We ask five questions to try and suss out the truth in what actually happened at last weekend’s Democratic Convention in Nevada.
You may have heard by now, last weekend’s Nevada Democratic Convention was a bit of a shit show.
While there have been a lot of hot takes on the incident, we figured there has to be more nuance than “Sanders people started to riot” narrative that has been going around. So here are five questions we had in hopes of understanding the whole situation better.
Question 1: Was Bernie Sanders “screwed” out of Nevada delegates at the state convention?
No, no he wasn’t…
Sanders supporters were mad that they weren’t able to out maneuver the Clinton campaign to gain more delegates. Or as Josh Barro from Business Insider puts it aptly:
Basically, Sanders lost the (closest semblance to a) popular vote in NV, and is mad that he failed at gaming the post-voting results.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 17, 2016
Basically out of Nevada’s 23 delegates, Hillary Clinton essentially locked-up 13 of them because she won the initial popular vote in the state. That means at the Nevada convention, 12 delegates were still in play as “at-large” delegates. That means those 12 delegates would be chosen at the state convention.
Ok… so basically how we understand it, in the county-level contests, Sanders supporters claim they had more state delegates to send to the Nevada convention, thus giving Sanders a better chance at getting the majority of the 12 delegates. However, Nevada state officials said that between 50 to 70 state delegates (who supported Sanders) were ineligible due to registration errors on the delegates’ part (improperly filling out paperwork, not being registered as Democrats before the deadline, ect). Upon hearing this, Sanders supporters at the convention LOST. THEIR. COLLECTIVE. SHIT!
— Rachel Avery (@rachelaveryy) May 14, 2016
They claim that the leaders of the Democratic Party in Nevada were “fixing” the delegate count so that Clinton would end up with more delegates. Which if you look at the process, the claim is highly suspect. While undoubtedly many high ranking party officials being Clinton supporters definitely helped their campaign, completely corrupting the process so that Hillary Clinton would get two to three more delegates seem very unlikely.
Question 2: So, was the anger from Sanders supporters expressed at the Nevada Convention justified?
No, not at all.
Understand we’re talking about state delegates, not national delegates. These 50 to 70 state delegates, out of the over 3,000 state delegates at the Nevada Convention, were just choosing delegates to send to the national convention. At the end of the day, the 12 national delegates up for grabs ended up getting split 7 to Clinton and 5 to Sanders. Currently there is a 760 delegate difference between Clinton and Sanders. The two or three delegates that Sanders would have gotten from Nevada would just be a drop in the ocean that is Clinton’s current delegate lead!
For the Clinton campaign to fix the results would make little to no sense because the gains of doing so would be so very small.
Question 3: Was there really violence at the Nevada Convention by Sanders supporters?
That’s where we’re hearing conflicting reports.
According to the AP and other reporters that were present, there were Sanders supporters rushing the stage and throwing objects at party leaders. California Sen. Barbara Boxer gave a speech at the Nevada Convention last Saturday and said she was “afraid” by the whole incident.
Then again, many have started to question the “violence” that happened at the convention. Many Sanders supporters say while they were angry with the convention’s decision on how they split the 12 national delegates, there was no violence.
— BernieForThePeople (@Bernie4People) May 17, 2016
This is something that we may never know the full truth on. Only those that were at the convention will ever know what really went down.
Question 4: Did Sanders supporters really dox and threaten the Nevada Democratic State Chair Roberta Lange?
This absolutely happened!
Soon after the Nevada Convention the local Democratic offices were vandalized and Lange’s cellphone number was posted online. Since then, she has gotten multiple threatening phone calls and texts ranging from she should be “hung in a public execution” to someone praying that she be shot in the face!
No matter what happened at the Nevada Convention, you can’t help but feel a little sick about the Sanders campaign when you read some of the threats sent to her!
Jezebel actually followed up this story and contacted those who threatened Lange. Their responses were surprising. Yeah, let’s go with surprising…
Question 5: So where does the Democratic Party go from here?
That is the big question from all of this!
If you’re Bernie Sanders, you now find yourself in a really awkward position. A while back, Sanders publicly criticized Donald Trump for not denouncing his supporters for their bad behavior at rallies. Now Sanders is put in a similar position. Much like Trump, Sanders supporters are his leverage in the Democratic National Convention, denouncing his supporters for their actions at the Nevada Convention could be detrimental for his campaign. After all, the reason many high ranking Democrats are paying any attention to Sanders is because he has a hold on the Millennial Bloc which the Democratic Party wants so desperately to come out in November. They are Sanders’ leverage and to risk ostracizing them by denouncing their actions in Nevada is too big of a gamble at this point.
As for the Democratic Party, there are many fearing what happened in Nevada could happen at the national convention. While we have our doubts on this scenario – nothing about Bernie Sanders says that he wants chaos in the Democratic National Convention – but if Sanders supporters feel burned, then the Democrats could have real trouble on their hands getting them to vote in November.
If there is one real fear that Democrats have about any of this, it’s that Sanders supporters won’t support Clinton come the general election.
(Photo Credit: MarchAgainstM’s Twitter, Google Images)