You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

What are superdelegates, why are they important, and how many does Hillary Clinton have?


While the process to nominate Democrat and Republican candidates for president are essentially the same, there is a notable difference in just who will vote at the  nominating committee.

That difference comes in the form of something Democrats call  a “superdelegate.” You are likely to hear the term – though an unofficial one – quite a bit in the coming months.

Here’s a quick look at what a superdelegate is and what they do.

What is a Superdelegate?

A Superdelegate is a person who is a delegate to the  national nominating convention but who is not “bound” to a candidate,  meaning they may vote for anyone they wish, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote in the states they represent.

Who can be a superdelegate?

In the Democratic  party, superdelegates are made up of two groups – prominent current or formerly-elected Democrats (presidents, governors and all the current Democratic members of the House and Senate) and members of the Democratic National Committee.

How many are there?

There are 712 superdelegates involved in the 2016 nomination process.

How does that voting work?

First some math. The Democratic nomination will be determined by 4,763 total delegates — 4,051 chosen by voters in state caucuses and primaries, and 712 (roughly 15 percent) are superdelegates. The superdelegates are “unbound” meaning they can support whom they wish. Come convention time, they will make their choice and vote along with their state for the candidate of their  choice. 

How long have the Democrats been using superdelegates at conventions?

Since they were created through Democratic National Committee rules in 1982. Following the contentious  1980 convention fight between Sen. Ted Kennedy, (D-Mass.), and former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, party officials wanted more of a hand in the selection process and created “superdelegates” from each state to achieve that goal.

Where does the delegate count stand today?

As of March 2, 457 superdelegates have pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton, with 22 pledged to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to The New York Times Delegate Tracker.  

Do Republicans have superdelegates?

Not really. While there are three delegates to the Republican National Convention from each state – the state chairman and two Republican National Committee members  – the RNC rules say, "all of the delegates shall be bound by the results of the primary," -- the state's popular vote.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

President-elect Donald Trump honors the late John Glenn
President-elect Donald Trump honors the late John Glenn
President-elect Donald Trump honored the first American to orbit the Earth on Thursday, a little more than an hour after Glenn’s death was announced.
Amazon.com scam hits shoppers before holidays
Amazon.com scam hits shoppers before holidays
Holiday shoppers who use Amazon.com to buy presents for loved ones will want to pay attention to the latest scam that’s targeting consumers’ personal information.
Donald Trump voters explain why they chose their candidate
Donald Trump voters explain why they chose their candidate
A group of 10 Florida voters answered a call by the Palm Beach Post to discuss why they chose to vote for Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
John Glenn: A storybook life, an American hero
John Glenn: A storybook life, an American hero
“The Right Stuff” author Tom Wolfe once said of John H. Glenn Jr. that he is “the last true national hero America has ever had.
John Glenn: Former U.S. senator, astronaut dies at 95
John Glenn: Former U.S. senator, astronaut dies at 95
Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn died on Thursday in Ohio. He was 95 years old. Read more trending stories Glenn was surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus when he died, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
More Stories