Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont on Wednesday said it would be “very divisive” if the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who headed into the party’s convention with a solid plurality of delegates didn’t end up as the nominee.
“In general, I think it is a fair statement to say that it would be very divisive,” the Vermont senator said on MSNBC. “You have to take a look at the whole nature of the campaign and a whole lot of factors within the campaign that we don’t know yet.”
“The convention would have to explain to the American people, hey, candidate X, you know, kind of got the most votes and won the most delegates in the primary process, but we’re not going to give him or her the nomination,” Mr. Sanders said. “I think that would be a very divisive moment for the Democratic Party.”
Mr. Sanders is coming off a win in the New Hampshire primary after a virtual tie for first with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Iowa.
But some moderate Democrats are increasingly concerned about the prospect of Mr. Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” leading the party’s ticket in November.
The relatively wide-open nature of the primary contest has some speculating that the party could be in store for a contested convention, where a single candidate doesn’t have enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot and deals have to be struck. It takes at least 1,990 delegates to clinch the nomination.