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Super Delegate Discord

- March 29, 2016

After Winning Five Of Six Contests Last Week, Democrat Superdelegates Are Facing Pressure To Back Bernie

In The Wake Of Winning "A Spate Of Contests On Tuesday" And His "Landslide Victory" On Saturday, Sanders Is Picking Up More Superdelegates. "Bernie Sanders has picked up another superdelegate in the wake of his landslide victory over Hillary Clinton in the Alaska Democratic caucuses Saturday. Alaska Democratic Party vice chairman Larry Murakami, who had previously donated to Sanders but formally had been uncommitted, decided to back Sanders after the Vermont senator defeated Clinton 82 percent to 18 percent in the state on Saturday." (Daniel Strauss, "Sanders Picks Up More Superdelegates," Politico, 3/28/16)

Sanders Also Picked Up Superdelegates In Idaho And Utah, States He Won By More Than 50 Points. "Sanders also picked up two uncommitted super delegates after winning a spate of contests on Tuesday. In Idaho, Democratic Party chairman Bert Marley, previously an uncommitted super delegate, said he would support the Vermont senator. 'I did it basically the night after our caucuses,' Marley told POLITICO Monday of when he decided to back Sanders. 'Two reasons: I was kind of leaning that direction anyhow personally but I made a commitment earlier on that I felt like super delegates should reflect for lack of a better term the will of the people so when the results were so overwhelming in Idaho it was the natural thing to do.' Meanwhile, Utah Democratic Party chairman Peter Corroon, another superdelegate who said he would support whoever won his state's caucuses, is backing Sanders. Sanders won Utah 79.3 percent to Clinton with 20.3 percent." (Daniel Strauss, "Sanders Picks Up More Superdelegates," Politico, 3/28/16)

Superdelegate Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) Is Also Now Backing Sanders, Saying "I'm Voting My District…I'm Going To Vote For Bernie." "Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson also signaled this weekend that he would support Sanders as a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer. 'I'm voting my district,' Peterson said in an interview with ABC News Minnesota affiliate WDAY 6. 'I'm going to vote for Bernie.' Peterson represents Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, which went for Sanders. Sanders won the state's caucuses 62 percent to 38 percent for Clinton." (Daniel Strauss, "Sanders Picks Up More Superdelegates," Politico, 3/28/16)

Clinton Superdelegates In Colorado Are Facing Enormous Pressure To Switch Their Allegiance

Colorado Superdelegates Senator Michael Bennet, Governor John Hickenlooper, And Congressman Jared Polis, All Clinton Backers, Are Facing Pressure To Switch To Sanders. "Three top Democratic superdelegates in Colorado are facing pressure to support Bernie Sanders after he easily won the state's presidential preference poll, but all are remaining committed to Hillary Clinton. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis all faced questions in recent days about who they will support at the Democratic National Convention in July." (John Frank, "Democratic Superdelegates Face Pressure To Support Bernie Sanders," The Denver Post's The Spot , 3/28/16)

  • Sanders Won Colorado's Democrat Caucus By Nearly 20 Points, Yet Clinton May Tie In The Delegate Count Due To Support From Superdelegates. "Sanders won the state's caucus by almost 20 percent of the vote, but may tie with Clinton when it comes to the state's delegates, thanks to party officials like Hickenlooper." (Rachel Estabrook, "Hickenlooper, A Superdelegate, 'Can't Imagine Changing' Allegiance To Sanders," Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters," 3/25/16)

All Three Are Being Pressured By Grassroots Democrats To Switch Their Support To Sanders. "Polis - who represents Boulder, an area that went big for Sanders - received a note with his takeout order Sunday at Native Foods Cafe that read: 'Dear Congressman Polis, the constituency has spoken. Use your power wisely. Feel the Bern.' Hickenlooper continues to face questions and has said repeatedly he will stick with Clinton. 'The voters elected me to use my judgment to make decisions,' Hickenlooper told Colorado Public Radio in his most recent comment on the issue. 'I can't imagine changing where I stand.' Bennet felt the pressure last week after a speech at the University of Denver law school. A member of the audience urged him to support Sanders." (John Frank, "Democratic Superdelegates Face Pressure To Support Bernie Sanders," The Denver Post's The Spot , 3/28/16)

Despite Pressure From Their Base, Prominent Democrats Like Hickenlooper Are Refusing To Switch Their Support To Reflect Their States' Voters

Hickenlooper Said That Even If Sanders Continues To Win Democrat Primaries And Caucuses, He "Can't Imagine Changing Where I Stand." QUESTIONER: "If Senator Sanders closes the gap with Clinton in earned delegates, would you take a second look at who you're supporting?" GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: "From what I've seen, and I really appreciate what Senator Sanders, the amount of work he's put into it, and the energy and enthusiasm he has created all across the country, and I'd certainly sit down and talk with him, I think I would owe, if that was possible, again, he's so busy, it's probably unlikely-" QUESTIONER: "Have you made the request?" HICKENLOOPER: "No, because it's not gotten to that point. Again, he's too busy. But, it's hard for me to imagine changing. I know Hillary Clinton. I think she is someone who is gifted at being able to bring people together, create compromise. I really, I can't imagine changing where I stand." (Rachel Estabrook, "Hickenlooper, A Superdelegate, 'Can't Imagine Changing' Allegiance To Sanders," Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters," 3/25/16)

When Asked If He Would Switch His Support To Reflect The Will Of The People Of Colorado, Hickenlooper Said "The Will Of The Voters Was [To Elect] Me." "QUESTIONER: "Let me get to a more fundamental point, which is that there are Coloradans who say, you ought to reflect the will of the voters here. So that, because Bernie Sanders prevailed in the caucuses here, you ought to switch your allegiance to reflect the popular will. What do you say to that?" GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: "Well the will of the voters was - elected me. The voters elected me to use my judgment to make decisions, and this is one of those places where the system is designed that I use my judgment to decide." (Rachel Estabrook, "Hickenlooper, A Superdelegate, 'Can't Imagine Changing' Allegiance To Sanders," Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters," 3/25/16)

Hickenlooper Said That "This Is One Of Those Places Where The System Is Designed That I Use My Judgment To Decide" And That "It Was Accepted" That Superdelegates "Might Differ From The Voice Of The Larger Electorate." GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: "The voters elected me to use my judgment to make decisions, and this is one of those places where the system is designed that I use my judgment to decide. So, I understand the argument, but I disagree with the conclusion. Just because, it's intended that folks like myself who got elected that we should use our judgement, and that our judgement, it was accepted, that our judgement might differ from the voice of the larger electorate." (Rachel Estabrook, "Hickenlooper, A Superdelegate, 'Can't Imagine Changing' Allegiance To Sanders," Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters," 3/25/16)

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Has Admitted That Superdelegate Are Designed To Protect "Party Leaders And Elected Officials" From The Grassroots

In A February Interview, Democrat National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Claimed Superdelegates Existed "To Make Sure That Party Leaders And Elected Officials Don't Have To Be In A Position Where They Are Running Against Grassroots Activists." DNC CHAIR REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (FL-23): "Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don't have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are, as a Democratic Party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention, and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend, and be a delegate at the convention. And so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn't competition between them." CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "I'm not sure that that would, that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter, but let's move on." ( CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper," 2/11/16)

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