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Eye On Candidates
May 20, 2016

Democrats expect troubled convention

Contentious national party conventions have been rare in recent years, as campaigns attempt to impose their will and minimize any and all potential discord and embarrassment that might spoil their prime-time moments. Many expect the Republican convention this year to be rougher than usual, however, and recent weeks have led many to conclude the Democrats may be in for a tough few days in Philadelphia as well. Politico reports:

Democratic insiders: Convention could be 'a rough ride'

A majority of Democratic insiders are worried about the party’s ability to unite its factions before this summer’s national party convention and pivot quickly to defeating Donald Trump in the general election.

That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 10 battleground states — which found that nearly a quarter of Democrats are “very worried” about their party’s chances to unify in light of recent spats between Bernie Sanders’ supporters and the Democratic establishment, which is mostly lined up behind Hillary Clinton....

Most Democratic insiders pinned the blame on Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, arguing he has inflamed his supporters by giving them the unrealistic impression that he can pass Clinton in the delegate count.

“Bernie is doing great damage right now by giving his most ardent supporters the illusion that he can win, and impression that if he doesn't it's because the system was rigged or they were robbed,” said a Colorado Democrat. “Much of what we are seeing in Nevada happened in Colorado at our Convention, although on a much smaller scale – booing anyone other than Sanders, near violence in the hallways, and a sense that if anything didn't go their way it was because the system was rigged.”

“My worst fears about Bernie's lack of temperament and character are being realized,” added a New Hampshire Democrat. “He's not a team player, and he's not a Democrat.”

A repeat of 1968, which literally featured riots televised nationally and helped Nixon to connect to many voters with his "law and order" rhetoric, is still unlikely. But as the article suggests, Democrats gleefully anticipating a Trump-led Republican convention might want to pay close attention to their own potential for embarrassment as well.