Bernie Sanders is losing the primary battle, but he’s still waging a war for the soul of the Democratic Party.
Now all-but eliminated from winning the Democratic nomination, the Vermont Senator and his advisers are drawing up plans for a fight over the party’s platform and rules at the July convention, hoping to inscribe his ideas into the party’s DNA.
That could mean putting into the text ideas that Clinton and her allies have resisted, such as raising the federal minimum wageto $15 an hour or changing the primary rules to eliminate superdelegates, Sanders allies say. His advisers are considering tactics that would take advantage of the party’s arcane rules to push proposals through the party-controlled committees, perhaps as far the convention floor.
The looming fight at the convention has become a key motive for Sanders to continue contesting major primary states. “If we don’t win, we intend to win every delegates we can,” he said at a rally on Wednesday, “so that when we go to Philadelphia, we will have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda that any party has ever seen.”
But Sanders will face some of the same challenges in his platform fight that he faced in his campaign, with much of the agenda on the convention floor controlled by Clinton and her allies within the party. He has lost a string of devastating losses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and other delegate-rich states in recent days, which means he will have fewer supporters compared with Clinton in the convention halls.