Sanders Campaign Gains Unlikely Ally Over Fight for New Hampshire Superdelegates: ‘How Is This Possible?’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Democratic presidential campaign has gained an unlikely ally in the controversy over superdelegates in New Hampshire — the state Republican Party.

Despite Sanders’ resounding win in the New Hampshire primary, the majority of the state’s superdelegates — elected party officials and members of the Democratic National Committee — have flocked en masse to Clinton as they are not bound by voting results.

On Monday, the New Hampshire GOP circulated an online petition that demanded the state’s superdelegates “listen to their constituents” and support the primary winner.

CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) addresses supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the first-in-the-nation primary. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters in Concord, New Hampshire, after winning the state’s Democratic primary Feb. 9. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“How is this possible?” the petition states. “Because Democrats have set up an undemocratic system that allows party elites called ‘superdelegates’ to single-handedly cancel out the votes of thousands of grassroots activists.” 

“Even though we vehemently disagree with Senator Sanders on his radical socialist agenda, we stand with his supporters who want their voices to be heard,” the petition says.

Melissa Miller, a spokeswoman for New Hampshire’s Democratic Party, slammed the petition as a “stunt.” 

“This NHGOP stunt reeks of desperation,” Miller said in a statement to WMUR-TV. “They’re clearly trying to do whatever they can to distract from the constitutional crisis that our nation has been plunged into thanks to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and [New Hampshire Sen.] Kelly Ayotte’s obstructionism on the Supreme Court nomination process.”

“New Hampshire Democrats have a long tradition of unifying behind our nominees, and we look forward to doing so and trouncing the party of [Donald] Trump up and down the ballot in November,” she continued.

Sanders won the primary vote 60 percent to 38 percent, but it appears that both candidates will receive 15 delegates each. As WMUR reported, the Democratic Party will send 32 delegates to the convention, and Sanders would have 15 delegates compared to Clinton’s nine. Yet six of New Hampshire’s eight superdelegates have already pledged their support to Clinton, which brings the total of delegates to 15 each.

The Republican Party has a different system for sending delegates to its convention which is based on the proportion of votes GOP candidates rack in during the primary. As a result of his win in New Hampshire, Trump won 10 delegates compared to the four assigned to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and three each for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.