It’s been an interesting election process so far. The Republican Party finds itself in the undesirable position of having to pick their presidential nominee from an ever shrinking pond of favorable candidates. As it stands, the convention appears to come down to either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Neither of these two candidates appeal to the Republican establishment, which has sparked numerous rumors of the GOP head honchos doing everything in their power to ensure the Republican convention becomes a contested event. In such a scenario, with neither Trump nor Cruz in possession of the required number of delegates needed to secure the nomination, all the pledged delegates become up for grabs if the voting goes past the first ballot. This would leave the field wide open for other candidates that didn’t even run in the primaries, and is the best hope the Republicans have got left in order to save political face and their own platform.
The Democratic primary has been less of a docudrama, with Hillary Clinton predictably emerging as the top contestant. But even here, the dissatisfaction with the political equilibrium can be felt. Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders has performed better than originally predicted in the primaries, showing a public desire to restore liberal values to a party that has lately become more known for promoting neo-conservative policies rather than liberal. In terms of economic views, Clinton’s campaign has suffered consistent critique for being too lenient on Wall Street and big corporations. Like Obama before her, Clinton is actually more of a conservative when it comes to financial reform in today’s American climate. It is in this setting that Sanders’ promises of completely overhauling the nation’s economic policies have taken root, with his intentions of taking the fight directly to investment bankers and overpaid CEO’s making him the prime contender to Mrs. Clinton’s reign.
Only, it won’t be enough – at least not this time around.
After securing a double-digit victory in the state of New York, Clinton not only defeated Sanders in getting the votes of the majority of pledged delegates, but also acquired over two dozen of the party’s notorious “superdelegates” that will boost her votes at the Democratic Party Convention. Superdelegates consist of party seniors and elected officials given mandate to vote as free agents in order to prevent the rise of political populists that may be counterproductive to desired party lines. Sanders literally falls under this description and his failure to get unpledged delegates speaks to this fact.
Based on the latest numbers from Democratic primaries and caucuses, Clinton is in the lead with 1,428 delegates versus Sanders’ 1,151. This may seem like a pretty even race, until you factor in the superdelegates, then the field looks a whole lot different. With 502 superdelegates pledging their allegiance to Clinton against 38 for Sanders, the current number total stands at 1,930 to 1,189. The number of delegates required to secure the Democratic nomination is 2,383, and Clinton only needs to win 27 percent of the remaining delegates to get there. Sanders, on the other hand, has to win a staggering 73 percent of the delegates still up for grabs, meaning Clinton could afford to lose every remaining primary and still come out the winner.
Sanders remains characteristically optimistic, claiming that if he manages to edge closer to Clinton in primaries and caucuses, his popularity among the party’s voters base will convince the superdelegates to switch over to his camp to not risk the wrath of their own supporters. Party regulations clearly state that unpledged delegates are free to change their vote at any given time, but as of yet, none of the delegates loyal to Clinton have abandoned ship. As the primary process continues, it’s becoming obvious that 2016 won’t be the year for radical financial reform in the United States.