May 18, 2019

Top Dems see growing chance of brokered convention

Mike Allen, author of AM

The fiserv.forum, the site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo: Kamil Krzacynski/AFP/Getty Images

Well-wired Democrats say that the massive 2020 primary field means that the nominee may still be unclear when Democrats head to Milwaukee for their mid-July convention.

"In this new political environment and with changes in technology, there are fewer barriers to entry for candidates to enter and remain in the race. These changes encourage more candidates to enter the race and stay in longer."
— said Doug Sosnik, former White House political director for President Clinton

Why it matters, per Sosnik: "[A]ll these factors ... leading up to March 17 [Arizona, Florida, Illinois primaries] are the reasons that we could have the first brokered convention since the political reforms and the advent of the modern presidential primary system that were enacted after the chaotic 1968 convention in Chicago."

  • What to watch for: By March 17, 70% of the delegates will have been selected. Sosnik says that's when we'll know if the nomination is heading toward conclusion, or a brokered convention.

Jennifer Palmieri, former communications director for President Obama and Hillary Clinton, expects a "long primary ... wild ride," with "fewer barriers to getting in early and staying in late, till at least Super Tuesday."

  • Be smart: "That could change," Palmieri added, "if something unexpected happens and a candidate not seen as viable comes out on top in Iowa and/or New Hampshire, and candidates who are not doing well feel the need to get out to throw support behind a consensus candidate."

Go deeper: See Doug Sosnik's memo breaking the Democratic nominating fight into 6 phases, and his 6 slides showing the accompanying calendars.

Go deeper

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

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The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.

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Charging Alabama state troopers pass by fallen demonstrators in Selma on March 7, 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.

Driving the news: After George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it."