The FBI is reportedly ready to interview Hillary Clinton Saturday, which brings up the question of who will be the Democratic nominee for president if the former secretary of state is indicted.
Clinton could always stay in the race and maintain her innocence. Clinton was asked in a March debate whether she will drop out if indicted. “Oh, for goodness — that’s not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question,” the former secretary of state responded.
Superdelegates who have pledged support to Clinton would be free to switch allegiance over to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders has remained in the Democratic nomination and still has 1,831 pledged delegates.
To win the Democratic nomination one needs to get the support of 2,383 total delegates, including the superdelegates already supporting him Sanders would have to get the backing of 504 of Clinton’s superdelegates.
But what if someone like Vice President Joe Biden would step into the Democrat race?
Richard E. Berg-Andersson of the delegate counting website The Green Papers laid out to The Daily Caller how this could happen.Berg-Andersson said for this to happen “everything would have to break just right.” “It all would be very ‘old school’– as in late 19th Century/early 20th Century ‘smoke-filled room’ style,” the famed delegate counter added.
For a last minute entrance like Biden to win, Hillary would have to come out explicitly in his favor. Clinton would file an intention to release all her pledged delegates and then have it be known that she prefers they support the new candidate instead of Sanders.
“But there would be no guarantees, as released delegates are truly ‘free agents’ who can now vote for anyone they might want to on a First Ballot of Roll Call at the Convention (and there are no real sanctions against any now-ex-Hillary pledged delegate failing to accede to Hillary’s “preference” for Biden in this scenario,” Berg-Andersson told TheDC over email.
He added, “Yet: if Hillary could get, say, some 1800 of her now-2200+ pledged delegates to, instead, support Biden on Roll Call of the States on Presidential Nomination in Philadelphia toward the end of this month and, in addition, some 600 of the ‘superdelegates’ were to go along with this plan– well, there’s your 2383 necessary to nominate for Joe Biden in this hypothetical!”
However, Sanders supporters would probably not be too happy about a last-minute entrance. Clinton has managed to unify the Democratic Party fairly well in the past few weeks, and a Democrat nominee who ran in no primary states would have a tall order ahead of them.