Based on an anonymous “survey” of uncommitted superdelegates, the Associated Press decided to conveniently call the Democratic race for Hillary Clinton on the night before six major primaries (CA, NJ, NM, SD, ND, and MT) with almost 700 pledged delegates left to award.
The mainstream media and the Clinton camp have often regurgitated similar talking points, but the coordination on this one is evident—minutes after the AP made its announcement, Clinton sent out an email with an image of the AP tweet, failing to realize it was titled “secret win” and dated two days earlier (June 4).
The images in this Clinton email are labeled "secret win." pic.twitter.com/YR4uCdQTZv— Christina Bellantoni (@cbellantoni) June 7, 2016
Likely due to uncomfortably close polling numbers (Clinton and Sanders have been in virtual dead heats in multiple California polls) and to prevent the embarrassment of losing the largest state, Clinton seems to have pulled a few strings to declare early victory and depress turnout for California, New Jersey, and other states.
It appears to have worked: Many CA voters on social media are expressing there is “no point” in voting now that Clinton has apparently clinched the nomination.
It’s baffling that the AP, which has been meticulous in its delegate counts, has suddenly turned to speculation rather than facts.
The AP is the same source that refused to include all of Bernie Sanders’s Washington delegates in the official tally until the district conventions that occurred a month after its caucus. Yet due to an anonymous survey, it has taken the initiative to confirm Clinton as the Democratic nominee.
Superdelegates do not officially vote until the Democratic convention in July, so it is wholly irresponsible for the AP and other media outlets to continuously project their votes along with the pledged delegate counts. This has been an issue throughout the entire primary season, but at least these superdelegates had publicly committed to a candidate.
In this recent “survey,” the superdelegates that allegedly support Clinton have not even publicly come forward and have been granted protection for their anonymity, which is ludicrous.
As VICE columnist Michael Tracey noted on Twitter, “Super delegates aren't transmitting national security info. They're declaring a candidate preference. Granting them anonymity is insane. @AP”
Super delegates aren't transmitting national security info. They're declaring a candidate preference. Granting them anonymity is insane. @AP— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 7, 2016
If this were simply one instance in a primary season of fair and balanced media coverage, it would be excusable. However, it’s been clear that mainstream media journalists have been in the bag for Clinton since the day she announced her campaign and attempted to bolster her candidacy at every turn while dismissing Sanders.
This is the most blatant of these attempts.
The Intercept accurately titled their analysis of this, “Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media,” and summed the situation up thusly:
“This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization — incredibly — conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislike.”
The AP’s call last night truly does encompass the egregious way the media has handled this election season—and does nothing to inspire confidence for the future.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Gage Skidmore