Report: The rigging of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.


by Dem Detective

[November, 2017]

It has been a long debate over whether the 2016 Democratic primary was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton. Too long. Supporters of Bernie Sanders sounded the alarm through the primaries, but never held a clear “proof.” However, evidence has continued to pile up that the primary was indeed, rigged. In this report, I will discuss what is meant by “rigged,” and I will review the evidence that the primary was rigged.

Let’s decide what we mean by “rigged.” If by “rigged” we mean that the primary election was impossible for Bernie Sanders to win, then the primary was probably not rigged in this way. Even if there were a way to control the final vote counts, it would be very difficult to secure a primary election for one candidate in this way — to rely on it — and get away with it. If there was such overwhelming support for Bernie Sanders that he had a clear and away majority of support — let’s say, 75% of Democrats during the primary season — he would have won the primary election, even despite all the evidence of “rigging” that is examined ahead.

That is not what is meant by “rigged.” The DNC, media, or whomever, did not have to make it literally impossible for Bernie Sanders to win. All they had to do was make the primary overwhelmingly difficult for Sanders, and the obstacles virtually insurmountable.

What Sanders supporters mean when they say the primary was “rigged” is that the candidate who was ultimately chosen in the primaries — Hillary Clinton — did not necessarily represent the will of the American people. What is meant by “rigged” is that the primary was purposely made unfair and undemocratic — and in a truly fair and democratic process, Bernie Sanders would have won the primary, or at least he would have had a much better shot.

The DNC did not necessarily have to break any laws to make the primary election unfair and undemocratic. (Although it seems they often skirted the line.) Nor did the media have to act criminally. The DNC could structure the system itself so that it was heavily biased to one candidate over the other. The media, as well, could be much more favorable to one candidate than the other. And this was nefarious precisely because both the DNC and the media gave the public an impression of fairness and impartiality.

The DNC “impartiality clause” states that the DNC is supposed to be even-handed in the primary election. The voters are thus given the impression that Democratic candidates for president are given equal chances to get out their message — so that the voters can make a truly informed decision. This is what a “democratic” process is supposed to look like. It is what a fair process would look like.

The media also gives the impression that it is “honest,” “fair,” “unbiased,” “factual,” and simply, “the news.” It is thus dishonest, at best, for the media to claim they are covering the primary election fairly — when in fact, they are not. And there is plenty of evidence that they did not.

The question is not “if” the 2016 Democratic presidential primary was rigged. If it wasn’t totally clear before, it is clear by now that the process was unfair and undemocratic. The question, rather, is what “rigged” means — and then, to what extent the process was rigged.

This report will address these questions.


Before moving on to the evidence of the “rigged” primary election, we must examine some assertions from the camp who still defends the actions of Hillary Clinton and the DNC in 2016. When approached with the possibility that the Democratic presidential primary was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton, the defense will invoke one of several responses. The first is simply that this is not the case: The primaries were fair and democratic.  (This will be addressed through the rest of the report, concluding that it is incorrect.)

The second defense is to concede that the DNC, the Democratic Party “establishment,” and even the media were in favor of Hillary Clinton — but that is fine, and to be expected. Hillary Clinton spent decades “paying her dues,” “building the party,” and “making connections” with insiders.

The problem with this argument is that it is not a defense of fair, democratic elections. It is, instead, a defense of political dynasty, and the dysfunctional U.S. two-party system. It is an admission that the election process should favor Hillary Clinton — because for whatever reasons, she “deserves” a structural advantage in elections. It amounts to an argument that democratic elections (with a small d) are not truly necessary, if only you first make nice with the existing anti-democratic forces in U.S. politics and culture.

We can safely discard these sort of arguments, because they do not disprove that the primary was rigged. They are a defense of rigging itself.

Another related defense of the Hillary team’s actions is that “Bernie wasn’t a Democrat.” First of all, yes he was — he registered as a Democrat to run for president — because, as we all know, the American political system (especially at the federal level) is strongly biased against third parties and independent candidates. So, to have an actual shot at being president, Bernie Sanders had no choice but to register as a Democrat.

If the defense becomes that Bernie Sanders was not a Democrat before the primary — and changed back to Independent status after the presidential primary — that still does not justify unfair and undemocratic primary elections. It is well-known that Bernie Sanders caucused with the Democrats previously in Congress, and has sided with them on most legislation (and pushed them in the right direction on much more) — since, as only one man in Congress, he’s had to compromise. And even if this weren’t the case, the “Bernie isn’t a real Democrat” defense is, once again, not a defense against the assertion that the primary elections were rigged. It is not a defense of democracy, either, or letting the voters choose who they wish to be president. It is saying that Bernie Sanders should have used a certain letter by his name, for a decade (or whatever), in order to be viable as a candidate for president.

To this defense, we would simply have to say “get over it.” Politicians should, first and foremost, represent the voters and the country — not just show loyalty to one of two existing political parties. The American people should have a chance to elect who they wish to elect.

In other words, if the DNC, the Democratic Party, and the media bolstered Hillary Clinton simply because she had more time “as a Democrat,” that is a problem with our system, not Bernie Sanders. And Sanders supporters may still be correct in their assertion of election “rigging.”

Another defense is simply that “Hillary Clinton won the election by 4 million votes.” Also, it is implied that this is a lot of votes, and that since a few people (even in Sanders’ camp) said the primary was not “rigged,” that must make it so.

The population of the United States of America is 323 million people. Considering this, winning a presidential nomination by 4 million votes is not a lot. But that’s not the point. If the election was indeed unfair and undemocratic, that means the votes reflected an unfair and undemocratic vote count. In other words: Hillary Clinton “got more votes,” but the question being asked is not “who got more votes.” When it’s claimed that the primary was “rigged,” it is a questioning of how someone got those votes. It is asking whether or not the process leading to those votes was actually fair and democratic.

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Finally — some will say, or imply, that since “The Russians” hacked the DNC and Podesta emails (with no proof of this), then the information in those emails is invalid.

The source of the leak, though, does not void what was in the leaks. If the emails were valid — and they were — the “corruption” and “rigging” that can be found in the content of those emails are real evidence of corruption and rigging.

Now, let us turn to the evidence and see if the election was actually unfair and undemocratic — and in what ways, and by how much.


The Democratic primary election of 2016 was unfair and undemocratic in multiple ways. Not everything will be addressed in this report, but there is a lot of material to present. The most general and obvious points about election “rigging,” revealed over the past year or two, are probably covered in this report.

    1.  Debate schedule favoring Hillary Clinton.
    2.  Primary voting schedule favoring Hillary Clinton.
    3.  Voter registration rules favoring Hillary Clinton.
    4.  Closing of polling stations favoring Hillary Clinton.
    5.  Purging of voter rolls favoring Hillary Clinton.
    6.  DNC fundraising and spending favoring Hillary Clinton.
    7.  DNC collusion with media favoring Hillary Clinton.
    8.  DNC structures (most notably, “superdelegates”) favoring Hillary Clinton.
    9.  Exit polling discrepancies favoring Hillary Clinton.
    10. Finally, admissions of rigging by DNC lawyers, public officials, and former Clinton staffers.

>> Chapter 1: Debate schedule


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