Many commentators were wondering why Hillary was smiling so broadly after the New Hampshire primary since she lost so soundly. NPR said, “Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton with Democratic voters, just as polls had predicted.” Sanders had 60% of the popular vote and Hillary only had 38%. And there she is smiling like the cat who ate the canary. Why?
Because the Political Process is Rigged
Subconsciously we know that somehow Washington isn’t right. But we still retain faith in the election process. We keep telling ourselves that “the people have spoken” and we get what we deserve. But have they and do we?
The Electoral College
Most ordinary Americans think the “Electoral College” should be abolished and the candidate with the most popular votes should win. After all it would be much simpler and much more fair, right?
But the rot starts much earlier than that… It all begins with the Primary process and no one knows the system better than Hillary. You see you can’t just decide to be a delegate to the Primary for your state. Delegates are chosen from a pool of political insiders. Each delegate promises to vote for the Presidential Candidate designated by either the voters or the caucus. But there’s a loophole. If the regular delegates (who are selected by the people) don’t vote the way the insiders want they roll out the “Superdelegates”.
According to the AP there are 4,763 total delegates in the 2016 election (this number changes based on demographics and previous voting records for each district). And it will take 2,382 of those to will the nomination. But of the 4,763 about 15% or 712 are “Superdelegates”.
The regular delegates are allocated based on votes in each state. New Hampshire has 24 delegates while Iowa has 44. Unlike the Electoral College in which it is a “winner takes all” for each state, in a Democratic primary the delegates are awarded proportionally so in Iowa Clinton got 23 delegates and Sanders got 21.
What about the “Superdelegates”
According to Shane Ryan of Paste Magazine, “Every Democratic member of Congress, House and Senate, is a Superdelegate (240 total). Every Democratic governor is a Superdelegate (20 total). Certain “distinguished party leaders,” 20 in all, are given Superdelegate status. And finally, the Democratic National Committee names an additional 432 Superdelegates—an honor that typically goes to mayors, chairs and vice-chairs of the state party, and other dignitaries.”
And because each political insider knows better than the ordinary Joe who is “electable”, their votes carry about as much clout as 10,000 ordinary Americans.
In the table below we see how the insiders are voting. Out of the committed Superdelegates 355 are already in Hillary’s pocket and Sanders only has 14. But there are 341 still uncommitted.
So rather than fight Sanders for the popular vote of the people of New Hampshire, Hillary decided to cut deals with the insiders. She went after the New Hampshire Superdelegates. So even though she lost the popular vote, when you count the Superdelegates in her pocket she ends up with 15 total delegates from New Hampshire to Sanders 13. So even though she “lost” she actually won. And that is why Hillary was smiling in New Hampshire.