Every candidate except Sen. Bernie Sanders said the convention rules and superdelegates should decide the nomination if the leading candidate does not win a majority of delegates during Wednesday’s debate.
"There's a very good chance none of you are going to have enough delegates," NBC News host Chuck Todd said. "Should the person with the most delegates at the end of this primary season be the nominee even if they are short of a majority?"
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg argued that the party should follow the “rules” and the “process.”
"So you want the convention to work its will?" Todd asked.
“Yes,” Bloomberg replied.
Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar all agreed.
Sanders was the only candidate to argue that the person with the most delegates should win the nomination.
"Well, the 'process' includes 500 superdelegates on the second ballot," Sanders said. "So I think that the will of the people should prevail. Yes, the person who has the most votes should become the nominee."
Bernie likely to win, but not clinch:
The Washington Post described Sanders as an “uncatchable leader” who “can’t clinch the nomination” because of the large field.
FiveThirtyEight’s model projects that there is a 37% chance that Sanders will win a majority of delegates and a 40% chance that no one does. There is just a 23% chance another candidate wins enough delegates.
There has not been a contested convention in decades and past contested conventions have resulted in candidates being trounced in the general election.
Bernie supporters cry foul:
"The Democratic Party should be on notice," said former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. "If you even think about using superdelegates to take the nomination from someone who has the plurality of delegates going into Milwaukee, we the people will not take it lying down."
"If Bernie Sanders is leading in pledged delegates and votes by the convention and superdelegates swing the nomination to someone else, it will be the end of the Democratic Party as an American political institution," added journalist Walker Bragman.