Superdelegates help Clinton expand her lead despite New Hampshire loss

WASHINGTON -- So much for Bernie Sanders' big win in New Hampshire.

Since then, Hillary Clinton has picked up endorsements from 87 more superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, dwarfing Sanders' gain from the New Hampshire primary, according to a new Associated Press survey.

See Full Article

Sanders has added just 11 superdelegate endorsements.

If these party insiders continue to back Clinton overwhelmingly - and they can change their minds - Sanders would have to win the remaining primaries by a landslide just to catch up. He would have to roll up big margins because every Democratic contest awards delegates in proportion to the vote, so even the loser can get some.

After the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders has a small 36-32 lead among delegates won in primaries and caucuses. But when superdelegates are included, Clinton leads 481-55, according to the AP count. It's essentially a parallel election that underscores Clinton's lopsided support from the Democratic establishment.

The disparity is sparking a backlash among some Sanders supporters, who complain that the Democratic nominating process is decidedly undemocratic, rigged in favor of Clinton.

Some of them - not part of the campaign, Sanders' people say - are contacting superdelegates who have publicly endorsed Clinton. Their message isn't subtle, or always welcome.

"I'm sick and tired of them," Cordelia Lewis-Burks, a superdelegate from Indiana, said of the Sanders backers. "It's very aggravating to be bashed on my own computer by these people who it's probably the first time they've ever voted. I've been in the trenches since I was 20."

Pressure tactics won't sway Lacy Johnson, another Indiana superdelegate who backs Clinton.

"They were saying 'We're not going to forget this,'" Johnson said.

"I'm an African-American male who is in my 60s," Johnson said. "I have experienced the struggles. The experiences they are sharing don't faze me in comparison."

Superdelegates aren't new. They have been part of the Democratic Party's nominating process since 1984.

They automatically attend the national convention and can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of whom primary voters back. They are party leaders - members of Congress, party officials and members of the Democratic National Committee.

There are 712 superdelegates, about 30 per cent of the 2,382 delegates needed to claim the nomination.

The Republicans also have some automatic delegates but not nearly as many.

Clinton's campaign expresses confidence that she will maintain a strong lead among superdelegates even as she focuses on upcoming voting. "Our campaign strategy is to build a lead with pledged delegates" won in primaries and caucuses, spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in an email.

The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, doesn't consider the early superdelegate count to be very meaningful.

"I think that if we are able to see our momentum grow, if we are able to do well in Nevada, do well in other states on Super Tuesday, I think your average superdelegate is going to look and say, 'Hmm, I started off this campaign supporting Secretary Clinton, but you know what, the most important point is for us to defeat Republicans,'" Sanders said Thursday.

In 2008, some superdelegates who initially supported Clinton did switch to Barack Obama after he started racking up victories in primaries and caucuses. But Obama is a Democrat who had worked on campaigns and cultivated relationships with many of the superdelegates. Sanders is an independent.

"To my knowledge there has been zero outreach to the New Hampshire automatic delegates from the Sanders campaign," said Kathleen Sullivan, a DNC member from New Hampshire. "Not just since the primary, I mean since he first decided to run."

New Hampshire, which Sanders won by 22 percentage points, has eight superdelegates. Six back Clinton and two are uncommitted.

Many Clinton supporters question whether Sanders could win the general election.

"He'd get killed!" said Rosalind Wyman, a DNC member from California. "A socialist independent?"

Others talk about their relationship with Clinton, who has been in Democratic politics for decades.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said, "Superdelegates are interested to see who can win, and many of them have strong ties to the Clintons, like me."

Sanders supporters are tired of hearing these arguments.

"I'm so damned sick of people saying I love this guy but he can't win," said Troy Jackson, a DNC member from Maine who supports Sanders. "People need to start voting with their heart, what they know is right,"

Jackson, a superdelegate himself, said he will push to have all five of Maine's superdelegates back the candidate who wins the state's caucuses in March. Three have endorsed Clinton and the other is undecided.

"I want someone who's going to fight for me, not cut deals, not compromise on core values," Jackson said. "While I have respect for Secretary Clinton, she does that too much."

AP reporters in every state and U.S. territory surveyed the Democratic superdelegates after the New Hampshire primary. When AP did this in November, Clinton led Sanders 359-8 in pledged support, meaning her already substantial margin has grown.

-----

Associated Press writers Brian Slodysko in Indianapolis, Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire, Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, Summer Ballentine in Jefferson City, Missouri, David Sharp in Portland, Maine, and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Fellony the felon hit with new felony charges

    World News Toronto Sun
    Fellony the serial felon has been hit with new felony charges, according to reports. Fellony Hudson, 22, of Salem, Ore., has been charged with felony kidnapping, felony eluding, felony possession of a stolen vehicle and various other misdemeanors after cops chased the ironically-named man across state lines last week. Source
  • Trump lashes out at fellow Republicans in Twitter tirade

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expressing his frustration with fellow Republicans, saying they “do very little to protect their President.” In one of several tweets issued Sunday afternoon and evening, Trump said the lack of support happens even with “some that were carried over the line on my back. Source
  • Chainsaw-wielding man wounds five in Switzerland

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERLIN — An unkempt man armed with a chainsaw wounded five people Monday at an office building in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen and then fled, police said. A manhunt was on for him. Police were alerted to the attack at 10:39 a.m. Source
  • Pregnant woman stabbed multiple times at her Montreal home

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Police say a 33-year-old pregnant woman was stabbed several times early Monday morning in her home in the city's north end. Authorities say the victim was attacked by her partner, who fled the scene when police arrived. Source
  • At least 12 dead in car bombing in eastern Pakistan

    World News CBC News
    Pakistani officials say a car bomb has killed 12 people and wounded 25 in the eastern city of Lahore. A statement from Malik Mohammad Ahmed, a spokesman for government of the eastern Punjab province, said the car bomb struck an old vegetable market in the neighbourhood of Kot Lakhpat on Lahore's outskirts on Monday. Source
  • Police-reported pot offences decline in 2016: StatsCan

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The number of cannabis-related offences reported to police was down again last year, for the fifth time in a row. Statistics Canada says there were about 55,000 offences related to marijuana reported to police in 2016, which is about 6,000 fewer than reported the year before, despite the fact that overall, the percentage of Canadians who consume the drug has gone up over time. Source
  • Jared Kushner says he has ‘nothing to hide’ on Russia

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner denied Monday that he colluded with Russians in the course of President Donald Trump’s successful White House bid, declaring in a statement ahead of interviews with congressional committees that he has “nothing to hide. Source
  • Montreal newborn fights for life after mom repeatedly stabbed

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A newborn infant is fighting for its life in a Montreal hospital Monday morning after being delivered by caesarian section after its 33-year-old mother was repeatedly stabbed. Police say that while the mother's condition has stabilized, the child is in critical condition. Source
  • Trump has no immediate plans to fill vacant White House job of 'first pet'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Politically ambitious pups and kittens: Put your resumes aside. The job of first pet -- an enviable White House gig with luxurious live-in privileges, after-hours access to the president and guaranteed positive press coverage -- is not currently available. Source
  • B.C. teen completes 12 hour swim across English Channel for charity

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    KELOWNA, B.C. — While many teens spend summers relaxing, a 17-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., has been pushing her body and mind to the limits and raising thousands of dollars for charity in the process. Emily Epp swam across the English Channel earlier this month in a gruelling trek that took nearly 12 hours to complete. Source