Appearing on CNN on 16 November, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) predicted the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is heading toward a brokered convention.
He also suggested delegates could nominate former first lady Michelle Obama to face off against President Donald Trump in 2020.
When asked whether he believes one could expect a brokered convention, Richardson responded by acknowledging the fact:
“There’s a total of 4,600 delegates that are out there, 3,800 are pledged. But these super delegates, 785, could be the margin of victory. They can’t vote until after the second ballot.”
The Governor continued:
“But If you look at the top tier, Mayor Pete, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and potentially two formidable candidates in Bloomberg and Patrick coming in, they’re all bunched up around 20 percent or a little lower. And you need 1,918 to get a first-ballot victory. I don’t see any way that’s going to happen.”
Bill Richardson emphasised that in line with the new rules from the Democratic National Committee, one could expect a brokered convention in the second and third ballot.
“Potentially, some new candidates might emerge that perhaps didn’t enter the primary like Michelle Obama,” said the politician.
Richardson explained that it was his understanding that delegates would want somebody that can win, adding:
“There’s desperation for victory. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Michelle Obama, somebody like that. Possibly Tom Hanks, the actor. I know that’s a little far fetched. But, Democrats right now, there could be a very divided brokered convention where everybody is mad at each other and then somebody new emerges. That’s a possibility.”
Crowded 2020 field
Two more Democrats have jumped onto the bandwagon, joining the 2020 presidential primary.
Michael Bloomberg, an American businessman and former mayor of New York City, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick penned in their late entries into the primary race as Democratic Party insiders have been expressing concern that the crowded field of 2020 candidates and new party rules could create a “chaotic nominating convention” next year.
"Unless something cataclysmic happens, I think we're looking at a contested convention," Jim Zogby, a DNC member and former member of the party's executive committee, was quoted as saying by NBC News.
Nonetheless, many Democrats have dismissed the doom-saying and predicted that a nominee would emerge early next year.
"This seems to be a narrative during every contested primary, but if recent history tells us anything, we feel confident that our party will come together and support whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is," said Patrice Taylor, the DNC's director of party affairs.
Super delegates stripped of power in 'historic' move
In August 2018 the Democratic National Committee voted to significantly curtail the power of super delegates and ostensibly make presidential caucuses more accessible.
Under the new rule, super delegates will only vote at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in 2020 if no candidate is able to secure a majority of the pledged delegates in an initial tally and a second round of balloting is needed.
The changes have been labelled as the most consequential reforms to the party’s nominating process since the 1980s, when it created super delegates.
IOWA DEM CAUCUS POLL: #2020Dem preference:— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) November 12, 2019
1st choice (1st+2nd combined)
22% (37) @PeteButtigieg
19% (29) @JoeBiden
18% (35) @EWarren
13% (25) @BernieSanders
5% (14) @AmyKlobuchar
3% (9) @KamalaHarris
3% (6) @TomSteyer
3% (4) @AndrewYang#IowaCaucus https://t.co/XOFMAFXkxc
A Monmouth University poll released this month found that 74 per cent of Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters are happy with the field as it is now.
Only 16 per cent said they would like to see other candidates get into the race.