PHOENIX — There may be pressure on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to drop out of the Democratic presidential race, but he’s far from the first candidate to take a likely losing race to the convention.
“A lot of times, we’ve had a pretty good idea coming into the late primaries who was probably going to go into the convention,” Brooks Simpson, a presidential historian who works at Arizona State University, said.
Simpson said several well-known political names have taken their campaigns all the way to the convention, only to lose out in the end.
“Ted Kennedy, for example, in 1980,” he said. “Kennedy was mathematically out, although he tried to change the rules at the last moment to free all delegates from their commitments.”
Like Kennedy, Sanders has been mathematically eliminated from obtaining the necessary number of delegates to clinch the nomination, according to a count by the Associated Press.
Simpson said a candidate refusing to drop out by the convention can have a negative impact on the party as a whole.
“If they take the fight to the convention, as some have, the results aren’t always very good,” he said.
Another candidate who stuck around to see the convention was former President Ronald Reagan in 1976. He eventually lost the nomination to former President Gerald Ford, who lost the general election to former President Jimmy Carter.
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