Bernie Sanders may have won the popular vote, but Hillary Clinton still has the superdelegates on her side.
Most of us have heard the incredible results of the New Hampshire primary for both parties: Donald Trump won for the Republican party and Bernie Sanders won by a landslide for the Democratic party. What most of us hadn’t heard was that despite this overwhelming victory for Bernie, he still came out of the primary with the same amount of delegates as Clinton.
How can this be? It’s because of the way the “democratic” party has their delegates set up. For New Hampshire specifically, there are 24 delegates who vote according to the popular vote. Since Senator Sanders won 60.4% of the popular vote versus Clinton’s 38%, Sanders was allotted 15 of these delegates while Clinton had 9. That’s the fair part of the process.
The somewhat un-democratic part of the process (because, of course, democracies are governments ruled by the people) are the superdelegates. Superdelegates are delegates who don’t have to answer to the popular vote: they vote however they want, they’re insiders of the Democratic party, and yes, they can be swayed. Of the 8 superdelegates assigned to New Hampshire, Clinton has 6 that were already committed to her before the primary even started and Bernie has none. Since the remaining 2 are still undecided, Bernie still has 15 delegates total while Clinton also has 15 when you include the superdelegates.
How is this unfair? First of all, the fact that the superdelegates have so much voting power that does not factor in what the majority of the people want is unjust. Most of all, however, Clinton has been shoring up these superdelegates for months, using her husband (who is a superdelegate himself) and the DNC, the Democratic National Committee, to rally these delegates in her favor so she could effectively win the nomination.
This is not the first time that the DNC, or, more specifically, the chair of the Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has outwardly supported Clinton’s campaign, despite the fact that the DNC is supposed to remain impartial. Here’s a brief history of how Schultz has violated rules and helped out Clinton’s campaign in the past:
- Schultz received a ton of criticism when she announced that there would only be 6 official Democratic debates during this campaign—and that they would all be at a time when viewers are less likely to watch (and garner supporters for Bernie).
- A couple months ago, the DNC pulled Sanders’ access to the voter database, which would have brought his whole campaign down had the decision stayed in place. This was due to a mistake on the DNC’s part regarding a breach of security that, for all they know, could have been taken advantage of by the Clinton campaign as well. The decision to pull their access was unprecedented.
- The finance chair of the DNC was caught scheduling a campaign fundraiser for Clinton, which is a direct violation of their rules because of their need to remain impartial. Not only did Schultz, who is in charge of all the staff at the DNC, not make sure that this kind of favoritism didn’t happen, but she also did not fire the finance chair after learning about this.
- On live television, she said Sanders’ campaign didn’t have “anything other than bluster at the moment.”
- Did I mention already that Schultz served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign back in 2008? Yeah.
There is, however, a silver lining to this whole situation. Some might recall that Clinton also had the majority of superdelegates committed to her in the beginning of her 2008 campaign, but most of them switched in a rare move to support Obama in the end. Though Clinton’s influence over the superdelegates now is stronger than it was 8 years ago, there is a chance they could switch again as Sanders wins more primaries and gains more momentum.
This article (Here’s How The DNC Just Screwed Over Bernie (And A Brief History Of The Other Times They’ve Done It)) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com