Alan Grayson Puts Superdelegate Vote to Online Poll (Congratulations, Bernie Sanders)

Rep. Alan Grayson
Rep. Alan Grayson

If you've ventured into the comment section of any news article about the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in recent weeks, you've probably run into some angry banter about superdelegates. Well, Rep. Alan Grayson, ever attuned to the internet grassroots, decided to use the controversy to his Senate campaign's advantage by letting his superdelegate vote be decided by an online poll. 

“The whole system causes me concern, the idea that if all the super delegates line up behind one candidate, the other has to win by 59 to 41 in order to have a shot at the nomination; their candidate has to win by 18 points,” Grayson told BuzzFeed news. “So that’s intrinsically undemocratic.”

You can vote here if you're so inclined. 

In case you need a brush up on what exactly is going on here: The Democratic National Convention (DNC) gives a vote in its presidential nomination decision to every sitting Democratic governor, senator, congressperson, and elected member of the DNC. Twenty "distinguished party leaders" are also given votes. They're free to vote for whomever they like, in theory. Together, they account for 712 of the 4,763 delegates. The rest are being decided by these primaries and caucuses you might have heard about. 

The superdelegates don't actually cast their votes until the convention. Back in November, however, the Associated Press tried to call up as many superdelegates as possible to find out whom they're supporting. The vast majority are on Team Hillary. No surprise, really. However, those delegates are free to change their mind without consequence. In 2008, several superdelegates started out as Team Hillary but switched to Team Obama when he won the popular vote in primaries and caucuses. 

Several of Bernie Sanders' rabid internet supporters sure are pissed about the situation. Here's a Sanders supporter's explanation of why they shouldn't be.  The biggest reason: Several of these superdelegates are elected politicians. If they handed the nomination to Clinton despite Sanders winning a clear victory in the primaries and caucuses, they'd risk finding themselves the target of primary challengers. 

Anyway, Grayson is aware of the controversy and is using it to his advantage. It's both a completely stupid and completely smart idea. 

Grayson is stuck in an odd place between Hillary and Bernie, which we've discussed before. Most notable, however, he's running in Florida's Senate primary against a moderate handpicked by the Democratic establishment, and party leaders really want to see him drop out

Of course, if Grayson wanted to choose how to cast his superdelegate vote in a completely democratic way, he has a few other options:

  • Vote for whoever wins in the Democratic Primary in his congressional district. 
  • Vote for whoever wins Florida. 
  • Vote for whoever wins the national popular vote. 

Instead, he's choosing the suspect method of internet vote. This has one main advantage, though: In order to vote, you have to sign up with an email address, which Grayson will then use to send you all sorts of campaign promos. 

This is a total baiting of Sanders supporters: They love online polls! Plus, they're superconcerned about superdelegates. Bernie will undoubtedly win this internet poll, and then Grayson will have tons of voters' email addresses. 

Perhaps it's not much of a controversy, though. It would be unlikely that any Sanders supporters would look at Grayson's record and that of his primary opponent, Rep. Patrick Murphy, and decide to support the ultramoderate Murphy anyway. 

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