Will Hillary’s Democratic Establishment Superdelegates Back Bernie Now?
Against all common sense, Hillary Clinton received more delegates from New Hampshire despite getting trounced by Vermont Sen. [crscore]Bernie Sanders[/crscore] by more than 22 points Tuesday.
That’s because, as many news outlets explained to puzzled observers on Wednesday, Clinton received the support of six Democratic party insiders and elected officials known as superdelegates.
But those establishment figures — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Rep. [crscore]Ann Kuster[/crscore], Sen. [crscore]Jeanne Shaheen[/crscore], her DNC insider husband Bill Shaheen, former New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan, and Joanne Dowdell, a former congressional candidate — have the ability to change horses, if they choose, as many political observers pointed out Wednesday.
Usual caveat about superdelegates apply — they can be swayed, as we saw in 2008
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 10, 2016
Dowdell is the only of the half dozen superdelegates to respond questions about whether a Clinton-to-Sanders switch is in the cards. But she says it is not, at least at this early stage.
“After two contests, I think it is premature to have a conversation about switching support,” Dowdell told The Daily Caller.
Requests for comment sent to the other five superdelegates or their aides were not returned. TheDC will update should any respond.
Sanders’ delegate loss left a sting for many of his supporters who are distressed at the uphill battle he faces against the pro-Clinton Democratic party machine. One supporter created a Change.org petition to pressure the superdelegates to fall in line with the popular vote.
With 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday Sanders won 13 delegates in New Hampshire. Clinton was awarded nine delegates based upon her 38 percent vote share. But because of the support of the six superdelegates, Clinton leaves the Granite State with 15 total delegates in her column.
Though Clinton has eschewed the establishment label, she has secured the support of more than 350 of the 712 superdelegates who will vote for a nominee at the Democratic convention in July. That far surpasses the 14 superdelegates who have committed to Sanders.
The technical loss also comes a week after Clinton defeated Sanders in the Iowa caucuses by 0.2 percentage points. The head of the Iowa Democratic Party, who is a major Clinton donor and drives a car with the license plate “HRC 2016,” has resisted calls to release the raw vote tally.
Sanders supporters aren’t the only ones criticizing the Democratic establishment over Tuesday’s discordant outcome. The Republican National Committee took a shot at its Democratic counterpart in a statement to TheDC.
“The DNC and their Party elites appear to be stacking the deck with superdelegates in favor of Hillary Clinton against the will of the voters,” RNC spokeswoman Allison Moore said.
This post has been updated.