According fivethirtyeight‘s Democratic Party nomination forecast, it’s conceivable that as Michael Bloomberg continues to climb in the polls, and Bernie Sanders maintains his strong base of support, Bloomberg and Sanders will be the two candidates accumulating the most delegates, and end up in a one-on-one fight as Democrats head to the convention in July. If no candidate gets a majority of the delegates there’s more of a possibility there will be a brokered convention. If this does happen and the candidate going into the convention with the most delegates doesn’t get the nomination does the party fracture?
Neither Bloomberg nor Sanders is truly a Democrat. Bernie’s an Independent. Bloomberg, when he was mayor of NYC, was a Republican. While still mayor, he left the Republicans and became an Independent. Most recently, he switched his party affiliation to Democrat. Not exactly life-long Democratic party loyalists. Perhaps a more traditional Democrat, Biden, Klobuchar, Buttigieg will be in the top 3 at the convention. But anything resembling this mashup increases the possibilities the party may fall apart.
This is in sharp contrast to Trump’s complete domination of the Republican party and its move to the far right. But let’s leave that for another day.
Since 2016 it seems clear there are two warring wings within the Democratic Party. One is mainstream pro-business that supports some social programs that mitigates the destructive elements of the American capitalist economy. Let’s call it social safety net, the basic plan. And the party has to be pushed on social issues from the bottom. See marriage equality. But it eventually gets there. That’s Bill and Hillary Clinton’s party, and Barack Obama’s. Let’s call them Neo-liberal Democrats. It has been dominant since Bill Clinton won the presidency. Then there’s the Warren and Sanders side of the party that burst out since Sanders’ run in 2016. This grouping appears to be a Social Democratic Party of the Western European variety. As Paul Krugman has pointed out, Bernie is really a social democrat, not a socialist, never mind what he says.
The questions are: Can these wings of the Party stay together? If Bloomberg or Sanders gets the nomination, will the party be united to defeat Trump? Will the party stay together even if a Democrat wins the election? What happens if Trump pulls out a second term? Which grouping within the party will be blamed? What are the possible realignments?