The Story about Democratic Convention Pledged Delegates that Nobody Talks About
Bernie Sanders remains behind Hillary Clinton in the number of pledged delegates he has amassed over the course of just under two and a half months of primaries and caucuses. But her advantage in pledged delegates has fallen over the last month and a half from a high point of well over 300 to a current 213. (His actual gap may even be below 200 now, because or a miscount belatedly acknowledged by the Colorado Democratic Party there, and because while Washington state's delegates have not yet all been allocated following the initial caucus, it is clear that the majority of unallocated ones will end up going to Sanders based on the initial caucus results.)
And that's with 1646 pledged delegates yet to be chosen in future primaries and caucuses, a process which will begin this coming Tuesday in New York (247 pledged delegates on the line) and end on June 7 (when a total of 714 pledged delegates will be up for grabs in six states and the District of Columbia).
As Sanders' campaign has repeatedly said, he has a reasonable chance of closing that gap and winning a majority of the pledged delegates.
Many critics -- including people who aren't even Sanders' supporters -- have denounced the devious and biased way major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and most of the major television networks, have followed the Clinton campaign's lead in including so-called Superdelegates in the totals (Clinton has over 400 of these unelected delegates, whose positions are allocated to the various states and other primary jurisdictions, and who are mostly elected officials, party officials and lobbyists supportive of the Democratic Party leadership, and Sanders has just 38). This distorted count has been used for months now to insist, falsely, that Clinton "has a lock" on the nomination. But this has always been deceptive counting, because those delegates, while claimed by Clinton and to a far lesser lesser extent Sanders, are not pledged at all but are free to change their minds.
They might, for instance, do that if they felt that Clinton was unelectable (a not unreasonable assumption, particularly if between now and the July convention she were to be indicted by the US Justice Department for violating federal law in keeping her emails as Secretary of State on a private hackable server).
But the big issue not discussed at all is that all of Clinton's margin of pledged delegates were picked up by her in a string of early primaries in the deep South states, just as planned in "reforms" of the primary process made by the neo-liberal DNC leadership in the years following the near success of insurgent peace candidate Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and the successful nomination of insurgent anti-war candidate Sen. George McGovern four years later in 1972. McGovern's successful march through the primaries terrified establishment Democrats, and so, by the 1990s, Super Tuesday in the South had been established, followed by a move of several other southern states including Texas to earlier dates. The idea was that the more conservative southern Democrats would not support any radical candidates outside of the mainstream, and that by killing such candidacies off early in the South, they would end up starved of funding and would see their campaigns wither away.