Hillary supporters keep telling me that she has the nomination locked up. I keep reminding them that this is not true. According to the current rules for the Democratic Party nomination, Clinton needs a 719+ pledge delegate lead before the convention in order to lock up the nomination. The reason for this is simple: Superdelegates!
There are 719 superdelegates who despite what the media would have people believe did not vote and cannot vote until the convention. They can “pledge” their vote to whoever they want, but they can’t actually vote until the convention and that means that as human beings they can still change who they decide to vote for.
Are they likely to do that? Probably not. If all things stay the same between now and the convention, they will probably vote for who they say they will vote for and Clinton will be the nominee. However, a lot can happen between now and then.
Superdelegates were created for one purpose: To override the “will of the people.” At one point Party insiders alone decided on who will be the nominee. The Party decided to open up the process with a number of primaries and caucuses. But after the people nominated a series of loser candidates, the Party decided to add superdelegates into the mix to ensure that the the people wouldn’t pick a crappy candidate again (Don’t take my word for this; feel free to Google it).
That’s not the system I would like to see. Personally, I would like to see the rules changed in future elections to be more democratic. I would like to see all the primaries vote on the same day with no caucuses and no superdelegates. I also think that the political parties should cover the full cost of primary contests since they are private organizations and not government agencies. But that isn’t the system we have today and I would object to a rules change in mid-contest.
So here we are in 2016. Hillary Clinton’s unfavorabilities are extremely high and she is doing worse and worse in polls against the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. If this trend continues Bernie Sanders can make the case at the convention that a vote for Clinton would be more likely to ensure a Trump presidency. This case could be made stronger if Sanders continues to win primaries.
Other things can also happen between now and the convention like a new scandal can break, an FBI indictment can occur, Hillary’s Wall Street speeches could be leaked, the Clintons could be linked to the Panama Papers, etc., etc.
Maybe nothing at all will happen between now and the end of July, the convention goes forward and the superdelegates vote for who they say they will vote for, and Clinton wins the nomination. That is the most likely scenario. However, my point is that it isn’t the only scenario and when Clinton supporters say that she has the nomination locked up or that it is impossible for Sanders to win, they are flat out wrong. Maybe they are misinformed, can’t do math, over confident, don’t understand what the word “impossible” means, or are just plain lying. I don’t know. But what I do know is that Sanders is going to continue to fight for every vote between now and the convention. At the convention, there will be “yuge” numbers of Sanders supporters rallying in his support. And superdelegates will have to decide who is the best candidate to go up against Donald Trump. I will be continue to make the argument that Senator Bernie Sanders is that candidate.
See you in Philadelphia! #SummerIsComming
- Thoughts On: Bernie or Bust (skepticink.com)
- Here Comes Bernie Sanders! (skepticink.com)
- Can the Democratic Party Really Risk Losing a Generation? (HuffingtonPost)