Suppose it comes down to a situation where neither Clinton nor Sanders has enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination. Is it conceivable that a reasonably organized protest, along the lines of the Million Man March or the Occupy movement, converges on Philadelphia and somehow can get a floor vote to release all previous pledges made by the Superdelegates (if I read correctly, each Superdelegate must specify his/her preferred candidate no later than 10 days after that state’s pledged delegates have been finalized), and then, for lack of a better term for it, “convince” them to nominate Sanders?
Nope. An invasion from Mars is more likely.
I normally don’t fight the hypothetical, but with only two major candidates and the 15% minimum threshold allocating delegates from uncommitted votes/random totally unknown candidates to the top two, it’s virtually impossible one of the two doesn’t finish with 2026 delegates or more.
The superdelegates are genuinely unbound, and can vote however they please at the convention.
Would they be influenced by a popular protest movement? Maybe, to a degree. Probably not enough to swing the election to Bernie.
…pray for him, now and in the hour of our convention, so help me og! I don’t think he’d get that sort of divine helpage though, but you never know.
If Bernie needs the support of anarchists threatening (implicitly or explicitly) to burn the building unless he wins, well …
I really don’t think A) he should win, and B) we should be doing anything to encourage support of that kind of behavior.
If a responsible Sanders supporter is thinking of this as a good idea or a good outcome, IMO that person is losing perspective and is becoming an irresponsible supporter along the lines of the worst of the Trump supporters.
The whole world is watching! The whole world is-- [cop busts head]
He could certainly get help, but not in the way you’re thinking. An FBI indictment of Clinton for breaking the laws related to confidential information shortly before the convention would do the trick.
Yes you’re all going to say it will never happen, that its the AG’s decision, true, but the FBI chief is a Republican. If he publicly resigns over the Attorney Generals refusal to charge Clinton that would probably have the same effect.
Since when does the FBI “indict”? Do you mean “arrest” or “recommend charges”?
ETA: Also, until there’s news that makes such charges more likely, I don’t find it very useful to speculate about that. It’s like wondering what the Democrats will do if a meteor takes out Sanders while he’s campaigning in rural Nevada.
Yes yes I understand they recommend and the AG indicts, doesn’t change my point at all.
And to reply to you edit, yes its worth speculating over because it’s far more likely than a meteor:
But would he? Knowing, as he must know, that neither Trump nor Cruz can win in the general, and that anything that knocks Clinton out of the race almost certainly would make Sanders POTUS? Does any Republican like that prospect any better?
IMO from the mainstream R POV Sanders is far *less *electable than Trump. Trump’s very far from their favorite, but in their eyes Sanders is so far out in crazy land that nobody but a tiny fraction of lefty wackos would vote for him. He’d go down like McGovern or Dukakis.
I’m NOT saying that’s what would really happen in a Trump v Sanders general election. I’m saying that’s what a mainstream R person, bringing his/her mainstream R mindset & filters to the problem will think will happen. IOW, that’s what the FBI director would naturally think, absent careful whispering in his ear by R party functionaries.
As such, much like some Ds are (allegedly) pranking the R primaries by voting for Trump, I think the R crowd would really like the Ds to prank themselves by nominating Sanders.
The mainstream R’s greatest frustration is that in a year when the Ds have a decent chance of nominating somebody utterly unelectable like Sanders, they themselves (the Rs) are in even greater danger of nominating somebody also pretty much unelectable.
This isn’t a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. It’s more like we’ve got two immovable objects meeting yet somehow one or the other will be elected even if the final total popular vote is just 5 to 4 with 310,000,000 abstentions.
If the general is Sanders vs Trump (unlikely I agree), I think you would get a high turnout because the people that are at least a little bit sympathetic to Sanders are most likely to be rabidly opposed to Trump, and vice versa.
Not to fight the hypothetical, but if neither Sanders nor Clinton has enough votes to win on the first ballot, then the vote goes to a second ballot. Strictly speaking, delegates (either regular or Super) aren’t bound to their candidate by anything stronger than loyalty.
Which means, hypothetically, that Sanders delegates are free to vote for Hillary, and vice versa. And if the Democrats can’t get a nominee on the first ballot, it (hypothetically) could turn into a draft for Martin O’Malley.
My OP asked about the case where neither Clinton nor Sanders had enough pledged delegates, although I did only have in mind the case where Clinton has enough delegates for the nomination if (and only if) you include the superdelegates.
Speaking of which, somebody did point out to me a technicality that would avoid a floor fight over the rules; while Superdelegates have to make their “presidential preference” known no later than 10 days after that state’s pledged delegates are actually selected, they can all state “undeclared” and wait until the convention to make their actual choices.
Or it could backfire…with the perceived obstructionism over the Supreme Court a political motivated resignation over a failure to indict may not work the way its intended
But my hypothetical neatly fits into your hypothetical. There’s nothing in the pages and pages (warning: pdf) of rules for the Democratic Party that says a delegate can’t break their pledge and vote for whomever they want.
Of course, the rules make it highly unlikely, but just like a faithless member of the Electoral College (or jury nullification) it can happen. And if neither Clinton nor Sanders came to the convention with an absolute majority, pledged delegates could hypothetically decide to vote for someone other than who they came to vote for.