How Bernie Sanders lost the New Hampshire primary

As you may recall, the Iowa Democrat caucus ended with Hillary Clinton allegedly holding a lead of roughly one quarter of one percent of the total number of micro-delegates or bitcoins or quarks or whatever it is they measure them in. (Not that it matters, since they won’t tell you how many people voted anyway.) In any event, Clinton and Sanders were essentially tied. Then we headed over to New Hampshire with its 24 pledged Democrat delegates. Sanders blew Clinton’s doors off there, taking roughly 60% of the votes. So at this point the delegate race should be pretty close, with only a slight edge for Bernie. Unfortunately, we had a good estimate last night of how the score really stands. (US News)


Bernie Sanders will win at least 13 of the Democratic delegates in New Hampshire and Hillary Clinton will win at least nine. Two delegates haven’t yet been allocated…

Sanders has 42 delegates.

In the overall race for delegates, Clinton has 394.

So after a tie in Iowa and a strong win in New Hampshire, Sanders is only losing the delegate race by 352.

Wait.. what?

If you thought the way the Democrats count the votes in Iowa is messed up, that’s nothing compared to the way they wrangle their delegates. The Daily Caller has a good breakdown of this farce which takes place every four years.

New Hampshire has 24 “pledged” delegates, which are allotted based on the popular vote. Sanders has 13, and Clinton has 9, with 2 currently allotted to neither.

But under Democratic National Committee rules, New Hampshire also has 8 “superdelegates,” party officials who are free to commit to whomever they like, regardless of how their state votes. Their votes count the same as delegates won through the primary.

New Hampshire has 8 superdelegates, 6 of which are committed to Hillary Clinton, giving her a total of 15 delegates from New Hampshire as of Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The state’s 2 remaining superdelegates remain uncommitted.


For the real wonks out there who have never looked into it, amNewYork has a fairly good set of links explaining all of the byzantine Democrat rules. The bottom line is that the Democrat nominee will need 2.382 delegates to carry the day at their convention as compared to the 1.237 the GOP requires. But if the Democrat establishment doesn’t like you (read: if you are Bernie Sanders) you are starting out with a huge hill to climb no matter how much the voters like you. You’ll have to not only muster enough support to outnumber your opponent’s vote count, but enough beyond that to defeat the built in firewall represented by the superdelegates.

Lest we go away thinking the GOP is pure as the driven snow, they have some floating delegates as well, but the number is a lot lower than that of the Democrats. There are three RNC-member delegates for each state and an additional set of bonus delegates which are assigned based on an arcane formula fully understood by at least a dozen people in the country. (I’m just guessing here, but I don’t imagine a lot of them are wearing Make America Great Again ball caps or TrusTed lapel pins.) But even for those extras and bonuses, the GOP formula is still miles closer to being an accurate reflection of the voters’ wishes than the Democrats’ method.


Good luck, Bernie. You may have to win all 57 states in a landslide to take Hillary out.


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