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Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:36 PM


Common Sense on the Democratic Presidential Race A race isn’t over until someone wins.

Common Sense on the Democratic Presidential Race
by Robert Borosage
June 1, 2016

Robert L. Borosage is the founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future and co-director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America’s Future.

Clinton surrogates and operatives are pounding on Bernie Sanders to get out of the race, claiming they want to unify the party even as they excoriate Sanders and scorn his supporters. Perhaps it is time for a little common sense about the campaign.

● A race isn’t over until someone wins.

This isn’t complicated. When the primary season ends, neither Sanders nor Clinton will have won the majority of pledged delegates needed to win the nomination. Clinton is likely to end with more pledged delegates and more total votes; Sanders, particularly if he astounds in California, will have shown increasing momentum and popularity. Superdelegates – who make their own decisions on whom to support – will decide the nomination. They can change their minds until they vote at the convention.

● Sanders is playing by the rules.

For all the animus directed at Sanders, he’s playing by the rules set up by the party. He’s competing in primaries and caucuses, including the Byzantine ways state conventions sort out delegates long after the primary is over. He’s intent on making an appeal to the Superdelegates who will decide the nomination. A vast number of them committed to Clinton before the race even began. They are free to change their minds; Sanders and his supporters are free to try to convince them to do so. Those are the rules of the race.

● Sanders has a strong case to make.

He is the only remaining candidate viewed favorably by most Americans. Clinton’s weakness is a mirror to these strengths. After a quarter century in Washington, she is part of an establishment that is widely seen as failing most Americans. She’s viewed unfavorably by most Americans, with record negatives exceeded only by those of Donald Trump. Americans doubt her trustworthiness and honesty. She’s made herself the candidate of continuity at a time when the country is demanding change. Her big money fundraising has turned into an embarrassment, not an asset.

Not surprisingly, Sanders runs better against Trump than Clinton does in early polls.

Particularly if he wins California, Sanders has a strong case to make to Superdelegates that he is the stronger candidate – and that is before we know what the FBI inquiry on Clinton’s handling of classified information will produce.

● Sanders is mobilizing interest and voters.

Even with the media declaring the race over, Sanders continues to draw stunning crowds. Young people continue to rally to his call. Democratic registration is soaring in California, as the Sanders campaign works to attract new voters.

And this isn’t due to Sanders good looks. His bold ideas inspire – and meet real needs: Medicare for all, Tuition free college, $15.00 minimum wage and a union, enhance Social Security benefits, act on climate change, rebuild the country, end our ruinous trade policies, progressive tax reform and big money out of politics.

● Sanders has already committed to beating Trump.

Much of the establishment hand wringing features fears that Sanders will not endorse Clinton if he loses the nomination to her, and/or will not work to unify the party to take on Trump. But Sanders has already – repeatedly – announced his commitment to make certain Donald Trump does not become president of the United States. He’s already promised to show workers why they can’t afford to support a billionaire who promises massive tax breaks for the rich. He’ll work hard to ensure that the young people he has inspired come out to vote.

● The Sanders revolution will be disruptive or it will fail.

Sanders has unequivocally denounced violence or threats of violence. But the movement Sanders is building will by definition be disruptive. It will challenge the party’s rules. It will drive its agenda – even in opposition to a sitting Democratic President, as Obama has discovered with his TPP trade deal. It will go after politicians who stand in the way. It will expose big money corruptions.

The establishment’s Washington consensus has failed all but the very few. It is buttressed by politics as usual in Washington, by the corruptions of big money in politics, by entrenched special interest lobbies and crony capitalism. The movement that Sanders is helping to build will seek to disrupt that order to clear the way for fundamental reform. Sanders has helped build that effort, and if his campaign is successful, it has only just begun.

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:38 PM

1. Secretary Clinton will clinch the nomination on June 7th, no amount of #BernieMath will change that


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Response to SFnomad (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:45 PM

3. Bernie math? No. It's called convention rules. Don't you know how many delegates must be won


in order to secure the nomination? Calculate what 50% plus won of 2,383 is. Hillary won't achieve the number before the convention with pledged delegates. Nor will Bernie. Do you understand that?

If not, let me help you so you won't embarrass yourself by posting incorrect math.


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Response to imagine2015 (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:49 PM

5. There you go again ... using #BernieMath ... Count SDs to compute goal, Ignore SDs to count where at


Look, Obama clinched the nomination on June 3rd, 2008 ... and they used Pledged Delegates and Superdelegates to come to that conclusion. You want to play by different rules ... that is NOT going to happen.

It's the ones that insist upon using #BernieMath that are the ones that are embarrassing themselves.

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Response to SFnomad (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:47 PM

4. That is an oversimplification.


She will secure a majority of the total pledged delegates and she will have enough super delegate endorsements to reach the total delegate majority if the convention vote were held today (or June 7 rather).

Those pesky super delegates, carrying 15% of the vote complicate it. Unless Bernie drops out, she can't truly clinch it until the convention.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:54 PM

8. No it's not an oversimplification .. it's how they determined things in 2008 as well


On June 3rd, Barack Obama CLINCHED the Democratic Nomination, he was called the Presumptive Nominee at that point. To determine thjs, they needed to add Pledged Delegates AND SUPERDELEGATES. Clinton HAD NOT withdrawn by that point in time. That's the way thing were, that's the way things will be on June 7th as well.

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Response to SFnomad (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 10:15 PM

9. Yes, I know what happen. He was called presumptive


just as Hillary will be on June 7 and based on the same count.

But then Hillary conceded. That is when Obama truly had the nomination. And then officially at the convention.

If Bernie takes it to the convention, it would change things. It would be up in the air, even if it "almost certainly" is expected to easil go to Hillary.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 10:28 PM

10. It will not be "up in the air" as that would mean it would be uncertain. It is not.


Secretary Clinton will be the Presumptive Nominee on June 7th and will be nominated on the first ballot at the convention. There is nothing "up in the air" about any of this.

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:45 PM

2. Sanders last hope is overturning the will of Democratic voters

That resoundly chose Hillary Clinton to represent them in November

That's the legacy Sanders will leave


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Response to StayFrosty (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:53 PM

7. check this out

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- For the second time in three days, Sen. Hillary Clinton told reporters that the pledged delegates awarded based on vote totals in their state are not bound to abide by election results.

Sen. Hillary Clinton lags behind Sen. Barack Obama in the popular vote and in pledged delegates.

It's an idea that has been floated by her or a campaign surrogate nearly half a dozen times this month.

Sen. Barack Obama leads Clinton among all Democratic delegates, 1,622 to 1,485, in the latest CNN count. Among pledged delegates, Obama leads Clinton 1,413 to 1,242.

"Every delegate with very few exceptions is free to make up his or her mind however they choose," Clinton told Time's Mark Halperin in an interview published Wednesday.
"We talk a lot about so-called pledged delegates, but every delegate is expected to exercise independent judgment," she said.

Clinton's remarks echoed her Monday comments to the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News.

"And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged," she said Monday. "You know there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They're just like superdelegates."

Clinton also made similar comments in a Newsweek interview published two weeks ago.

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 09:52 PM

6. good read, thanks

True and logical.

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 10:32 PM

11. At the end of the day on June 7th, Clinton will have won

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 11:29 PM

12. Sanders wants to change the rules-the presumptive nominee will be declared on June 7

You are ignoring history and want special rules just for Sanders. In every primary contest since the creation of super delegates, the winner was declared the presumptive nominee based on the inclusion of super delegates. That fact that this is not favorable to Sandes does not matter http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/29/1532358/-What-Does-It-Mean-to-Clinch-the-Nomination-When-Superdelegates-Are-Involved


After reading a number of impassioned defenses of why the Democratic presidential nomination should not be called next week on June 7th, I got curious. What’s the history here, since the superdelegates were added to the process? When a Democratic candidate hits the magic number of pledged delegates plus superdelegates, are they the nominee?

The answer: history says the first person to get to the magic number is the presumptive nominee, and says it unambiguously, even if the losers often disagree.

Here’s how it has gone since the superdelegates were added to the process.....


Anyway, I started this research 12 hours ago to answer a question for myself, so that as everyone on TV is spinning things this way and that on June 7th I have some context. What, if anything, have I learned?

First, most non-incumbent candidates have needed superdelegates to win, and the history of superdelegates has been that once a Democrat hits the magic number and becomes the nominee, superdelegates are more likely to flow to the nominee than from them.

Also, in the history of the superdelegates, they have always ended up supporting the decision of the pledged delegates, and their most important contribution has been to amplify leads of the pledged delegate winner so that they can be assured success on a first ballot, and avoid the sort of messy convention that harms a general campaign.

The major thing I’ve learned is that the press declares, and has always declared, the winner after they hit the magic number, and has done so in far more nebulous circumstances than this. Even in 1984, in which Hart won by a number of other metrics, in which the delegate count was the arbiter, and Mondale announced himself as the nominee, even with 38 percent of the popular vote to Hart’s 36 percent—even then, Hart may have claimed he still had a cunning plan, but no one begrudged Mondale the fact he was, for all intents and purposes, the nominee.

When you think about it, that simply has to happen. Things need to get done, and they need the nominee to do them. Except for Reagan in 1976, who chose a running mate after Gerald Ford was made the nominee, there aren’t a whole lot of non-nominee candidates going to the convention with their own vice president picked out. You get to do that because the numbers say you’re the nominee.

Meeting this number also allows the nominee to do the work of campaigning before the convention, establishing a message, building capacity on the ground, etc.

The press, for its part, has always understood this, from 1984 onward, and has named the nominee (or the “presumptive nominee”) the minute the candidate crosses the line with their combination of pledged and supers, and usually said something to the effect that they had “clinched” the nomination. They did that when Mondale had won far fewer states than Hart. They did that when Dukakis did not have 50 percent of the pledged delegates. They did that when Obama had not won the popular vote (yes, I know, Michigan—I hope we’re still not fighting this?).

This is a well researched article and confirms that the nomination process will be over on Tuesday June 7, 2016 when the results of the New Jersey primary are announced.

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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2016, 11:35 PM

13. yet another press release from the sanders campaign nt

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