Sanders and the Zombie Contested Convention

Could Indiana possibly put a contested GOP convention out of reach for Cruz, and Kasich as well? The answer is looking more like a yes than a maybe. But for those who yearn for the drama and dealing of a contested convention, take heart. There will almost definitely be a contested convention.

The only problem is knowing whether it will be Democrat or Republican, or possibly both.

Just as Trump starts convincing previously decided and claimed-for delegates that he has the big mo, Sanders fires up the possiblity of a contested Democrat convention in Philadelphia. It's like when a rural neighbor finally stops using his (or her) chainsaw after several long, painful hours. Only to have the neighbor on the other side suddenly fire up their trusty Stihl and start gnawing and grinding away on some poor tree on their property.

The noise will not go away, it seems. A contested convention must be had in 2016 by all appearances.

What in the world was Sanders thinking? Does he subscribe to the National Review? The Weekly Standard maybe? Did he audit some of Professor Kristol's courses at Harvard? Back when. And more seriously, can he somehow get enough delegates beforehand to make a contested Democrat convention anything other than another reason for Hillary to hate on Bernie?

Could a contested Democrat convention actually happen?

Only if Sanders could theoretically convince the super delegates that are overwhelmingly on Hillary Clinton's side. But super delegates are the party insiders, by design. It could be said that their job is to ensure the party favorite - HRC - is nominated. And not some unwanted outsider like Sanders, who was not even a registered Democrat until 2015.

So the metric that Sanders is shouting out is pledged delegates (the not-super-delegates). If he can say that Hillary has not reached a majority of convention delegates in terms of pledged delegates, then the convention must be a contested one, and it becomes a real two-person race again. With delegates free to vote their conscience, presumably.

Hmmm. That's finagling with convention rules to keep the front runner from being nominated. Isn't it? Is that the kind of tactics that his young, idealistic, burn-the-house-down and start over crowd would approve of? Notorious GOP delegate Curly Haugland would love it, of course. But then again, Haugland wants to get rid of primaries all together. Not a winning strategy for Bernie Sanders.

So we have calls for a contested convention for diametrically opposed reasons: make sure the insurgency does NOT win the nomination vs. make sure the insurgency DOES win the nomination. Is the concept of a contested convention this summer becoming a bit of a zombie? Because it just won't die?

Posted by Keeley at May 2, 2016 9:53 PM
Comment #404504

The concept of a contested convention isn’t becoming a zombie, it’s only being supported by zombies.
The bern-outs have gone way way way off the deep-end.

Time for the fun, folks.

Donald Trump/Megyn Kelly
Hillary Clinton/Julian Castro

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