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DNC Chair: Superdelegates Exist to Protect Party Leaders from Grassroots Competition

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Democratic National Committee chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz explained the motive behind the Democratic Party’s appointment of unpledged delegates, also called “superdelegates,” who are former party leaders and elected officials who are allowed to ignore the outcome of primary elections’ popular vote totals and instead vote for the presidential candidate of their personal choice at the party’s nominating convention.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Wasserman Schultz on Thursday, “Hillary Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire by 22 percentage points, the biggest victory in a contested Democratic primary there since John F. Kennedy, but it looks as though Clinton and Sanders are leaving the Granite State with the same number of delegates in their pockets because Clinton has the support of New Hampshire’s superdelegates, these party insiders. What do you tell voters who are new to the process who says[sic] this makes them feel like it’s all rigged?

Wasserman Schultz replied, “Well, let me just make sure that I can clarify exactly what was available during the primaries in Iowa and in New Hampshire. The unpledged delegates are a separate category. The only thing available on the ballot in a primary and a caucus is the pledged delegates— those that are tied to the candidate that they are pledged to support, and they receive a proportional number of delegates going into our convention.

She added, “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are as a Democratic Party really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention, and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse, committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend, and be a delegate at the convention. And so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.

Tapper responded, “I’m not sure that that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter, but let’s move on.

Responding to Wasserman Schultz’s comments, Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw voiced concerns that the superdelegate system seems to be disenfranchising Sen. Sanders’ voters and asked, “There were a total of 151,584 votes cast for Bernie Sanders, giving him 15 delegates. That means that 10,105 people had to drag themselves out in the snow for each delegate he received. Why should voters have any faith in a system where one person appointed by the party leadership can cancel out the votes of more than ten thousand people who chose the other candidate?

Editor’s note: This article, written by Barry Donegan, originally published on Truth in Media on February 12, 2016.

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1354 comments
DianeJohnson2
DianeJohnson2

The delegates are suppose to take a poll on the peoples' choice and support their choice.  In New Hampshire, Sanders won and Hillary got more delegates, the same thing in Wyoming and other states.  Why not just put in Hillary without an election.  I have also read numerous news articles on election fraud especially in Arizona.  Also, the machines according to my research can be hacked with no trace.  I think that if a candidate has a massive turnout and is not the chosen one amongst the 1 percent it is more difficult to flip votes.  So how can you say that this is to protect the candidates from grassroots competition ..Sanders is a long term senator ..all BS to preserve the status quo

Bea Viacava goulet
Bea Viacava goulet

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Bea Viacava goulet
Bea Viacava goulet

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DianeJohnson2
DianeJohnson2

Super delegates are there to put in the corporate chosen leadership that are purchased.  This is not the peoples' choice and is not democratic.  At this point, I think the so called election should be cancelled.

Don DeHoff
Don DeHoff

Super delegates are just another form of illegal voting. The delegate system was designed to "carry forward" the majority decision of the legal voters, especially for the first round of votes. The super delegate system clearly makes the ultimate voting a sham, with the same shortcoming of allowing persons without a legal ID to vote. We need this protection spelled out in the constitution. Also, the billions of dollars spent on elections clearly reveals that "money can and does buy elections"----that too must be corrected, meaning that union and  other pooled money, amounts to violating election money contribution restrictions.

Letitia Pepper
Letitia Pepper

No, it's about what the actual, mathematical majority of the Democratic Party wants.

  Jack Getze, you might be more persuasive if you gave a reasoned comment about why Sanders would be the wrong choice -- even if more Democrats want him than want Hillary Clinton.  And why, if more people like him than Hillary, some "wiser" group of people get to make that decision for the rest of us in a democratic organization..

dan34785
dan34785

@JackGetze  Not about Sanders. About respecting the vote of US, The Party Members!

KMack68
KMack68

If the DNC doesn't give Sanders the super delegates according to how we voted then Sanders should run as an Independent because they are rigging the race. It will be the end of the Democratic Party as we know it also because most Dem's will leave the party. I know I will.

Letitia Pepper
Letitia Pepper

Maybe it's time to start an online pledge instead of a petition.  How about one to this effect:

  I am a registered member of either the Republican or Democratic Party.  If the candidate of MY party who has received the most popular votes is NOT nominated as my party's presidential candidate, then I will NOT vote for the person selected by MY party's "ruling elite," the "1 percent" of my party. 

       I will sit the election out -- or maybe I'll vote for the other party's candidate.  But I won't vote for the person a small minority of my party has decided will be "my" choice.


StevenHarmon1
StevenHarmon1

I have been a Dem for 59 years but no longer when my vote dont count i dont count to the dems

Letitia Pepper
Letitia Pepper

The real diversity in the race between Sanders and Clinton is not their ethnicity or age.  It's their political affiliation.

  Clinton is affiliated with the 1 percent, and Sanders is affiliated with the 99 percent.  So, coincidentally, the people controlling the Democratic Party, to make sure the nominee won't reflect the choice of the 99 percent, the grassroots, have put the Party's 1 percent, the old pols and "made" guys -- in charge of what happens.

    And that is why, if Clinton gets the nomination, I'll vote for the Republican isntead (unless it's Ted Cruz, in which case I won't vote at all.  People are fed up with the party system.

PaulEngelbrecht
PaulEngelbrecht

Something I would expect from the republican side and shocked and ashamed of my own party.

Nancy Rollins
Nancy Rollins

Diversity? Really...old white man and old white woman.

Ernest Madden
Ernest Madden

Do you believe Trump would put the nation ahead of his narcissistic ego? If Trump doesn’t get his way, he screams, he curses; and now he says he will run a third party race if he loses the Republican Nomination. A national survey by the respected Gallup Poll found that Trump is the most unlikable presidential candidate in either party in decades--and Cruz is the only Republican who can beat him. Please like my page, "Preppers for Ted Cruz" to collaborate with me on electing Ted Cruz our next President. #trusTED https://www.facebook.com/RuggedIndividualistsforTedCruz1/

Letitia Pepper
Letitia Pepper

I'd rather have a man with a giant ego who scream and curses than someone who mouths platitudes about God while trying to keep people in prison for 16 years on a mistaken sentence that should have been two years.  Justice Kennedy asked Cruz -- who fought all the way to the Supreme Court to keep the guy in prison for the whole 16 years -- if there was some law in Texas that prevented the State's Attorney General from admitting that there had been a mistake.

  God save us from Christians who pray publicly and prey on their fellow men in private.

DianeJohnson2
DianeJohnson2

Do you really think at this point your vote is going to count?  The next president has probably already been chosen.  8 years they have republicans then 8 years of democrats..it will be 8 years of republicans..the country is ruined...mainly because of the divide and conquer method used by the media and has been effective for 1000's of years.  The republicans, before the fraudulent voting machines, were not getting enough votes and started using religion.  Religion is another way to manipulate the massing when in fact the party could care less.


Have you really read much about Ted Cruz, he is the most dangerous candidate.  He is a pathological liar I have found in my research and is in the blood line of those that have been presidents from the beginning.  The ones put in by the 1 per cent to escalate us to a third world status and create more corporate oligarchy which we have today.  


Sanders had the largest following, massive, and you see what they have done to him.  So your vote will not count as the peoples' choice did not.  It will be who the 1 per cent chose and the media will promote it because they are controlled funded and part of the coup de tat.  

Howdy72862
Howdy72862

So if she get indicted or we find out that she can no longer get "Top Secret " clearance, how could she get elected for office to the highest position in the land. These Super Delegates can change their minds at the convention for instance... they will not want to explain their support and the DNC will not be able to hold the line. Even with threats of pulling this status of DNC appointed "Super Delegate" this could blow up in there face worse than it did with Jimmy Carter. If Jerry Brown had of gotten in that race sooner instead of coming in with three others at the same time as part of the ABC movement (Anybody But Carter), we would probably had a different turn out then. Instead they stuck Carter with Mondale as a running mate and he agreed so water under the bridge. Today it's a little different.... the DNC want this race to be NBC (Nobody But Clinton) let's wait and see how it turns out in the long run. These super delegates get there marching orders from the DNC with a threat of a knife to the back but if they upset the populous then the whole Democratic party could turn even imploded almost like it did in 1976 with the Supers support of Humphrey and then later primaries with Brown but Carter had the vote of the people and the DNC caved and support an unknown . A period of scandal... End of a war... Major unemployment... and a Declining economy. The DNC wanted a party establishment players like Udall, Wallace or Humphrey but the people voted for a new face and the DNC didn't push the Supers instead rounded up Mondale and his mid-west popularity as a running mate.

Fred Bowman
Fred Bowman

Paste isn't exactly a news magazine, it's mostly a music one.

Betty Case
Betty Case

Since they are not dedicated to any one candidate perhaps they will vote freely and not as they are told.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

I agree. If super delegates give the nomination to Hillary at the convention, contrary to popular opinion, it will have dire consequences in the general election.

Daisy Toro
Daisy Toro

Steve Hough. I think it will be nearly impossible to steal the elections now with everything out in the open. I hope

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

While the DNC is obviously backing Hillary, the implied impact of super delegates may be overstated. IMO, a more egregious feature of the two-party system is the disenfranchisement of non-affiliated voters during the primary process. Too many states have closed primaries. However, strides are being made to change that. http://www.openourdemocracy.com/

Paul L. Grigsby
Paul L. Grigsby

The caption under the photo pictured, say's it all! The party initiated this Superdelegate BS to protect them (Party leaders) from the people! But isn't that what: 1 person 1 vote; is all about?

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

I live in Florida. Do you know of an instance where party operatives went against the popular vote at the national convention?

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

Gus Guzman Even though super delegates could conceivably continue pledging for Hillary against popular opinion, I suspect casting a convention vote where Bernie was in a position to actually win would have dire consequences in the general election.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

We get the government we deserve. :(

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

"Unbiased" LOL However, Bernie gave Chris Wallace a maybe on Sunday, but Hillary would never agree. And with good reason, given their relentless attacks while thinking she was the inevitable nominee. :)

Dianne Long
Dianne Long

Bingo! You win! Your statement is the most succinct explanation I have seen on this matter in over 40 years. Are you an attorney? You know your stuff!

Tim Rafferty
Tim Rafferty

For God's sake, the DNC is about as diverse as the Nation of Islam or BET.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

The key will be for Sanders' supporters to remain steadfast, not become discouraged, and to maintain momentum.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

Not only did the coronation fail to materialize, but her nomination is now suspect. Circling the wagons and playing dirty is expected, but the impact of super delegates may be exaggerated. The key will be for Sanders' supporters to remain steadfast and not be discouraged.

Patrick Callahan
Patrick Callahan

Get ORGANIZED GET LOUDER GET GOING God of help us if we fail

Tim Rafferty
Tim Rafferty

Bill Clinton is one of the 8 "Distinguished Party Leaders".

Tim Rafferty
Tim Rafferty

They set it up so even her husband was a delegate.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

The tricks have the same result (party line candidates prevail), but for better or worse, it appears the electorate is in no mood for it this time.