Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has won the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in Puerto Rico according to NBC News, moving her yet another step closer to clinching the 2016 Democratic nomination for president.
Hillary Clinton’s polls have shown her consistently ahead of her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), from the earliest stages of the 2016 race.
Hillary Clinton had a terrific weekend, besting Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday and in Puerto Rico on Sunday. Bernie Sanders will be awarded delegates this weekend, however — all Democratic primary races award delegates proportionally.
Conversely, Puerto Rico’s 2016 Republican primary, which was held on March 6, was a winner-take-all race that awarded all 23 of its delegates to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has since dropped out of the race entirely.
Hillary Clinton is “on the cusp” of clinching the 2016 Democratic nomination according to CNN, and if she does, it will be the first time one of the two major political parties in the United States has nominated a woman. New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana, and the country’s most populous state, California, will vote on Tuesday, June 7, at which time Clinton is expected to take the majority of pledged delegates and will be considered the presumptive nominee.
The superdelegates are expected to put her over the top at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia come July — she will need a total of 2,383 delegates to receive the nomination. The Democratic Party rules are designed in such a way that this number is meant to be a combination of pledged delegates, who are bound to vote based on the results of state primary elections and caucuses, and superdelegates.
Hillary Clinton has had the support of a majority of the superdelegates — unbound delegates who have positions of leadership within the Democratic Party, therefore are entitled to change their votes right up until the convention — from the earliest days of the campaign season, which has caused some controversy among supporters of Bernie Sanders. Some feel that because the superdelegates are unbound, media outlets should leave them out of the delegate totals entirely — but, even if they did, it would not change the fact that Hillary Clinton has steadily led Bernie Sanders in pledged delegates throughout the 2016 primary season.
Hillary Clinton also led with superdelegates at the beginning of the 2008 Democratic primary season, but then-Senator Barack Obama’s historic ground game caused him to win the Iowa caucus and to give her such a strong run for her money that the superdelegates began to switch their loyalty. The complication here is that then-Senator Hillary Clinton technically won the popular vote in the 2008 Democratic primary, though many feel this should be reported with a giant asterisk because President Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan. This was due to the Democratic National Committee’s decision to sanction the state for moving up their primary date and violating party rules, causing President Obama to remove his name from the ballot in support of the committee decision.
Because the 2016 Democratic primary race is not close, due to the age of the race at this point, there is no reason to assume that the superdelegates will subvert the will of the voters and make a similar switch away from Hillary Clinton this time.
This has not stopped Bernie Sanders from telling the press that the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be a “contested convention” because he and his campaign plan to lobby the superdelegates to do just that, believing that Bernie Sanders is a better match-up against the presumptive 2016 Republican nominee, New York City businessman Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton responded to this by telling CNN on Sunday that she will spend most of her energy encouraging party unity following Tuesday’s primary races, after which she fully expects to be declared the presumptive 2016 Democratic nominee.
“After Tuesday, I’m going to do everything I can to reach out to try to unify the Democratic Party, and I expect Senator Sanders to do the same. And we will come together and be prepared to go to the convention in a unified way, to make our case, to leave the convention, to go into the general election to defeat Donald Trump.”
Hillary Clinton also used her time on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday to attack Donald Trump for having “thin skin,” saying that his foreign policy is likely to be erratic and potentially dangerous for this reason.
[Image courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]