Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton, but what will happen to his delegates? Rumors that Sanders might endorse Hillary Clinton during a rally of her in New Hampshire ended up being true. Now that Sanders has endorsed Clinton before the Democratic National Convention, what will this mean for the nearly 1,900 Sanders delegates who are supposed to put in their votes for him at the Democratic National Convention in late July?
Here’s what you need to know.
Clinton Released Her Delegates in 2008, and Bernie May Do the Same This Year
Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton is already dampening the enthusiasm of many of his delegates. Some have already announced that they will not attend the Convention at all and others may find a tougher time raising funds to make it to Philadelphia. Some speculate that this was part of the reason why Sanders was being pushed so hard to endorse Clinton before the Convention, so his delegates wouldn’t show up in large numbers.
When a candidate drops out of the race, his delegates become “uncommitted.” However, a candidate can also release their delegates and allow a presumptive nominee to win. Clinton did this in 2008, when she officially released her delegates during a speech at the Democratic National Convention, and asked for Barack Obama to be nominated by “acclamation.” Because of Bernie’s official endorsement of Clinton, this will likely happen at the DNC this year too.
Bernie’s Delegates May Not Want to Sacrifice to Attend the DNC Anymore
The problem for many of Sanders’ supporters is that they simply can’t afford to attend the Convention in Philadelphia without help. Staying in one of the Convention hotels can cost upwards of $500 a night, and delegates are strongly encouraged to stay at these locations so they can get their credentials at the beginning of every day and not miss out on any important meetings. The nightly cost, combined with food and airfare, can mean that a trip to the DNC may cost a delegate $3,000 to $5,000. Many delegates who were part of Sanders’ grassroots campaign aren’t wealthy and simply don’t have this type of money on hand. That’s why Sanders’ campaign has been collecting donations for them, and they have also been collecting donations on their own individual GoFundMe accounts.
But now that Sanders has endorsed Clinton, many of them may not want to go to the Convention at all anymore. Some are talking about returning the money that was donated to them and using the time they took off from work to go on a vacation instead.
A Reddit discussion on the topic revealed the mindset of some of Sanders’ strongest supporters.
One supporter wrote: “What’s the incentive to donate to get delegates there if the goal is to elect the one person people have been donating for a year in order to prevent her from being elected?”
Reddit user chimpaman wrote: “I was in the running for being a CA delegate until a job conflict prevented it. If I had gone through with it, made travel plans, gotten the money together, and he endorsed her prior to the convention, I would be…well, put out. I would also cancel my trip.”
And Redditor rrosai wrote: “It’d be easier to dig deep if he weren’t already talking capitulation to the enemy of the revolution he got us to believe in. Good thing the founding fathers didn’t adopt that tactic for their revolution when it looked like the British might win.”
Many of Bernie’s supporters would not believe he would endorse Clinton until it actually happened. They said talk about his endorsement was just “propaganda.” As one person on Reddit wrote, in response to a supporter saying there was no reason to fight any more: “Don’t you think that is the point of these unfounded rumors?” The rumors, however, ended up being true. Exactly what his delegates are going to do now remains to be seen, but it’s a pretty safe bet that many of them won’t be going to the Convention after all.