Will Any Superdelegates Change Their Mind? They Might Be Bernie Sanders' Last Bet
On Monday night, candidate Hillary Clinton got that much closer to putting out the burn in opponent Bernie Sanders' campaign when it was declared she had the needed number of delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination. But as Sanders likes to remind voters, the show isn't truly over until the superdelegates vote in July. But then the question becomes whether or not Sanders can convince the superdelegates to change their mind, many of whom have already thrown their support behind Clinton. In a race that's been too close for comfort on the pledged delegate front, the superdelegates may be Sanders' last chance at a contested convention, and consequently, the nomination.
Sanders' case for the superdelegates switch has relied on this notion: He and Clinton will be close to a tie in terms of pledged delegates at the end of the primaries, and based on polling that repeatedly shows him as favored to beat GOP nominee Donald Trump, the superdelegates will eventually abandon their stance with Clinton and switch their votes to Sanders. So far, 571 superdelegates have sided with the former Secretary of State, and 48 with Sanders, so the numbers as they currently stand are less than promising.
Sanders has also been hoping that the superdelegates from the states he's won will switch sides. Some, however, are saying that they will stick with Clinton regardless. And some superdelegates believe that it was Sanders himself who switched his tone on them, once disregarding the superdelegates as unimportant but now relying on them for the nomination. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, one of Clinton's biggest supporters, said Sanders' previous stance on the superdelegates quickly turned them off to the Vermont senator: "You can’t trash us in February and then come back and tell us how much you love us in May or June or July,” Rendell said. “Remember, Bernie’s spent two months beating the hell out of superdelegates. We remember that. We remember how unworthy we were in February.”
But others have argued that the superdelegate switch to Sanders is inevitable. Rob Kall, a publisher from OpEdNews, believes that Clinton "will cost the Democrats a majority in the Senate, the Supreme Court and a stronger position in the House." If the superdelegates come to terms with this, he argues, they will do what's best for the party and switch sides.
But even with this in consideration, it's a long shot statistically: Sanders would have to persuade nearly 200 superdelegates to switch sides, all after picking up the undecided superdelegates as well as winning the remaining contests. But if voters know one thing from Sanders' time on the campaign trail, it's that he isn't one to quit. Therefore, voters could see him fighting for a switch all the way to the convention.