Recently media polling had shown that Sen. Bernie Sanders (“I”- VT) has been creeping ahead in the polls against Hillary Clinton and currently enjoys a 27 point lead in New Hampshire while Iowa is currently a statistical dead heat, but there is a large margin of error there. Additionally, national polling is showing that Clinton’s lead, once thought insurmountable, is shrinking faster than it did in 2008 when the dark horse candidacy of Obama came out of nowhere with a massive ground swell to take the nomination. Some are asking could 2016 be a repeat performance by a Clinton who has eight additional years of bad baggage to haul with her to the nomination.
Bernie Sanders’ pie-in-the-sky promises are sure currently pulling in the people, and it is quite possible that if elected president he would be forced to plant some kind of tree that all the free stuff is going to grow on or tax the American people to death. But the young currently aren’t thinking about the realities of all those promises, just like they didn’t think that hope and change really meant, hope that change would be left for them when Obama got done spending. They hear the words free, tax the rich, fair and they are in, despite the fact that taxing the rich is likely to keep them from being prosperous someday. The suddenly hip 74 year-old Sanders is making waves and threatening what was supposed to be a quick tour to Clinton’s coronation. But does it even matter?
The Democratic Party, at least during my lifetime, has always stood for “tyranny, oppression, and government overreach,” to quote a sitcom having a moment of gravitas. Part of that trifecta of democratic wonderfulness is the banishment of the Representative Republic (what America actually is) in their convention process. No longer does the ordinary citizen alone control who wins the nomination of the party; rather the candidate who wins the most state delegates and the most super delegates ends up with the party nomination.
Of course, you know what a state delegate is, the delegation of people selected through party affiliation to represent the state’s vote during the primaries…kind of an electoral college for the nomination process, except the votes by state are proportional, split the primary 50/50 you get half the delegates, win 75/25 in a landslide you get 3/4ths of the delegates, and so on. However, the democratic powers added the Super delegates in the 1980’s as a way to award party officials and other elected officials, i.e. the privileged class of the Democratic Party and ensure that only the most electable of candidates received the nomination. These super delegates are not declared for any candidate, but usually vote in the direction of the people, usually.
There are 713 super delegates out of the 4,764 delegates who will be casting a vote during the nomination process, that is 15% of the vote. If the polling closes up to a near split, or if the numbers are closer than say 5-7%, the super delegates will be able to swing the vote one way or the other. Here is the thing though, Clinton has been snapping up the endorsement of super delegates from the start of the campaigning. Currently, she has at least 341 publically declared super delegates already, regardless of the people’s vote, and it is rumored that she may actually have somewhere between 440-500 committed super delegates. In contrast, Sanders has 11 declared super delegates.
Clinton needs 2383 votes to win the nomination, and she already has 15% of that total locked up before a state ballot has even been cast in the first primary. As long as she manages not to get indicted and only loses to Sanders nationally by less than 10%, she may still very well end up the candidate selected at the convention, no matter what the people have to say on the matter.
Power to the Party, which should even make a socialist like Sanders smile, while Clinton cackles her way to the nomination.