Clinton and Media Outlets Are Still Counting Superdelegates in Voter Tallies, Despite Pleas from DNC Exec

Published on
by
New York Daily News

Clinton and Media Outlets Are Still Counting Superdelegates in Voter Tallies, Despite Pleas from DNC Exec

Statistical sleight-of-hand has made the Democratic nod appear out of reach for Bernie Sanders. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP)

On April 28, Luis Miranda, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, did an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper to formally clarify the official position of the Democratic Party on when superdelegates are, and are not, supposed to actually count in public vote tallies.

What he said shocked the hell out of me and should shock the hell out of you — in part because not a single media outlet or the Hillary Clinton campaign has paid one bit of attention to it before or since. Since election season began, networks, newspapers and pundits have included superdelegates in their tallies, but the DNC emphatically said that was wrong over a month ago.

Not on a hot mic or during a commercial break, but live on the air, Luis Miranda, in no uncertain terms, told Jake Tapper that the media should not be including them. Miranda said, "One of the problems is the way the media reports them. Any night that you have a primary or caucus, and the media lumps the superdelegates in, that they basically polled by calling them up and saying who are you supporting, they don't vote until the convention, and so they shouldn't be included in any count."

Tapper, seemingly shocked by the candid honesty of Miranda, then asked, "But when we do our totals, do you think it's OK to include them?"

Miranda then doubled down — and completely blew my mind. "Not yet," he said. "Because they're not actually voting (until the convention in late July) and they are likely to change their mind. Look at 2008 and what happened then was there was all this assumption about what superdelegates were going to do and many of them did change their mind before the convention and it shifted the results in the end."

Hold up! Did the communications director of the DNC just say that superdelegates should not be counted because they are "likely to change their mind," that they basically did just that in 2008, and they "shifted the results" by doing so? Wow... just wow. Had a surrogate or staff for Bernie Sanders said this, they'd be called every foul name imaginable by the Clinton campaign, but Miranda is the communications director for the DNC. He worked for President Obama. He speaks for the Democratic Party.

Tapper, clearly befuddled, then concluded the interview with this summary, which again was shocking: "Very interesting. The DNC itself is saying don't include superdelegates in the totals to cable networks like our own."

Do you think CNN listened to the DNC? Of course not. See the infographic below — that's from earlier this morning, and it still includes the very delegates that the DNC clearly told CNN not to include:

CNN estimates that Clinton has 2,311 pledged delegates, while Sanders only has 1,542 — but this method of counting is not sanctioned by the DNC.

We must ask ourselves this question — if the Democratic Party asked CNN and other networks not to include these superdelegates, and made it abundantly clear that they are not official until the superdelegates actually vote at the Democratic Convention in late July, why are they including them anyway?

Look at that graphic. It has Clinton a mere 72 delegates away from securing the nomination and places her with what appears to be an insurmountable lead against Sanders — except it's all based on something the networks were told not to do.

Chris Matthews, of MSNBC's Hardball, took it a step further last week when he actually went on air to declare that no matter what happened, NBC and other networks were preparing to declare Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee for President on June 7th — in spite of the reality that she will not yet have enough pledged delegates to meet the required 2,383.

Hillary Clinton does not have 2,311 delegates, as shown by CNN. That tally, in spite of being told by the Democratic Party not to include them, includes over 500 superdelegates. Again, those people have not yet voted, and in the words of the DNC's own communications director, are "likely to change their mind."

Hillary Clinton, according to the Associated Press, actually has 1,769 delegates, and Bernie Sanders has 1,499, with 913 delegates still available from the upcoming primaries on June 7th and June 14th. To cross the 2,383 threshold required to secure the nomination, Hillary Clinton needs 614 more delegates. That means she needs to win 67.2% of the remaining delegates to become the nominee — not the outrageous number of 72 that CNN and other networks are showing.

On June 7th and June 14th, Hillary Clinton will not win 67.2% of the delegates. She is not currently favored to win 67.2% of the vote in one of the remaining states. On June 7th, she won't have enough delegates. On June 14th, she won't have enough delegates.

Even California's Governor, Jerry Brown, in his half-hearted endorsement of Clinton today, quotes the numbers which include superdelegates as part of his rationale for jumping in. He, too, is counting them now when they should not be counted until the convention.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The only way Hillary Clinton is going to win the nomination is when and if the superdelegates vote for her, and that is not taking place until the end of July. A lot has been said in the Democratic primary about "the rules being the rules." I agree with that.

The rules are that the superdelegates do not count until the convention. Luis Miranda of the DNC made that abundantly clear himself last month.

Anyone who "calls the election" on June 7th, be it the Clinton campaign or television networks, is knowingly and deliberately going against the very rules of the party.

Shaun King

Shaun King is a columnist for the New York Daily News. Follow on Twitter: @ShaunKing

Share This Article