Joe Biden has signaled he will fight for the nomination at a contested convention even if he goes in with fewer delegates than Bernie Sanders.
The fluid 538 model currently has a 66% probability assigned to a contested convention with no candidate receiving the majority.
Sanders has a mere 21% of receiving a majority and Biden 13%.
NBCNews reports speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Biden said he would fight for the nomination even if he enters the convention in second place.
“Yes. I mean, look, the rules have been set. And I find a lot of folks in Bernie’s operation are now saying that whoever goes in with the most delegates, even if they’re not close or there’s a distance from the 19-plus-hundred that we need, that that’s — they should be declared the winner,” Biden said. “I wonder where that view was when he was challenging Hillary after she went in with a commanding lead.”
“Look, you don’t change the rules in the middle of a game,” he continued. “And I’m not at all certain that we’re … going to win with Bernie ahead. I hope that’s not the case. I hope I’m ahead. But we will see. But I think you play by the rules.”
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Biden said “some of these campaigns” were not being consistent in their convention stances, saying Sanders has had an “epiphany” since 2016.
Sanders pushed back on the idea that he’s changed his position, saying comments that were highlighted came before California, the state with the most delegates, had voted.
“And what I said is, at that point, if I can create momentum and if we win the California primary, then I think superdelegates might want to rethink where we’re at,” he said on “This Week.” “That was before the end of the process.”
“What you’re asking me now is if, at the end the entire Democratic process, a candidate, maybe Bernie Sanders, ends up with more votes than anybody else, and we go into the convention, and the Democratic establishment and the superdelegates say, hey, yes, Bernie won more votes than anybody else, he won state after state after state, but we don’t want him, you know what that will do to the Democratic base in this country?” he continued. “People will say, why — you are rejecting the candidate.”
Sanders said that after California “it was over” and “we conceded the election and that — we supported Hillary Clinton.” In 2016, California voters didn’t cast ballots until June, far later than this cycle, when they’ll vote on Super Tuesday.
Of Biden, Sanders said he has “no doubt that if I win, Joe will be there.”
“If Joe ends up winning, I will be there,” he added.