Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Has a Superdelegate Problem

Hillary Clinton has already amassed an overwhelming lead among Democratic Party elites.


Bernie Sanders is hoping his quasi-tie with

Bern this Party down!

Hillary Clinton at last night's Iowa caucuses will put significant wind at his back in his quest to win the Democratic presidential nomination from the long-time presumptive front-runner. But even if Sanders keeps the race close while amassing delegates in upcoming primaries, Clinton's advantage with superdelegates is formidable and much larger than the early lead she held over her competitors in 2008.

Superdelegates are party elites who comprise about 20 percent of the delegates required to secure a nomination, and are free to vote for whomever they wish regardless of primary results. During the bruising Democratic primary eight years ago, Clinton insisted to the bitter end that with the support of superdelegates she had the math on her side to defeat Barack Obama.

Status Quo You Can Believe In
Alyson Hurt/NPR

The Associated Press noted that in December 2007, Clinton enjoyed the support of 163 superdelegates, ahead of Obama's 63, former Senator John Edwards' 34, and 54 superdelegates pledged to other candidates.

This time around, Clinton has the pledged support of 359 superdelegates, while Sanders has only 8, an advantage of 45 to 1. On rare occasions, superdelegates have changed their minds before the convention, but Bernie's deliberately outsider candidacy makes this a much less likely proposition. 

NPR's Domenico Montanaro explains:

The Clintons have a deep history with Democratic Party politics — Bill, of course, being a former president.

Sanders, on the other hand, has never been a registered Democrat and does not have the kind of party roots that the Clintons have. That has made it very difficult for Sanders to break through with the party elite.

Sanders would argue that the elites and the "status quo" are what's wrong with Washington.

It's their party — and they'll pick the nominee they want. But Sanders hopes to overcome the elite with grass-roots energy.

These numbers show just how much of a hole he starts in.

Even though Obama was a first-term senator when he began his presidential run in 2007, he already had the private support of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and would win the coveted endorsement of "liberal lion" Sen. Ted Kennedy before the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. The upstart candidate had a long way to go to chisel into Clinton's establishment advantage, but he already had amassed some big guns.

It remains to be seen if the democratic socialist senator from Vermont, who takes great pride in being the longest-serving independent in the history of Congress, can get Democratic party bigwigs to believe in his "revolution." 

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  1. Bernie Tied in Iowa Because of Socialists, Would Lose General for Same Reason

    1. I see what you did there.

  2. If becomes apparent say in June that Hillary really is unelectable because of the FBI investigation, can her delegates abandon her at the convention and go for someone who isn’t currently running like Joe Biden? I assume they could if she quits but I doubt she will ever quit. What if the party elites realizes she is doomed? Do they have to turn their lonely eyes to Bernie or can they bring in someone else?

    1. 50 years ago, they could bring in anyone they wanted. But that made for messy TV, so the parties changed the rules to placate the masses.

      My great gradnmother swore television would destroy society. She might have been right. 😉

      1. They are so fucked. You are telling me they have no alternative to Hillary or Bernie. I think both of them are likely unelectable. I don’t care if the Republicans ran Bush again. Their only hope was Biden. I think Biden would have been tough to beat. I wonder what dirt Hillary had on him to convince him not to run.

        1. I think this song is appropriate at this juncture. What ever became of Hubert?

        2. Al Gore.

          Just sayin’

          Rides in on a shining white horse…locks up every single popular vote.

          1. He might be able to placate the Bernie supporters on the basis of his status in the global warming cult. I am not sure the Hildebeast supporters would be too happy, however.

            1. If she is sinking he sure as hell can. He can be portrayed as the clean clinton. He can choose to be magnanimous to the hill beast. OR he can attack her with all the inside dirt he wants to. He spent 8 years inside the clinton machine. He spent the next 8 years making millions upon millions and garnering many powerful friends and supporters. Honestly, the Clinton dynasty is done and I think Gore could swoop in without so much as a hitch and take all their territory. It would be a bloodless invasion.

              God, the more I type about it the more it scares the shit out of me. Think of the synergies with the Obama wing too.

              1. That doesn’t scare me. The country is in too foul of a mood to elect someone who is so associated with the past and the current political class as Gore. The only reason Clinton was ever a threat was because she is a woman. Gore doesn’t have that.

                1. It has been too long so he is an “outsider” and he was “cheated” out of 2000 he will look like the perfect answer. Dear god I could run his campaign and win.

                  1. I met Gore several times while studying at Memphis State. I hate to rain on your parade, but poor Al is as dim a guy as you will ever meet.

                    As my old football coach said, “you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken crap”

                    If Al’s dad hadn’t been a big time senator, Al would be working a cotton field in Tennessee somewhere.

                    1. this makes me feel better.

                2. 2008/2012, elect color, 2016 elect gender…

                  Have we really become that stupid?

                  I’ll cash in my 401K and spend it on wine, women and song (in a foreign country) until I die.

                3. “The only reason Clinton was ever a threat was because she is a woman.”

                  I demand to see the birth certificate. The long form.

          2. Excelsior!

          3. Al knows Hillary would have him killed if he even showed his nose under that tent.

        3. As long as no candidate has a lock, the national convention can change their rules. Ultimately it’s the credentials committee that wields the real power.

    2. “A delegate goes to the Convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the Convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required. Under the Delegate Selection Rules, a delegate is asked to “in good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.” This provision is designed in part to make the Convention a deliberative body. Delegates are not bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the Convention or on the first ballot.”…..bound_del/

      Also, 21% of the Dem delegates are “superdelegates”, composed of party elites

      1. That seems to contradict what Tarran is saying. The question is can they flip to anyone or do they have to flip to Bernie.

        1. During the last Republican convention, they changed the rules on the fly (and in violation of their bylaws) to present a unified orderly face to the convention.

          My guess is that a similar phenomenon will be in place with the Democrats. I imagine there are contingencies for things like a candidate dying or having an illness so that he can no longer serve. The rules enabling those contingencies can no doubt be pressed into service to replace an indicted candidate.

        2. Comrade Sanders will never get the nod, they have already said as much.

          Silly people, if you don’t get to pick your candidates, (it should be clear to you by now, you don’t) what gives you the illusion you are electing them?

    3. My paranoid scenario:

      If Hillary gets indicted, Elizabeth Warren gets the nod from the party establishment as the replacement.

      1. Jesus, this is so fucking obvious for them to do, I can’t imagine why it hasn’t happened yet.

        Yes, she’s been an asbestos-defense lawyer. Yes, she lied her ass off to get into her Harvard faculty gig. And if you believe the hard leftys I’ve talked to, they don’t want her leaving her Senate seat and forcing an election. In Massachusetts.

        But, the Cherokees forgave her, and claimed she’s legit. Lots of lawyers in Congress have represented scumbags, and came out the better for it. Doesn’t she have practically all of Hillary’s pluses, and none of her negatives?

        I can’t stand the woman, but I can’t figure out why Howard Dean et al haven’t put a baseball bat (since guns are practically illegal in MA) to her head and forced her to run?

      2. After twice electing a feckless Community Agitator, a Plugs Biden (Crazy Uncle Joe) & “Pinocchio-hontas,” (“Running Joke” or “Sacaja-whiner.”) ticket sounds about right for the Neo-Comm party.

  3. Democracy!!!! Er, democracy?????

  4. “The superdelegate is the Nietzschean ideal of a delegate, the next evolution of the delegate.”

    1. No. You are thinking of the Uber Delegate. The Super Delegate is just an evolution towards that.

  5. Nobody needs 23 kinds of superdelegates.

    1. while some people have no superdelegates at all. it’s a travesty.

  6. If Bernie ties or wins all the states the super delegates are going to have to vote for him. They can technically choose not to, but they will destroy the party if the base spend months building a Bernie win only for it to be taken away by the super delegates. These guys work best behind the scenes manipulating elections in their favor. Getting dragged out into the light would be the end of their power.

    1. Great point. Focus some sterilizing sunshine on that corrupt mass.

    2. If Bernie won the primaries fair and square and the party fucked him out of the election, I don’t think the Bernie supporters would stand for it. They would vote third party or stay home.

      God they are so screwed.

      1. Oh, that would be delicious.

      2. possible. she’s about to get her ass handed to her in New Hampshire.

        1. I think it is very possible. There are very few Clinton Democrats left. The Progtards run the whole thing.

          1. The progtards entire self worth is in politics which is why they are most concerning. They care too much and dont even consider results. They are like that person who is going to help you no matter what even if you say no.

          2. It’s not even whether there are Clinton Democrats (which makes me think of George Clinton running, for some reason), or Progtard Democrats, or Gangster Rap Dems: doesn’t Hillary barely beating Sanders in Iowa mean that their turnout has to be at a damned near historic percentage low?

            IOW, I don’t think a lot of Hillary voters changed their votes to Sanders; I think they just stayed home. (Cue Romney’s campaign manager, sadly shaking his head). If that’s the case, then it doesn’t matter what head-to-head polls, or any other polls at this point mean: who wins the GOP nom is going to win it all.

            1. (which makes me think of George Clinton running, for some reason)

              Can you imagine how awesome that would be?

            2. I read this morning there is an 11 point intensity difference between Republicans and Democrats in Iowa. To put that in perspective, the Republicans had a 7 and a 9 point advantage in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

              1. Maybe the Dem’s bribes, fraud, and vans to take voters to the polls, ahem I mean their ‘ground game’, works better in the general election, but that kind of turnout difference really doesn’t bode well.

                It’s not going to give the GOP CA or MA, but when you couple it with head-to-head polls I’ve seen that show Hillary losing in MN or CO, I’m not pessimistic about the GOP’s chances.

                1. And wasn’t there an old SNL or Mad TV skit that was supposed to be about “Live, from the Clinton White House,” and it was George instead of Bill?

                  I remember that for some reason and it was indeed as awesome as you’d imagine.

    3. This, the whole idea of super delegates was to be able to ensure that the party’s choice would get the nomination, but it was only supposed to be a nudge that wouldn’t stand out to the public.

      If Bernie wins the popular vote and the party steals it from him, it will be 1968 all over again. Except that the cops will probably shoot the protesting hipsters instead of simply clubbing them like the Chicago police did.

      1. If that did happen, how funny would it be watching the Dem media trying to pretend there was nothing to see and it was really the Republican party that was at war with itself.

        1. Whiskey sales would definitely go up as people tried to parse the contortions that the lefty pundits put out to justify the thwarting of the Dem hoi polloi.

          My one hope is that at some point Hillary would lash out and say something truly awful. Sort of like when she said “At this point what difference does it make.” She has a history of uttering completely tone deaf things when she isn’t being accorded the deference she thinks she deserves.

          1. Don’t forget about her statement about there being too much money in the drug war to ever end it.

        2. They bemoan the polarized state of politics on a daily basis and ignore that a socialist just tied the Iowa caucus. Pretending is not difficult.

      2. Except that the cops will probably shoot the protesting hipsters instead of simply clubbing them like the Chicago police did.

        I don’t know. Is the convention going to be in Chicago again? Then I could imagine that happening. But I’m going to say that police have been getting enough scrutiny lately that they would be very unlikely to shoot crowds of protesters. They managed not to murder any of the Occupy morons, after all.

        1. But I’m going to say that police have been getting enough scrutiny lately that they would be very unlikely to shoot crowds of protesters.

          Depends, are the protesters black? I think the cops are still able to kill, without meaningful consequence, all of the dumbshit white people they want to.

          They managed not to murder any of the Occupy morons, after all.

          They thought about it really, really hard though. FTL:

          A heavily-redacted FBI document first revealed a Houston plot “to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”…
          …The [FBI] claimed several exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), primarily that the withheld information was gathered through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies investigating matters of national security surrounding the Occupy movement. The FBI argued that releasing data gathered on protesters constituted: interference with ongoing law enforcement proceedings, interference with personal privacy of law enforcement personnel, interference with law enforcement proceedings involving confidential informants and disclosure of enforcement techniques not generally known to the public…

    4. I am all but certain that’s how Obama for the nod.

      1. got not for, wtf keyboard!

    5. Comrade Sanders is simply unelectable in the General. And we all know it.

      There is little appetite in this nation to go full-on Socialist cum communist.

  7. Next headline in the MSM – “The Democrat Party War”

  8. I think this whole talk hilldog is doomed or really unlikeable is a bit overblown. It makes for an interesting story

    1. I don’t know about doomed, but her negatives are pretty high in the polls. In 2008, Obama didn’t have such high negatives. There were a lot of Team Red supporters that still liked the guy as a person, if not his politics. Not so much for Mrs. Clinton in 2016.

  9. I look at that picture and the alt-text that springs to mind:

    O’Malley the elf cries “Aiieee, a Hillrog!” and flees in terror.

    But Berndalf the Grey stands resolute and magically gestures “You shall not pass!”

    1. “You shall not pass … the hat for your foundation any more!”

  10. If we get to see what happens to the Hillary campaign when she wins the nomination despite Sanders winning at the ballot box, that’ll be really fun.

    I don’t imagine left leaning swing voters will think much of her afterwards.

    1. There is always the Green Party.

    2. See im not sure they dont like hillary, they just like sanders

      1. Most of the Sanders supporters I know seem to loathe Hillary. We’ll see what happens if she gets the nomination.

  11. This is clearly bullshit, the Dems are the party of sanity and stability to save us from the Republican clown car, every right thinking person knows this.

  12. Is it ironic that the party that insists it “democratic” has, what is essentially a House of Lords as a vital aspect of its presidential nomination process?

    1. It’s also a party that insists that the right Top Men can make government work.

  13. Superdelegates are party elites who comprise about 20 percent of the delegates required to secure a nomination, and are free to vote for whomever they wish regardless of primary results.

    Which means they are free to jump ship whenever they want, too. If she continues to crater, I guarantee they won’t go down with the ship.

    1. Depends on how much money they earn in speaker fees from the Clinton Foundation.

  14. “Hillary Clinton has already amassed an overwhelmingly lead among Democratic Party elites.”
    Which is the number two reason why Clinton should be kept out of power.
    Number one reason is Clinton is blatantly corrupt and couldn’t care less that you know it.

  15. This Reason piece is yet another article meant to scare the masses away from Bernie.…..ishme.html

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