- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The U.S. political system is gamed toward the insiders. Just ask Republican Donald Trump or Democratic insurgent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

The Democrats are a little more honest about the rigging of their system — placing so-called superdelegates in the race with the sole purpose of declining the nomination to an outsider like Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Sanders has won the last seven contests in a row, clinching Wyoming over the weekend with a double-digit blow. Mr. Sanders won 56 percent to 44 percent, but because of the way Democrats hand out their delegates — proportionally — both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sanders walked away with 7 delegates each.

The clincher was with the superdelegates, of which all four pledged to Mrs. Clinton. So in reality, Mrs. Clinton leaves Wyoming with four more delegates than Mr. Sanders after losing by 12 points. Mr. Sanders is losing the superdelegate to Mrs. Clinton by a 469-to-31 margin.

The superdelegate system was put in place by the Democrats in 1980 to basically ensure that a candidate like Mr. Sanders’ couldn’t be ensured the nomination. It was designed so activist candidates couldn’t steal the Democratic Party away from its leaders.



“Superdelegates include major Democratic elected officials like governors and members of Congress; national and state party leaders; and notable party figures like former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton,” The New York Times reported.

To boot — Democrats have been adding these superdelegates to their rolls every year, with each of their votes having equal weight to the delegates awarded to states or caucuses and without having to be bound to any single candidate.

They can be wooed — but because these superdelegates are people who have made their careers inside the system, they have more to gain by partnering with the Democratic establishment class, rather than to vote for the outsider.

Mr. Trump has had his own struggles within the Republican Party.

Although Republican’s don’t have superdelegates, each state has its own complex levels of delegates, how they’re chosen and whether they’re bound to the candidate who wins their state.

“GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday lamented a “rigged,” “crooked” system after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas swept the remaining available delegates in Colorado over the weekend.

“They’re going absolutely crazy because they weren’t given a vote, this was given by politicians, it’s a crooked deal, and I see it,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “I’ve gotten millions … of more votes than Cruz, and I’ve gotten hundreds of delegates more, and we keep fighting, fighting, fighting, and then you have a Colorado, where they just get all of these delegates, and it’s not a system.”

Mr. Trump knows he’s in trouble of falling short of the 1,237 delegates he needs to walk into the Republican convention in July to earn the nomination outright. He’s hired Paul Manafort, a longtime GOP operative with experience in convention strategy, and his campaign has turned its messaging to complain about the “rigged” process.

Mr. Trump’s team was caught off-hand in Louisiana, where although they won the state, some unbound delegates went to Mr. Cruz, giving him more delegates. Mr. Trump has also done poorly in closed, non-voting contests like in North Dakota and Colorado, where only delegates at their state conventions vote on the contests, not the populous.

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