Could Bernie Sanders actually pull this off — that is, win the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton? It’s still looking like his chances are slim, particularly given the sneaky tricks and bizarre maze of rules created by the party that seem tailored specifically to hold him back.
Sanders still lags about 200 delegates behind Clinton, and it’s difficult to see how he could possibly make up the difference.
Nevertheless, his supporters are doing everything in their power to grab every single delegate they can — particularly in Washington, where Sanders swept the Democratic caucuses last week, 73 percent to 27 percent. Sanders came out ahead in every single county, a clear indication that the most dedicated voters are solidly in his camp. But despite that mandate from the activists, many of Washington’s superdelegates are sticking with Hillary — in effect, telling voters that their opinion doesn’t matter.
It’s certainly possible that those officials — who include state Senators, Representatives, and Governor Jay Inslee — do indeed know better than voters which candidate would make a better president. But Sanders supporters generally seem to feel that elected officials ought to reflect the will of the majority in all matters, and so they’ve launched an effort to pressure those Superdelegates to switch their vote to Bernie. So far, it hasn’t been particularly successful.
And even if those Superdelegates did flip, it wouldn’t help Bernie much. The math just doesn’t work — Clinton’s lead is big enough that even if the Superdelegate allocation was proportionate, Sanders still would lag behind Clinton.
Nevertheless, Sanders supporters feel, it’s not impossible that he could win the nomination.
Sanders faces additional challenges in Washington D.C.. There, the Democratic party has deliberately introduced irregularities into the last four elections, submitting paperwork to the Board of Elections one day after the deadline. That was never a problem before, but this year, a Democratic Party insider filed a challenge against Sanders — even though Sanders submitted all of his paperwork on time before the Democratic Party held it beyond the deadline.
As a result, the City Council will have to make special arrangements for the ballot to include Bernie Sanders. It’s unclear why the Party has made a regular policy of submitting paperwork late. But if they wanted to make it possible to derail the aspirations of any candidate they don’t like, they couldn’t have engineered a better system.
Naturally, Bernie’s supporters are a little suspicious of Party insiders and of Clinton in particular. Susan Sarandon, who’s been dispatched to talk to reporters by the Sanders campaign, startled MSNBC observers last week when she suggested that many Democrats might not vote at all if Sanders wasn’t on the ballot.
That’s not backed up by the data, which indicate that most Democrats will vote for whoever is on the ticket. But a lot of people interpreted her words to be a tacit endorsement of Trump over Clinton before she was forced to clarify her statement. So just to be clear: Susan Sarandon does not want Trump to win. Now you know.