By Carlos Galarza-Veve
SENECA — In any other election cycle not overshadowed by one Donald J. Trump, the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would likely be deemed one for the ages.
Following Clinton’s march through the deep South, where she clobbered Sanders state after state to build what looked at the time to be an insurmountable lead, the self-avowed democratic socialist is inching closer and closer, as in the old tale between the tortoise and the hare.
News outlets, and the general public, tired and fatigued by the endless infighting going on in the GOP that’s been centered around pro- and “anyone but” Trump forces, are beginning to take notice of the epic battle going on in the other major party.
The narrowing of Clinton’s once-huge lead over Sanders has caught the attention of Linda Holt, a leader in the Oconee Democratic Party who personally prefers Clinton over Sanders.
Holt agrees with many who are now saying there is a real possibility that Democrats will arrive to the party’s national convention in Philadelphia July 25 with both Clinton and Sanders shy of the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Presently, the race for pledged delegates shows Clinton with 1,280 to Sanders’ 1,030. However, when so-called superdelegates are added to the mix, Clinton adds 469 delegates to her total, while Sanders’ total increases by just 31 delegates.
Superdelegates are the endorsements of elected officials and party leaders, who overwhelmingly moved toward Clinton’s camp before a vote was cast in a primary or caucus.
Holt said that even if the race for the nomination is decided in a contested convention, she’s confident the party will rally behind the eventual winner.
“If Bernie Sanders is our nominee, I will certainly support him,” she said.
By the same token, Holt said she had no doubt that Sanders and his followers will support Clinton if she emerges victorious in a contested convention.
Ken Marsh, who like Holt is on the executive committee of the Oconee Democratic Party, prefers to see Sanders in the White House because of his passion to take money out of politics and proposal for a
single-payer health system such as Medicare, which would bring the United States on par with every other major industrialized nation.
“I really don’t have a strong opinion concerning whether or not Hillary will gain sufficient delegates
before the convention or not, but I believe that the Democrats will have a dynamic candidate either way,” Marsh said.