "reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." But I could see with that slim majority others feeling otherwise. Honestly if it was a 40 to 45% plurality with a big gap I would think something was very wrong with a candidate who could not get a solid majority saying that. You do realize that would mean that something like 4 out of 5 of Democrats who voted for someone else still thought he should not be the nominee? The incontestable slam dunk would be if a majority of those who voted otherwise stated he should be the nominee at that point.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:19 PM
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Devil's advocacy:

The delegate allocation process, at least as I understand it, already builds in a heavy advantage for candidates who win pluralities in large fields. So in a world where nobody drops out and Sanders keeps winning around 25% of the vote in most States, with everyone else finishing just a few points above or below the 15% cutoff, he would end up getting a large plurality or conceivably even an absolute majority while still getting only 25% of the vote. If it's a majority, of course, everyone would unhesitatingly agree that we have to play by the rules agreed to at the start. But if it's only a large plurality, that would definitely undercut Sanders' claim to be morally entitled to the nomination.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:34 PM
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The delegate allocation process, at least as I understand it, already builds in a heavy advantage for candidates who win pluralities in large fields.
That isn't a very accurate take on the rules.

The rules build an advantage for every candidate that breaks threshold. 30.1% percent of votes in NH went to candidates that got shut out of the delegate count. All three other candidates an advantage and split the delegate total. Sanders and Buttigieg tied for delegates won based on 25.7% and 24.4% of the statewide vote. The 9 delegates they both won was 37.5% of the delegate haul. Klobuchar pulled 25% of delegates on 19.8% of the vote. Buttigieg actually got a bigger advantage from the delegate allocation rules than the vote plurality winner.

It is even possible for the plurality candidate in the statewide vote totals to lose when we look at delegate counts. The majority of delegates are awarded at the congressional district level. In states with a lot of districts a plurality candidate could win big in some districts but just barely miss threshold in most. The total number of votes statewide would still look good. The delegate counts could still suffer.

Also, the Congressional districts are not equally weighted for delegate allocations. The state level delegate counts are not even weighted strictly by state population. The DNC uses proxies based on recent election results. They try to roughly balance districts and states along "one Democrat, one vote" levels not "one person." It is very rough. Where someone is winning votes matters. It is not just about getting more votes.

In fields that shrink early the underlying complexity disappears before we really have to take notice. This time we have to notice.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:50 PM
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I wouldn't go that far. Like if it's Sanders 38, Biden and Buttigieg both with 30, then I wouldn't expect Sanders to get the nomination.The concept of lanes makes sense up to a point. I think a 16 point lead is an awful lot to override. Both of the runners up are closer to the single digits than they are to the leader. At that point, delegates really have to ask themselves "If the voters in my State were that committed to not nominating Sanders, wouldn't they have figured out a way to avoid dividing the non-Sanders vote five ways?"

I'm surprised to see we actually agree on this! My impression is that many Sandernistas do not. They would definitely expect Sanders to get the nomination if it's 38/30/30, and will throw a fit if he does not.
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  #41  
Old 02-22-2020, 05:13 AM
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If it's a plurality but the separation is small, I don't see any way to get out of the convention without a weakened candidate. But considering how many Bernie supporters are potential non voters, if Bernie has the lead I think the smartest play for the party would be to nominate him. Sucks that so many Bernie supporters appear to be willing to stay home if he's not the nominee, but if he has the most delegates going in, I think nominating anyone else would be a massive strategic blunder, probably dooming us to another loss. It wouldn't be that he earned it, it'd be that he'd be the least weak candidate coming out of the convention.
  #42  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:02 AM
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That isn't a very accurate take on the rules.

The rules build an advantage for every candidate that breaks threshold. 30.1% percent of votes in NH went to candidates that got shut out of the delegate count. All three other candidates an advantage and split the delegate total. Sanders and Buttigieg tied for delegates won based on 25.7% and 24.4% of the statewide vote. The 9 delegates they both won was 37.5% of the delegate haul. Klobuchar pulled 25% of delegates on 19.8% of the vote. Buttigieg actually got a bigger advantage from the delegate allocation rules than the vote plurality winner.

It is even possible for the plurality candidate in the statewide vote totals to lose when we look at delegate counts. The majority of delegates are awarded at the congressional district level. In states with a lot of districts a plurality candidate could win big in some districts but just barely miss threshold in most. The total number of votes statewide would still look good. The delegate counts could still suffer.

Also, the Congressional districts are not equally weighted for delegate allocations. The state level delegate counts are not even weighted strictly by state population. The DNC uses proxies based on recent election results. They try to roughly balance districts and states along "one Democrat, one vote" levels not "one person." It is very rough. Where someone is winning votes matters. It is not just about getting more votes.

In fields that shrink early the underlying complexity disappears before we really have to take notice. This time we have to notice.
It is confusing, which is why I don't understand this article:

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaig...r-tuesday-lead

The jist is that moderates must rally around one candidate or else Bernie will build such a big lead after Super Tuesday that nobody will be able to catch him. But why?

No Dem primary is winner take all. So doesn't it follow that so long as the candidates stay in the race and keep Bernie from winning majorities, then the proportional allocation of delegates will force a contested convention?

Of course, there is the 15% threshold, so maybe if someone like Amy or Warren cannot reach that threshold, they should drop out, but if Pete, Bloomberg, and Biden are all pulling at least 15%, then that's good that they all stay in that way their votes are not siphoned off to Bernie...right?

I mean, the article would make sense if it was a winner take all primary. Let's not have Bernie win all of the delegates because the moderates are fighting each other. But that's not what we have.
  #43  
Old 02-22-2020, 05:36 PM
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It is confusing, which is why I don't understand this article:

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaig...r-tuesday-lead

The jist is that moderates must rally around one candidate or else Bernie will build such a big lead after Super Tuesday that nobody will be able to catch him. But why?

No Dem primary is winner take all. So doesn't it follow that so long as the candidates stay in the race and keep Bernie from winning majorities, then the proportional allocation of delegates will force a contested convention?

Of course, there is the 15% threshold, so maybe if someone like Amy or Warren cannot reach that threshold, they should drop out, but if Pete, Bloomberg, and Biden are all pulling at least 15%, then that's good that they all stay in that way their votes are not siphoned off to Bernie...right?...
Except if the crowded field allows the leader to get over the threshold in each race, but different ones of the others don't quite make the threshold in different races. The result is that the pledged delegate advantage over the field is much larger than the popular vote is. Maybe even enough to get to a majority when by popular vote totals they'd have had only a small plurality

Imagine that today ends with only Biden and Sanders getting over the threshold? Should the others all drop out on that basis alone? Should Biden have dropped out exclusively on the basis of not hitting 15% in New Hampshire?

One third of the delegates are awarded on Super Tuesday. Current polling is good chances that several will not hit the 15% threshold in California and maybe a different several not hit the threshold in Texas. If in each of those it is Sanders with 30% and two others, but a not necessarily the same set of two others, with 15 to 20%, then Sanders ends up with nearly 50% of those two states delegates and an exaggerated delegate lead over the next two or three closest as each of them may have had a state that they got none (okay not none because there are some per congressional district, but you get the point). Hell the most recent California poll has it Sanders 24% to Biden 17% and no one else over 15% even though several may be close (but no cigar). For state wide delegates anyway that would give Sanders 65% of California's delegates with 24% of the vote!

A crowded field facilitates the leader pulling away.
  #44  
Old 02-22-2020, 06:06 PM
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The middle of the race is not the time to start changing rules. Start drawing up plans for what you want done, but wait until after the current session is done to sit down and see what can be done.

Things to remember.
Just because it's always been done that way doesn't mean that's the best way.
If you change the rules so you would have won this time, you may be screwing yourself over the next time when the players/conditions are different.
It's a long game. You're not going to be victorious in every engagement. Instant gratification is not your friend.
Change is inevitable. Just make sure it's the best change you can make.
  #45  
Old 02-22-2020, 06:53 PM
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Devil's advocacy:

The delegate allocation process, at least as I understand it, already builds in a heavy advantage for candidates who win pluralities in large fields. So in a world where nobody drops out and Sanders keeps winning around 25% of the vote in most States, with everyone else finishing just a few points above or below the 15% cutoff, he would end up getting a large plurality or conceivably even an absolute majority while still getting only 25% of the vote. If it's a majority, of course, everyone would unhesitatingly agree that we have to play by the rules agreed to at the start. But if it's only a large plurality, that would definitely undercut Sanders' claim to be morally entitled to the nomination.
Given that Thing Fish, if the delegate plurality was 45% with a large lead over the next closest who were bunched up near each other, but the popular vote numbers were in fact very close, would you feel that the plurality leader should automatically get other delegates moving to them?
  #46  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:32 PM
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I wanted to be sure I remembered my history, so I read up on what history textbooks are calling The Great Superdelegate Clusterfuck of 2016.

AIUI from rereading that history:
1) Sanders trounced Clinton in New Hampshire's primary vote.
2) Back then, superdelegates pledged support whenever they wanted.
3) Headlines after NH reported Sanders tied with Clinton, because so many superdelegates went with her.
4) He was pissed, as were a lot of his supporters, at what looked like an overturning of the popular vote.
5) He spent awhile trying to persuade superdelegates to pledge to support the popular vote winner. That shit failed.
5a) This is the part I'm not clear on: Sanders's campaign suggested that the superdelegates pledge blunted his "momentum," that it muddied the storyline of his being the clear front-runner in those earlier races, and hurt him in later races.
6) When Clinton eventually edged ahead with the popular vote, his campaign was like, fuck it, if the rules are that the superdelegates can do whatever they want, let's try to win them over ourselves. Play by the rules as clearly established.
7) In 2018, the superdelegates rules changed, so they only kick in after the first round of voting at the convention.
8) Sanders wants them, again, to support the candidate who won the most popular votes.

Step 6 in that process is hinky, but only a little; it's about as bad as Warren accepting PAC support after she's realized her principles are resulting in her getting trounced in the funding game. You can play the game by rules that you think should change, because you want them changed for everyone, not just you.

Sanders's position regarding the superdelegates has been, step 6 possibly aside, consistent. They should support the candidate who's won the most votes.
  #47  
Old 02-23-2020, 01:06 AM
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Your history is missing a bit, LHOD.

He was ahead in the popular vote ONLY after New Hampshire, the very first primary. Nevada she won but caucus so popular vote not recorded that I can easily find (but it put her in the pledged delegate lead that she never lost), and she then won South Carolina by 178K, putting her well in the popular vote lead, which she never lost.

She proceeded to win huge popular vote margins on Super Tuesday and stayed well in the lead for both popular vote and pledged delegates ever after. There really was no "eventually" involved. There was no him in the lead for "earlier racess": it was one singular primary race that he was in the lead after. Her lead was in fact comfortable ever after.

His team was selling a storyline at the time that the superdelegates were why Clinton was in the lead but other than that media reporting both delegate totals, pledged and pledged plus superdelegates, gave an impression of an even bigger delegate lead than pledged delegate totals would have, it was a false narrative. It was throughout a "if I catch up" the system could theoretically have Clinton still be the nominee because superdelegates could overrule the popular vote. Then when it was 100% clear even to him that he could not catch up even in pledged delegates (much later than it was clear even to him that his popular vote deficit was insurmountable, as he was farther behind there) it became a "the superdelegates SHOULD overrule the popular vote and pledged delegate count majority."

The 2016 D primary was in fact after Nevada never close and most other opposition candidates would have dropped out much earlier when the outcome was clearly written and sealed.

He has been 100% consistent: whichever would possibly result in the best case for him he is in favor of.

Last edited by DSeid; 02-23-2020 at 01:07 AM.
  #48  
Old 02-23-2020, 06:54 AM
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What DSeid said.
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  #49  
Old 02-23-2020, 07:33 AM
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My error is in saying "early races," I agree. The rest of what I said appears accurate.
  #50  
Old 02-23-2020, 01:05 PM
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My error is in saying "early races," I agree. The rest of what I said appears accurate.
"When Clinton eventually edged ahead" doesn't seem an accurate way to describe anything that happened.
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