Dick Morris: Dems Rush Toward Deadlock - and Possibly to Hillary?


With only a week left until Super Tuesday, it is becoming exceedingly clear that no Democratic candidate is likely to win a majority of the elected delegates.

Last night’s debate only clarified that. It was a noisy free-for-all that was condoned by the anti-Bernie CBS network. The moderators were in over their heads and could not control the candidates. CBS actually aired a Bloomberg ad during the debate!

So, on July 16, 2020, when the first ballot will have been tallied, the Democrats will be stumped because they will be left without a nominee.

After the first ballot, Sanders will likely stall out at about 40 percent of the vote. Biden, Warren, Bloomberg and Buttigieg each get about 15 percent of the first ballot vote. If Klobuchar is still in it, she’ll get a few votes as well.

And nobody will have a majority.

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So, as the second ballot approaches, Democrats will size up the field and pick a candidate for president. But there is nobody to pick.

Bernie Sanders? He will have pushed hard, run strong but fallen short. Will a party whose establishment fears him give him what the voters did not? Unlikely.

Mike Bloomberg? With his record, his quotes, his jokes — how on earth can the party nominate him? No matter how much he spends they won’t. They can’t.

Joe Biden? He was stronger in last night’s debate but he remains the candidate who blew his front-runner status. In New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada, he was a loser. Likely he will also lose in California, New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and North Carolina, to name just a few of the Super Tuesday states he’ll lose.

Do you think the Democratic Party will nominate Hillary Clinton for president again?

Even if he wins South Carolina, it won’t amount to much. South Carolina’s Democratic primary is the new Washington D.C., a reliable indicator of the black vote but not much else. With a record of almost wall-to-wall primary defeats, is it realistic expect the Democratic establishment to anoint him as their nominee? They don’t dare. He’s too weak and the backlash would be too extreme.

Pete Buttigieg? He has shown himself to be underwhelming. A nice kid with a good future, but that’s it.

Amy Klobuchar? Elizabeth Warren? You can’t see them nominating either of them.

The only solution will be for Sen. Warren to give up the ghost and, possibly in return for the vice presidency, give her delegates to Sanders, likely boosting him over 50 percent and giving him the nomination — a mercy killing of a chaotic and destructive nominating process.

Or, if it is a deadlock, they might turn to Hillary Clinton.

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With the super delegates casting one-fifth of the vote, the party establishment will be tempted to dig her up and send her to a second nomination (and, likely, a third defeat). In a party lacking heroes, there is no one else to ride to the rescue.

Sanders will rant and rave that he is being cheated again, but at least it will be by a candidate who got 51 percent of the popular vote last time. There will be a riot — but if anyone else is chosen over Bernie, there will be a civil war.

If Warren doesn’t give Bernie her votes, there is nobody else.

In last night’s debate, the weakness and inability of Klobuchar and Buttigieg to fill the role of compromise candidate was evident. Amy was way too boring and Pete too meek and mild.

Biden seemed to have found his voice and, for the first time in the debates, acted like the former vice president — the adult in the room. But the word “loser” is semi-permanently tattooed on his forehead. He is not a loser because he forgivably fought the good fight and failed, but because he failed to bring it after months of campaigning.

Biden is a man whose time has come — and gone.

So it will be Bernie or Hillary, depending on what Warren does.

And then, Donald Trump will move to a triumphant and record re-election whichever opponent he faces.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.