Members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will choose their next chairman this weekend in Atlanta, and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is leading the race against former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, according to a new survey of DNC members conducted by The Hill.
The Hill surveyed 240 DNC members during the past week revealing that, out of the two leading contenders in the race, Ellison garnered the support of 105 voters to Perez’s 57. More than 50 members were undecided, and other candidates were barely represented.
Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is a progressive leader in the House. He was backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders early on in the race and quickly received the support of elected officials throughout the Party, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Perez, on the other hand, has garnered support from former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
“It’s possible that a mass movement by undecided voters or a broad change-of-heart could push either candidate to the 224-vote threshold for a first-ballot victory, but it appears likely the race will head to multiple rounds,” hypothesized the report, noting, “The vote will take as many ballots as needed for a candidate to cobble together a majority. After the second round of balloting, the candidate with the lowest vote total will be removed from subsequent ballots until one candidate emerges with a majority.”
Mo Elleithee, a former DNC spokesman who now heads Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, told The Hill that he thinks the winner will likely go to victory on multiple ballots. “All of the public posturing, the big endorsements — none of that matters,” he said. “It all comes down to the 447 voting members, and they want to know who is going to be able to rebuild the infrastructure of the DNC. Whoever can best walk into this weekend answering that question walks in with an advantage.”
The Hill’s survey showed that Ellison is leading with more public support from DNC members, despite claims from each candidate that they have the most support from voters. The election on Saturday will affect how the DNC handles its immediate task at hand: rebuilding the Democratic Party in opposition to President Trump.
“It’s not hard to see if Perez wins the race, having a whole portion of the party that feels like, ‘Here the Washington insiders go again, appointing an Obama and Hillary guy,’” remarked one former Hillary Clinton staffer.
H/T: The Hill
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