New Hampshire State Senator and the vice chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Martha Fuller Clark, who is a superdelegate unbound to any particular candidate at next month’s nominating convention, has announced her support for underdog candidate Bernie Sanders.
Clark said in a statement:
‘I am announcing today that I will be voting for Bernie Sanders [in] my role as a superdelegate at the convention in July. The reason for that, first and foremost, is that we saw 60 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary went for Bernie, 70 percent of the voters in my district went for Bernie. And I feel obligated to support that vote at the convention.’
Clark is undeterred by the prospect of Sanders losing the nomination to front runner Hillary Clinton. She said, in addition to the above:
‘I believe that it’s important that Bernie’s very progressive agenda be included in the platform regardless of who wins the nomination. We need to have [a] spokesperson from New Hampshire representing those voters, as well, who are committed to that agenda.’
NH1 reports that Clark will be “stumping for free college tuition at public schools, livable wages and the exodus of special-interest money from politics at the convention in Philadelphia.”
Clark is one of very few superdelegates to cast their support behind the Democratic socialist underdog. In fact, the number of superdelegates on Sanders’s side is so small that when they are counted along with pledged delegates, Sanders’ campaign almost seems hopeless. Sanders plans to try and sway more superdelegates to switch to his side all the way up until the party’s convention at the end of July.
Superdelegates’ almost obscenely lopsided support for front runner Hillary Clinton has been a major point of contention this Democratic primary season. Many Sanders supporters have sought to bind superdelegates to the popular vote totals from a particular state. No matter if the state is one like Alaska, which overwhelmingly chose Sanders, or Georgia, which overwhelmingly chose Clinton, most superdelegates support Clinton.
Sanders supporters allege that such a situation removes democracy from the party nominee selection process, while those who favor the superdelegates retort that any actions taken by said superdelegates are only for the good of the party.
Two state party conventions have taken concrete steps against the supposed voter suppression inherent in the role of superdelegate, with both Maine and Alaska voting to bind superdelegates’ votes at the nominating convention to be proportional to the popular vote from their home state.
Now, whether any of this will matter and Sanders will be able to clinch the nomination is still up in the air. Sanders hopes to score a sizeable win when California holds its Democratic primary on June 7, and the odds seem to be in his favor. He is neck and neck with Clinton in the latest polls for two days in a row, and unaffiliated voters can participate in the Democratic primary.
If Sanders ends up winning, that last point will have been his lifesaver, since he does extremely well with fringe voters such as those who are not formally affiliated with a political party.