So not only is Washington a Bernie state, it's a very Bernie state. In last weekend's caucuses, he won 73% of the vote, a landslide over Hillary's 27%. That means Bernie crushed it with pledged delegates — he gets 25, Hillary gets 9.
And yet ... there's a possibility that Washington state's nomination could still go to Clinton, thanks to the superdelegates. None of our state's are backing Bernie, 10 are backing Clinton, and 7 haven't made up their mind. That means that the actual delegate count right now for the state is a lot closer — 25 for Bernie, 19 for Hillary — and those extra seven could potentially push her over the top to 26. Haha, great system guys!
(UPDATE: Whoops, my mistake, turns out there are seventy-ish phantom delegates that don't get allocated until June, and they're supposed to be proportional to the caucus vote, so Bernie will probably wind up winning the majority of the delegates from Washington after all. And listen to how crazy the system is: The pledged delegates that the candidates have now are determined based on "Districts," but not congressional districts, or counties, but by weird map-blobs that are defined by the Democratic Party. Then the unallocated delegates are assigned in June based on the caucus, and those delegates ARE determined by congressional district, but they only match the caucus outcomes if the blob-delegates attend a particular meeting. This is a totally logical system that is easy for everyone to understand and participate in, right? Anyway, the point is still that the state's elected officials are attaching themselves to Hillary despite the caucuses expressing a strong preference for Bernie.)
Here are 10 superdelegates currently backing Clinton (according to Wikipedia, which isn't always totally accurate but it's apparently the best way to track these things): Senator Maria Cantwell, Representative Suzan DelBene, Representative Denny Heck, Governor Jay Inslee, Representative Derek Kilmer, Representative Rick Larsen, Representative Jim McDermott, Senator Patty Murray, DNC Member Rion Ramirez, and Representative Adam Smith. (Ansel posted their email addresses on Slog earlier today.)
And here are the seven uncommitted superdelegates: DNC Members Ed Cote, Juanita Luiz, Sharon Mast, David McDonald, Jaxon Ravens, Valerie Brady Rongey, and Lona Wilbur.
"A lot of these superdelegates may rethink their position with Secretary Clinton," Bernie said. "I think their own constituents are going to say to them, 'Hey, why don’t you support the people of our state [and] vote for Sanders?'"
Alas, the math on that strategy doesn't quite work out. Clinton still has enough of a lead that even if superdelegates flipped in the states where he won the popular vote, she'd still come out on top.
Naturally, Bernie Sanders supporters would very much like those superdelegates to follow the will of the people and switch their votes to the overwhelming preference of Washington voters. If caucusing can't secure the nomination for Bernie, and voting can't do it (the state primary coming up in May doesn't actually count for anything), by God they'll turn to the next proven political mechanism: a MoveOn petition, started by Charlie Best with the King County Labor Council.
"A tad undemocratic" is how Best described the superdelegate process, and that's where we find the crux of the matter: do you believe leaders should be chosen democratically or not? If yes, Bernie just won every county in the state, so there's your guy. If no, well then the system we have now is working exactly as designed and Hillary may still manage to represent us.
In spite of all its failings, there's something to be said in defense of democracy. If government leaders are supposed to represent the people — to serve as decision-makers and agenda-setters for millions — well then, to quote Barbie, authority should derive from the consent of the governed.
So let's just take a peek over at the Republican nominating process and see how well that's working — oh.