February 10, 2016

How Democratic bosses are cheating their voters

NPR- Bernie Sanders delivered the second-biggest rout in New Hampshire Democratic primary history, besting Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points.

And with that huge win, one might think that Sanders would end up with the majority of delegates.

But Clinton may very well wind up with more of them (or at least be closer in the delegate count than the proportion of the vote total).

There were 24 delegates to be allocated out of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, based on the vote statewide and by congressional district. Sanders, obviously, won more of those, 15 to her 9.

And yet: Add in the "superdelegates" who have already committed to a candidate, and Clinton moves into the delegate lead. Six of the state's eight superdelegates have publicly said they will vote for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July. (Two are uncommitted.)

That brings the delegate total out of Tuesday night to a 15 to 15 tie.

This is what makes Clinton so powerful in the Democratic race — even while she and Sanders battle it out among rank-and-file voters, she has a massive lead among superdelegates. Altogether, she already has 394 delegates and superdelegates to Sanders' 44 — a nearly ninefold lead.

And as NPR reported last year, a Democratic candidate needs 2,382 total delegates (super or not) to win the nomination. Of those, 712 are superdelegates.

Superdelegates are party insiders of all sorts — they include state and national elected officials, as well as Democratic National Committee members. So a little-known DNC committee member might be a superdelegate, as well as former President Bill Clinton. And while state primary results help apportion the non-super delegates, the superdelegates get to pick whom they want.

But why? Electability, writes University of Georgia lecturer Josh Putnam, in a 2009 entry on his blog, Frontloading HQ. "The reason superdelegates came into being in the interim period between the 1980 and 1984 elections was to allow the party establishment an increased voice in the nomination process," he wrote.


Anonymous said...

By the time it gets to Philadelphia it will be a love fest and many supers will have switched to line up behind Bernie as outright winner while Hillary gets her due respect throughout, second place gets her Queen for Day treatment on her own night and probably the UN ambassadorship. After Super Tuesday her funding will fall well behind Bernie's, ironically.

Armin said...

Don't bet on it, Anonymous. Superdelegates are obviously just another ruse allowing insiders to maintain their death-grip on the process and reduce the influence of the masses on the selection of their leaders. This procedure has no place in a party claiming to represent democratic values. Democrats must rise up and demand elimination of the superdelegate process.

Additionally, while the superdelegate process didn't originate under the leadership of current democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she has shown herself to lack any hint of democratic instincts by attempting to coronate Hillary and ignore Bernie. Democrats should demand her removal as chair of the party.

Unknown said...

If Sanders wins a majority of caucus/primary delegates, and is then denied the nomination, the DEm Party will test itself apart, the Rs will win the presidency and get to appoint Scalia's replacement. If Sanders is ahead, we have to hope super dells do not decide to commit political (and national) suicide by stopping Sanders. And vice Versace if Clinton is ahead.