Speed Reads

Feeling the Bern

Watch Elizabeth Warren tell a Sanders supporter that Bernie helped write the delegate rules he now opposes

At a CNN town hall in South Carolina on Wednesday night, a Bernie Sanders supporter asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about a moment in the Nevada Democratic debate where all the candidates but Sanders said if nobody has a majority of votes by the convention, the process should play out as written, potentially handing the nomination to somebody with fewer delegates. "Can you explain why the will of the voters should not matter if no candidate reaches a majority of delegates?" he asked. Warren began her answer with a question: "So, you do know that was Bernie's position in 2016?"

"That was Bernie's position in 2016, that it should not go to the person who had a plurality," Warren continued. "And remember, his last play was to superdelegates. So the way I see this is, you write the rules before you know where everybody stands. And then you stick with those rules." Sanders "had a big hand in writing these rules — I didn't write them, but Bernie did," she added. "Those are the rules that he wanted to write and others wanted to write. Everybody got in the race thinking that was the set of rules. I don't see how come you get to change it just because he now thinks there's an advantage to him for doing that."

The system could work to Sanders' advantage, too. In the Nevada caucuses, for example, Sanders got 34 percent of the votes in the first round and ended up at 40 percent in the final preference, 47 percent of the final vote, and 22 delegates; Warren got 13 percent in the first round, ended up with 11.5 percent of the final voter preference, 10 percent of the final vote, and zero delegates.

Goose, gander, ect.