Is Sanders’ End Game to Sell Out His ‘Political Revolution’ or to Take It All the Way to November?
Could Sanders win the necessary 270 electoral votes to be elected president? Technically the answer is yes. He would have to win a majority vote in states with a total of 270 electors. At present the Green Party already has a line in 22 states with a total of 316 electoral votes, which would mean Sanders, to get 270 electoral votes, would have to basically run the table on Election Day in November. But the Greens have active campaigns underway to get their party a line in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the party expects to have 47 of them for sure by Election Day. A strenuous effort is planned for the other three (North Carolina, Indiana and Oklahoma), which have particularly onerous obstacles. So if those efforts, even without those last three red states, are successful, certainly Sanders would have a shot at winning. He’s already beaten Clinton in many of them in the primaries and caucuses, and with independents and disgruntled Republicans free to vote for him in a national contest, his chances of doing so again could be even better. (I’ve also noted that since Electoral College delegates under the Constitution are not bound to vote for whoever wins in their state, and since Sanders and Clinton between them would almost certainly win more than 270 electoral votes in November, a deal could be struck by those two, as was reportedly done, but never activated, by Richard Nixon and George Wallace in 1968--namely that in the event that no candidate in a multi-candidate race were to get a 270 majority, the one who received the lower delegate total would tell those delegates to vote for the one with the higher delegate count, in order to put the latter over the top and prevent the contest from being sent to the Republican-led House to decide, or, in Nixon’s case, to a Democratic House.)
As I said, Sanders, a man who won his positions as a US Representative and Senator from Vermont running as a third party candidate, not as a Democrat, surely knows all this, so while he’s being very cagey, I still have to think that he may be playing that third game: pushing loyally for as long as he can in hopes of displacing Clinton as the Democrats’ nominee, and then reserving the option of jumping over to the Greens, who hold their own nominating convention in Houston on Aug. 4-7.
I know, I know. Most people on the left have already written Sanders off, and are calling for a shift to backing Jill Stein. But let’s be real. Stein is a great person with great politics, and a Stein campaign this year could be a whole new ballgame for the Greens, who could see support for their party and candidate surge past 5% and maybe even get into double digits, with her running against two of the least liked, least trusted major party candidates in history. But that said, she will still probably not be allowed into the corruptly run presidential debates, still will be ignored by the media, and still will not be taken seriously by most voters.