It has been assumed by media pundits at major networks that November’s general election will be a contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Their discourse has focused on this race, comparing the candidates and contemplating how each candidate will attack the other in the mudslinging extravaganza that our election cycle has become. Both Hillary and Trump have taken jabs at each other, which provides many with the impression that the nominations for both the Democratic Party and Republican Party have been secured by these candidates, respectively. However, a matter to which the media has not paid much attention is the fact that the Democratic primary race is still contested, as neither Hillary nor Bernie Sanders has secured the number of delegates necessary to secure the Party’s nomination prior to the convention.
In order for a Democratic candidate to lock in the nomination prior to convention, he or she must secure 2,383 delegates. At the moment, Hillary has 2,312, and Bernie has 1,545. With 908 delegates still available in coming primary contests, one would think that Hillary is practically a shoe-in for the nomination, needing less than 100 delegates out of the 908 to hit that magic number. However, it is not so simple. Delegates are broken into pledged delegates and superdelegates. Superdelegates are not locked to vote for their candidate, and as such, they can switch their votes in the hopes of nominating the other candidate in the race. Of Hillary’s current delegate count, 543 are superdelegates. For Bernie, that number is only 44. This means that it is quite possible Hillary’s pledged delegate count will not exceed the 2,383 needed to actually secure the nomination, which would mean that Bernie could have a chance to win at the convention, if superdelegates start to “feel the Bern.”
Speaking at a campaign event this week, Sanders made it very clear that he will carry his fight for the nomination all the way to the convention. “The truth is,” he said, “unless I’m very very mistaken, no candidate… will have received the number of pledged delegates, i.e. the real delegates that people vote for, neither candidate will have received the requisite number of pledged delegates.”
Sanders criticized the media for painting a narrative that depicts Hillary as the sure-thing nominee, when that is simply not the case, according to the numbers.
However, it is also important to note that superdelegates rarely vote against popular votes, which might save Hillary in the end of this debacle. Yet, that does not mean it is impossible for Bernie to defeat Clinton in what would be a remarkable underdog story. And, with Hillary’s looming email scandal and potential indictment, it may be even more likely for Sanders…
Do you think Hillary will reach the necessary delegate count? Can Bernie win the nomination?