Over 140,000 supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders have signed a petition demanding that Democratic superdelegates honor the popular vote.
The petition states, “Commit to honoring the voters – let everyone know that you won’t allow your vote to defeat our votes. Announce that in the event of a close race, you’ll align yourself with regular voters – not party elites.”
Sanders supporters are up in arms over the fact that Hillary Clinton came out of New Hampshire with an equal number of delegates as Bernie Sanders. Despite narrowly winning Iowa, and losing New Hampshire Clinton leads Sanders 394-44 thanks to the support of 360 superdelegates.
It is important to point out that the superdelegate system has been used in the Democratic Party since 1984. It isn’t a secret, a plot, or a trick. Sen. Sanders has been campaigning for the support of superdelegates too. Superdelegates are a part of the Democratic primary.
Superdelegates aren’t committed to the popular vote, but they are also free to change their minds. If Bernie Sanders ends up looking like the clear winner of the Democratic primary, superdelegates will flip over and support him in the name of party unity.
There is a political motive to the hysteria that is being generated by the progressive organizations. The best way for the superdelegates not to matter is for the supporters of Sen. Sanders to get out and vote. The progressive organizations could be using fear of the superdelegates to get out the vote for Bernie Sanders.
The debate over the place of superdelegates has been raging in the Democratic primary since 2008. The Obama/Clinton primary was a total fiasco thanks to fears that superdelegates would swing towards Clinton and narrow Obama’s delegate lead. For some reason that is only known to the DNC, they decided to keep the superdelegates instead of going to a system where the popular vote determines delegate allotment. That decision is the reason the Democratic Party is on track for more angst and chaos over superdelegates.
After President Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, a commission that he backed recommended that the rules be changed so that superdelegates are required to vote for the candidate assigned to them by the popular vote. Their recommendation was ignored, and here we are playing another round of superdelegate drama in 2016.
Those who follow Democratic politics have all been here before, and unless the rules are changed, we’ll be here again at some point shortly.