Sanders feels the Bern — from the Democratic establishment

Sanders Iowa

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders got 49.6 percent of the vote — but only 42 percent of the delegates.

In New Hampshire, Sanders won 60.4 percent of the vote — but only 50 percent of the delegates.

These results are either the just deserts of a man who favors redistributing what one has earned to others who are “less fortunate,” or proof that Sanders is right when he says the system is rigged (just not in the way he says it is).

Which answer will Democratic officials choose? Will they even be asked?

The discrepancy between the vote totals and delegate totals owes to superdelegates, Democrats who can back whichever candidate they like regardless of the results of their state’s primary or caucus. Despite their self-proclaimed status as the party of the little guy, Democrats reserve 15 percent of their delegates to these free agents who by and large represent the party establishment. (In the GOP, by contrast, only 7 percent of delegates are similarly “unbound.”)

So Sanders does have a problem with the people at the top. They’re just a bit larger group than “the 1 percent.”

If the primary season were to continue unfolding as it has so far, the superdelegates could actually push the election to Clinton from Sanders. Consider that in the first two states, Sanders led the bound-delegate count 36-32, but trailed 44-36 when superdelegates were added. How can that not nurse the sense of grievance Sanders supporters have about “the system” being “rigged” by “the establishment”?

If this all sounds familiar, it should. Back in 2008, Clinton initially led Barack Obama in the superdelegate count — albeit by a far smaller margin than she holds over Sanders today — but he eventually chipped away at that lead and overtook her in the superdelegate count. And of course superdelegates are allowed to change their minds and can switch to Sanders when Clinton goes to jail, or for any other reason.

The question is whether Sanders can repeat that trick given that, as of now, he trails the superdelegate count by a whopping 362-8. Look at this chart by Bloomberg Politics to see how Clinton’s strength is being built outside the voting booth (click to view larger):

Credit: Bloomberg Politics

Credit: Bloomberg Politics

Sanders’ economic theories may be dangerous and his foreign-policy notions pitifully shallow, but he has a point about the man — or in this case, the woman — trying to keep him down.

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
Juanx
Juanx

I can not and will never vote for an "Independent Socialist Democrat". What ever that is. I know the values of the Democrat Party, and it is not about giving everything to everyone despite the rhetoric to the contrary. 

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Well who will it be that gets to replace Justice Scalia-Obama, Clinton, Sanders or Trump/Cruz/Bush/Rubio?  And who gets to replace Kennedy and Ginsberg, likely to leave the court in the next 8 years.

Caius
Caius

I am quite sure that the Republican establishment is wishing they had 15% of their delegates as superdelegates.  Maybe even 25%.


And note the discussion Kyle has on the superdelegates in 2008, Clinton out in front in that count but Obama catches and passes her by convention time.  Even superdelegates sense momentum. Sanders job is not to wring his hands and call it unfair but to go to work.

Obama is a heck of a model to copy when it comes to politicking.



LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Each superdelegate vote for Gammy negates about 10,000 citizens' votes for Bernie.

MarkVV
MarkVV

There are two problems with Kyle’s accusation. The first one is claiming that “he [Sanders] has a point about the man — or in this case, the woman — trying to keep him down.” Has Mrs. Clinton made the rule about superdelegates? I do not think so. So that accusation is false. Second, if

 
”Democrats reserve 15 percent of their delegates to these free agents who by and large represent the party establishment. (In the GOP, by contrast, only 7 percent of delegates are similarly “unbound.”),”

 the difference is only quantitative. If the rule about superdelegates is wrong, then both parties are wrong. Conveniently, Kyle forgot to mention that, or to explain why 15 percent is wrong but 7 percent is right.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV You are right, for once.  Super delegates or the old thumb on the scale is a dumb idea, unless you want to ride roughshod over your base and ignore what they want, which both parties are guilty of.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

15% is wrong because nearly 100% of those 15% are for the establishment candidate, contrary to the expressed will of their voters.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Well as we have seen from the Obama administration, Proggies aren't real interested in the desires of the folks back home.  The will of the people is way down the ideological priority list.  The folks have only one purpose, to vote for and donate to the party machine. Proggies have this strong paternalism gene in their DNA and this allows them to know what the folks really need, regardless of their wants.


So when it comes to the decision about who leads the party or gets the Presidential nomination, you don't think they will allow those decisions to be made by the low info rabble do you.  All those low info voters are just so emotional and unprepared to have that much authority.  How else do you explain a party whose membership is overwhelmingly minorities ruled by a bunch of old, really old, white folks.  The old white folks need some tools like this in order to continue to perpetrate the fraud that they are looking out for you.



RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@RafeHollister And does that apply to the repub party where the arch cons have stymied any reasonable bipartisan legislation? That they throw their temper tantrums when something might pass w/o their agreement?


Let's use Obamacare as a guide. Or legalizing marijuana. Or anything else the arch cons are against. Oh and just where is that "replacement plan" for Obamacare?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Hillary rolls in SC and after that it won't make much difference


Looks like Trump is in a similar position


Odds are its Clinton vs Trump in the general. Which could not have worked out better for the Dems.


A nightmare scenario for Republicans.



LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

A nightmare for Real Americans. A dream for the takers, the rent-seekers, and those intent on perverting American Values.