Chris Matthews sat down with Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, and confirmed that MSNBC and several other media networks intend to call the Democratic primary race for Hillary Clinton before polls close in California on June 7.
Matthews said that the plan is to call the race at 8 p.m. Eastern time, three hours before the polls close in California on the West Coast.
Weaver argues passionately that the superdelegates totals should not be included in the reporting that night, as superdelegates do not vote until the convention. Until that time, he states that the numbers are essentially only a “poll,” and do not reflect an official tally that should be reported by the media.
Weaver also expressed dismay at the prospect that this might affect the voters of California, who should be given a chance to voice themselves without being discounted.
The media has had a history of misreporting superdelegate totals throughout this primary race. Even after public statements from Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that the superdelegate totals should not be included in articles and press releases, numerous articles still included misleading information for months, without separating pledged and unpledged delegates in their totals.
Even today, MSNBC continues to report delegate totals that include superdelegates.
Importantly, research has proven that polls and forecasts can actually influence voters’ choices through the “bandwagon effect,” which suggests people will back the choice or candidate they think is mostly likely to win.
Recently, some Democratic figures and Clinton surrogates have urged Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race, arguing that his continuing campaign only hurts Clinton’s bid against Donald Trump. However, Bernie Sanders insists that his voters’ concerns must be heard and intends to carry those issues to the national convention in Philadelphia and argue for his candidacy to the superdelegates before the final vote.