NH primary delegates

Sanders won the primary by a wide margin, but Clinton came out of NH with more delegates. How is this possible? I am only asking about delegates from NH, which went 13-Sanders, 15-Clinton.

Sanders won 13 NH primary delegates and Clinton actually won 9. The extra six for Clinton are “superdelegates” - Democratic party insiders and local officeholders who also get to attend the national convention. Those superdelegates are widely expected to vote for Clinton at the nominating convention, which is why she is being reported as having 15.

The delegates include 6 superdelegates (party insiders) who are not bound by the primary vote.

I wouldn’t be so sure. There was a possibility in 2008 that Clinton would get enough super-delegates to “steal” the nomination from Obama. When they realized that giving Clinton the majority over Obama’s plurality they decided that it would look bad and they gave the nomination to Obama.

Right, delegate and superdelegate counts are constantly in flux as people drop out of the primary race and factions coalesce. There’s no telling what will happen to them a by July, but for now they’re solidly in the Clinton camp.

New Hampshire has eight total superdelegates, two of which are currently undecided.

Surely the same logic would apply, and superdelegates could be expected to ultimately follow primary-earned delegates in all cases?

There was talk very early on that this might happen. By June, however, it was clear that Obama would win - he had already clinched more than the 2118 needed to win - and Clinton dropped out of the race. He was not “given” the nomination. He *earned *the nomination by gathering more delegates and superdelegates.

You’re right. I was referring to the time that it was still undecided and the super-delegates confirmed that IF Obama had the plurality they would vote for him rather than Clinton whom they had supported. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

Not at all. For example in the Pub race this year, it is very possible that neither Trump, Rubio nor Cruz get a majority of pledged delegates. That could make the super-delegate vote very interesting.

The Republican convention doesn’t really have superdelegates. (They do have three additional delegates appointed per state after the primaries though.)

The Democrats instituted the superdelegate system after the craziness of the 1968 and 1972 conventions, when party elders decided that they wanted more control over the nominating process.

There are already calls for it.

Sanders supporters demand that superdelegates follow ‘the will of voters’

The ‘superdelegates’ are either experienced party insiders or elected officials.

So they are devoted to the party, and electing its’ candidates all up and down the ticket (some of them ARE the candidates down the ticket). Thus they are very concerned about things like ‘electibility’ of the Presidential candidate, their ability to inspire increased voter turnout, and coattails, or their ability to carry over their voters to vote for party candidates lower on the ticket.

Thus these superdelegates often have a broader & more long-term view than many delegates. And since they aren’t chosen as committed to any candidate, they can change their vote as the circumstances change.

So in 2008, many of them were Hillary supporters early on. But as the campaign went on, they saw that Obama was attracting many new, young voters (especially blacks); and that his race did not seem to be as much of an issue as had been expected among older Democratic voters. So many of the superdelegates changed their support during the campaign, and by the Convention pretty much all of them supported Obama.

This time, most superdelegates started out supporting Hillary – they knew her, and she was the only serious candidate at the time. As the Sanders campaign has grown in support, and shown some ability to win votes despite the ‘socialist’ label and the lack of funds, the superdelegates are increasingly seeing that ‘we could have a winnable campaign with either Bernie or Hillary’, and thus they are much more open to moving their support to Bernie if that seems to be the way the public is going. But they are also quite aware that Primary voters/caucusers are NOT the same as General election voters, and that’s what you have to win.

I get all that. But I’m thinking that snubbing a people’s choice is just terrible politics in itself, especially for a “democratic” party. You don’t think it would alienate more people than the marginal “electability” factor of the other candidate could add?

It would, as long as the electability factor of the other candidate is indeed marginal.

“Marginal” in this context refers to the difference between the two.

Mathematically speaking, there are a lot of ways for the will of the electorate at the local level to be different from the state level to be different from the national level.

So if you’re a superdelegate from So Cal, should you follow the will of So Cal primary voters, all California primary voters, or all the national primary voters?

And whichever one of those you follow some folks will argue you followed the wrong one and frustrated the will of the people.

The issue is only (theoretically) relevant if superdelegates go against the national primary winner in sufficient numbers to switch the nomination.

Which I think would tend to hurt their party more than help it.