Why Superdelegates Favor Clinton to Sanders

In late February 2016, the head of the Democratic National Committee requested that media outlets stop including superdelegates in their overall delegate count Following the March 26th caucuses, Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders by roughly 700 votes

That might sound like a lot, but actually Clinton’s lead is mostly made up of Superdelegates, who account for 27% of her total Meanwhile, superdelegates make up only about 3% of Sanders’ count So what exactly ARE superdelegates, and why is Sanders so far behind? Well, in the Democratic Party’s nomination process, there are roughly 4,700 available votes, which are cast by delegates Now, about 4,000 of these delegates are called “pledged delegates”, and they pledge to vote in accordance with primary and caucus results Pledged delegates are essentially voter representatives, similar to the electoral system for the presidential election

But the remaining 700 or so are “superdelegates”, and they can vote for whomever they want Superdelegates are often high ranking party insiders, congress people, and even include figures like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, and Joe Biden Superdelegates were originally enacted after nomination rules changed in 1972 to allow for a popular vote to select the nominee Before this, nominees were picked in secret by party leaders However, the next two candidates voted in by the public: George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, lost the presidency to Republicans

McGovern actually lost 49 states to Nixon, and Carter lost 44 to Reagan The Democratic Party decided that letting the public choose the nominee would field weaker candidates, so they created superdelegates to give the party leaders more influence over the selection Today, many believe this process generally serves to undermine outsider candidates, and keep nominees from straying too far from the Democratic Party’s values In endorsing their prefered candidates, party leaders hope to maintain the status quo Even the head of the DNC explained in a CNN interview that superdelegates exist specifically so that party leaders don’t have to run against grassroots activists

Candidates like Hillary Clinton are intentionally given a delegate head start against alternatives like Bernie Sanders Additionally, one of the reasons Hillary has such a massive lead over Sanders is that many of them promised to vote for her long before Sanders picked up in popularity In fact, five months before even the first caucus or primary, Clinton already alleged to hold 440 superdelegates So does this mean they’ll all vote for Clinton? Not at all Superdelegates can change their vote in the lead up to the convention

Although in January 2008 Clinton had 100 more superdelegates than Barack Obama, by June Obama was showing twice as many superdelegates, some of whom had changed their vote Many have called this system severely undemocratic and nonsensical, as it seemingly only serves to undermine an outsider candidate On the other hand, historically, superdelegates have never actually determined the Democratic nominee Nonetheless, painting Sanders as dramatically behind Clinton based on unpledged superdelegates does seem to be a point of significant contention The Republican party doesn’t have superdelegates, but it still has control over who becomes the Republican nominee

Find out how a brokered convention can still keep a frontrunner from getting into the general election, and see how the GOP might use one to stop Donald Trump And if you’re still unsure about the difference between a primary and a caucus, check our video at the bottom Thanks for watching TestTube News, make sure to like and subscribe for new videos everyday

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