Hillary Clinton needs just 24 more delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination, when the total of delegates she’s won in primaries and caucuses are combined with her superdelegate supporters. Assuming she wins New Jersey on Tuesday night—and she is leading there 64-36 in the latest polls—she will get them, hours before the polls close in California, where she and Senator Bernie Sanders are still locked in a tight race. As a former Californian, I’ve been ambivalent about rumors that Clinton plans to declare victory after her New Jersey win, reportedly with a big rally in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. An early call by the networks could dampen California turnout. Plus, while I’m a Clinton supporter, I’m concerned about party unity, and I think her campaign should take every opportunity to reach out to Sanders voters. Then I looked back at what Barack Obama did in 2008, the night he crossed the delegate threshold—like Clinton, with pledged and super delegates. And I looked at the way The New York Times covered it. And I shed my good-girl reservations about an early Clinton declaration of victory.
Sanders says he's going all the way to the convention, he says the convention will be a contested one, and his camp says Hillary won't really clinch the nomination tomorrow because she doesn't really have enough delegates. Because if you subtract superdelegates from Clinton's total number of delegates—which no one did to Barack Obama in 2008 when he clinched the nom with pledged and supers—then Clinton doesn't have the 2,383 delegates she needs to win the nomination. And, hey, superdelegates don't literally, really, and truly vote until the actual convention so Sanders has from now until July 25th to persuade superdelegates to jump to him from Clinton.
Superdelegates aren't the only ones who don't literally, really, and truly vote until the actual convention. None of the delegates do—pledged or super. That's some risible bullshitting.
Also: Sanders is arguing that the superdelegates should take the nomination away from Clinton—the candidate who won more delegates and millions of more votes than he did—because he has the momentum, which somehow hasn't translated into a majority of votes or the delegates, and because he polls better than Hillary in a matchup with Donald, and argument that is getting weaker and weaker:
Early June polls are just as erratic and limited in value as mid-May polls. But note that Trump's numbers have been falling for two or three weeks. Clinton now has a 4-5 point edge over Trump. These numbers, just as much as the mid-May soundings, are playing into Republican cold feet about their rushed sign on to the Trump campaign.
As Joan Walsh points out at The Nation: Obama clinched the nomination on June 4, 2008, with the pledged delegates he won in Democratic primaries and caucuses and with the support of superdelegates—including some superdelegates who jumped to Barack from Hillary. But Obama had more votes and more delegates and superdelegates were rallying around the clear choice of Democratic voters. Sanders is asking superdelegates to do the opposite this time out: overrule the choice of Democratic voters and rally around him instead.
That's not going to happen.