Bernie Sanders has a lot to say about how the Democratic primary system has been unfair to his presidential campaign, in his opinion. Comedian John Oliver says Hillary Clinton is still winning the nomination fair and square, but that the Vermont senator has a point.
Oliver took a closer look at the presidential nomination system on Sunday's episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight." The host of the news/satire show concluded that while there has not been any evidence to suggest that the Clinton campaign is stealing the nomination from Sanders, as many of his supporters have suggested, party leaders should probably take a second look at how they choose their nominees.
Oliver broke down many of the strange idiosyncrasies of the primary system, including caucuses, which make it difficult for many people who do not have transportation or the free time for the lengthy voting process to participate, confusing rules for how delegates are allotted and, of course, the Democratic Party's superdelegates.
"[Superdelegates] are only required to reflect their state’s choice in the first round of convention voting — after that, they become unbound delegates and can vote for whomever they want," Oliver explained.
Naturally, that frustrates many voters who want to believe they have a say in the process, but Oliver played a clip of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz claiming that the superdelegates would never override the voters' choice.
"If they are not going to make a difference, why go through the trouble of having them at all?" Oliver asked. "You are basically keeping rat poison in a jar next to the sugar saying, 'Hey, it hasn't been a problem yet.' That may be technically true, but is this really the best system you could come up with?"
While superdelegates apply only to the Democrats, Oliver says the system is problematic on both sides. The comedian played a clip of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump after the primary in Louisiana complaining that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz might come away with more delegates despite losing to him in the state's popular vote.
"The thing is, I get why he’s annoyed, and 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," joked Oliver. "When you see results like that, the process does feel counterintuitive."
Tension over the fairness of the primary system has ratcheted up in the wake of the Nevada Democratic Party’s convention a week ago, where frustrated Sanders supporters were accused of throwing chairs and personally threatening state party Chairwoman Roberta Lange over what they viewed as corrupt delegate allotment.