SEATTLE -- After the big win for Bernie Sanders in Washington's Democratic Caucus last Saturday, there is a growing movement to persuade the state’s superdelegates, who have a vote at the party convention, to back the Vermont senator.
Right now, most of Washington's superdelegates have pledged their support to Hillary Clinton.
So, how is it that Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly won Saturday’s caucuses, but doesn’t get an overwhelming number of superdelegates? That’s the question that a lot of frustrated Sanders supporters are now asking.
In fact, former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who caucused for Sanders this weekend, says it’s time to consider getting rid of superdelegates altogether.
“The strength of the Democratic Party is the grass-roots,” McGinn said. “It shouldn’t be the powerful and the insiders.”
McGinn, who served as mayor from 2010-2014, said the current system is corrosive to democracy .
“We see the superdelegates, you know, tamping down on all that enthusiasm by saying essentially they know better than the people of the state of Washington,” he said.
Washington state has 118 Democratic delegates, of which 110 are “pledged” to vote according to the results of last Saturday’s caucuses. The remaining 17 superdelegates are free to support whomever they want.
The superdelegates include Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, members of the state’s congressional delegation and party leaders. In all, 10 superdelegates have pledged their support for Clinton.
Sanders supporters are urging those delegates to rethink their support, given how strongly Sanders did during Saturday's caucuses, where Sanders won 73% of the vote to Clinton's 27%.