Predictions of contested conventions are a go-to for lazy columnists and hence widely and mostly correctly mocked. And yet under the particular rules the Democratic Party is using in 2020 and the fairly large field, it really is possible:
1a. There are a ton of candidates.
1b. The number of candidates is predictive of what share of the vote the top candidates receive.
2. Democratic rules—in contrast the past—are set up such that unless someone gets close to 50% of the *vote*, they can't win on the first ballot.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 14, 2019
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 13, 2019
The most likely outcome remains that it becomes a 2-or-3 person race after New Hampshire and the primary position produces a clear winner. But it really is possible that this system doesn’t produce a clear winner, which is…not good. You think the recriminations from 2016 were bad, imagine party elites picking someone after a quasi-democratic collection of primaries and caucuses can’t produce a winner.