Ranked-choice voting (in at least some form) would allow Democrats to identify the consensus nominee, the candidate with the widest possible support and best chance to unify the party. It works just like an instant runoff. The candidate at the bottom — in this case, Sanders — would be eliminated. The race would be down to two. The Sanders votes would be reallocated based on each voter’s second choice. The winner would be the candidate that the greatest number of people could agree on. No one would have cast a spoiler or wasted vote. And the party could head into the general election knowing that its standard-bearer had broad support.
The FairVote/YouGov poll tells us what would happen in that case: Warren tops Biden, 53.4% to 46.6%. (Follow this link and you can create runoffs of your own with all of the candidates.) Maybe everyone wouldn’t leave the convention happy. But they would leave having been heard, and certain that the majority carried the day.
Polls are always just a snapshot. But this one suggests that in a field of some two dozen candidates, Warren is the one that most Democrats agree on.