The Democrats Not-So-Democratic Superdelegates | THE POLITICUS

The Democrats Not-So-Democratic Superdelegates

It would seem rather difficult for the Clinton camp to put a positive spin on the New Hampshire primary.

Entering the primary season the Secretary held nearly a 30 point lead. That lead continued to shrink and ultimately resulted in the 22 point rout at the hands of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Senator Sanders won the New Hampshire primary 60.4% to 38.0%. It would seem nearly impossible to find a silver lining.

Yet despite a 22 point defeat – both Sanders and Clinton leave the New Hampshire primary with 15 delegates a piece – a baffling distribution.

Equally baffling, after a near-tie in Iowa and a sound defeat in New Hampshire, Clinton leads the overall delegate count 394 to 44. This is quite the disparity between the earned delegate count of Sanders 36, Clinton 32.

This incredible disparity arises through a not-so-democratic notion of superdelegates.

Superdelegates are Democratic Party officials – congressional representatives, senators, governors, DNC officials, and prominent Democrat figures. John Iadarola of ThinkTank claims these superdelegates make up about 15% of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

Each superdelegate is allotted one delegate in the primary process – a race to 2,382 delegates.

Jeff Zeleny, a CNN Washington correspondent, writes that these are “party officials who are intended to help play an oversized role in the nominating process -- to protect the party.”

In most elections this may not be as noticeable of an issue as they would be dispersed amongst various establishment candidates.

Yet in this cycle the Democratic Primary has one candidate so clearly representing the political establishment and one candidate so clearly against the political establishment.

The overwhelming number of superdelegates, largely establishment figures, are giving the Secretary a very considerable 14-15% cushion over Sanders in the delegate chase.

What message does this send about democracy and our political process?

A candidate that does not represent the interests of big-money and the special interests needs not only 51% of the general vote but much more to win the nomination?

Party elites have a better idea of who to elect than everyday Americans?

Or for an Orwellian twist – all have an equal vote but some have a more equal vote than others.

One does not have to support Senator Sanders to see the unfair and undemocratic notion of superdelegates. It gives the party a cushion, more control, and the potential to subvert the will of the majority.

It makes it very difficult for a candidate who does not represent establishment politics and establishment economics to win.

The party that is named for the political ideology in which the powers rests with the people – is falling quite short of its fundamental value.

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