Apr 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden and Sanders reach agreement on convention delegates

Biden and Sanders

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released a memo on Thursday announcing that it has come to an agreement with Bernie Sanders' former team to allocate enough statewide delegates at the Democratic National Convention to ensure "fair representation" for the progressive wing of the party.

Why it matters: Now that Sanders won't be the nominee, this is one way for his team to sustain the movement he's built and been a part of for decades — and to give his supporters a sense of representation and power over the Democratic platform.

  • Near the end of Sanders' campaign, some close allies were already looking past the 1991 delegates necessary to become the nominee — and instead focused on winning enough delegates to have influence over the party rules and platform committees at the convention this summer.

What they're saying:

"While Senator Sanders is no longer actively seeking the nomination, the Biden campaign feels strongly that it is in the best interest of the party and the effort to defeat Donald Trump in November to come to an agreement regarding these issues that will ensure representation of Sanders supporters and delegate candidates, both on the floor and in committees. We must defeat Donald Trump this fall, and we believe that this agreement will help bring the party together to get Trump out of the White House and not only rebuild America, but transform it."
— Biden campaign

The big picture: Sanders lost a chunk of the delegates he won during the Democratic primaries after dropping out. The Biden campaign has agreed to allow statewide delegate slots to be "filled by supporters of the Biden and Sanders campaigns based on the candidates' respective statewide results."

  • In New York, where the board of election's decision to cancel the primary has prompted intense backlash from Sanders supporters, the two teams are working together to figure out a way for Sanders to win some of those eventual delegates.

Go deeper: Biden and Sanders work toward truce on big issues

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