Q: When Does Winning By 22% = a tie? A: When Clinton Owns Super Delagates

Too bad Bernie probably won’t bring up the Super Delegates problem or her emails at the debate tonight.

This super delegate nonsense is easily debunked and barely worth mentioning - I will elaborate if anyone doubts this.

Only in a very very close delegate race will superdelegates decide it. In 2008 people were worrying about superdelegates “stealing” it away from Obama, but in the final weeks of the primary calendar when it was obvious that Obama was going to maintain a hundred delegate vote lead, albeit he would come up a little short of clinching an outright majority of pledged delegates, a large swathe of superdelegates switched to him–this is because there wasn’t an interest in these superdelegates reversing the “will of the electorate.” Hillary made the argument, but lost.

Anyway, that is what happens if you’re down a couple hundred delegates. They might sway it to Hillary if the two are within a closer margin and neither has a majority of pledged delegates.

Please proceed, Governor. I’d like to get the straight dope on why Hillary’s 350-vote edge in superdelegates is illusory.

I see what you did there…

Are you telling me that you view the OP’s assessment of the situation as accurate?


Good. Because it’s weird to get hung up on the geographic origins of the Superdelegates. They are party members who get a vote during the convention.
Vox explains superdelegates: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/11/10969120/superdelegates-clinton-sanders-democrats

They are unlikely to support a nominee who receives a lot fewer votes, because superdelegates tend to be elected officials themselves who fear consequences for their very public and televised vote. But not impossible, especially if there’s a late development or if somebody won by a thin plurality.

I think all delegates should be superdelegates. The primary system is bunk. But that’s a minority opinion.

Yeah, there’ve been a number of good discussions of superdelegates in the past few days. Here’s Ed Kilgore on the subject. I’ve seen a number of others that I’ve had time to forget the source of.

The upshot of most of them seems to be that the comparison to 2008 isn’t a sure thing. Obama may have been running a more outsidery campaign, but he was well connected to the party’s establishment, with allies like Sen. Tom Daschle, and a fair number of endorsements from elected officials even before Iowa, let alone afterwards. Obama was, from the get-go, someone very acceptable to the Dem power structure, regardless of who they preferred.

The same can’t be said for Sanders. Despite decades in Congress, he’s still very much an outsider. He doesn’t have many endorsements at all from elected officials. There are certainly a lot Dem insiders who’d find a Sanders nomination tough to swallow.

My bet is that they still wouldn’t undo a clear Sanders lead among delegates chosen by the voters in primaries and caucuses, but they wouldn’t be happy about it. And I think there’s still a nontrivial possibility that I could be wrong about the first part. This is the Democratic Party, after all, and they’re often as bad at politics as the GOP has become on policy.

It is meaningful to point out that Clinton has a lot more superdelegates than Sanders does. It is not meaningful to say that she got more delegates from the New Hampshire primary than he did, because the superdelegates are not connected to the primary. It is barely even meaningful to say that she got more delegates from New Hampshire than he did, because where the superdelegates come from isn’t particularly relevant.

Absolutely true. There will be 4,763 delegates voting at the Democratic convention, so it takes 2,382 delegates to win. If Hillary has 350 superdelegates already committed to her, and Bernie has 0 (obviously not the exact numbers, but close enough for this estimate) Bernie would need to win 54% of the remaining 4,413 delegates to win the nomination.

So it’s really ‘when does winning by 8% equal a tie?’ even assuming that Hillary’s 350 superdelegates all support her, come hell or high water.

Anyway, my take on the whole business is: it’s way too early to worry about this, but IMHO it can’t just be assumed away either. And five weeks from now, it might be a moot point anyway.