What Are “Super Delegates?”
Every year we hear this mysterious term “Super Delegates.” What comprises this super group?
And what gives them the right to override and usurp the will of the voters? Bernie Sanders walks off with the popular vote in New Hampshire, but Hillary Clinton walks off with the delegate count thanks to super delegates. (See: Delegates )
Who Are These Super Voters?
You are a super delegate or “unpledged” delegate depending on your party status. You might be a mayor with some clout, member of congress, state party chairman or some other party favorite.
The higher you are or more party influence you have the more valuable you are as a super delegate. Candidates will work hard to get your support.
How Do Super Delegates and Convention Delegates Differ?
Convention delegates are selected in the state caucuses and state primaries. They are tied to the candidate according to the voter allocation.
Super delegates are free to endorse anyone they want for nomination regardless of the voting result.
In the case of New Hampshire Hillary Clinton received higher numbers of the endorsement of party leaders than Bernie Sanders. (See: Delegates )
So even though Sanders won the popular vote Clinton walked away with the most party support. Will this happen the same way in future primaries?
Only time will tell.
Republican Super Delegates
Republican super delegates are selected slightly differently. There are three unpledged delegates in each state. The Republican National Committee will select the state Republican chairman along with two members of the committee.
Republican delegates are locked into the results of the primary winners decided by the voters and are not free to support anyone else.
Some Final Thoughts
The problem with super delegates is that it’s possible for them to override the will of the voters under some circumstances.
It’s probably where the term “deals made in smoke filled rooms” came from.
Should the practice be abolished or at least modified to make sure that the voters take precedent over back room deals? Should delegate only be tied to voters?