After Iowa Fiasco, Democrats See Chances Rising for Brokered Convention

The Iowa fiasco and muddled result is increasing speculation that Democrats could end up with a brokered convention.

The Hill reports the chance of a contested Democratic convention has increased after the muddle of the Iowa caucuses, raising anxieties ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Iowa’s delayed results left five top-tier candidates soldiering on, even as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg blankets television airwaves with advertisements ahead of his first appearance on ballots in March.

This has all raised the likelihood of a longer primary fight where none of the candidates might win the 1,990 delegates needed to clinch the party’s presidential nomination.

“It’s possible, it’s quite possible,” said Chris Spirou, the former New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman and veteran political operative in the state. “I think Bloomberg entering into this thing provides a much greater possibility of a brokered convention.”

A brokered convention, which would increase the power of the party officials known as superdelegates, would be good news for President Trump, since those who lose such a contest might be even more angered over the process.

“It would be much better if we had a candidate win a sufficient number of delegates going into the convention,” Spirou said, “but I’m confident we’ll have a candidate coming out of it who can defeat Trump.”

In an Op-Ed for Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich writes:

Because of the stunning incompetence of the Iowa Democratic Party’s mismanagement of the caucuses, we still don’t have uncontested results one week after the event. However, even with the results that we do have, it is clear the big loser in Iowa last Monday night was Vice President Joe Biden.

You can’t claim to be the front runner and the one person with the electoral strength to beat President Trump when you come in a distant fourth in Iowa.

Biden may stay in the race through South Carolina, but with each passing day, he will have less money and momentum.

If you want a more moderate candidate, former Mayor Pete is clearly going to be more attractive than former Vice President Joe. Biden is going to have an extraordinarily difficult time raising money going forward. He has run a tremendously expensive campaign and burned through a lot of funds.

Furthermore, he has tended to raise his money from large donors, so many have already given him the legal maximum.

By contrast, Sanders has the largest number of small donors and can go back to them month-after-month for $10 and $20 donations. These add up into millions.

It is hard to imagine Biden competing on Super Tuesday in expensive states like California and Texas because he simply won’t be able to buy statewide ads.

Ironically, the possibility that Biden is on the edge of dropping out the race will not narrow the field. This is because former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is coming into the race just when his money can start making a real difference. Unlike Biden, Bloomberg can afford to compete everywhere and simply drown his opponents in ads.

In fact, Bloomberg announced last week that (in light of the Iowa Caucus results) he is going to double the amount of money he is spending. He will certainly start picking up support just from the sheer weight and quality of his advertising.

No one in politics should underestimate Bloomberg’s understanding of public opinion and his willingness to use the best experts that money can attract.

Bloomberg made part of his billions out of Bloomberg News. He won the mayoral race in New York City three times (the last time spending an estimated $200 per vote). He has more than $60 billion in net worth. This means he could spend $2 billion or $3 billion on a presidential campaign and not even notice it.

However, even with all his money, it is unlikely that Bloomberg will sweep the delegates.

The Republicans have a series of winner take all primaries after a certain point. However, the Democrats have a proportional representation beginning at 15 percent. This means that every candidate who can get 15 percent or more of the vote will have an incentive to stay in the race.