Primaries, Delegates And The Popular Will

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Is the 2016 presidential primary process fair? We’ll look at the scramble for delegates and the road ahead. Plus: We'll talk about voting rights protesters who staged sit-ins at the Capitol.

As the presidential primaries wind to an end, candidates vie for delegates. (Toby Brusseau/AP)
As the presidential primaries wind to an end, candidates vie for delegates. (Toby Brusseau/AP)

The 2016 primary season has been a scene like no other. Now combatants in the thick of it are going after the process itself. Never mind the popular votes. The big scramble right now is over delegates and whatever it takes to lobby them, lock them up. Donald Trump says the GOP system is rigged. Phony. Bernie Sanders supporters are all over Democratic super delegates, trying to pry them away from Hillary Clinton. Up next On Point: Primaries, delegates, and the popular will.
-Tom Ashbrook


Kyle Cheney, politics reporter for Politico. (@kyledcheney)

Lara Brown, program director at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. (@LaraMBrownPhD)

From Tom's Reading List

New York Times: As Campaigns Seek Delegates, Ordinary Voters Feel Sidelined — "For decades, both major parties have used a somewhat convoluted process for picking their nominees, one that involves ordinary voters in only an indirect way. As Americans flock this year to outsider candidates, the kind most hindered by these rules, they are suddenly waking up to this reality. And their confusion and anger are adding another volatile element to an election being waged over questions of fairness and equality."

Politico: Trump has more than math to worry about in Cleveland — 'If Trump continues to lose local delegate fights at a rapid clip, he’ll be walking into a convention arena stacked with hostile delegates working to deny him the nomination. And those delegates can work arcane procedures and rules in ways large and small to impede his path."

The Christian Science Monitor: Is Trump coming too late to the delegate game? — "Donald Trump has spent much of the 2016 campaign complaining he’s being treated 'unfairly.' The Republican National Committee hasn’t handled him with respect, he says. The other GOP candidates, and their establishment backers, are ganging up on him. The news media, starting with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, ask unfair questions and write unfair stories. Now Mr. Trump’s steady patter of complaint has turned to rage, after his top competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, swept all 34 delegates at stake last weekend at Colorado’s state Republican convention – a forum in which the voters themselves had no direct input."


The Washington Post: No matter how you measure it, Bernie Sanders isn't winning the Democratic primary — "It is not true that Sanders is having trouble catching Clinton 'because of her overwhelming lead with "superdelegates." ' He is having trouble catching her because he trails her badly with pledged delegates (as on that sign at Clinton headquarters), and the states he keeps winning are smaller states with fewer delegates given out."

Voting Rights Protesters Stage Sit-Ins At Capitol

Kai Newkirk, campaign director of Democracy Spring, which organized a sit-in on Sunday where more than 400 people were arrested. (@kai_newkirk)

CNN: Hundreds of 'Democracy Spring' protesters arrested at Capitol Hill sit-in — "More than 400 protesters staging a sit-in against the influence of money in politics and congressional inaction to reverse it were arrested on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Monday, the first day of what is expected to be a week-long series of demonstrations."

This program aired on April 13, 2016.


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