Ignore the handwringing from the Democratic Party; Bernie Sanders has earned the right to follow Hillary Clinton’s path and stay in the Democratic primary until the end.
A survey of Democratic Party insiders found virtually no support for Sen. Sanders trying to woo superdelegates away from Hillary Clinton by taking the fight for the Democratic nomination to the convention in Philadelphia.
Politico surveyed their panel of Democrats and reported:
Half of Democratic insiders said Sanders, who trails in the delegate race by a wide margin, should end his campaign before the final primary on June 14 in the District of Columbia. Another 39 percent said the Vermont senator should continue campaigning through the D.C. primary, but end his campaign immediately after if he trails Clinton in pledged delegates — which is likely given Sanders’ current deficit of 277 pledged delegates after Clinton’s resounding victory in New York this week.
Only 1 in 10 Democratic insiders said Sanders should try to woo superdelegates to help him overtake Clinton on the convention floor in Philadelphia if he finishes the primary season trailing in pledged delegates, as campaign manager Jeff Weaver suggested Tuesday night in a televised interview.
It is necessary to point out that Democrats made the same argument to Hillary Clinton in 2008 that they are making to Bernie Sanders now, but as Joan Walsh of The Nation recently reminded us, Hillary Clinton also stayed in until the end and tried to woo superdelegates, “Still, the New York senator suspended her campaign only after the last primary in June that year. She dropped her bid to win over superdelegates—she trailed Obama in pledged delegates by 100, but essentially tied him in the popular vote, and he needed superdelegates to get him over the threshold for the nomination.”
I think the same argument that Hillary Clinton used for not ending her campaign in 2008 applies to Bernie Sanders in 2016. Sen. Sanders has earned the right through winning states and primaries to determine how and when he wants to end his campaign. If Sanders ended his campaign before California, he would be doing a disservice to the millions of supporters who have voted for him, and small donors who have funded his campaign.
Ignore the rhetoric about the party being hurt by Sanders staying in the race. Democrats would love nothing more than to get this primary over with so that they can start preparing for November. The Sanders campaign has been dropping hints left and right that they aren’t going to contest Clinton’s nomination at the convention. The odds are that Sanders will stay in until the end, try to woo superdelegates, and if that he fails, he will end his campaign and endorse Clinton long before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
Democrats were not happy when Hillary Clinton stayed in until the end in 2008, and they won’t be thrilled if Bernie Sanders does it in 2016, but the Democratic Party will be okay. Democrats survived and prospered after Clinton vs. Obama in 2008, and they will quickly unify to stop Trump or Cruz in 2016.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association