It’s the headline on every newspaper and website around the country: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won a resounding victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in yesterday’s New Hampshire Democratic primary.
But there’s another story the media has been much slower to pick up on.
Because despite his 22-point victory, Sanders didn’t walk away with the most New Hampshire delegates.
Clinton did. And party insiders have been secretly working for months to rig the delegate count in Clinton’s favor, no matter what the voters of New Hampshire decided.
Voters handed Sanders a blowout win yesterday. He received 60 percent of the votes, compared to 38 percent for Clinton.
But that only assured Sanders a majority of New Hampshire’s pledged delegates, 13 to Clinton’s 9.
But he still came up two short in the total count, because six New Hampshire superdelegates — party insiders from each state who can support any candidate of their choice — pledged their loyalty to Clinton.
In other words, despite losing by 22 points in votes, Clinton still managed to win the total delegate count in New Hampshire, 15-13. And it’s these delegates who decide who the Democratic presidential nominee will be, not majority vote.
This story isn’t limited to the Granite State either. All across the country, Clinton holds a massive lead in the overall delegate count due to the overwhelming support from these Democratic superdelegates.
Before a single voter had showed up at a caucus or a booth, Clinton had amassed 392 delegates to her side.
The magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,382. So with this guaranteed insider support, the Clinton campaign’s tie in Iowa and crushing defeat in New Hampshire matter little — she’s still at 431 total delegates, 18% of the way to the party nomination and over eight times Sanders’ delegate count.
Ironically, exit polling in New Hampshire showed that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won the support of about 9 in 10 voters who thought honesty was important.
Should Clinton continue to have her way, such opinions — and the votes that they sway — may not matter much at all.
Thanks to years of insider work, Clinton is set to repeat her quiet New Hampshire victory again and again in 2016.