Sanders supporters advocate using O'Malley as spoiler in Iowa

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Clinton, Sanders Supporters Suggest Iowa Caucusgoers Vote for O'Malley

Bernie Sanders' supporters are urging Iowa caucus-goers to back Martin O'Malley as part of a strategy—after Sanders' camp bashed Hillary Clinton's campaign for using the same political tactic.

The strategy aims to make O'Malley a "viable" candidate in Iowa precincts where Clinton is set to earn the majority of delegates, thus robbing her of delegates that would help her take the state, and leaving an opening for Sanders to eventually win the most delegates. Clinton's campaign is trying to do the same thing: rob Sanders of the votes he needs to win in Iowa by making O'Malley a "viable" candidate in certain precincts.

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According to BuzzFeed News, which reported on Clinton's planned use of the political maneuver at the February 1 Iowa Caucus, Sanders' Iowa spokesperson called it "sad and telling that (Clinton's) campaign doesn't think they can win without these kinds of tactics." But on January 26, someone on the r/SandersForPresident subreddit posted a guide to caucusing for O'Malley that advocated the same strategy, Vocativ deep web analysts discovered.

The guide, which is based on the complicated math behind caucusing, describes the situations in which it's most prudent for Sanders fans to caucus for O'Malley. For instance, if Clinton earns over 50 percent of votes in a precinct with three delegates, then backing O'Malley with over 16.66 percent of the vote would ensure that she would take only one delegate rather than two. (Any candidate needs at least 15 percent of the vote in order to be considered "viable" in a precinct.)

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Sanders supporters advocate using O'Malley as spoiler in Iowa
MILWAUKEE, WI - FEBRUARY 11: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on February 11, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.The debate is the final debate before the Nevada caucuses scheduled for February 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NH - FEBRUARY 04: Democratic presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during their MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the New Hampshire primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, left, and Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, participate in the first Democratic presidential debate at the Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. While tonight's first Democratic presidential debate will probably lack the name-calling and sharp jabs of the Republican face-offs, there's still potential for strong disagreements between the party's leading contenders. Photographer: Josh Haner/Pool via Bloomberg
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton shake hands at the end of a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Campaign volunteers showed their clear approval of the strategy. One user, "robotzor," said the guide should be made into a bite-sized infographic that can be printed onto a piece of paper. "This will need to be easy and digestible, and get passed out at caucuses to the entire Bernie regiment," the user wrote. Another volunteer with the Sanders campaign, "sigmit" from Connecticut, asked: "Why doesn't this have more upvotes? This is mission critical."

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User "lurklurklurky," a volunteer with the Sanders campaign from California, shared the guide in a subreddit that targets Iowa voters and explained the tactic. "If O'Malley is not viable, and there are a certain number of delegates at stake, Sanders supporters would better help Sanders by making O'Malley viable to rob Clinton of that delegate," the user wrote.

But not all Bernie supporters applauded the idea. One volunteer from Michigan said: "It's disconcerting to me how votes can be traded for favors."

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The post Sanders Supporters Advocate Using O'Malley As Spoiler In Iowa appeared first on Vocativ.

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