How The Mainstream Media continues to incorrectly portray Clinton’s nonexistent lead over Sanders.
To be clear: there is not yet a clear front runner for the Democratic nomination. The mainstream media, however, is presently portraying Clinton as having a vast lead over Sanders in delegate votes. At the moment, the elected delegate votes read 51–51; it’s a tie. The important distinction is that those votes are of elected delegates, not superdelegates. Mainstream, corporate media insists on including superdelegate votes in their totals, however, as these show Clinton with a large 496–69 lead over Sanders.
The problem with including those votes, is that as of right now they do not matter. Superdelegate votes do not count, until they are cast at the Democratic National Convention which is the week of July 25th 2016 more than 5 months away. Superdelegate votes are fluid, as they are not bound to any candidate. They can, and have famously switched their votes, more recently happening in 2008 in Clinton vs. Obama.
Back in early 2008, Clinton held an early lead in the superdelegate count, while Obama was winning more primaries. As of this election cycle there have only been three primaries thus far. A near .03% tie in Iowa, a Sander’s win of 20 plus points over Clinton in New Hampshire, and a Clinton win of around 4–4.5% in Nevada. At this point in time in ’08, Clinton’s lead in superdelegates over Obama was not as large as it is currently over Sanders. But, what happened in 2008 was that as Obama continued to defeat Hillary and earn the popular vote the superdelegates switched, and Clinton ended her campaign on June 7th 2008
The point being, the media’s continued inaccurate portrayal, in an effect to preserve the horse race for the election, is unethical at best and journalistic malpractice at worst. It creates that illusion of a nonexistent lead, which can be manipulative, and result in confusion in under informed voters. Creating the narrative of the inevitable Clinton nomination, and a Sanders defeat when at this time there is nothing to indicate either candidate is winning, or losing. Polls show that is Sanders catching up to Hillary, but with Clinton still having a slight lead. The race is extremely close and superdelegates essentially mean nothing until we get closer to the DNC. Super Tuesday, and after is when it will become clearer as to whom the nomination will go to, and at this point it could go either way. A recent comment by Nate Silver at FiveThiryEight stated that “It’s a possibility that Sander will win every state caucus from here on out.”
In the same way that Cruz’s actions of sending out fake mailed to shame people into voting in Iowa, or Albright’s comments on how women would deserve a “special place in hell” for not voting for Clinton. The actions of the media of displaying the superdelegate votes as if they are final does nothing more that cause dissuade voters, and becoming disheartening and confuse those unfamiliar with the election process.