The Democratic National Committee is insisting that the primary process is not “rigged” for Hillary Clinton as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are calling on the party’s 712 superdelegates to “pledge to back the will of the voters.”
Patrice Taylor, the Democratic National Committee’s Director of Party Affairs & Delegate Selection, explained in a Sunday post on Medium that “over 30 years ago, the Democratic Party created the category of unpledged ‘super”’ delegates. These are Democratic leaders like governors, members of Congress, and party officials. We ensure these leaders have a voice in our convention outside of the primary and caucus process: Unpledged delegates mean interested voters don’t have to run against elected officials to attend the Democratic National Convention. Ultimately, each state’s delegation is comprised of a diverse group of citizens like you and the Democratic leaders you have elected.”
Taylor insisted that “the election is not rigged for one candidate or another. The rules that I just described were first established in the 1970s, long before any current candidate declared for office. All candidates run under the same rules.”
She also tried to dispel the notion Sanders and Clinton received the same number of delegates in New Hampshire after Sanders trounced Clinton by more than 20 points in the New Hampshire primary. Taylor lawyerly argued “there were 24 pledged delegate votes at stake in New Hampshire’s First in the Nation primary on the Democratic side. Those 24 delegate votes were distributed according to the results of those elections, with Bernie Sanders winning 15 and Hillary Clinton winning 9.” She conveniently failed to leave out the fact that Clinton had the support of six New Hampshire superdelegates, which means Clinton also has 15 delegates from New Hampshire.
As The Hill pointed out, Clinton has significant advantages among superdelegates in Nevada and South Carolina for she has “already locked up half the Democratic superdelegates in Nevada and South Carolina before the first votes are cast in either state.”
A MoveOn.org PAC petition that is calling on superdelegates to back the will of the people already has nearly 125,000 signatures, and Sanders said on CBS’s Face the Nation that he is trying to win over more superdelegates to his side.
“If we continue to do well around the country, and if super delegates whose main interest in life is to make sure that we do not have a Republican in the White House, if they understand that I am the candidate, and I believe that I am, who is best suited to defeat the Republican nominee, I think they will start coming over to us,” Sanders said.
He said superdelegates are “beginning to perceive” that the Clinton campaign is nervous and his campaign has all of the momentum. Sanders even added that he met with a couple of superdelegates on Saturday evening who may end up switching their support.