There. Do I have your attention?
If you have posted, or just simply read one of the hundreds of posts out there right claiming that superdelegates just stole New Hampshire for Hillary, or that they turned a tie in Iowa into a landslide for her, please read this post.
That. Is. Not. How. Superdelegates. Work.
For those who don’t know, a superdelegate is a term given to UNPLEDGED delegates. These are elected representatives (past and present), DNC workers, or other important party figureheads. They make up about 20% of the overall delegate pool when voting for a candidate at the convention. But there are a few more things about why they are important (in theory) and why they don’t really matter (yet).
First, The big thing I have been hearing is that NH superdelegates just gave Hillary the edge to win New Hampshire. No. Hillary did not win New Hampshire, but furthermore, other than momentum and image, at this point there is no benefit to actually winning a state in the primary. Delegates are awarded via proportional votes (this changes by state and depends on when they happen, and differ between parties). But right now, the “winner” is a media soundbite. What you should really be taking away from yesterday is that Bernie took 60% of the popular vote in NH, and that he DID take more delegates from NH (15-9).
Now, onto why superdelegates are important. Imagine in a backwards world, where Trump ran for president as a Democrat (but stayed as he is on the issues). In theory, he could pull in Independent and Republican voters to the DEMOCRATIC primary, and cause a lot of damage. However, superdelegates could help sway the party back to where it belongs. This is self-preservation of the party. We as a country have voted in thousands of democratic candidates to positions ranging from our current president to city council office. The party is bigger than one person, and the superdelegates are there to ensure that one person doesn’t throw the whole thing on its side.
However, this means that the system inherently is also built to keep out people like Sanders. Someone who wants to change (albeit not as drastic as my Trump hypothetical) the direction of the Democratic party. This is why many like me support him. Not because I think he is the best Definition Democrat, but because I believe he is the best CANDIDATE, and the Democratic party is his way towards getting elected.
So the issue ISN’T with superdelegates. In fact, they are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to be doing. Preserving the Democratic party from an outside takeover. This is good for the system. The issue isn’t with superdelegates, the issue comes with the two-party system itself!
Bernie is trying to fight against that system. That is why I support him, but dear fellow Bernie supports. STOP with the misunderstanding of what is happening. We are trying to overhaul a corrupt process from the inside. We can’t attempt to break into a fortress and then cry foul because they thought ahead to place a few guard dogs on the lawn. WE KNEW THEY WERE THERE.
Finally, just because someone needs to say it, superdelegates DO NOT MATTER in this election. They just don’t. Superdelegates are nothing more than endorsements at this point, and they can (and have many times) change before the convention. They have no worth until July. If Bernie starts winning states and taking more “regular” delegates, the superdelegates will follow. Everyone wants to endorse a winner. If it remains close all the way to July, Bernie will have already lost, and not because of superdelegates. This is, and always has been, a win big or go home race for Bernie. Don’t let his growing support tell you that he is going to just barely squeak out a win. He isn’t. He is either going to breakout or fizzle. I am all about the former being true, but don’t delude yourself into thinking it is going to be easy. And STOP with feeding the news cycle about how supderdelegates gave Hillary the win. THEY DID NOT. They have done nothing for her except diminish Bernie’s landslide victory, and will do nothing for her until July 25th.
(This story was originally posted on February 10th, 2016, on Facebook)