Team Sanders now demanding Hillary win 59% of pledged delegates

Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, suggested this past week that Sanders will contest the Democratic nomination at the convention in July even if Hillary wins the nomination before that date.

Talking to CNN, Weaver suggested that if Hillary doesn’t win the nomination with pledged delegates alone — the delegates you win in the state primaries and caucuses — Sanders will effectively declare a civil war at the Democrat convention this summer.

When asked about this plan to disrupt the Democratic convention, Sanders refused to repudiate the idea.

Sanders is basing this ploy on the fact that superdelegates don’t get to vote until the convention. So until they vote, Sanders argues, their vote doesn’t count — even if we know already how they’re going to vote. So, Sanders says, there’s no way to know if Hillary will actually win the nomination until the convention, unless she wins the necessary 2,383 delegates with pledged delegates alone.

Just a quick refresher. You have to win 2,383 delegates (pledged and super combined) in order to win the Democratic nomination. There are 4,765 delegates in total, with 712 of those being superdelegates. Team Sanders is now arguing that unless Hillary gets 2,383 pledged delegates before the nomination, he’s going to contest her nomination at the convention.

Traditionally, candidates do not wait until the convention to “prove” how many superdelegates they have. In 2008, Hillary Clinton conceded to Barack Obama two-and-a-half months before the Democratic convention. (The convention started on August 25, Hillary conceded on June 7.)

This year, the Democratic convention starts on July 25. Two-and-a-half months before that date is May 7. That would give Sanders three-and-a-half weeks to catch up on Clinton’s delegate lead. Remember, Hillary’s 2008 delegate count was much closer to Obama’s than Sanders’ delegate count is to Hillary’s today.

As for why Sanders is holding out hope of disrupting the Democratic convention? Because his plan is to steal Hillary’s superdelegates. Sanders’ staff has admitted this plan repeatedly, and at this point we might as well take them at their word. And in fact, Sanders supporters have already launched a Web site with a “hit list” of the superdelegates phone numbers and even some home addresses to “harass” (their word) Hillary’s superdelegates into supporting Sanders.

So what Sanders is in essence now doing is arguing that Hillary no longer needs a majority of the delegates to win the nomination, Hillary now needs a supermajority of the pledged delegates. Sanders now says that Hillary needs to have 2,383 pledged delegates in order to stop him from contesting the convention. But there are only 4,051 pledged delegates, so a simple majority of those would be 2,026 — not the 2,383 Sanders now says Hillary needs. 2,383 of 4,051 is 59%.

Sanders is now requiring Hillary to win 59% of the pledged delegates in order to win the nomination. That’s absurd.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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