Harry Reid: Democratic Nominee Must Win a Majority, Not a Plurality

‘I think that we have to let the system work its way out…’

Former Sen. Harry Reid has Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Harry Reid/Photo by Center for American Progress Action Fund (CC)

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed back on Bernie Sanders’s argument that a “plurality” of pledged delegates would be enough to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

“Here is how I feel about this: I do not think that anybody — Bernie Sanders or anyone else — should simply get the nomination because they have 30 percent of the delegates and no one else has that many,” Reid told the Washington Post.

The Democratic nominee must win 50% of the vote, or at least 1,991 delegates, Reid said. The longtime Democrat admitted last week that this might prove difficult given the many candidates still in the running, but then suggested that a brokered convention, in which party bosses or delegates decide the nominee in floor fights or negotiations, wouldn’t be “the end of the world.”

“Let’s say that [Sanders] has 35%. Well, 65% he doesn’t have, or that person doesn’t have. I think that we have to let the system work its way out,” Reid explained. “I do not believe anyone should get the nomination unless they have 50%-plus-one.”


Reid maintained that a brokered convention is still unlikely.

“A lot of this will work its way out. A lot people in the race still, but they’ll be dropping off quick, because the money is running out. So I think you’re going to have the field winnowing fairly quickly,” he said.

Reid also suggested that the Democratic candidates might team up with each other at some point.

“And you have most of the people who are not Bernie Sanders, are people who are moderates, and maybe they’ll work something out to get together and try to find that one person who can come up with the number of delegates. Maybe that’s one way to do it,” he said.