Democrats are more divided than they appear according to numbers released by the Democratic National Committee following their nominating convention last week.
Fox News reports that of the 5,000 delegates that voted on the party’s platform, widely recognized as the most progressive Democratic Party platform in years, more than a thousand delegates — around 25% of all attendees — voted against the decision to approve the party’s official policies.
The situation reveals a breakdown in the party that could cost the Democrats in the coming years and indicates a vast difference between the “moderate” Democratic party, which fought to nominate former Vice President Joe Biden as its 2020 contender, and the growing progressive wing, which backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“The DNC revealed over the weekend that 3,562 delegates voted to approve the platform, while a total of 1,069 voted no, and 87 abstained,” Fox reported. “The number of convention delegates who voted no is roughly the same as the number of delegates pledged to progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The populist lawmaker and ‘Medicare-for-all’ champion was the last remaining rival to Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the primaries before suspending his White House bid and endorsing the former vice president in April.”
The number could give Biden’s team pause; although Sanders himself has pledged to back the former Veep, recent reports indicate growing unrest within the progressive caucus, and fear that once elected, Biden will not be as willing to embrace far-left policy as they expect.
Biden has already turned down a “Medicare-for-All” health care plan, refuses to endorse the “defund the police” movement and, as The Daily Wire reported Sunday, encouraged Democratic platform committees to marginalize the official Black Lives Matter organization, even though Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, made racial justice a central theme of the convention.
At least one Sanders convention delegate acknowledged acrimony.
“We were upset. There was pushback. There were emails and phone calls,” a Sanders supporter told Fox.
Only two Democratic legislators voted against the platform — Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) — both because the platform failed to include a fully single-payer health care plan.
Although the numbers are shocking, the discord is not necessarily unexpected — and Republicans, who raised eyebrows Sunday by refusing to issue an official platform for their own convention, may have decided to avoid a similar display of major, internal party fracture by avoiding policy altogether.
Instead of an official platform, the Republicans are pledging to “enthusiastically support” their nominee, according to Fox News. Instead of voting on changes, the RNC will leave the party’s 2016 platform intact.
“The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement,” the RNC said in a statement Sunday.