It’s Round Two, Keith Ellison versus Tom Perez, Bernie versus Hillary all over again. It’s not Hillary’s team using shady tactics or Bernie’s team unable to expose the same, it’s the fact the Democrats have more members than Republicans yet they continue to lose ground on all levels of elections.
Ellison versus Perez will help determine the future Democrat Party and just like Bernie versus Hillary, how Democrats relate to the constituency is also on the precipice.
The fact that the race is considered quite close is a discouragement to those progressives who thought we were beyond such preliminaries.
“The consensus among Democratic officials is that former Labor Secretary Tom Perez is the slight favorite to win election as the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Perez himself claims that he is far-and-away the front-runner — and that he is less than 50 votes away from victory.
But a POLITICO email survey of the 447 DNC voting members and follow-up interviews with close to a dozen national and state Democratic leaders finds a considerably closer race, with Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison holding a narrow advantage in a contest that seems likely to last through several rounds of balloting before determining a winner.
“Based on the constant calls from surrogates on both sides I would say that it is close,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber, one of the remaining undecided state chairs. “Those two front-runners and other candidates are aggressively calling around to get votes. My sense is that almost everyone who has voted is going to have an opportunity to talk to both the two front-runners and, myself included, I think everybody really likes both of them. Most of the discussion I’ve heard is it’s really people voting for one of them but not against everybody.”
The email survey reveals what is essentially a two-candidate race in the final days before the Feb. 25 vote in Atlanta. Ellison, a Bernie Sanders supporter during the 2016 Democratic primary, holds a modest lead over Perez, with the rest of the field lagging far behind, according to the 176 DNC members who responded. After Ellison and Perez, the next largest group of respondents is undecided.
Perez’s team announced last week he had secured 180 pledged votes, just 44 votes short of the amount needed to win a majority. In response, Ellison accused his rival of trying to “exert pressure” on DNC members. But the Minnesota has not released his own vote count, making it unclear how much pledged support he can point to.
Still, Ellison boasts a long roster of prominent supporters and major labor groups, and recently added a key late endorsement from New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, a well-known party veteran who currently leads the Association of State Democratic Chairs.
From the beginning of the race, Ellison has sought to position himself as the unity candidate and quickly picked up support from top Democrats in both the progressive and establishment-oriented wings of the party. Perez, who joined the race after it was well underway, has since won some of the most coveted endorsements in the race from former administration officials including Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
“I think Tom’s campaign — I think they’re pretty confident at the end of the day but they believed that this was always going to go to Atlanta,” said Maria Cardona, a voting member backing Perez. “Tom has done a pretty good job of cementing a topnotch campaign given the timing of when he got in but he remains very aware that this is not his for the taking and I think that’s smart of him to think that.” http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/democratic-national-committee-race-235292