Let’s Make The Corporate Media’s Premature Coronation Backfire In Their Faces
By Darien Cavanaugh, The Progressive Standard, June 6, 2016
http://progressivestandard . com/lets-make-corporate-medias-premature-coronation-backfire-face/
Monday night, on the eve of six democratic primaries, the Associated Press announced that, by their count, Hillary Clinton had enough delegates to secure the Democratic Party nomination. The rest of the corporate media ran with the story, of course.
There is, at least, one major problem with the announcement: The AP used superdelegates, party elites who are free to vote for whichever candidate they wish, in their count despite the Democratic Party advising media not to include superdelegates until after their votes are cast at the convention.
MSNBC and others have been saying for weeks that they were going to call the race before polls closed in the California primary, which is the nation’s largest by far and could have a considerable impact on the final delegate counts. It’s possible that AP just wanted to be the first outlet to “break” the story.
Another Attempt At Voter Suppression?
However, many media critics and Sanders supporters saw the announcement as a ploy to discourage voters who favor Sanders from coming out to the polls in the remaining primaries.
Some might even call it a passive means of voter suppression. Count me among them.
The decision to declare a winner while several primaries remain in play is questionable at best, if not outright unethical.
It’s understandable why Sanders supporters are upset.
On the surface, it seems like the announcement would benefit the Clinton campaign. Why would Sanders supporters bother going out to vote if they think their candidate has already lost?
However, it could very well backfire and work to Sanders’s advantage—if his supporters stay motivated and seize the opportunity.
The Numbers Are Tough, But They’re There
There’s a huge age gap between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters. Clinton tends to do better with the over-45 crowd, and Sanders does better with the under-45 crowd. That’s one reason Sanders supporters tend to be so much more active on social media.
That’s very important today. Sanders supporters are more likely to get their election information from social media, while Clinton supporters are more likely to get their information from corporate media—CNN, MSNBC, etc. In their minds, the race is over. They have won. They can spend the day celebrating and relaxing. Let them.
According to the AP, which I am loathe to cite at this point, Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates and Sanders has 1,521. That’s 291 delegate deficit for Sanders. There are 694 delegates up for grabs today. That means that if Sanders wins about 71 percent of them, he would take the lead from Clinton in pledged delegates.
What would the superdelegates argument for sticking by her be then?
Yes, 71 percent is a big number, but Sanders has won more than 70 percent of the vote in several states, and that was without Clinton supporters potentially staying home because they thought they already had the nomination in the bag. It was also before Clinton’s email scandal heated up again and she started to tank in polls of head-to-head matchups against Donald Trump.
I’m not a stats guy, or a math guy for that matter, but it seems like, if Sanders supporters come out in force and 10-20 percent of Clinton supporters who had planned on voting end up staying home because of this premature “victory” announcement, then that could make for a significant swing in the delegate numbers.
A Big Finish For Sanders Gives Him More Leverage At The Convention
Even if Sanders can’t get 71 percent, which, granted, is a long shot, if he he can just get close to that number and end the primary on a high note, say by winning big in California and New Jersey, then he has a much stronger case to make to the superdelegates at the convention.
If Sanders and Clinton come to the convention neck and neck, or with Sanders even leading by a delegate or two, the superdelegates will have a tough decision to make, especially with Clinton’s polling numbers and the ongoing FBI investigation.
So don’t look at this “Hillary has already won” nonsense as demoralizing. Look at as an opportunity. Get out and vote. Get your friends to get out and vote. Spread the word. And hope that Clinton supporters have called it a day.
This could, oddly enough, be the chance we’ve been waiting for. We’ve got the crowds. We’ve got the energy. And now Clinton supporters have a reason to stay home. Good for them. Let’s do this.
Either way, see you in Philly!