Tonight, Monday June 6, the night before 6 states are set to vote in their states’ Democratic primaries, AP declared Hillary Clinton to be the winner of the Democratic nomination for President. Now, this is either horrendously irresponsible reporting or something much more sinister. That headline will be on the front page of every newspaper in the country tomorrow morning on top of being all over the prime time news tonight.
The 6 states set to vote tomorrow are California, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and New Jersey. The current pledged delegate count These states have had their votes suppressed. They don’t matter. How many voters will hear or see that Hillary has already won the nomination and then decide they don’t need to vote? Why would they take time- possibly hours considering how long lines have been this year – out of their busy day to go vote if it’s already over? Their votes literally don’t matter.
Skeptics might say, “but wouldn’t that suppress more Clinton supporters than Sanders supporters since they want to cast a protest vote?” But it wouldn’t just be Hillary supporters deciding to not vote. A lot of likely Bernie voters will also hear that Hillary’s already won and decide not to vote. What if Hillary knew she was gonna lose California? That would not look good for her. Losing in the largest state in the nation combined with the ongoing FBI investigation, her historically low favorability and trustworthy ratings, not to mention Bernie outperforming her in nearly every head-to-head poll over the last 6 months, might just lead a few of those superdelegates to decide that Bernie Sanders is the safer bet come November, that he is the one with a better chance of defeating Trump.
ICalifornia, the largest state in the nation just so happens to have 475 pledged delegates up for grabs on Tuesday. Bernie’s polling there has skyrocketed to the point where he would have likely won.However, California also happens to be a state with early voting. Hillary tends to do much better during early voting, while Sanders tends perform better on the day of the election. Combining these factors, it’s seems to me that this declaration of Hillary’s victory can only only hurt Sanders, while giving her a nice piece of insurance to fall back on should she still lose in the states that vote tomorrow.
“Well, it’s possible a lot of my supporters just decided to stay home since they heard I had already won,” you can almost hear Clinton say should she lose nearly every state tomorrow. Only New Jersey,which also had early voting, seemed truly favorable for her. The premature declaration of her victory will now be the perfect excuse for her defeat.
There’s one last thing that needs to be mentioned: the pledged delegate count is what really matters. It represents the actual vote of the people (though many states have excluded the largest single voting bloc, Independents). As the Democratic party has claimed that superdelegates have always followed the pledged delegate count in the past (though it usually works the other way around). Given all of that, the pledged delegate count should be all the media focuses on. Placing superdelegate votes on screen constantly is live putting up a poll of who your favorite celebrities are voting for. It subconsciously, and consciously, changes voters minds. They have been making that “mistake” from the beginning.
The current pledged delegate count going in to tomorrow’s June 7th primary is 1812 for Hillary Clinton and 1521 for Bernie Sanders, with 714 yet to be allocated. The very fact that it is theoretically possible, though admittedly improbable, for Bernie to take the lead in pledged delegates makes this premature declaration of victory clear voter suppression and a completely undemocratic political tactic.