Democrat Superdelegates Willing to Overturn Primary Delegate Count to Stop Bernie
New York Times interviews with several Democrat superdelegates revealed that the party elites are willing and prepared to block a Bernie Sanders nomination if they have the ability.
The superdelegates only enter into play if the Democrat nomination process goes to a second ballot at the party’s convention in Milwaukee. For that to happen, no candidate could possess an outright majority of (pledged) delegates on the first ballot.
In such a case, superdelegates could plausibly prove instrumental in deciding the nomination.
Bernie Sanders has gone on the record stating that the Democrat candidate who possesses the most delegates at the convention-even if they’re not an outright majority- should be the nominee. Every other Democrat candidate, with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, has declined to back such a proposition.
Superdelegates interviewed by the Times seemed relatively unapologetic about the prospect of overturning the will of a plurality of Democrat voters and handing the nomination to a candidate with less popular votes and delegates.
“Bernie wants to redefine the rules and just say he just needs a plurality,” said Jay Jacobs, chair of the New York Democrat Party. “I don’t think we buy that. I don’t think the mainstream of the Democratic Party buys that. If he doesn’t have a majority, it stands to reason that he may not become the nominee.”
The Times interviewed 93 superdelegates, finding consensus behind such a controversial proposition.
Superdelegates lost their right to participate in the first nominating ballot for the presidential primary after the 2016 election. Many Democrats were incensed at their undemocratic role in the nominating process, especially in light of their overwhelming allegiance to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary.
Superdelegates are composed of party donors, elected officials, and other elite Democrats granted the powerful position by the DNC.
It’s worth noting that primary season talk of contested conventions, be it in the Republican or Democrat Party, rarely materializes. Hope of a contested convention is usually limited to a pipe dream that party segments resort to when it becomes too obvious that their preferred candidate is not going to be selected by voters.