Originally shared by Matt Austern
Apparently people in at least some circles are worried about the possibility that Hilary Clinton might already have the Democratic nomination wrapped up despite Bernie Sanders’s popularity. I looked up the numbers and references to respond to a friend’s post, so as long as I’ve got all that stuff collected I may as well hoist it from comments. Summary: this idea has some basis in fact, but it’s more false than true.
The true part is that, of the 712 superdelegates (people who are delegates by virtue of holding an official position, and who aren’t required to vote for a specific candidate), 359 of them have said they support Clinton and only 8 have said they support Sanders, at least as of a month ago. The remainder haven’t endorsed any candidate. (http://www.npr.org/2015/11/13/455812702/clinton-has-45-to-1-superdelegate-advantage-over-sanders)
The false parts: (a) The superdelegates are a small fraction of the total 4764 delegates expected at the Democratic convention. (https://ballotpedia.org/Democratic_National_Convention,_2016#Delegation_selection) This gives Clinton an edge over Sanders and O’Malley, but by no means a lock. (b) Superdelegates can and do change their mind depending on who wins primaries. Clinton started with an edge in superdelegates in 2008 too, after all. If in fact Sanders wins the primary votes then I expect he’ll get the nomination. (c) A phrase like “despite Sanders’s popularity” is misleading at best, by suggesting that Sanders is the popular choice. In fact, though, an aggregate of the latest polls (http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-national-democratic-primary) shows Clinton with a considerable lead over Sanders and O’Malley combined. Clinton’s lead over Sanders is about as large as Sanders’s lead over O’Malley. It’s a long time before any votes get cast, so things might well change, but at this point it looks like Clinton will probably get the nomination the old fashioned way, by getting the most votes.