Do either Warren or Sanders need to drop out to defeat Biden? Not so fast.

The Democrats' delegate system means a brokered convention may be the left's best shot

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Stephen Maturen/Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images, Vanzyst/iStock)

In the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump was greatly helped by two factors: a deeply splintered opposition, and the largely winner-take-all rules of GOP primaries. Voters who opposed Trump never coalesced behind another candidate and eventually he was able to win the nomination with less than 45 percent of the total votes cast.

Thus far, Joe Biden is in a similar position to 2016 Trump in terms of polls — considerably ahead of a divided field, but well short of an absolute majority. So it raises a question: If progressive Democrats want to prevent a Biden nomination, with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders nearly tied behind him, how best might they act together to keep him from winning? Splinter's Hamilton Nolan argues that one or the other should drop out to clear the way for the other, while the Working Families Party's national director Maurice Mitchell justified his organization's endorsement of Warren this week by arguing she could better beat Biden. "If our focus is on victory, we can't be delusional about it," he told The New York Times.

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