Contested convention now most likely Democratic primary outcome, FiveThirtyEight predicts

Kathryn Krawczyk

And the winner is... no one.

That's what FiveThirtyEight sees as the most likely outcome of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, according to Thursday's update of its primary forecast. While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stays relatively flat with a one in three chance of securing the nomination, the possibility of a contested convention has a 42 percent chance of happening, FiveThirtyEight predicts.

Sanders peaked in his nomination chances at close to 50 percent after winning both the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses. Those two contests also sent former Vice President Joe Biden from a close to one in two chance of winning down to just about one in nine. But polls in the days since have dropped Sanders back down to a 35 percent chance, seeing as he's earned only a slight advantage over a split field of more moderate candidates. In turn, those polls and split contests fueled a dramatic upswing in the chances for no candidate at all.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg maintains a one in 10 chance of winning the primary, per FiveThirtyEight. But that doesn't take into account Wednesday night's debate, where Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivered a scorching rebuke of everything Bloomberg stands for.

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