Much has been made this election cycle, perhaps more than in any recent presidential election, about the convoluted way the parties arrive at their nominees. On the Republican side, before Donald Trump became the presumptive choice, he and his fans raised a ruckus about Ted Cruz’s fully legitimate and above board strategy of amassing support among GOP delegates in case multiple ballots were necessary at the convention. For Democrats, the big stink has been over unpledged delegates. These 714 “superdelegates,” as they are known, represent 15% of all delegates who will attend the Democratic National Convention in July.
Unlike pledged delegates who must cast their convention ballot for the candidate who earned their support through primary or caucus elections, superdelegates are not bound to vote for any candidate. So far, Hillary Clinton has amassed a 462-delegate advantage among these unbound party VIPs. To Bernie Sanders and his fans, this is a blatant miscarriage of justice. They contend that the system of superdelegates unfairly handicaps an outsider candidate like him and rigs the nomination in favor of an establishment candidate like Hillary.
But an analysis of actual data proves conclusively that Bernie Sanders has no beef. Hillary Clinton is not being unfairly aided by her unbound agents of chicanery. While it is true that the superdelegate count adds to the size of Clinton’s lead, it does not create it. I suppose Sanders would much rather see a straight proportional system in place that eliminates superdelegates altogether. Well, it is not hard to figure out that if such a system were employed during the current primary cycle, the result would be exactly the same: Clinton would have gained an insurmountable lead on Sanders and would be the presumed nominee at this point in the primary season.
Let’s put some numbers to my assertion. As of the Oregon and Kentucky primaries, Clinton claims 2,274 delegates including 503 supers. Sanders has 1,539 delegates in his corner including 41 supers. The first test to prove the vacuousness of Sanders unfairness claim is to simply remove the supers out of the equation. Without them, Clinton has a 1,771 to 1,498 lead over Sanders. Moreover, with just 781 pledged delegates left to contest, Sanders would need to earn over two-thirds of the delegates the rest of the way just to catch her.
The second way to adjust the numbers is to bind all superdelegates in the same fashion the rest of the delegates are bound – according to the vote. This calculation renders the delegate count 2,065 for Clinton and 1765 for Sanders. Again, that’s a huge deficit for Sanders to overcome with so little voting left to do.
In case that’s not enough proof, let’s look at one other metric – the popular vote. According to RealClearPolitics.com, Bernie Sanders has received just under 10 million votes. But Hillary Clinton has earned over 3 million more. That’s a striking rebut to any cry of the people’s will being thwarted. In fact, from where I sit, for Bernie Sanders to become the Democratic nominee, he would have to wrest it away from the people’s true choice. Despite what the #FeelTheBern crowd would have us believe, the voice of the people has spoken and it has been heard and Hillary Clinton, they declare, is the Democratic nomination. Just the way it should be.