Reality Check: After Being Trounced By Sanders in NH, Clinton…
Hillary Clinton was trounced in the New Hampshire Primary and yet thanks to the way the DNC rules work, she actually won the most delegates. Is the primary system a huge scam?
Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, February 11, 2016
Bernie Sanders didn’t just win the New Hampshire primary this week. He won it by a massive margin, winning in every demographic category including women. But believe it or not, Hillary Clinton actually won the most delegates.
What does that mean? This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
After a virtual tie in Iowa, Senator Sanders clobbered Clinton in New Hampshire with a huge win. But what you probably didn’t know is that winning a primary isn’t exactly what people think.
Primaries in both the Democratic and Republican parties are private club events, not public elections. That means that the parties get to make the rules.
And what is important about that is that when you vote in a primary you are not really voting for a candidate. You are voting for delegates that will eventually vote for a nominee at either the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention.
Well, on Tuesday in New Hampshire, here is what happened on the Democratic side:
Sanders won the New Hampshire primary with 60 percent of the vote, or 151,584 votes, over Clinton’s 38 percent of the vote, or 95,252 votes.
Because of the way the Democratic Party assigns delegates, Sanders picked up 13 delegates. Clinton won nine delegates. But, the DNC (Democratic National Committee) has something called super delegates—party insiders who know supposedly what is best for the party.
New Hampshire has eight super delegates. Those delegates are not bound to the will of voters. They can do what they want. And at this point those eight super delegates are committed to Hillary Clinton.
That means that despite a huge loss in the primary, Clinton will leave New Hampshire with 15 delegates to Sanders’ 13.
In fact, according to CNN, here is where the delegate count stands: the Democratic nominee needs 2,382 delegates to become the nominee. After a virtual tie in Iowa and a major loss in New Hampshire, Clinton has 431 delegates. Sanders, the winner in New Hampshire, has only 52 delegates.
So what you need to know is that, number one, technically those super delegates can change their allegiance whenever they want. But that is not the point. The point is that Sanders’ momentum, just like the momentum behind Donald Trump, is the rejection of party politics as usual.
What voters around the country are about to learn as this contest goes on is that there is a reason that outsider candidates have struggled in the past. The biggest reason? Both parties have protected their primary process to make sure party insiders get to pick the nominee and not the voters.
That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that on Twitter @BenSwann.