Bernie Sanders wins Mock Con’s Democratic nomination after contested convention

The 27th Mock Convention nominates Sanders for president


Lilah Kimble

Luke Basham, Democratic party analyst, stands at the podium to introduce the roll call.

Grace Mamon, Laura Calhoun, Jin Ni, and Vivek Kumar

Washington and Lee University Mock Convention predicted Senator Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, after a projected contested convention for the first time since 1968.

Misty Rebik, the Iowa state director for the Sanders campaign, accepted the nomination on behalf of the senator.

“Coming off of the heels of one of the most important elections of our lives, we could not be more proud to accept this nomination,” Rebik said. “It is a movement like ours that is going to get more people politically engaged, more people voting, and more people with their voice heard. Thank you so much for this nomination.” 

The result came after Political Chair John Harashinski, ‘20, announced a contested convention, where no candidate was able to reach the necessary 1,991 votes to constitute a majority. After all unpledged superdelegates were called to vote on the second ballot, an additional 771 votes were up for grabs.

The initial vote totals were awarded as follows:

  • Bernie Sanders: 1,642
  • Joe Biden: 1,237 votes
  • Michael Bloomberg: 727 votes
  • Pete Buttigieg: 202 votes
  • Elizabeth Warren: 97 votes
  • Amy Klobuchar: 51 votes
  • Tom Steyer: 23 votes

 Students were shocked by the call for a second round of voting by unpledged delegates. Jensen Rocha, ‘23, had a steady expectation amidst the chaos.

“This is crazy,” Rocha said. “I think they’re going to come back and say it’s Biden though.”

Kristen Xu, ‘22, state chair of Kansas, was more unsure.

“I am not sure anyone will defeat Trump,” Xu said. “[But] I think Sanders will be the candidate today. Biden’s time has passed; Buttigieg has a chance but he has no African-American voters. They all have similar policies, but Sanders is the only option.”

Students involved in Mock Convention have been conducting research to select the next Democratic nominee for president over the past four years. Keren Katz, ‘22, state chair of Oklahoma, said that her team has put in lots of groundwork to decide their delegate allotment.

“Since there weren’t any polls available for Oklahoma since July, we spent a lot of time contacting officials and random voters in the state on how they were going to vote,” Katz said. “We also factored the results of Iowa and New Hampshire in our decision, as well as Oklahoma’s past voting history.”

Both Kansas and Oklahoma awarded their highest number of delegates to Sanders.

This is the second time Sanders has run for president. In his first campaign in 2016, the Vermont senator lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton.

Sanders is currently serving his third term as a senator for the state of Vermont. Before serving in the U.S. Senate, Sanders served in the House of Representatives for 16 years.

Editor’s Note: The original article incorrectly stated the vote total for Sen. Elizabeth Warren.