Excuse me? Even before most of the states had held a Democratic primary or caucus, the party’s superdelegates had overwhelmingly committed to Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders has complained loudly about the outcomes in states he won, but where superdelegate commitments put him behind Hillary in delegate allocations. After winning several primaries in a row, Sanders has pressed those party leaders to reconsider their commitment to the Clinton establishment, wooing them over to feel the Bern.
Suddenly, Team Hillary wants to claim that the system really is rigged — against the Clinton establishment. Try wrapping your mind around this (via Instapundit):
Hillary Clinton’s presidenital campaign on Tuesday accused Bernie Sanders of “rigging the system” by seeking to pick-off the superdelegates that have already pledged their support to Clinton.
“Really, I think when you talk about rigging the system, that’s what Sen. Sanders is trying to do now,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said on CNN’s ‘New Day.” “Hillary Clinton has won in the popular vote by a wide margin. She’s got more than 2 million votes over Sen. Sanders in all of the contests when you add them all up.”
Say what? Yes, it’s in response to the allegations that the superdelegate system itself is an attempt to rig the Democratic primaries, but … that’s undeniably the case. Republicans have a small number of superdelegates, mainly RNC officials who get votes at the convention, but Democrats have over 500 superdelegates comprising a wide swath of the party establishment. They exist to make sure an insurgent candidate can’t sneak through to the nomination, essentially rigging the system against a Bernie Sanders.
Plus, this is particularly hypocritical coming from Hillary’s camp. Let’s recall when the shoe was on the other foot eight years ago, and Hillary trailed Barack Obama narrowly coming into the convention. Team Hillary wasn’t above wooing superdelegates at that time, and as late as June 2008 was still talking about going to the convention to continue the fight. The only reason superdelegates didn’t back Hillary at that point was because Obama had convincingly beat her in the primaries, and they couldn’t bring themselves to throw the nomination to her.
This time, though, with a string of losses behind her this late in the primary cycle, superdelegates might be wondering if they need a change. The Hill reports that some Democrats have begun to suffer buyer’s remorse already, before the deal is closed:
Clinton is now viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of the electorate, according to the HuffPost Pollster average, which tracks findings from 42 different polling outfits. Only 40.2 percent of people view her favorably, according to that average.
An Associated Press/GfK poll released last week also found 55 percent giving Clinton an unfavorable rating. In the most recent Gallup poll, released late last month, her unfavorable number was 53 percent versus only 42 percent who saw her favorably.
Even Democrats acknowledge those findings are a problem.
“They’re pretty bad,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon, who connected the poor poll numbers to separate findings that show a broad number of Americans don’t trust Clinton.
In comparison, Obama had a 62/33 rating at this stage of the 2008 campaign. Hillary may limp to the nomination, but she will end up as one of the least-liked non-incumbent Democratic nominees in recent memory, or perhaps living memory. If so, Democats will have to ask themselves how they ended up in that position — and the answer will be that the Clintons have been “rigging” this cycle for the past eight years.