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Examining the role of Superdelegates in selecting a Democratic nominee




 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to guests at a campaign rally at the Wisconsin Convention Center on April 4, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to guests at a campaign rally at the Wisconsin Convention Center on April 4, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Senator Bernie Sanders has been casting himself more and more as the most electable Democrat in the general election, an effort targeted at wooing superdelegates, the party insiders who play a big role in picking the nominee. As it stands now, Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead among superdelegates (AKA “unpledged delegates”), and that tally is being portrayed differently depending on the source.

A commentary piece in “USA Today” states:

Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 669 delegate lead over Bernie Sanders, 1739 to 1070 as estimated by The Green Papers. But most of her lead comes from the 473 theoretically unpledged super delegates who have lined up behind her. Take them out of the equation and the race is much tighter. Switch them to Sanders and he is the front-runner.

And from a Roll Call column:

Clinton will probably beat Sanders by every relevant metric when all is said and done, rendering the concern about superdelegates’ power moot — at least for this election cycle.

What should be the role of superdelegates? If it is determining electability and the best representation of the Democratic party, what factors determine a candidate’s electability and faith? How are superdelegates selected? How do you want California superdelegates to fulfill their function?

Guest:

Eric Walker, Deputy Communications Director, Democratic Party