Does Wyoming Have Superdelegates? The State's Elite Electors Are Ready For A Certain Someone
Wyoming Democrats head to the polls on April 9, but the Equality State's superdelegate contingent has already made it crystal clear which Democratic candidate they are personally supporting in this election cycle. How will Wyoming's superdelegates vote? Here's a hint: They've been ready for a certain someone for quite a while.
Wyoming has four superdelegates this election cycle, as opposed to five the last time there was a contested primary in 2008. During the 2008 Democratic contest, the Casper Star-Tribune found one superdelegate vocally out for then-Sen. Barack Obama, two who were remaining uncommitted, one with no comment, and didn't include commentary on the fifth. That article was published in the middle of February 2008, just as the establishment momentum behind Obama's candidacy was starting to pick up. The superdelegate with no comment, then-Gov. Dave Freudenthal, even suggested to the paper that he wouldn't be attending the national convention because neither of the candidates was to his liking, but then said that his family had persuaded him to vote.
This year, the superdelegate drama in Wyoming is of a different nature. When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced just before the Iowa caucuses this January that all four of Wyoming's superdelegates were with her, as it were, it sparked an immediate backlash from some students in the state.
In an open letter to Wyoming superdelegates composed by the group "Students for Bernie Sanders at the University of Wyoming," 66 students and one faculty adviser accused the superdelegates of discouraging civic participation, claiming that the "statements by the the Wyoming DNC have great potential to bias the outcome of Wyoming’s presidential selection process." The letter admits that they are not accusing the Wyoming Democratic Party itself of overt voter manipulation, noting that "It is our understanding that the announcement was provided to the Casper Star Tribune, not by Wyoming Democratic leaders, but by the Clinton campaign."
The next sentence makes it clear, however, that they are not happy with the Clinton campaign's handling of the situation, stating, "To them we say that Wyoming supporters of Bernie Sanders will not be intimidated from exercising our rights to participate in the democratic process." While the majority opinion in 2008 among Wyoming's superdelegates was to stay above the partisan fray, this time around, it's a bit different.
Wyoming superdelegates will be free to change their mind up until the final round of voting at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer. With even some Democrats in Congress admitting that the superdelegate system is bunk, perhaps the least that superdelegates can do is refrain from overt support of one candidate over another until their state has made their voices heard at the polls. Otherwise, it just looks a lot like collusion.