At least one Democratic superdelegate isn’t afraid to thwart the will of the people.
Patrick Leahy, Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator, is planning to use his superdelegate vote at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to support Hillary Clinton, regardless of who voters from his state pick in the primary.
As of right now, Leahy would be solidly in the minority of Vermont voters. According to the latest polling results from ISideWith.com, Bernie Sanders has 60 percent support with over 11,000 votes cast for both Democratic and Republican candidates. Donald Trump comes in a distant second with 11 percent support, and Hillary Clinton comes in behind Trump with a mere 10 percent of the vote.
“You know, the Leahys have been in Vermont since the 1800s,” Leahy told Vermont Public Radio. “One of the touchstones of our family – I learned it from my grandparents, I learned it from my parents, and I’ve tried to teach my children – is you keep your word. Long before Sen. Sanders ever said he was going to run, I urged then-Secretary Clinton to run and told her I’d support her.”
Leahy was quick to add that if Sanders was the nominee, he would “happily” campaign for him for the general election.
The Democratic primary process is unique in that in addition to state delegates selected as a result of the popular vote in each state’s primary, 712 superdelegates get to go straight to the convention and vote for whomever they choose, even if the rest of their state’s delegates vote for another candidate. Superdelegates are usually Democratic party elites, like governors, U.S. Senators, prominent state legislators, and state party bosses. The Intercept‘s Lee Fang recently exposed how many of the superdelegates supporting Hillary Clinton are corporate lobbyists who are paid by private prison corporations, private health insurers opposed to the Affordable Care Act, and even Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp: