The Nevada State Democratic Party’s official convention, which allegedly resulted in Bernie Sanders supporters sending death threats to one official, provided the current presidential election with its most recent case of widespread animosity among voting members of the same political group. Considering rival Hillary Clinton’s win at the state’s caucus in February (and the frustration that resulted), the resulting confusion and anger with the system(s) of primaries and caucuses should come as no surprise. Hence why Last Week Tonight host John Oliver decided to dedicate his latest show’s deep dive segment to the convoluted manner by which Nevada and other states assign their allotted delegates to certain candidates.
Of course, it’s not just the Democrats who’ve faced issues with various states’ primaries and caucusing systems. After beginning with the ongoing fight between Clinton and Sanders supporters, Oliver points back to Donald Trump’s March win over his closest Republican rival, Ted Cruz in Louisiana. Despite amassing around 4 percent more of the popular vote, at the time Cruz stood a chance of gaining more delegates because of a quirk in Louisiana’s primary system. Trump openly complained about this at a subsequent rally, leading Oliver to conclude that “there is no clearer piece of evidence that our system is broken, no more thoroughly dead canary in the coal mine, than when Donald Trump is actually making sense.”
So what to do about it? After Nevada, many — especially the so-called “Bernie bros” whom Sanders himself has dubbed “disgusting” — are demanding that major and immediate changes be made to the current nomination process. This must happen now, they argue, because they assume the Independent Vermont senator is actually winning the popular vote. However, the Washington Post has determined that Clinton is actually beating Sanders by 2.9 million votes in the popular contest — a fact verified by Real Clear Politics and others news outlets.