The Associated Press has reported that Hillary Clinton just got all the delegates she needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. The only problem is that this information isn’t true or accurate. She’s gained more delegates, but neither candidate will have enough to clinch the nomination before the Democratic National Convention.
Here’s what you need to know.
Clinton Hasn’t Won the Nomination Yet Because Superdelegates Don’t Vote Until July
The Associated Press made this announcement on Monday night:
The only problem is that they are counting superdelegates, who don’t vote until the Democratic National Convention. Some of the superdelegates in California have said that if Bernie Sanders wins, they may switch to endorsing him. In fact, according to Politico, Sanders has been attracting more and more superdelegates.
This doesn’t mean that Sanders has an easy path. He has a very difficult path and would have to win by a large margin in California on Tuesday in order to get close enough to Clinton’s pledged delegate count to make a case in the Democratic National Convention. But his doing this is still possible, not an impossibility.
Here’s a look at the delegates before the Puerto Rico primary:
As of June 6, Clinton had 1,812 pledged delegates and Sanders had 1,521. In order to get the nomination through pledged delegates only, either candidate would need 2,383 delegates. Clinton would have to pick up 571 in order to “clinch the nomination” before the California primary. Puerto Rico didn’t win her the nomination because there were only 60 delegates at stake. Sources like AP are counting superdelegates among these, but as Heavy has reported before, superdelegates can change their minds.
Of course, Sanders would have to pick up 862 pledged delegates before the Convention in order to clinch the nomination himself, and that also isn’t possible. Could Sanders pass up Clinton in pledged delegates by the time the primaries are over? The chances are slim of that too, unless he staged a huge upset on June 7. Both candidates’ paths are leading to a contested convention, where 619 superdelegates are at stake.
Every Vote Counts with a Contested Convention Coming in July
But with a contested convention at stake, every vote in the primaries on June 7 is vital. And calling the nomination before the primaries even happen does nothing but discourage voter turnout. Between now and the Democratic National Convention, a lot of things can happen. Sanders could stage a big win on June 7. Clinton’s legal issues with the e-mails could change. Anything could happen, and discouraging votes at this point is misleading. Every vote counts, no matter which side it is on.
It might be worth noting that media had planned to call the nomination for Clinton long before the polls closed in California anyway. MSNBC admitted they were discussing doing this back on May 24:
Sanders’ Campaign Has Released a Statement in Response to AP’s Announcement
Bernie Sanders’ campaign wasted no time responding to AP’s rush to call the nomination for Clinton. Spokesman Michael Briggs said:
It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.
“Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.
“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.”