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First Wisconsin superdelegate sides with Sanders

Posted at 2:32 PM, Apr 07, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Democratic superdelegate in Wisconsin has decided to endorse Bernie Sanders, who defeated Hillary Clinton in the state's primary earlier this week.

"I want to make sure that their voices are heard, and currently there are no superdelegates supporting Senator Sanders and I'm glad to be the first one," said State Rep. David Bowen.

Superdelegates are elite Democrats who can support anyone they want when it comes time to pick a nominee at the convention. 

"A superdelegate is someone who gets to go to the national convention to vote on who the nominee should be," explained Mordecai Lee, UW-Milwaukee Professor.

Wisconsin has 10 superdelegates.  Three haven't said who they'll choose.  Six committed to Clinton.  Bowen is the only superdelegate supporting Sanders so far. 

"I think this is really significant because up to now, notwithstanding all those primary results and all those caucus results, very few superdelegates said that they were going to support Sanders," said Lee.

Sanders' 13-point win over Clinton on Tuesday in Wisconsin netted him 10 more delegates than her. But she could have tied him in delegates if all 10 super delegates went her way.   Now with Bowen's decision, Sanders is guaranteed to have at least a two-delegate advantage in Wisconsin

"I'm excited about the many Wisconsin democrats that made their voices heard and i want them to know that their leadership is listening," said Bowen.

Superdelegates came about after the 1968 election.  This is when Hubert Humphrey was named the democratic nominee without even winning a single primary.