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What is a Superdelegate?

by Dan Glenn | March 21 2016

Fun Fact from the 2008 Democratic Primary. Hillary Clinton finished with more votes than Barack Obama but he had more delegates than her. Neither had a majority of the popular vote nor the delegates. It was the superdelegates who broke 2-1 for Obama that gave him a 51-49 win in delegates. What is a superdelegate?

A superdelegate, simply, is a high-ranking member of the Democratic party that can pledge his or her allegiance to any candidate of his or her choosing, based on nothing more than personal preference. These superdelegates can be current or former lawmakers or party members. So what is a superdelegate? Or maybe the better question is who are the superdelegates in 2016? They will include Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Howard Dean, Jimmy Carter and about 700 others.

what is a superdelegate

The superdelegates swept Obama into the nomination over Clinton in 2008

It is important to realize that in a Republic we are governed by a majority of representatives (whether elected legislators, delegates, presidential electors, etc) and not a plurality of voters. Some of you may not like that idea; but when is it right that a plurality of people (less than 50 percent) should overrule a majority of the people, however split into factions such majority may be? The founding fathers understood there would be factions and some would have greater numbers than others (see both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers). Therefore, they wisely designed a system of government that required coalitions that constituted a majority be formed in order to enact laws rather than have the most numerous faction(s) dictate those laws.

Those that threaten riots and revenge against a combined majority of various factions who oppose them understand neither liberty nor the concept of being governed by the consent of the governed. Such a view is the very foundation of tyranny and endangers the freedom of all mankind.

Therefore we cannot, and we must not, be bullied into submission. We should never sacrifice our principles and our morals for that which is popular or convenient. Rather, it is our civic duty to fight for and advocate those principles which are just and true and support the good men and women who will uphold them. For we stand accountable before God, the giver of those rights, and to no one person, organization, or political party. For to Him must our loyalties be affixed if we are to preserve such rights and liberties for ourselves and for our posterity.

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