By Dave Lindorff
At the end of the Nevada debate on Wednesday evening, each of the candidates on NBC stage was asked one last question: If nobody has a majority of delegates after the primaries, should there be a brokered Convention? All the candidates answered yes except for Bernie Sanders, who as the acknowledged front-runner in the polls was asked last. "No," he responded, to loud cheers from the audience. "I think the people should decide."
Sanders, who saw the nomination snatched from him by corrupt tactics on the part of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016, said he believes that any candidate who goes to the convention with a solid plurality of elected pledged delegates should be the party's nominee this year.
Sanders and the progressive base that supports his candidacy have reason to worry that won't be allowed to happen. The DNC and many top Democratic office holders, along with liberal pundits, have been undermining Sanders since he announced his candidacy early this year, and have been openly trying to "Stop Sanders," claiming that his nomination would be tantamount to throwing the election to Trump. In fact, mega-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the country's eighth richest man with $62.8 billion, has said he entered the race for the party's nomination in large part to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination. His way into the debates last week despite his not having won a single delegate was paved by a DNC that was happy to have him and his money in that fratricidal battle. It is already being reported that Bloomberg's staff is plotting with the Democratic leadership on a strategy to win a second ballot nomination if Sanders can't take the nomination on the first ballot based on delegates won in the primaries.
The flaw in this argument for "stopping Sanders" is that none of the centrist candidates running for the Democratic nomination, including Bloomberg with his unlimited personal wealth, but clearly limited campaigning talent and equally clear lack of positive reasons to vote for him, are likely to beat President Trump. The centrist candidates, many of whom have already dropped out of the race for lack of support, are now down to Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and late-comer Bloomberg, none of whom has much in the way of either progressive or minority support. Biden, who began with some support among African-American voters, has lost much of that to Sanders in recent weeks as his long record of supporting racist legislation like mass incarceration policies, an end to welfare and opposition to busing of students for racial integration, have come out. Meanwhile the rest of the pack had little minority support to begin with. For a time, Elizabeth Warren was seen as a popular if slightly less radical progressive alternative to Sanders, but her backpedaling on Medicare for All and other progressive policies like the Green New Deal and her sneak attack (coordinated with CNN) on Sanders in the Iowa debate with a dubious charge of his allegedly having told her a "woman cannot win the presidency" have damaged her badly. Basically it appears that none of these candidates would have an easy time defeating Trump.