- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2020

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont said Monday it would be a “serious, serious, problem” for the Democratic Party if the presidential nomination is steered away from a candidate that collects the most pledged delegates, but falls short of sewing up the nomination outright.

During an appearance at a CNN town hall in Charleston, Mr. Sanders said if a candidate enters the convention with a “substantial plurality” of the pledged delegates doled out through the primary process then they should be coronated as the party’s nominee.

“This is a hard fought process here,” he said. “All the candidates are working really hard, and if one candidate comes out on top — to say to the country, ‘You voted for that candidate, oh, but by the way we don’t think that candidate should be the nominee’ — I think that will be a serious, serious problem for the Democratic Party.”

To win the Democratic presidential nomination on the first ballot, a candidate must capture a majority — 1,991 — of the pledged delegates up for grabs in the nomination contests.

If they fall short, the threshold increases, pledged delegates become unbound, and over 700 superdelegates get to vote.

Mr. Sanders has emerged as the early frontrunner in the nomination race.

But there are questions as to whether his brand of Democratic socialism could sink his chances of winning the presidential nomination on the first ballot — setting up the possibility that the anti-Sanders forces could try to steer the nomination away from him.

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