Bloomberg quietly plotting brokered convention strategy

The effort is designed as a potential backstop to block Bernie Sanders by poaching supporters from Joe Biden and other moderates.

2/21/2020 7:01:00 PM

If Bernie Sanders secures a plurality of delegates but loses the nomination on a second ballot, many moderate and progressive Democrats alike predict the national convention in Milwaukee would devolve into chaos

The effort is designed as a potential backstop to block Bernie Sanders by poaching supporters from Joe Biden and other moderates.

and block Bernie Sanders— in the event of a brokered national convention.The effort, largely executed by Bloomberg’s senior state-level advisers in recent weeks, attempts to prime Bloomberg for a second-ballot contest at the Democratic National Convention in July by poaching

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supporters of Joe Biden and other moderate Democrats, according to two Democratic strategists familiar with the talks and unaffiliated with Bloomberg.AdvertisementThe outreach has involved meetings and telephone calls with supporters of Biden and Pete Buttigieg — as well as uncommitted DNC members — in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and North Carolina, according to one of the strategists who participated in meetings and calls.

With Sanders’ emergence as the frontrunner in the presidential primary, Democrats in those states have recently raised the prospect that the democratic socialist could be a top-of-the-ticket liability.“There’s a whole operation going on, which is genius,” said one of the strategists, who is unaffiliated with any campaign. “And it’s going to help them win on the second ballot … They’re telling them that’s their strategy.”

It’s a presumptuous play for a candidate who hasn’t yet won a delegate or even appeared on a ballot. And it could also bring havoc to the convention, raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.

Other candidates have quietlybeen in contact for months with superdelegates — the DNC members, members of Congress and other party officials who cannot vote on the first ballot at a contested national convention — but none have showcased it as a feature of their campaign, as Hillary Clinton did in 2016.

Asked about Bloomberg’s efforts, spokeswoman Julie Wood said Thursday, “We have an enormous apparatus that is constantly reaching out to all types of people for support and to explain why we think Mike is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump."

The rule prohibiting superdelegates, or automatic delegates, from voting on the first ballot of a contested convention was instituted only after the last convention, which followed a primary in which superdelegates overwhelmingly sided against Sanders and with the establishment-oriented Clinton.

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The reduction of those delegates’ power was a major victory for the Democratic Party’s left flank, while many Democrats, regardless of ideology, believed it could help broaden the party’s appeal to young voters skeptical of centralized party power. Earlier this year, when a small group of DNC members began

gauging support for a potential policy reversalto allow superdelegates to vote on the first ballot, DNC officials quickly dismissed the idea, and even proponents of a change acknowledged they could not get traction for it.If Sanders secures a plurality of delegates but loses the nomination on a second ballot, many moderate and progressive Democrats alike predict the national convention in Milwaukee would devolve into chaos.

Bloomberg’s effort comes as the prospectof a contested convention becomes less and less remote. That development is in part because of Bloomberg’s own late entry into the race. The billionaire former New York City mayor’s deluge of spending on television advertisements and campaign infrastructure put him into contention, while further muddling the Democratic primary field.

Many moderates, including Bloomberg’s supporters, fear that the centrist vote may be divided, allowing Sanders, the more progressive senator from Vermont, to reach the convention with more delegates than any of them.If Sanders accomplishes that — but fails to amass the 1,991 delegates necessary to clench the nomination on the first ballot — superdelegates could prove pivotal, a possibility raised in Wednesday’s presidential debate.

Asked if the person who arrives at the convention with the most delegates should become the nominee, even if he or she falls short of a majority, Sanders said “the will of the people should prevail” and that “the person who has the most votes should become the nominee.”

In contrast, Bloomberg and every other candidate suggested convention rulesshould dictate the outcome — meaning only a candidate with a majority of delegates should claim the nomination.Following the debate, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has endorsed Bloomberg and chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention, said a second ballot will likely be required this year.

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“I think everybody’s going to be scrambling for delegates,” he said. “And I think all the candidates made that clear, except for Sanders.”Who’s winning 2020? We’ll tell you.The latest election results sent straight to your inbox.Sign UpLoading Read more: POLITICO »

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AKA cheat his way mkues65 Quiet plotting is Deep State It's already broke! He’s such a unimpressive speaker- how in the fk did he get elected mayor? BernieSanders is a fundraiser for DemocratsAreDestroyingAmerica . None of them are giving up 70% of their income. Is BernieSanders supporters bringing their 70% to events? Is AOC giving her 70%?. Nope! Your DemocratsAreDestroyingAmerica choice by the DNC is PeteButtigieg

Not quietly...he said so on national 📺 This not America ! Buying the Presidency 😡Discounting the votes/Voice of the people 😡 Third World Did the United States of America die?

Bloomberg pursues brokered convention gambitMichael Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him — and block Bernie Sanders — in the event of a brokered national convention This aint democracy. moderates would literally let donald trump destroy this than let bernie win smh.

Maybe Mike Bloomberg Should’ve Practiced on TV”He should have dealt with these questions,” said Mika Brzezinski after Bloomberg’s spectacular debate flop. Now, he can return hosts’ calls before next week’s debate, or take a risk with his cautious media strategy. ewarren. When those pesky NDA’s are disclosed and guys who drew them up don’t know how many there are, is kinda a fact that Mike doesn’t want to share! When Liz asked how many are there, he didn’t say. He wouldn’t release the women from the NDA’s either! He looked so guilty!

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HuffPost is now a part of Verizon MediaBloomberg is the Democrat candidate. He’s buying the nomination. 💰 Accept your fate. 😕 Some women who didn’t like a joke he told... ewarren MikeBloomberg BloombergIsTrump WarrenForTheWin