By Ben Kamisar
Clinton likely to leave NH with same number of delegates as Sanders
Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate Trump losing cash race in final weeks Report: Biden on top of Clinton's short list for secretary of State MORE is expected to leave New Hampshire with just as many delegates as Bernie SandersBernie SandersPicking longtime fixer as chief of staff proves Clinton hasn't changed The Trail 2016: Wikissues Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress MORE, even after he crushed her in Tuesday’s presidential primary.
Sanders won 15 delegates with his 20-point victory Tuesday while Clinton won nine.
But Clinton came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.
Superdelegate support is fluid, though, so some of those delegates now backing Clinton could switch to Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in late July.
But as it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.
Mark Paustenbach, the Democratic National Committee's national press secretary, on Wednesday emphasized that Sanders' win secured him the majority of the state's pledged delegates and that the superdelegate totals are unrelated to that victory.
"Let's be clear, the only delegates at stake on Tuesday in New Hampshire's First in the Nation primaries were 24 pledged delegates," he said in a statement.
Those results also include eight delegates who will be selected at the state's caucus in April. While the alignment of those eight delegates is not final and could change, news organizations extrapolated the final breakdown in line with Tuesday's results.
The Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure about 360 superdelegates across the country, according to The Associated Press. Sanders has a total of eight superdelegates.
A candidate will need about 2,200 delegates total to secure the nomination.
Two of New Hampshire’s eight superdelegates are uncommitted: state party chairman Ray Buckley and state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, according to the AP.
Buckley was barred from picking a side until after the primary, and Fuller Clark told The Hill that she remains uncommitted.
“I wanted to ensure that we had a very open and fair process in New Hampshire, and I don't t believe as an elected officer of the party that I should be choosing between two very fine Democrats who are running for office,” she said.
“For the time being, I continue to hold that position and will wait until closer to the convention to decide.”
Clinton's superdelegate supporters includes Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenFive takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs Obama signs 'bill of rights' for rape survivors into law MORE, and Rep. Annie Kuster.
She's also backed by Democratic National Committee members Joanne Dodwell, Billy Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan.
- Updated at 9:50 p.m.