Concept of ‘supergelegates’ not so scary

Riley Youngman

Hey you—Did you hear? Last night Hillary Clinton gained superpowers.

Wait, I meant to say superdelegates.

After losing to Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary by a 60 percent to 38.3 percent margin, the second largest Democratic primary defeat in history, Clinton may not end up as big a loser as one would think. And here’s why: superdelegates.

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As defined by CNN, “Superdelegates are party officials who are intended to play an oversized role in the nominating process—to protect the party.”

In other words, superdelegates are delegates who are free to support any candidate at the national convention and are not influenced or decided by a popular vote. These people are established party leaders, including former presidents, governors, members of Congress and high-level party officials.

These peopled are allowed to choose whomever they want to vote for when it comes to the Democratic National Convention and selecting the Democratic nominee for president.

The reasons behind having delegates with free will is not to throw Democracy in the trash, but rather to ensure that the eventual nominee has the party’s best interest in mind.

New Hampshire had 24 delegates up for grabs, and based on the statewide vote and congressional districts, Sanders took 15 delegates while Clinton took 9. But when you add in the superdelegates, eight of which who are available in New Hampshire, six have publicly pledged their allegiance to Clinton, bringing her total to 15. The remaining two delegates are undecided.

Clinton has drawn controversy in the recent weeks with her blatant barrage towards women, especially young women, as more and more of the demographic have began feeling a “Bern-ing” sensation and joining the Sanders camp. During a Clinton campaign stop Saturday, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright fueled this rhetoric as she spoke the crowd claiming “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

As Clinton’s public popularity among the general public declines, it appears that her reputation of being a long time establishment Democrat has garnered her the vote of many superdelegates, leaving the self identified “longest-serving independent member of Congress” Sanders stuck between a rock and a hard place.

And that has people outraged.

But is the whole Hillary superdelegate deal being blown out of proportion?

Absolutely. Even though these votes do matter, the superdelegates make up only 794 of the 4,047 total delegates in the Democratic party. That’s roughly 20 percent. And these delegates have the power to change their mind at any point they desire.

So fear not, “Bernie Believers”—all hope is not lost. Don’t buy into the idea that Hillary is being handed the nomination, even if that is exactly what is being portrayed in the media.

It is crucial that we as American voters educate ourselves properly and are aware of what is happening politically. I was amazed at the number of people who had zero understanding of how primaries work and what superdelegates are. I know that we all aren’t going to devote our free time to following the election process step by step, but stop every now and then to do some catching up and have a conversation or two about what is going on.

If Donald Trump is elected president, it will be because you were too lazy to turn off Netflix and open a few newspapers.

So go forth, prepare for the next debates and primaries and do some light election reading. Despite what you may think, the loud, brass man on the television with what appears to be a poorly constructed rat’s nest on his head may just be responsible for ending the world as we know it in a teen-like angst induced nuclear holocaust, and the Republican superdelegates may prove to be the only ones powerful enough to stop him.

The opinions expressed in Youngman’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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