#23: The Superdelegate

 

After the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders already trails Hillary Clinton in the delegate count, 394 to 44. Which seems outrageous to a lot of people because Bernie tied Hillary in Iowa, and won big in New Hampshire. 

Why the massive delegate gap? It’s all about the superdelegates. Here, in a nutshell, is how it works: The Democratic nomination is a battle for a majority of the 4,763 delegates who will attend the party convention in Philadelphia this July. Roughly 85 percent of those delegates are selected in the caucuses and primaries we’re in the midst of right now. But the other 15 percent — that’s 712 delegates, if you’re scoring at home — are the superdelegates. They are unpledged delegates who are not bound by election results. Instead, they vote for whichever candidate they prefer. 

So, who are these superdelegates? Members of Congress… party officials… state party leaders… lobbyists... and other people who you might call the party elite. And of those 712 superdelegates, 362 of them have already endorsed Hillary Clinton, while only 8 have endorsed Bernie. 

In a very red (Republican) state, socialism flourishes.

In a very red (Republican) state, socialism flourishes.

Chad Nodland is one of those 8 Bernie superdelegates. Chad is a lawyer in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he also serves as member of the Executive Committee of the state party. 

I asked Chad about a bunch of different things, including his take on whether or not the concerns about the fairness of the superdelegate system are legitimate. He also shared some surprising insights on the role of socialism in his very Republican state. 

Show notes