"overwhelming preference of Washington voters" There is no way that 6% of the voters can represent the overwhelming anything.
Dude. Washington has 101 pledged Democratic delegates. The reason Bernie has 25 and Hillary has 9 is because not all our pledged delegates have been allocated yet.

You probably should stop writing about our caucus system since you clearly have no idea how it works.
Super delegates are completely meaningless at this time. The true candidate will be selected the same way it has always been - by the results of the illuminati Cadbury egg eating contest.
B/c that's the way it works dumbshit.
This shows such a complete lack of understanding of what just happened that frankly Matt deserves to be sacked or assigned to covering things like the Bite of Seattle instead of politics. See @2.
"'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 you're going to complain about an undemocratic system, you should start with the fact that Washington used a caucus system, rather than a primary, so that anyone working at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the caucus couldn't participate.

As for the rest of the process, Hillary Clinton has received 57% of the votes cast thus far. That makes her the overwhelming choice of the millions of Democrats to have voted, and she is likely to win the nomination over Sanders easily. So these articles out of Seattle are absurd.
A lot has been written about the collapse of the Republican party, but much less attention is being paid to the likelihood that the other corrupt, corporatist, neocon, war mongering, 1% supremacist party--the Democrats--also will blow itself apart this summer. They've spent over 20 years relentlessly stabbing their own voters in the back thanks in large part to the efforts by the Clintons, and huge numbers will not vote for another Clinton kleptocracy.

I challenge anyone to read the case against Hillary Clinton and still say that you'd support her with a clean conscience.
@1 people who don't vote aren't voters.
Weird to see democratic voters defending their overtly oligarchic system of super delegates. If anything, this more elitist turn in the party should at least change the party name, it just doesn't match.
Right now, the Republican Party is wishing it had a few superdelegates to save it from the pending disaster that will be the Donald Trump candidacy. The fundamental purpose of political parties is to win elections. Primary elections by themselves don't always work to that end.
Because super delegates are the people who work hard, year-round, for the party they truly call their own. They probably appreciate the fact that Hillary has worked for down-ticket candidates for decades and may not feel as beholden to someone who has not.
What @2 and 5 said. How can anyone claim to know anything about what is going on here and not know that we have 101 delegates?
It's a good thing the caucus provided the underserved mostly middle-class-and-up, overwhelmingly white chance to participate. It also allows the more vocal minority---largely male---to dominate the room.

It's also the purest example of Democracy for people who don't have to work on weekends.
"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."

Maybe I'm missing something, but didn't the governed (at least those identifying as democrats) consent to the adoption of superdelegates in the 1960's, and further consent to expanding the roles of superdelegates in the 1980's? The rules relating to superdelegates were developed and adopted by the elected representatives of the various state committees at the national conventions, it's not like this concept just grew out of thin air.

As far as I can tell, there was nothing stopping Sanders supporters from proposing resolutions relating to superdelegates in the precinct caucuses. Hell, that could still happen at the legislative district or county level, couldn't it?
@ 14, You're right about that. Most Dems keep moving further to the right, and they don't give a shit about anyone or anything other than their own enrichment and self-aggrandizement. They've been rewarded for that behavior with huge losses at the state and federal levels, along with millions of disaffected voters who've given up on our corrupt system. Clinton may be popular with half of the Democrats, but her negatives are off the charts with everyone else; she's almost as unpopular nationally as Trump. This strategy isn't working well for them.
Sanders won the state. The supers should get behind him. 100 percent. Else the voters should take note and change their votes in the election. 2016 is not the year of the entrenched. Time to be free of all the backroom skullduggery. The supers should actually lead the way, not be pulled along kicking and screaming. No reason to vote cantwell, inslee, murray if they are stating they don't listen unless you have power. "A bird landed on his podium!" Should have been enough right there.
@6, 15, The caucus has a provision for people who have to work that day to participate. They have a surrogate form that you can fill out and have your vote counted.
@20 It's almost as if a ballot system that allowed everyone to participate would be more representative.
@19 beat me to it!
On the bigger question of whether the caucus system is democratic, it doesn't really have to be since it's not even a public election but a function of the party for the party. It is Democratic in that it is the Democratic Party's nomination process and not a democratic election. Get the D vs d difference? The party can do this any way it wants really. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's the way it is since it's a nomination process. Draw straws, flip a coin, consult the stars, whatever they want to do they can so long as they follow their own rules.
@21, It would, but without the face to face aspect of the caucus the party would lose a valuable opportunity to get it's core supporters involved. The caucus doubles to some degree as a rally, fund raiser, volunteer recruitment drive, info gathering, networking, etc.
Another mail in ballot doesn't do that.
The Super Delegates can vote however they want. That is their right. It is also the right of the people to vote them out if they don't feel they represent them any longer. I'd think it would be in the best interest of the Super Delegate to vote in line with the people. I know personally if they don't choose to support Bernie, I'm choosing to vote them out of any office they might hold, as is my right.
"overwhelming preference of Washington voters"?!? Seriously? This article demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the caucus system and is poorly written to boot. Misleading articles like this are the reason Bernie supporters are having such a hard time coping with how Superdelegates work.
I contacted Frizzelle about the misinformation in this post. He said he'd "look into it". Two hours later it hasn't been corrected. Pathetic.
Great, let's distribute the superdelegates proportionally!

...oh, Clinton still wins, because more Americans are voting for her.

Also, our state will eventually have picked 101 delegates, so whether or not Clinton leads in her first round delegates plus superdelegates, who don't vote until the convention ANYWAY, is irrelevant.

This is maybe the least insightful political journalism of this cycle, and that's saying something.
Aside from other problems, there's the fundamental fact that this is not a process intended to extract the will of the majority of people--it's only aimed at the democrats. As such, there's legitimate concern for what is best for the party--and a legitimate case can be made that people who have invested and contributed most to that party, may have insight into how best to advance its aims.
For everyone complaining that the caucus excludes those who work on weekends: "However, those who are unable to attend due to religious observance, military service, disability, illness or work schedule may submit a“surrogate affidavit” form prior to the Precinct Caucus." You mail it in and get counted...
@28 A legitimate case? Such as? Because just because you've "invested and contributed" most so as to elevate your self into the party's oligarchy doesn't mean you won't run it into the ground like a schmuck.
All of the cries that a caucus system is exclusionary because one has to be up at 10am on a Saturday and give ~3 hours of their time ignore the fact that anyone can still vote if they can't meet this requirement.

Washington Dems allow you to fill out a Surrogate Affidavit form e-mail, fax, or mail it in by March 18th if you can't make the caucus. So while the idea that a Caucus system makes it harder for those that work weekends, are sick, disabled, etc to vote is valid; there is a way around it so that if you're determined to vote you can do so.

Not to mention that there are no non-anecdotal signs validating the idea that those people who didn't vote would have voted for the losing candidate. And if anyone thinks this is not true then they should engage themselves in the democratic process and their community to spread the word about the ability to caucus without being present.

Surrogate Affidavit Form:…
Oops, I posted on the wrong article ^^^^ this has obviously been brought up several times in this thread.
Whoever wrote this knows absolutely fuck all about the caucus, the party, or even the Washington State Legislature.

The current delegates are PRECINCT delegates and the Democratic Party has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with how they are drawn. Those delegates, most of them, will go to Legislative District Caucuses. Legislative Districts are drawn by the Redistricting Board every 10 years and approved by the State Legislature. Same for the Congressional Districts.

But if this so-called journalist had done a smidgen of fucking research -- say, the State Legislature website, or the Washington Democrats website, or, really, *anywhere at all*, they'd know that.

Seriously Stranger, your quality is shit these days. The Weekly is making you look GOOD. Maybe Dan should do less media appearances and get in the office and run his fucking paper properly.
@26 & 33: Seriously. There's now an update that's, if anything, more clueless than the original post. I know that us old-time sloggers are lamenting the loss of Goldie, Paul, and Dominic (and Annie Wagner from way back!!) and the pathetic political coverage this time around, but maybe it would just be better if the Stranger gave up all pretense and just quit doing political reporting. Really bad reporting is worse than none.
What K @33 said. Oy!

For a concise summary of the process, see and read down.

For full detail, see…
They're super-delegates for a reason. They know and are active in politics. They understand the problems, solutions, what works, and what doesn't.

The average voter does not.
Sanders chose to run as a Democrat. He knew the superdelegate rules; they have been in place for years. If he didn't get them, that's his problem.

Washington held a caucus; the voters that show up are usually a lot less than the total voters in a state. Not a mandate.

Sanders doesn't do anything to raise money for the Democratic party; some of you probably like that, but superdelegates don't.

One reason for superdelegates is so that party people don't take all the delegate slots at the convention. It actually means more people can participate. Why is this a bad thing?

If people who support Sanders don't like the rules -get involved. Work with the party. Put in the time. And then you can have input into the rules. Don't try to change them afterwards because you don't like them.
Note also, EIGHT of the NINE contact addresses Ansel posted for elected Washington superdelegates are their GOVERNMENT office sites -- where it is unethical to conduct campaign communications -- not their political sites.

And yes, if your objective is to BUG them, this will accomplish it. Will bugging them win Bernie any friends. "You better believe it" (not).

And yes, now I'm SHOUTING ... but look what I'm shouting at!!!
@30- well, yeah, there's an obviously legitimate case. You don't have to agree with it, but you don't get to decide for everyone, either.
The government of the us has a responsibility to be democratic and representative; the part judo not. They are not supposed to be 'neutral', they are supposed to be politically invested. If you don't think they represent you, then you can start your own party.
Look, personally I hope that the dem party is responsive to its base, and I think they are and will be so. But I am also a little tired of Bernie's bros' entitled attitudes about the party they didn't build.
Autocorrect somehow turned 'parties do' into 'part judo', which has got to be a first.
Discussion has been going on for 100's of years, Trustee vs Delegate Model of Representation. Read Burke & others and discuss for another century.
Bernie had 30 years with a safe seat in Congress and Senate, he could have made some friends during that time with the Democratic super-delegates. Just anybody who has to run for office in a competitive state or district. That his colleagues closest in ideology, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, won't endorse him speaks volumes about his temperament and capabilities. Or what kind of help they expect from Sanders: nothing. His only elected endorsers are fellow purist cranks in safe seats, who share the freedom to mock the shitty, but necessary choices everyone else has to make. Sounds like his followers too.
@39 Legitimate case? What a joke. Start my own party? How silly, how simplistic and childish. If I don't think they represent me I just vote against them. Stupid to think about another party when we can just throw the useless bum out.

Representative and democratic. You obviously have no clue, no idea what the words mean. You and the rest of you authoritarian clowns don't like upstarts coming in to spoil your party eh? Too bad, here we come. And there's nothing that a weak, whiny-ass simpleton such as yourself can do about it.

Do you know what's over? Your oligarchs calling the shots.
The amount of misinformation in this article is simply stunning. Precincts and legislative districts are partisan "blobs"? Seriously? The party has nothing to do with them. Maybe you should have dragged your ass out of bed on Saturday morning to go to a caucus and actually learn something about how it all works.

And perhaps it is true that a caucus isn't the most inclusive way to do this, but the parties are private organizations allowed to choose whatever method they want to select their candidates. If they want to make you meet in the middle of the night on railroad tracks in Black Diamond, WA, they can. Presumably they feel that caucuses get more dedicated Democrats to show up, and that people who actually care that much are who should make the choice. I don't know. But they provide an absentee system, so kwitcherbitchin'.

I am a Bernie supporter, but I actually enjoy the caucuses, though I am troubled by the accessibility issues. But at least I know what the delegates we elected on Saturday were representing!
jesus bloody christ, Stranger. Were you this butthurt about superdelegates when they helped Obama win the nomination? No? Maybe ask yourself why?
It is very amusing to see young people like Matt discover the bizarre, byzantine, and outlandish way the various caucuses and primaries operate.

What I mean to say is that it's amusing when those who've never been involved in politics discover it. When it's someone who is being paid to write on politics does it in real time, it just reinforces my belief that journalists are the worst kind of dumbfucks: the ones who think they're smart and can convince others of the same.
Oh, this is rich. Question posed, lib mayhem follows.
Usually no one cares when someone at The Stranger just writes something out of their ass without even bothering to do the bare minimum amount of research (or any at all).

This is nice to see.
@27 - Possibly, on a national level. But in this state, Sanders' victory was large enough that proportional representation will at least narrow Clinton's lead at the convention. This is not insignificant. As a Sanders supporter who will happily vote for whichever Democratic nominee walks out of the convention, I prefer a Hillary Clinton chastened to the left by a margin narrow enough to indicate what many of us suspect - that despite both parties moving to the right and corporate media and right-wing ideologues training the populace to respond negatively to words like socialism, that progressive ideals actually hold some sway in the mainstream (universal health care, same-sex marriage, and mistrust of big money do well in most issues-based polls). In other words, the ideas championed by and for the progressive wing of the party are not fringe ideas, and I'd love to send a candidate who recognizes that to the Oval Office. I'm not really concerned if she's doing it for political gain; that's actually how this is supposed to work. Those whose jobs come with power should occasionally be goaded into serving those over whom they wield that power out of self-interest.

More than that, though, I think a narrow margin of victory for Clinton (or Sanders) sends a message to the Republican party, as well: that they can't continue to count on Democrats being susceptible to being bullied to the center (read: to the right). At the very least, I hope they can't continue to count on having concessions built into the first ask at negotiations, until the inevitable compromises bleed all legislation of anything resembling, you know, liberalism. We should negotiated by demanding what we want, so that the inevitable compromises still land on the left side of center, if only slightly.

Hmm. I thought this post would have a whole lot more UPDATEs and strikethroughs by now.
It is not a question of Clinton's entitlement. She doesn't control the superdelegates any more than the voters do. Superdelegates are unbound. They can choose to support a long term influential Democrat as the best representative of the party in a Presidential contest over a candidate who only caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate and who only expressed a preference for the Democratic Party when filing his candidacy.

Yes, the system is a "tad undemocratic." It is intentionally so. If they wanted purely democratic selection they would allocate all delegates to the popular vote winner or at least allocate them proportionately based on votes. In fact if we wanted a purely democratic system we wouldn't have parties or delegates in an electoral college at all. The bottom line is that superdelegates are a party mechanism -- a hedge against extremist trends within the party nominating process (which may conflict with the party's long standing and consistent platform or strategy) and non-party voters (in some states) -- particularly in the context of low voter turnout.

On two related points there has been a lot of talk about
*pressuring elected officials who are superdelegates to bully them into supporting Sanders and
*threatening to not vote for Clinton in the general election.

On the first point, there is no Constitutional, statutory or other right to have local elected officials vote for the candidate of their choice for the party's Presidential nominee. Elected officials are elected to perform the duties of their office and their accountability should be for their performance of that job. However if voters want to act out of spite they can't be stopped from doing so. Just remember that the officials' superdelegate status is conferred by the party and trying to coerce them into supporting the candidate who won the popular vote (based on extremely low turnout in the case of Washington I would add) merely highlights the importance of their role and the wisdom of creating the superdelegate position for the purposes of party nominating in the first place.

On the second point, I would be extremely cautious about threatening action that will most certainly will result in a pyrrhic victory that makes a mockery of Sanders's principles. A vote withheld from the Democratic party nominee (whether that is a vote withheld from Clinton by Sanders supporters or vice versa) is most certainly as good as a vote for the Republican candidate. I would think that most if not all supporters of Sanders' Democratic Socialist positions would see Republican control of both the executive and legislative branches as disastrous. A Republican President will most certainly cooperate with Republicans controlling both the House and Senate to repeal healthcare reforms, replace or harm Social Security (at a minimum pursuing measures like further increasing the age for receiving benefits or cutting, reindexing or stalling cost of living adjustments on payments), emasculate environmental regulations and cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Importantly the party who wins the Presidency will get to fill Scalia's seat (if the Senate continues to refuse to act on Obama's appointment). And there is a reasonable chance that as many as three more Supreme Court justices won't last another 4-8 years: Ginsberg, Kennedy and Breyer (two of whom are on the left and one in the center-right).
Maybe ya'll could better understand why super-delegates don't have to, and shouldn't, vote whatever way those attending Democratic caucuses say if you realized that "But in reality, only 5.8 percent of the state’s registered voters showed up. That means 94 percent of voters didn’t. Even the most moribund municipal election for, say, water commissioner, gets turnout rates five times that amount. This also means that Bernie Sanders’ landslide win was earned with the backing of just 4 percent of our 4 million registered voters." Since when does 4% of total voters get to determine the outcome of anything? Can you invoke the people’s will when 94 percent of the people weren’t there?" These sentences are from Danny Westneat's column in the Seattle Times. He's a true journalist. And, The Times is a real newspaper. Caucuses are plain and simple a tool of whichever party is hosting them to raise money and get your name on a mailing list. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Historical note: Primaries are a political novelty, and for many cycles after the invention of primaries they were purely advisory - "beauty contests" with no determining effect on delegate selection.

National convention delegates were selected by state parties - especially by Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEOs) - the folks we now commonly call "superdelegates".

Particulars varied by state, but generally involved local, district,and county meetings of registered, enrolled, card-carrying, dues-paying Party members, feeding up to final selection at state conventions.

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