Say It Ain’t So: Bernie Sanders Will Happily Poach Hillary Clinton’s Superdelegates


Despite having a clear distaste for the Democratic Party’s use of unelected “Superdelegates” in choosing their presidential nominee, upstart Democratic candidate and Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has said that he will look to eat into rival Hillary Clinton‘s lead by flipping as many of the Superdelegates as he can. Currently, Clinton’s delegate lead over Sanders is buoyed by a 467-26 lead in committed Superdelegates.

In an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation this weekend, Sanders told host John Dickerson that his pursuit of Hillary’s Superdelegates will be no-holds-barred, and will include Supers from states that did not vote for Bernie:

DICKERSON: One last tactical question, Senator. There’s been a report that you might go to the convention and if you’re behind in delegates try to flip those superdelegates to win through using the superdelegates. Is that a strategy you are looking at?

SANDERS: The whole concept of superdelegates is problematic. But I would say that, in states where we have won by 20, 25 points, you know what? I think it might be good idea for superdelegates to listen to the people in their home state. I just talked to a person the other day who said, you know what, I am going to listen to my state, and if my state votes for you, Bernie, you’re going to have my vote. I think that — I would hope that a lot of the superdelegates will take that factor into consideration.

DICKERSON: So, yes, that is a strategy you’re pursuing?

SANDERS: Well, to say to a superdelegate, Bernie Sanders won your state by 20 or 30 points, you might want to listen to your state, I think that that is common sense and I think superdelegates should do that.

DICKERSON: But if they didn’t — if they didn’t come from a state that you won, they shouldn’t feel compelled to go for you?

SANDERS: Well, that’s — legally, they have their own decision to be made. They have their own right to make that decision. But I would argue that many of these superdelegates, for them, what is most important, as it is for me and Secretary Clinton, by the way, is making sure that no Republican occupies the White House. And if people conclude by the end of this campaign, if we have the energy — and it’s an if — if we win a number of states — that’s also an if — but if that is the factor, and it appears that I am the stronger candidate against Trump, I think you’re going to see some superdelegates saying, you know what? I like Hillary Clinton, but I want to win this thing. Bernie is our guy.

Sanders’ rationale is an interesting mixture of the common critique against Superdelegates, that they are an undemocratic tool of the establishment that undercuts the will of the voters, and the opposite of that, that if the Supers feel that Sanders has momentum, they can ignore the will of voters in earlier contests in favor of that intuition.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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