Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is pressed superdelegates to go with the popular vote in their states during an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation.
DICKERSON: One last tactical question, Senator. There’s been a report that you might go to the convention and if you’re behind in delegates try to flip those superdelegates to win through using the superdelegates. Is that a strategy you are looking at?
SANDERS: The whole concept of superdelegates is problematic.
But I would say that, in states where we have won by 20, 25 points, you know what? I think it might be good idea for superdelegates to listen to the people in their home state. I just talked to a person the other day who said, you know what, I am going to listen to my state, and if my state votes for you, Bernie, you’re going to have my vote.
I think that — I would hope that a lot of the superdelegates will take that factor into consideration.
DICKERSON: So, yes, that is a strategy you’re pursuing?
SANDERS: Well, to say to a superdelegate, Bernie Sanders won your state by 20 or 30 points, you might want to listen to your state, I think that that is common sense and I think superdelegates should do that.
DICKERSON: But if they didn’t — if they didn’t come from a state that you won, they shouldn’t feel compelled to go for you?
SANDERS: Well, that’s — legally, they have their own decision to be made. They have their own right to make that decision.
But I would argue that many of these superdelegates, for them, what is most important, as it is for me and Secretary Clinton, by the way, is making sure that no Republican occupies the White House. And if people conclude by the end of this campaign, if we have the energy — and it’s an if — if we win a number of states — that’s also an if — but if that is the factor, and it appears that I am the stronger candidate against Trump, I think you’re going to see some superdelegates saying, you know what? I like Hillary Clinton, but I want to win this thing. Bernie is our guy.
The easiest way to persuade superdelegates to win. Sanders needs to win in big states, and he needs to win by a lot. If Bernie Sanders can’t win in Pennsylvania, New York, and California, he frankly has no argument for being the Democratic nominee. To flip superdelegates, Sen. Sanders needs to win big. Talk of hypothetical general election matchups in polls is not enough.
Bernie Sanders has to convince the leaders of the Democratic Party that he is the best choice for the 2016 nomination. Superdelegates aren’t a surprise or a conspiracy. The process has been used by the Democratic Party for decades. The path to Sanders winning the Democratic nomination will be fueled by large margins of victory.
Sanders is making his case to superdelegates, but the best way to impress them remains to win.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association