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Bernie Sanders Could Still Win the Democratic Nomination -- No, Seriously  by   Seth Abramson  HuPo

Quoting some of the raving socialists at CNN:

Last night on CNN, while discussing Bernie Sanders' landslide victory over Hillary Clinton in West Virginia -- which followed a 5-point Sanders win in Indiana last week -- Michael Smerconish said that "Democratic super-delegates might have to rethink" their support of Hillary Clinton given how dramatically better Sanders fares in head-to-head match-ups against Donald Trump.

After Clinton's Indiana loss, John King had told CNN viewers that "if Sanders were to win nine out of ten of the remaining contests, there's no doubt that some of the super-delegates would panic. There's no doubt some of them would switch to Sanders. What he has to do is win the bulk of the remaining contests. Would that send jitters, if not panic, through the Democratic Party? Yes. Yes it would."

What was the intended role of superdelegates when they were created and what has history shown?

In 1984, the Democratic Party created "super-delegates" -- Party officials with a vote at the Democrats' nominating convention. The hope was that super-delegates would rarely if ever be needed. There was reason to be hopeful on this score: first, because any Democratic nominee able to win even 59 percent of the "pledged" (primary and caucus) delegates would clinch the Democratic nomination before even a single super-delegate had voted; second, because even if a weak front-runner were unable to clinch the Democratic nomination without super-delegates, the candidate behind in the "pledged" delegate count would almost certainly concede before any super-delegates were forced to weigh in.

For 32 years, the Democrats' decision to create super-delegates looked pretty smart. Other than the current primary season -- a single-digit race (54 percent to 45 percent) that's the second-closest Democratic primary of the last 32 years -- only one of the Democrats' primaries, the one in 2008, was ultimately close enough for super-delegates to matter. In that case the losing candidate, Hillary Clinton, decided to concede after the final votes were cast in June. Clinton's concession made the super-delegate question a moot one.

Clinton conceded in 2008 for a number of reasons: her opponent, now-President Obama, agreed to retire her massive campaign debt; she believed (correctly) that Obama would name her either Vice President or Secretary of State, the latter the second-most powerful position in Washington; and finally and most importantly, Obama had kicked the hell out of her in the latter half of the election season, winning 16 of the final 25 states. In other words, there was no reasonable argument for Clinton to make to super-delegates that they should step in to change the primary result.

So why did Clinton concede in 2008?

But Clinton had seriously considered staying in the race past June 7th of 2008. The reason she almost did -- she was barely talked out of it by her aides -- is the very reason Bernie Sanders could still win the Democratic nomination in 2016.

That reason?

Super-delegates exist for only one purpose: to overturn, if necessary, the popular-vote and delegate-count results.
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John King of CNN, and others, have made crystal-clear the scenario under which Bernie Sanders could become the Democratic nominee for President: he runs the table on the remaining primaries and caucuses.

The conditions by June 7:

   Sanders has won 19 of the final 25 state primaries and caucuses (not a typo);

    Sanders is within a few hundred thousand votes of Clinton in the popular vote;

    Sanders has won 54 percent of the pledged delegates since Super Tuesday; and

    Sanders is in a dead heat with Clinton in national polling.

The above alone -- while absolutely stunning; Sanders running significantly better than Obama for the entire second half of the primary season is a major eye-opener -- wouldn't be enough to trigger the second scenario in which super-delegates are suddenly meaningful (as noted above, a front-runner so weak he or she is unlikely to win the general election). What makes 2016 very different from 2008 is that the following items are presently true:

    Sanders has dramatically higher favorable ratings than Clinton, despite months of attacks from his Democratic opponent and Trump and GOP super-PACs generally laying off both Sanders and Clinton;

    Sanders beats Donald Trump nationally by much more than does Clinton (12 points, as opposed to 6 for Clinton, in an average of all national polls);

    Sanders beats Donald Trump in every battleground state by more than does Clinton; and

    Sanders beats Trump by 22 points among independents, while Clinton loses independents to Trump by 2 points.

John King's thought experiment:

Imagine...that you're watching CNN on June 7th and Hillary has just lost California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This comes on the heels of losses in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon. Clinton hasn't won a state since April; she's behind Donald Trump in national polling; she's tied with or behind Donald Trump in all of the battleground states; she's lost the pledged-delegate battle to Bernie Sanders 53 percent to 47 percent since March 1st; she's lost 19 of the final 25 state primaries and caucuses; her unfavorables are the highest of any Democrat the Party has considered running since World War II; she's losing independent voters to Donald Trump; she's still under investigation by the FBI, and an international criminal is claiming (credibly) that he successfully hacked her basement server and stole classified and top-secret data; 40 percent of Sanders supporters are saying they won't vote for her; and she's come to look exactly like two other Democratic losers -- unlikable policy wonks Al Gore and John Kerry -- rather than the movement candidate Bernie Sanders is and Barack Obama was.

The Clinton camp is betting that Hillary loses zero super-delegates in this situation because -- well, just because.

The Sanders camp is betting that the Democratic Party cares more about winning in November than gamely running a terrible dynasty candidate against a beatable Republican foe.

In the hypothetical John King has imagined, that bet doesn't seem so unreasonable.

Every non-partisan in the national media who's actually looked at the above scenario has concluded that super-delegates would switch to Sanders in the situation described here -- the only question is how many. And if you've actually imagined the scenario described above -- if you actually imagined the rank panic that would be running through the Democratic Party should Hillary lose the largest state in the country to Bernie Sanders at a time when all the hard-data and environmental indicators are suggesting she's a possible loser in the fall -- you're thinking, as I am, that the answer to the question, "How many supers would jump ship in that scenario?" is the same answer I got from John King when I asked him this question directly after the Indiana primary: "Lots."



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 13th, 2016 at 10:08:15 PM EST

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