Bernie Sanders is threatening to beat Hillary Clinton in the California primary, but Sanders’ supporters are bracing themselves for upcoming reports prematurely naming Clinton as the Democratic nominee.
At some point on June 7, the reports coming from what Sanders’ supporters call “mainstream media” will announce that Hillary Clinton has effectively reached the delegate count necessary to be the Democratic nominee.
The mainstream media seems to be sending mixed messages.
MSNBC reported on May 31 that Hillary Clinton will not officially have the required number of delegates (2,383) to become the nominee after June 7 or at anytime before the Democratic Convention.
However, an hour later, that same television station put up a graphic that said “Delegates needed to clinch Democratic Nomination” and listed Hillary as needing only 71 delegates, while Sanders needs 841. This graphic was not clarified and was inaccurate.
“Nobody will have enough pledged delegates to win the Democratic Nomination,” said Bernie Sanders as televised by MSNBC.
Sanders added that both he and Clinton will “be dependent on superdelegates [to win the nomination], that’s just a fact.”
Bernie said, “There has been discussion that some of the media is going to say [my] campaign is over [and that Clinton] is the nominee on Tuesday night after the votes come in from New Jersey — that’s not accurate.”
The confusion is due to the fact that there are two kinds of delegates. There are those called “pledged delegates,” earned in primaries, and those called “superdelegates” who cannot vote until the Democratic Convention on July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
While it is possible to earn through primaries the full 2,383 delegates to become the nominee — in that case making superdelegates irrelevant — in this election, the numbers indicate that neither Bernie Sanders nor Hillary Clinton will get to that required delegate count with pledged delegates earned through primaries.
This means that in this Democratic primary, the nominee will be determined by superdelegates — the winner will be whichever candidate convinces enough superdelegates to vote for them at the Convention.
Superdelegates are described by NBC News as “governors, senators, members of the House, members of the Democratic National Committee and former presidents.” They can vote for whichever candidate they want despite popular opinion.
While some superdelegates have said they are going to support Bernie Sanders, hundreds have said they will vote for Hillary Clinton. But they cannot cast their votes until the Democratic Convention, and they can declare their support for one candidate but switch that support and vote for another.
Several superdelegates declared support for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential election, but later switched and voted for Barack Obama.
California offers a big primary prize — 475 delegates — that will be divided proportionally depending on how many votes go to Sanders and Clinton.
California Governor Jerry Brown recently endorsed Hillary Clinton despite how Brown called the Clintons out 24 years ago, as MSNBC reported. When Brown was competing against Bill Clinton to be the presidential nominee, he challenged him about Hillary Clinton on the debate stage.
“He is funneling money to his wife’s law firm,” Jerry Brown said about Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Bill Clinton responded by pointing at Jerry Brown and saying, “You’re not worthy of being on the same platform as my wife.”
Jerry Brown said in return, “Don’t try to escape it.”
Clinton once held a large lead in California, but Bernie Sanders has demolished it, and now Clinton and Sanders are in a dead heat. His rallies in this state have attracted thousands of people per event.
Hillary’s events in California have been smaller, including when she spoke in an elementary school’s gymnasium, as reported by the Daily Californian.
While Bernie Sanders has the momentum, if the superdelegates choose to vote for Hillary Clinton, she will be the Democratic nominee and move on to compete against Donald Trump in the general election.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]