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Mon May 30, 2016, 11:22 PM

What does it mean to 'clinch the nomination' when superdelegates are involved? [View all]

Great article on how in every primary contest since the creation of super delegates, the winner was declared the presumptive nominee based on the inclusion of super delegates. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/29/1532358/-What-Does-It-Mean-to-Clinch-the-Nomination-When-Superdelegates-Are-Involved


After reading a number of impassioned defenses of why the Democratic presidential nomination should not be called next week on June 7th, I got curious. What’s the history here, since the superdelegates were added to the process? When a Democratic candidate hits the magic number of pledged delegates plus superdelegates, are they the nominee?

The answer: history says the first person to get to the magic number is the presumptive nominee, and says it unambiguously, even if the losers often disagree.

Here’s how it has gone since the superdelegates were added to the process.....


Anyway, I started this research 12 hours ago to answer a question for myself, so that as everyone on TV is spinning things this way and that on June 7th I have some context. What, if anything, have I learned?

First, most non-incumbent candidates have needed superdelegates to win, and the history of superdelegates has been that once a Democrat hits the magic number and becomes the nominee, superdelegates are more likely to flow to the nominee than from them.

Also, in the history of the superdelegates, they have always ended up supporting the decision of the pledged delegates, and their most important contribution has been to amplify leads of the pledged delegate winner so that they can be assured success on a first ballot, and avoid the sort of messy convention that harms a general campaign.

The major thing I’ve learned is that the press declares, and has always declared, the winner after they hit the magic number, and has done so in far more nebulous circumstances than this. Even in 1984, in which Hart won by a number of other metrics, in which the delegate count was the arbiter, and Mondale announced himself as the nominee, even with 38 percent of the popular vote to Hart’s 36 percent—even then, Hart may have claimed he still had a cunning plan, but no one begrudged Mondale the fact he was, for all intents and purposes, the nominee.

When you think about it, that simply has to happen. Things need to get done, and they need the nominee to do them. Except for Reagan in 1976, who chose a running mate after Gerald Ford was made the nominee, there aren’t a whole lot of non-nominee candidates going to the convention with their own vice president picked out. You get to do that because the numbers say you’re the nominee.

Meeting this number also allows the nominee to do the work of campaigning before the convention, establishing a message, building capacity on the ground, etc.

The press, for its part, has always understood this, from 1984 onward, and has named the nominee (or the “presumptive nominee”) the minute the candidate crosses the line with their combination of pledged and supers, and usually said something to the effect that they had “clinched” the nomination. They did that when Mondale had won far fewer states than Hart. They did that when Dukakis did not have 50 percent of the pledged delegates. They did that when Obama had not won the popular vote (yes, I know, Michigan—I hope we’re still not fighting this?).

This is a well researched article and confirms that the nomination process will be over on Tuesday June 7, 2016 when the results of the New Jersey primary are announced.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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Reply What does it mean to 'clinch the nomination' when superdelegates are involved? [View all]
Gothmog May 2016 OP
Gothmog May 2016 #1
MohRokTah May 2016 #2
anotherproletariat May 2016 #4
Thinkingabout May 2016 #3
Iliyah May 2016 #5
DesertRat May 2016 #6
NastyRiffraff May 2016 #7
ProudProgressiveNow May 2016 #8
Lucinda May 2016 #9
tandem5 May 2016 #10
Gothmog May 2016 #14
beachbum bob May 2016 #15
LineLineLineNew Reply ?
tandem5 May 2016 #19
still_one May 2016 #11
auntpurl May 2016 #12
all american girl May 2016 #13
beachbum bob May 2016 #16
George II May 2016 #17
Garrett78 May 2016 #18