During this political debacle of 2016, with so much confusion over delegates and superdelegates, is it real or is it politics?. Does every vote count? (Even the terminology promotes questions: is it Super Delegates or superdelegates- one word or two?) Donald Trump called a foul on the play after the Colorado Republican Caucus created great confusion in going through their process that awarded Ted Cruz all 37 of the delegates without a vote.
Republicans selected national delegates and that allowed their chosen activists and party insiders to elect the super delegates. Superdelegates can switch sides and make the deciding vote on a nominee, despite the popular vote. Donald Trump is as baffled and outraged by the delegate process as the republicans who were denied their right to vote on Super Tuesday in March. Trump is stirring up the talk about how this entire process is crooked and rigged, in his own words.
On the other hand, Bernie Sanders is betting on the super delegates to bring him a surprise win;. It is being reported now that the Colorado Democratic caucus gave the wrong tally from super Tuesday in March and Senator Bernie Sanders actually leads by one delegate over Hillary Clinton in Colorado. Although Clinton is far ahead of “The Bern” in total delegates counted, the superdelegates can switch sides during the convention, and make a huge difference for Bernie Sanders. It’s the kind of scenario that left Hillary Clinton defeated in 2008 when the super delegates supported Barack Obama, and snatched away from Clinton her date with destiny.
A super delegate is like the ace in the hole. This person can be a major elected official, a high ranking member of the party or a chosen member from the party. Whereas the regular delegates are pledged to a specific candidate based to the outcome of their state primary or caucus vote, super delegates can support any candidate they choose, based on their own decision at the convention. Superdelegates can decide on their own to switch their support from one nominee to another at the convention and there are no regulations to stop candidates from trying to entice the super delegates to do just that. Offering lavish gifts and favors to a superdelegate, or even promises of a job, is not forbidden.
This year, President Obama and Vice-President Biden are super delegates. Former President Bill Clinton and former vice president Al Gore are also super delegates this year. In 2008, as a member of the senate, Hillary Clinton was a superdelegate. In fact, Bernie Sanders, as a current member of the Senate, is a super delegate this year.
But, how does that affect the popular vote? In Colorado, the line of people surrounding Smiley Middle School to participate in the Democratic caucus was wrapped around the block and many did not get to participate in the process. Meanwhile, at the Republicans caucus, they cancelled their straw vote; which meant around 90% of the party members had no vote, no say in awarding the 37 delegates. Also, consider the plight of the unaffiliated voters, who in 2014 numbered more than 60% of the new registered voters in Colorado; the Independents who are not allowed to participate in any caucus or primary to choose a nominee, unless they affiliate with one of the two major parties. what happened to every vote counts?
Voters yearn for a simple system that demonstrates real democracy in action. Voters are becoming more aware of how this process manipulates the outcome of the election to the disadvantage of the American voters. In this 2016 Presidential election, voters will realize whether it is the people or the politicians who decide the outcome.