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Old 11-15-2019, 11:24 AM
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Will the 2020 Democratic convention be contested?


It seems to me that itís unlikely any of the candidates will have a majority of delegates by the time the primaries are over. None the less, the google search hits on this topic come up with very few results, about half of which seem to be from last year and several others from back in spring and early summer from this year. I also note little discussion about this possibility in the Democratic primary thread. All this makes me think that Iím conjuring up an unlikely possibility that many other serious thinkers are not really considering.

Here are my thoughts on this topic. The primaries are all proportional rather than winner take all. I doubt that Biden, Warren, Sanders, or Buttigieg will drop out before Super Tuesday. At this point my guess is there will probably be something like 7-10 candidates still running going into Super Tuesday. There is likely to be three and four way splits in many of the Super Tuesday states. By 3/17 almost all the large states and over half of the states overall will have voted. Unless it comes down to two candidates before that date, it seems unlikely that the remaining states will have enough delegates to decide the matter. The remaining large states are Georgia on 3/24, New York and Pennsylvania on 4/28, and New Jersey in June. In other words, if the field doesnít shrink down to two or three by Super Tuesday, it seems that no one will likely be able to win a majority. If that happens then we will again be dealing with the dreaded super delegates that Sanders criticized last time. I assume they would break in favor of Biden, but thatís just a guess.

How do you all think such a scenario would play out, and more importantly is this scenario even likely or am I worried about a low probability event?
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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No! This topic gets beaten to death every 4 years by the pundits who have space to fill.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:32 PM
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No! This topic gets beaten to death every 4 years by the pundits who have space to fill.
Part of my point is that it isn’t being beaten to death this cycle even though it seems more likely to happen this year compared to others. I haven’t seen it discussed in 538 or Politico. A google search returns only a few articles with idle speculation from last year or several moths ago at the most recent.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 11-15-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:07 AM
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Part of my point is that it isnít being beaten to death this cycle even though it seems more likely to happen this year compared to others. I havenít seen it discussed in 538 or Politico. A google search returns only a few articles with idle speculation from last year or several moths ago at the most recent.
Oh, it will. Just wait for the voting to begin. Right now we are still in the white knight savior phase, which Bloomberg and Patrick actually believed.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:18 AM
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It seems to me that itís unlikely any of the candidates will have a majority of delegates by the time the primaries are over.
There's no possible way to know this until the voting starts. But even if it happens, the solution is not to add a bunch more random people half-way through the process.

The actual solution would be for the DNC to drastically raise their debate requirements and cut the candidates down to, say, half a dozen? With a top 3 candidates only for the last pre-voting debate.

Of course, that means Bernie and Warren would be tag-teaming Biden and the DNC is desperate to prevent that. So it's not going to happen. But that's how you'd do it, if you were genuinely worried about diluting the vote.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:05 AM
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There's no possible way to know this until the voting starts. But even if it happens, the solution is not to add a bunch more random people half-way through the process.

The actual solution would be for the DNC to drastically raise their debate requirements and cut the candidates down to, say, half a dozen? With a top 3 candidates only for the last pre-voting debate.

Of course, that means Bernie and Warren would be tag-teaming Biden and the DNC is desperate to prevent that. So it's not going to happen. But that's how you'd do it, if you were genuinely worried about diluting the vote.
The stupid DNC conspiracy theories are why the debate field isnít narrowing fast enough. They had to bend over backwards to appease the Bernie Bros who are still crying, ĎRigged!í over 2016.

Thankfully, a lot of these third tier candidates are going to start dropping. Fundraising really clams up from the Thanksgiving to New Years time frame and some of the campaigns are going to wake up like Betoís and realize they donít habe the money to continue even one more day.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:48 AM
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There's no possible way to know this until the voting starts. But even if it happens, the solution is not to add a bunch more random people half-way through the process.

The actual solution would be for the DNC to drastically raise their debate requirements and cut the candidates down to, say, half a dozen? With a top 3 candidates only for the last pre-voting debate.

Of course, that means Bernie and Warren would be tag-teaming Biden and the DNC is desperate to prevent that. So it's not going to happen. But that's how you'd do it, if you were genuinely worried about diluting the vote.
I think the only solution the DNC could provide is to limit the superdelegates to the 3rd or 4th round of voting. In the case of a deadlock that would allow some horse trading between the candidates before the superdelegates become involved. The best solution would be for the voters to settle on one ďleftist laneĒ candidate and one ďmoderate laneĒ candidate before Super Tuesday.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:34 AM
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The stupid DNC conspiracy theories are why the debate field isnít narrowing fast enough. They had to bend over backwards to appease the Bernie Bros who are still crying, ĎRigged!í over 2016.

Thankfully, a lot of these third tier candidates are going to start dropping. Fundraising really clams up from the Thanksgiving to New Years time frame and some of the campaigns are going to wake up like Betoís and realize they donít habe the money to continue even one more day.
It WAS rigged. And why use the term "Bernie Bros'? Because everyone else does?
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:32 AM
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And I'm still not sure why it's a problem that it was rigged. Of course the DNC should have some say into who their candidate will be. I would have preferred if they had chosen Sanders, but it was their choice to make.

Pretending that a political party should be nonpartisan is absurd.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:15 AM
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I doubt it will come to that.

Unless Bloomberg's candidacy changes things, there are really only three viable candidates. Biden, Warren and Sanders. All of the candiates have their supporters who will answer polls that indicate their support, but once it comes to casting you single vote, most voters will want to put their vote on someone who actually has a shot at winning, and even getting a single delegate requires getting at least 15% of the vote in a district. So I expect there will be only a handful of delegates outside of these three. At some point in the primary it will become clear that either Sanders or Warren is the preferred candidate of the hard left, at which point the other will see their support dry up. Then it becomes a two person race which one side or the other will win.

In spite of all the conspiracy theories about super-delegates, all of them realize that overturning the will of the primary voters will be mortal blow to the party. So unless the winning candidate is at a Trump level of unacceptability, they will in the end endorse whoever gets the most non-super delegates.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:39 PM
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It WAS rigged.
The Democratic Party holds primaries for Democratic Party members. But Sen. Sanders wasn't a Democrat until a few months ago. In 2016 he was an independent who crashed the (D) primaries - and more registered Democrats voted for Sec. Clinton, who had been (D) for a long, long time.

Compare with Ms Stein of the Green Party. Was she excluded from "rigged" Democratic Party primaries? Was Sanders excluded from (G) primary ballots? Was Tramp, also not (D), excluded from "rigged" (D) primaries? Really? Why should any non-member expect a party to accommodate them?

Enough tangent. Assuming 2020 party conventions aren't cancelled by an intervening emergency or disaster, sure the (D) show could be a fight. We still have no idea who will politically survive that long, nor who could rise from political death. Sen. Clinton floats another run. Would that be tragic?

Last edited by RioRico; 11-16-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:46 PM
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How do you all think such a scenario would play out . . .
As a Democrat, the one not-completely-horrible factor in this unlikely scenario is that the Democratic convention next year is unusually early (mid-July). So there would be more time than normal for the party to come together after the bitterness of a truly contested convention, and for the nominee to pivot to the center. For this reason, it's not definite that Trump wins in this scenario. Still, continuing the circular firing squad thing into next summer would be favorable for the GOP.

Last edited by PhillyGuy; 11-16-2019 at 08:47 PM.
  #13  
Old 11-16-2019, 09:03 PM
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And I'm still not sure why it's a problem that it was rigged. Of course the DNC should have some say into who their candidate will be. I would have preferred if they had chosen Sanders, but it was their choice to make.

Pretending that a political party should be nonpartisan is absurd.
'Nonpartisan' is not taking sides in interparty disagreements. I expect the DNC to be partisan; I just wish it would do a better job of it.

But if the DNC overrules its own voters in choosing its nominee, it can't expect a lot of enthusiasm from those voters.

I'm not saying this happened in 2016; in fact, I'm positive that it didn't. But it would be bad for the party if it started doing that. Its blackballing of consultants and so forth who go to work for primary challengers is already a step too far in that direction.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:13 PM
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We still have no idea who will politically survive that long, nor who could rise from political death. Sen. Clinton floats another run. Would that be tragic?
Not for Trump.

If the Democrats are going to run a former loser, Al Gore would be a better bet. He's even a year younger than Hillary.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:29 AM
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As a Democrat, the one not-completely-horrible factor in this unlikely scenario is that the Democratic convention next year is unusually early (mid-July). So there would be more time than normal for the party to come together after the bitterness of a truly contested convention, and for the nominee to pivot to the center. For this reason, it's not definite that Trump wins in this scenario. Still, continuing the circular firing squad thing into next summer would be favorable for the GOP.
The Summer Olympics start a bit earlier than normal on July 24. The Democrats, as the party out of power, go first so they want to hold their convention before the Olympics.

The Republicans have their convention during peak vacation time in late August after the Olympics are over.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:19 PM
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the media would love for it to not be settled before the convention for bigger ratings. I think there is a decent chance it could end up that way.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Here are my thoughts on this topic. The primaries are all proportional rather than winner take all. I doubt that Biden, Warren, Sanders, or Buttigieg will drop out before Super Tuesday. At this point my guess is there will probably be something like 7-10 candidates still running going into Super Tuesday. There is likely to be three and four way splits in many of the Super Tuesday states.
Don't forget about the 15% rule. I have a feeling that, if somebody gets something like 20% of the vote in a large state but ends up with 60% of the delegates because of it, we'll be hearing a lot about it.

The surest possible way I know of to get Trump re-elected is to have a progressive with a sizable delegate lead after the first ballot, but have the Superdelegates push a moderate over the top on the second ballot. I think the DNC knows this, and will try to "persuade" the Superdelegates to vote for the first ballot leader. (Quick check of the convention rules: the way I read it, a Superdelegate can vote for anyone (Call for the 2020 Convention, Rule IX.F.3.a: "On all votes, except the first ballot of the presidential roll call as described in Article IX.C.7, automatic delegates retain their ability to vote according to their own preferences.").)
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:21 PM
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And I'm still not sure why it's a problem that it was rigged. Of course the DNC should have some say into who their candidate will be. I would have preferred if they had chosen Sanders, but it was their choice to make.

Pretending that a political party should be nonpartisan is absurd.
I'm simply baffled by how many times you've had to be told that the DNCs own rules prohibit favoritism amongst Dem candidates.

Anyway, to the OP, That Don Guy has the big point you are missing. All these people polling at under 10% aren't getting any delegates. The delegates are going to be split amongst the top two or three candidates and a majority can easily start to emerge.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:56 PM
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It WAS rigged. And why use the term "Bernie Bros'? Because everyone else does?
I am so sorry the free ride on the Democratic political train didn't work out for Bernie.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:08 PM
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I'm simply baffled by how many times you've had to be told that the DNCs own rules prohibit favoritism amongst Dem candidates.
Bernie wasn't a 2016 Dem candidate but an independent hijacking Dem primaries. Or did you have another point?
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:28 PM
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I'm simply baffled by how many times you've had to be told that the DNCs own rules prohibit favoritism amongst Dem candidates.
As explained here, that's a terrible rule of the sort which allowed a hostile takeover of the GOP.

You might say this isn't the same because Bernie is much closer to a being a normative Democratic politician than Trump is to being the kind of Republican politician normative before his administration. I'd even say it. (Although I predict Bernie would fade once the Republican he-was-a-Trotskyite-communist ads take hold.)

If a political party's leaders were to allow into power someone who is wildly unqualified -- say, Marianne Williamson -- the fact that they were following bad rules is no excuse IMHO. At a minimum, the party needs to insure that those vying for the highest political office have actual relevant job experience. As for whether they should should block a Sanders -- I think that a borderline case.

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Old 11-17-2019, 10:16 PM
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The Democrats have a pretty good system with no winner take all or winner take most primaries or caucuses. It just sucks that the DNC is forced to bend over backwards to allow so many undeserving clowns into the debates this far in. There’s still too much toxicity left over from 2016 and even the most minor of candidates can make something go viral. Remember when Tulsi didn’t make the third debate and a tiny faction of burn down the house Dems egged on by Fox News and concern trolls from abroad screamed on social media about DNC conspiracy theories. Wednesday’s debate should be 6 at most and even that’s a stretch as the Harris campaign is hanging on for dear life.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:13 PM
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I think it's going to be Biden with Warren as VP ....
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:03 AM
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And I'm still not sure why it's a problem that it was rigged. Of course the DNC should have some say into who their candidate will be. I would have preferred if they had chosen Sanders, but it was their choice to make.

Pretending that a political party should be nonpartisan is absurd.
Then why nominate a non-Dem like Sanders?
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:56 AM
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I think it's going to be Biden with Warren as VP ....
Too old*, too white, too Northeastern. Good ideological balance, though, but that’s about it. (And, lots of relevant experience).

But if it polls best vs. Trump in Great Lakes states, go for it. That’s the ONLY thing that matters, this time around. (I don’t know whether to laugh or cry during these Dem debates? “Medicare for some” vs. “public option for dogs” vs. whatever...FORGET IT! The next president will spend the entire 4 years partially repairing the damage Trump has caused, and that’s IT. We’ll be back to the 2016 baseline, from which to move forward, by 2025 IF WE’RE LUCKY).

*i know, Warren is actuarially young, and full of vigah. True.

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Old 11-18-2019, 09:28 AM
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Most of the posts here seem to assume that a contested convention would be a bad thing. Would it? I don't necessarily trust the semi-mythical cigar-smokers to make a good decision ... but I trust ordinary voters even less.

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... It just sucks that the DNC is forced to bend over backwards to allow so many undeserving clowns into the debates this far in....
Clowns? Inslee, Hickenlooper and perhaps Brown all seemed to me to be viable candidates who might make good Presidents. I have much less confidence in any of the four or five (non-clowns?) the race is reducing to.

I'd like to see a dark-horse emerge and grab the brass ring. Unfortunately Bloomberg ain't him.

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In spite of all the conspiracy theories about super-delegates, all of them realize that overturning the will of the primary voters will be mortal blow to the party. So unless the winning candidate is at a Trump level of unacceptability, they will in the end endorse whoever gets the most non-super delegates.
So if the front-runners split the delegates 35-30-25-10, the one with 35% should almost automatically get the nod?
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:56 AM
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Most of the posts here seem to assume that a contested convention would be a bad thing. Would it? I don't necessarily trust the semi-mythical cigar-smokers to make a good decision ... but I trust ordinary voters even less.



Clowns? Inslee, Hickenlooper and perhaps Brown all seemed to me to be viable candidates who might make good Presidents. I have much less confidence in any of the four or five (non-clowns?) the race is reducing to.

I'd like to see a dark-horse emerge and grab the brass ring. Unfortunately Bloomberg ain't him.



So if the front-runners split the delegates 35-30-25-10, the one with 35% should almost automatically get the nod?
The early debates, fine, let everyone in although I wish it would have been split with a kiddie table debate. But itís late November, itís ridiculous to still have 10 candidates, 5 of them polling poorly after plenty of time to get their message out. Iowa votes in early February.

And it seems every fucking 4 years, thereís always a white knight thatíll jump into the race. Iíve seen this shit since 1992 when everyone thought that Mario Cuomo would parachute in and save the day. 2016 Romney would save the Republicans from Trump and Biden would jump in to settle Bernie vs Hillary
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:38 AM
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Bernie wasn't a 2016 Dem candidate but an independent hijacking Dem primaries. Or did you have another point?
Obviously, the point is that isn't true. He was a Dem candidate and if people like you and Chronos don't like, I guess you'll have to bring it up at the next rules convention. Besides, Sanders is more Dem than a few people with an official D after their name.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:30 PM
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Obviously, the point is that isn't true. He was a Dem candidate and if people like you and Chronos don't like, I guess you'll have to bring it up at the next rules convention. Besides, Sanders is more Dem than a few people with an official D after their name.
I'm going to declare the backward-looking discussion of what was rigged or how Sanders qualified last time to be a derailment. This thread is about looking forward to next summer. Let's keep it that way instead of relitigating the past for the thousandth time.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:02 PM
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Most of the posts here seem to assume that a contested convention would be a bad thing. Would it? I don't necessarily trust the semi-mythical cigar-smokers to make a good decision ... but I trust ordinary voters even less.



Clowns? Inslee, Hickenlooper and perhaps Brown all seemed to me to be viable candidates who might make good Presidents. I have much less confidence in any of the four or five (non-clowns?) the race is reducing to.

I'd like to see a dark-horse emerge and grab the brass ring. Unfortunately Bloomberg ain't him.

So if the front-runners split the delegates 35-30-25-10, the one with 35% should almost automatically get the nod?
I donít think it would necessarily be a bad thing. It would depend on how the party handles it. Thatís why I think the superdelegates should hold off until a 3rd or later round of voting before weighing in. Either that or agree to split their votes equally between all the candidates over a certain threshold. The 15% number required to win delegates in a primary sounds fair, so if three candidates have over 15% of the delegates then the superdelegates should agree to split into thirds, one group for each of the three, until the candidates can work out a deal between themselves.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:13 PM
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I donít think it would necessarily be a bad thing. It would depend on how the party handles it. Thatís why I think the superdelegates should hold off until a 3rd or later round of voting before weighing in. Either that or agree to split their votes equally between all the candidates over a certain threshold. The 15% number required to win delegates in a primary sounds fair, so if three candidates have over 15% of the delegates then the superdelegates should agree to split into thirds, one group for each of the three, until the candidates can work out a deal between themselves.
Why is a deal worked out by the candidates superior to the superdelegates voting for their preferred candidate?
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:33 PM
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Most of the posts here seem to assume that a contested convention would be a bad thing. Would it? I don't necessarily trust the semi-mythical cigar-smokers to make a good decision ... but I trust ordinary voters even less.
I don't assume it would be bad AKA good for our ruling demagogue in chief. I just think it probably would be.

There are different kinds of contested conventions.

One is where you have two candidates, either of which is close to having enough delegates to win on the first ballot. Then the one with a narrow lead wins on the first or, possibly, second ballot (when super-delegates can start voting).

Another is an actual brokered convention where delegates get scared that Trump will win after a long convention. Party leaders then get together and endorse a highly electable fresh face. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo might be my favorite here, although either Sherrod Brown or Al Gore is more likely.

I don't think that unfair, personally. I would love to vote for Raimondo. But it's gotten to where there would be a perception of unfairness if the primaries were overruled.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:23 PM
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The last convention when anything was in doubt was the Republicans in 1976 with Ford vs Reagan.

And, yes, I took that college freshman American political history class where we had to research all those smoke filled room conventions when the party would pick a candidate out of nowhere. I think that died with, ‘We want Wilkie!’ I’ll stick with the current primary system.
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Last edited by dalej42; 11-18-2019 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:31 PM
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I think it's going to be Biden with Warren as VP ....
That would be an awful ticket.

First of all because they are sparring each other. Warren suggesting he should run in the GOP primary, Biden bringing up Warren's actual GOP past.

If Biden's at the top he needs someone youthful, probably a woman, who can mobilise that demographic and minority voters who might not be enthused by another old white man.

If Warren is at the top she also needs someone youthful but who can unite the factions of the electorate by reaching out to the battleground states where she might have a problem. Sherrod Brown would be great. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar could fit the bill.
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