Why Clinton’s Superdelegates Should Reconsider

By | 6/01/2016 1 comment
Superdelegates should consider supporting Sanders

Perhaps in this election year more than any other, the Democratic Party’s use of superdelegates in its nominating process has become a subject of much heated debate and brought into question just how “democratic” the Democratic Party’s process really is.

But however autocratic or unfair they might seem, they’re not going anywhere – not for this election cycle, at least.

Hillary Clinton, of course, currently holds a commanding lead over Senator Sanders in the superdelegate count, having the endorsement of approximately 543 party insiders to Sanders’ 44. But what’s notable about this year’s numbers is just how many of them gave their backing to Clinton before the primary race had actually begun. By November of last year she’d already amassed the support of 359 superdelegates – versus Sanders’ 8 – before a single vote had been cast.

Back then it probably looked like an easy call. Aside from the Clinton family’s deep and long-standing relationship with the party establishment, she was a close-but-no-cigar in 2008 and had no serious contenders on the horizon for this year’s nomination. By most estimations she looked like a shoo-in.

But that was before the dark horse candidacy of Bernie Sanders turned into a political phenomenon, energizing and exciting Democrats and independents across the country, and presenting the electorate with a real and credible alternative to the politics-as-usual that Clinton represented.

It was also before the rise and rise of Donald J. Trump. Initially seen as something of a joke candidate, Trump defied predictions to become the standard bearer of the Republican Party for the 2016 election, and while this outcome was initially relished by Democrats, they’re now painfully aware of just how potent his mix of anti-establishment chutzpah and ambiguous political dogma can be.

In most polls back in the spring, Clinton enjoyed double-digit leads over Trump in hypothetical match-ups. Not any more. In a series of polls over the past two weeks that comfortable lead has vanished, leaving them statistically tied in a majority of cases.

Once again – just as with her nomination fight – we’ve seen Clinton’s stock diminish over time rather than grow. Sanders, on the other hand, has consistently shown himself to be a much stronger opponent against Trump in similar match-ups, and – just as with his nomination fight – we’ve seen his stock continue to rise.

The key purpose of superdelegates is to ensure that the party selects the most viable, electable candidate for the general election, safeguarding against the threat of upstart insurgent candidates who might usurp the process. Or put another way, to allow the democratic process to play out unless it begins to play out in a way that they don’t like. But in this year’s wholly unpredictable election, superdelegates are now confronted by the knowledge that it’s the upstart insurgent candidate who is proving to be the most viable, electable candidate in the fall.

And while some might argue that her email scandal, her refusal to release the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street and other political liabilities may eventually blow over, there’s no escaping the fact that a great many voters simply don’t like her, and no amount of campaign spending is going to alter that.

The upshot:

This has been a year in which, time and again, betting on conventional wisdom has proven to be an act of great folly – and right now Hillary Clinton is looking a lot like conventional wisdom.

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1 comment:

  1. Hillary has more very serious problems looming. The Director of the US FBI, James Comey, has said he plans to initiate money laundering and bribery charges under the RICO Act, regarding her activity with the Clinton Foundation, very soon. Go to uspolitics24.com/hillary-clinton-indicted-federal-racketeering-charges/ for more information. Even if she is elected, which seems almost impossible, she would surely be impeached by the Republicans.