AP Calls the Nomination for Hillary–But Why Today?
Everything is in dispute this year, of course, but the Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Hillary Clinton now has all the delegates she needs, even without Tuesday’s Primaries. She was only about two-dozen short of the magic number, after her win in Puerto Rico, yesterday, and that convinced enough Superdelegates that it’s time to come together behind her.
Here’s the story, from the Chicago Tribune:
Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Clinton’s rise to presumptive nominee arrived nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama. Back then, she famously noted her inability to “shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
Campaigning this time as the loyal successor to the nation’s first black president, Clinton held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He mobilized millions with a fervently liberal message and his insurgent candidacy revealed a deep level of national frustration with politics-as-usual, even among Democrats who have controlled the White House since 2009. . .
Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.
The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted. . .
Indeed, Clinton’s victory is broadly decisive. She leads Sanders by more than 3 million cast votes, by 291 pledged delegates and by 523 superdelegates. She won 29 caucuses and primaries to his 21 victories.
That’s a far bigger margin than Obama had in 2008, when he led Clinton by 131 pledged delegates and 105 superdelegates at the point he clinched the nomination.”
Of course, not everyone agrees with the AP’s math. After all, some say votes don’t count, even if they’re counted before they are voted. That is, the actual count will be at the convention, more than a month away, and only the committed delegates matter.
Vox (not Fox) has its own take.
Multiple news outlets declared Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee on Monday night, saying she has won the majority of delegates necessary to win the race.. . .
The AP’s announcement — confirmed by NBC News a little later — landed seemingly out of nowhere, given that no states voted on Monday and that there had been no news of a recount in any primary. . .
Still, there’s still reason to question whether the AP and NBC News are making the right decision in preemptively declaring the race over based on the superdelegates. By using the superdelegates to declare the race over these news outlets risk giving greater circulation to the false idea that these party elites have somehow stolen the nomination from Sanders. . .
Almost immediately, Sanders rushed to dispute the AP’s announcement, saying that he hadn’t lost yet because the superdelegates could change their minds at any point up to the convention.
Vox goes on to suggest that “jumping the gun” may be a disservice to Hillary. By making it look like Superdelegates decided the election, Bernie’s fans will be twice as recalcitrant.
Hillary Clinton is winning the race because she’s winning with the voters. The media is confusing that reality. . .
Sanders is going to lose because he’s getting far fewer votes than Clinton. Saying Clinton has won the nomination because of superdelegates thus risks encouraging one of the primary’s most dangerous myths — that Clinton is winning simply because of the manipulation of the elites.
The question now comes to the timing. Why did the AP suddenly “find” enough Superdelegates to push Hillary over the top. Or in a less inflammatory phrase, why did Superdelegates who were previously undecided finally decide now?
The answer is probably to make the last big day of the primary season look like a done deal. If Hillary already has it in the bag, why vote for Bernie? Conversely, if you want to vote for “a winner,” vote for Hillary, so you can say that your vote put her over the top?
In short, yes, the timing of the announcement—or the timing of the decision by the holdout Superdelegates—was timed to make Bernie’s battle seem pointless.
And here’s one more reason:
California is allowing voting by mail, and one only needs to postmark the vote by the end of Tuesday’s polls close. So if it’s a very tight race, the fate of California, and Hillary, and Bernie, might not be known for several days. That would certainly make it impossible for Hillary to claim the nomination with panache. And does anyone really want to make Hillary even more boring?