March 16, 2016

After Tuesday night's losses, the Sanders campaign is readjusting their strategy to include a hard look at wooing superdelegates as a way to close the delegate gap between Hillary Clinton and himself.

According to POLITICO, the Sanders camp is concentrating on that strategy as a priority, along with aiming at Western states.

But Sanders campaign aides say they’ll be able to keep Clinton from reaching the 2,383 delegate magic number she’d need to clinch the nomination at the convention and, by being close enough, convince the superdelegates to switch, as some did when they changed from Clinton to Barack Obama in 2008.

“Absent Hillary getting out of the race, I think there’s no way that this race isn’t going to be very close in pledged delegates, even if we succeed,” Devine said. “The best outcome for us, given the nature of the system, is a very close advantage at the end."

Sanders’ superdelegate pitch will likely take the shape of both direct lobbying and a more formal pitch. Sanders’ campaign will argue that voter enthusiasm and holding to the populist principles of the party are on Sanders’ side. They’ll point to their massive, low-dollar online fundraising.

Superdelegates who’ve already endorsed Sanders say they’re already in touch with their uncommitted colleagues, with plans to step up that engagement.

As POLITICO notes, this places endorsing organization MoveOn in a bit of an awkward situation, since they are in the process of collecting signatures to do away with superdelegates altogether right now.

About that. First, more power to the Sanders campaign if they can woo some superdelegates away. And second, aren't they glad they've got that as a potential strategic aim, because otherwise the narrative would be a simple one in the press after Clinton opened a 300+ pledged delegate lead on him, right? They'd call the race. But superdelegates, combined with the remaining races, offer a strategy that the campaign is willing to follow, hoping for a narrow delegate lead at the end.

Second, if I were the Republican party, I'd seriously consider some kind of superdelegate system too, if for no other reason than to prevent a racist running a fascist campaign from swiping the nomination and hijacking the party. There's nothing nefarious about giving electeds and others who have spent years building up the party a say in who the nominee is.

At any rate, I'd expect to see less complaints about superdelegates going forward and more efforts to woo them from the Bernie camp.

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