You may have heard of superdelegates before today, but you may not have realized how antithetical the idea is to democracy itself until now.
Bernie Sanders took 60% of the popular vote among the Democratic race on Tuesday, but because of the delegate process, Bernie Sanders will leave with a minimum of 13 delegates, but very likely 15. At the same time, challenger Hillary Clinton (who lost by more than a 20-point margin among the electorate) also walks aways with 15.
So how does that work?
To break it down, New Hampshire has 24 “pledged” delegates determined by the vote, of which Sanders won 13 and Clinton won 9. However, the state also put forward 8 “superdelegates,” who are insiders in the state’s Democratic party who are free to vote how they choose. Six of these are already pledged to Clinton, with the other two remaining undecided, meaning Sanders can only (at best) tie with Clinton, despite his commanding lead.
In the national race, Clinton already has 394 delegates out of a total of 4,763, compared to only 42 for Bernie Sanders. Of those pledged to Clinton, 360 are superdelegates, whereas Sanders has only picked up 8 in this category. 2,382 total delegates are needed to win the party’s nomination.
Clinton and the DNC aggressively courted the Democratic establishment long before the primaries began, creating a bulwark against the actual democratic process by using Clinton’s deep connections within the political establishment to shore up superdelegates.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, has repeatedly revealed her bias for Hillary Clinton in dealing with the primary election, and a long string of party officials and establishment members have fallen in line. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was also Clinton’s campaign co-chair during her 2008 run.
Schultz also still refuses to acknowledge the need to hold more debates, despite the fact that after overwhelming pressure from voters and the Sanders campaign, four unofficial debates have been added due to the lackluster coverage provided by the DNC. The all-time low number of six debates were all scheduled for the weekend and usually during football games, a distinct recipe for the lowest viewer turnout possible.
Furthermore, she showed animosity in denouncing Bernie Sanders’s campaign during the DNC data breach, first by being the party who took the story public and unfairly shutting Sanders out of his own campaign database, and then by mocking and insulting the senator on television in a completely impartial and sophomoric display, claiming he has “nothing but bluster.”
Clinton and the DNC want to silence the will of the people and snuff out the political revolution Bernie Sanders is promising before it has a chance to start. Be sure to make your voices heard, both at the polls and beyond, to ensure that an election isn’t stolen this year.
The silver lining to all this is that the superdelegates’ pledge to Clinton is not finalized, and each one can still change their vote prior to the final vote following the last state primaries. Typically, superdelegates vote in line with the popular vote when the time comes, but there is nothing requiring them to do so.
Sign this petition created at MoveOn.org to call out the superdelegates and urge them to change their vote in line with the people’s choice.