Both the GOP and the Democrat Party have their own special way of determining who will be their party’s nominee for president. Every state holds a caucus or a primary and the candidates are awarded delegates either proportionally to their showing at the polls or in a winner-take-all set-up.
And the Democrats have some “special sauce” they add to their nominating process known as the “superdelegate.”
The superdelegate is a party official, usually a politician, elected official, or party loyalist, who has more weight as a delegate than the average democratically-determined delegate. The Democrats are the party of “some animals are more equal than others” if nothing else, and no where is that more evident than regarding their superdelegates. In much the same way as the GOP establishment has “safeguards” in place to make sure the unwashed grassroots activist class doesn’t hold too much sway when choosing the party’s nominee, the superdelegates are in place to make sure the nutter-left doesn’t take control of their party’s nomination.
Enter Bernie Sanders.
Writes Politico, “Outraged by that disconnect – which is fueled by Clinton’s huge advantage with Democratic superdelegates, who are not bound by voting results – Sanders supporters are fighting back.”
In case you are wondering, Hillary Clinton has 394 delegates and Bernie Sanders has 44. Imagine the shock of the Bernie supporters when they got a whiff of this rigged process. After all, Hillary barely won Iowa and tanked in New Hampshire. How could she have almost ten times more delegates as Sanders?
Pro-Sanders threads on Reddit have been burning up with calls for action, with some supporters even reaching out to superdelegates (who are typically Democratic governors, members of Congress, and top state and national party leaders) to lobby them on the Vermont senator’s behalf.
They have petitions circulating.
Progressive groups are also taking a stand: There are currently two petition campaigns designed to urge superdelegates to reflect the popular vote, rather than the sentiment of party elites.
As of Sunday, MoveOn.org’s petition had 112,107 signatures on it.
“The next big thing will be this wave of petitions targeting individual superdelegates,” said MoveOn Washington Director Ben Wikler. “Asking individual members of Congress and governors and other superdelegates to individually make a pledge to support the will of the voters when it comes time to count their votes.”
Another petition asks the superdelegates to “announce that in the event of a close race, you’ll align yourself with regular voters – not party elites.” That petition has 171,010 signatures on it.
“[The] idea is if you’re a super delegate, we want to make sure that you understand that the grassroots base of the Democratic party wants you to support the will of the party electorate,” said Wikler. “So a lot of super delegates are party officials, they’re governors, mayor of DC, senators, members of Congress. And the other superdelegates are party leaders, people who have been involved in the Democratic National Committee and people who have been really involved in party affairs and all of them should care about making sure that the Democratic nominee is the person who has energy and passion of the Democratic base behind them.”
Can you imagine the anarchy that would break out if Bernie Sanders has more “regular” delegates going into the convention but the superdelegates reverse that and give the nomination to Hillary?!?
A top strategist for Martin O’Malley doesn’t think that will happen. Bill Hyers says, “I will tell you if Bernie does have the majority of the delegates by election going into the convention and the superdelegates tried to reverse that, it would be absolutely awful for the Democratic party and all holy hell would break loose. I don’t really see that happening, but that is why I largely think superdelegate counts are absolutely pointless right now. The candidates just need to go out and win some states.”
For now the Sanders campaign isn’t taking any action about the superdelegate discrepancy. Sanders said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, “I think if we continue to do well around the country and if superdelegates – whose main interest in life is to make sure that we do not have a Republican in the White House – if they understand that I am the candidate and I believe that I am who is best suited to defeat the Republican nominee I think they will start coming over to us.”
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked what she would say to Democrat voters who think the process is rigged in Clinton’s favor. Her answer makes absolutely no sense.
“Well, let me just make sure that I can clarify exactly what was available during the primaries in Iowa and in New Hampshire,” she said. “The unpledged delegates are a separate category. The only thing available on the ballot in a primary and a caucus is the pledged delegates, those that are tied to the candidate that they are pledged to support. And they receive a proportional number of delegates going into the — going into our convention. Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grass-roots activists.”
I wonder what that really means?
So get ready for the Nevada caucus this Saturday to see how much “special sauce” the Democrats pour onto the results.