Who are Superdelegates and How to Become One

Since the caucus vote in New Hampshire, many voters have learned about “Superdelegates.”  Who are the Superdelegates?  How does someone become a Superdelegate?  The answers are extremely interesting, because the system isn’t as well defined as you would expect from a national “democratic” government.

Superdelegates are unelected delegates that are able to vote in Presidential Primaries to determine which candidate receives the parties nomination.  The Superdelegates are also referred to as “unpledged delegates,” which contrasts with the pledged delegates determined in caucus voting.

This is how Bernie Sanders was able to win the vast majority of voter ballots cast in the New Hampshire Caucus, but actually ended up receiving the same amount of votes between the Delegates and Superdelegates.  Sanders won the Delegates, while Clinton won the Superdelegates.

If Superdelegates are unelected, then how does someone become a Superdelegate?  The majority of Superdelegates are current and past elected officials, but there are others who are not directly involved in public service as well.  Unpledged delegates are able to select their choice for candidate without voter influence, which has become a source for controversy in the recent past.

As recently as in the 2008 primary elections there were several discrepancies when it came to voter driven pledged delegates vs. Superdelegate selections – potentially swaying the democratic nomination for President.  Democratic Party leader Debbie Wasserman was recently stated that Superdelegates exist “to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists.”

Unpledged “Superdelegates” in the Democratic and Republican parties are structured differently, but both are likely to have significant impact on which candidates receive the official nomination for the 2016 Presidential Election.  Bernie Sanders has been talking about a corrupt political process since the start of his campaign – and he will likely try to expound on this in the next Democratic debate.

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