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Sunday, 19 April 2020

Biden Attempts To Appease Sanders Supporters By Letting Candidate Keep Delegates At Democratic National Convention

Typically, a presidential candidate who drops out of the primary loses about a third of their earned delegates as the party heads to its national convention.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, however, appears to be challenging the Democratic National Convention rules by suggesting he will allow Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to keep some of the delegates he would have lost in an effort to unite the party to take on President Donald Trump in November.
The Associated Press reported that Biden’s campaign is seeking “to avoid the bitter feelings that marred the 2016 Democratic convention,” by allowing Sanders to keep some of the delegates he would have lost.
“Quiet talks between the two campaigns center on allowing Sanders to keep some of his delegates, essentially a goodwill gesture from a presumptive nominee seeking to court Sanders’ progressive supporters and unite the party. It is not yet settled how many,” the news agency reported.
A Biden campaign staffer who was not authorized to publicly discuss the talks between the two campaigns told the AP that the Biden campaign thought it was the right thing to do.
“We feel strongly that it is in the best interest of the party to ensure that the Sanders campaign receives statewide delegates to reflect the work that they have done to contribute to the movement that will beat Donald Trump this fall,” said the Biden official. “We are in discussion with them now on how to best accomplish that.”
Sanders’ campaign spokesman Mike Casca refused to comment further on the situation, according to the AP.
More from the AP:
In some ways, the delegate count is a moot point. While he has yet to formally win the 1,991 delegates needed to claim the Democratic nomination on the first ballot at the party convention, Biden is the Democrat’s presumptive nominee. All of his rivals — including Sanders — have endorsed him after ending their own campaigns.
But with the nomination essentially decided, who has how many delegates takes on a new meaning. In 2016, rowdy Sanders supporters booed some speakers and any mention of nominee Hillary Clinton at the party’s Philadelphia convention. The disruptions were so embarrassing to the party that Sanders pleaded with his supporters not to stage protests on the floor.
By claiming the delegates that ought to belong to him under party rules, Biden could cut down on the number of Sanders’ backers — some of whom have been slow to embrace the former vice president — who could stage a replay of that divide. Instead, he’s decided to try to attract Sanders’ supporters rather than silence them.
Biden became the de facto Democratic presidential nominee after Sanders, the last remaining opponent, dropped out several weeks ago. Sanders had an early lead in delegates until Biden swept South Carolina, bringing momentum to his then-struggling campaign and allowing him to win more state primaries – even some where he didn’t campaign. Now that he is the nominee, however, he will have to reconcile Sanders supporters who aren’t eager to support Biden, who is seen as less progressive as the Vermont senator.

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