Is Donald Trump right, is the system to nominate rigged? Does Hillary Clinton have an unfair advantage over Bernie Saunders, because of Super Delegates? These are the questions that need to be answered here and now.
First lets’ look at the Democrats and how there delegate system works. There are two types of delegates, the first are the Pledged Delegates these are the people who represent each candidate at the convention who are allocated proportionally based on the results of the primary or caucus in a congressional district. The number of district delegates who are apportioned to each congressional district is determined by the Democratic vote in each district in recent elections, they will number about 4,051.
And then there are the unpledged delegates also know as ‘Super Delegates’ who are automatic delegates to the convention and are not required to pledge their support to a presidential candidate. They are members of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic members of Congress, Democratic governors, or distinguished party leaders (such as former presidents or vice presidents). There are expected to be approximately 714 of these Super Delegates at the convention.
So in order for a candidate to win the presidential nomination, they must win a total of 2,383 or more delegates at the national convention. The Pledged Delegates are only required to vote for the candidate they are pledged to on the first ballot. If no one candidate has the above mentioned required number of delegates, then Pledged Delegates can vote for whomever they want. The convention then would hold another ballot and everyone would be free to vote anyway they want to. This would continue until a candidate acquires enough delegates to win.
Since there are 714 Super Delegates and many have committed themselves to Hillary already, can Bernie win in spite of that fact? The answer is yes if he can stop Hillary from obtaining the magical number of 2,383 delegates total and force a second ballot. Of course this assumes that he can swing those who were pledged to Hillary to vote instead for him on a second ballot. This is where Backroom politicking comes into play.
Now onto the Republicans and how their delegate system functions. Of course they have Pledges Delegates just as the Democrats do and they will number 1,305 with three (3) coming from each congressional district. Then there are the ‘At-Large’ from each state, they are each assigned at least 10 At-Large delegates. Additional bonus At-Large delegates are awarded to a state based on various political criteria. A state with a Republican governor, a Republican U.S. senator, or Republican majorities in the state legislature may be allocated additional At-Large delegates. The same is true for states that were carried by the Republican presidential nominee in the previous election. A total of 999 of these At-Large delegates will attend the convention.
Plus there are the 168 members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) who are automatic delegates to the national convention. All fifty states plus the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) and the U.S. territories each have three RNC members. Dependent on the rules of the state (or territorial) party these automatic delegates may or may not be allocated and pledged to the winner of the state’s primary or caucus. Most states allow their RNC members to decide for themselves which candidate they’ll support.
The magic number for the Republican candidate to win nomination is 1,237. But there is a stumbling block that a candidate must pass over first. This stumbling block is Rule 40(b) which states a candidate must “demonstrate support from a majority of delegates in at least eight individual states in order to have his or her name placed on the nominating ballot at the 2016 Republican National Convention.” Here is where Donald Trump might have a problem if he can not muster enough support. If this happens then he will not be on the ballot that will be put before the convention delegates to vote upon. So the system is rigged to some degree and we will have to wait and see what will happen at the convention.
Again the Republicans do have the same policy as the Democrats in releasing the delegates who were pledged on a second ballot. Please note I have left out some of the different types of delegates, as it can become confusing. Please refer to the included links for more information.
I hope that the above gives you the reader a better insight into how the political convention nominating process works.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike