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Thu Jul 12, 2018, 03:28 AM

Democrats Take Major Step to Reduce Role of Superdelegates

Source: New York Times

Democratic Party officials took a major step Wednesday toward sharply reducing the role and influence of powerful political insiders in the presidential nominating process, a change sought by Senator Bernie Sanders and many other liberals after the 2016 campaign.

These insiders, called superdelegates, who are free to back any candidate regardless of how the public votes, would no longer be allowed to vote during the first ballot of the presidential nominating process at the party’s convention in most circumstances. Superdelegates would only be able to vote in extraordinary cases such as contested conventions, where the nomination process is extended through multiple ballots until one candidate prevails. They would still have a significant voice in other party debates outside of presidential nominations.

“This is a compromise that reduces that influence of superdelegates by taking them out of a first-ballot vote. Therefore, the activists that have been concerned that superdelegates will overturn the will of the voters should feel good about this,” said Elaine Kamarck, an influential member of the Democratic National Committee and its rules committee since 1997.

The party’s rules committee officially adopted the language Wednesday in advance of a final vote during the Democrats’ summer convention next month in Chicago. Members of the D.N.C. are now hoping the measure will move forward in August without fanfare, therefore settling the matter before November’s all-important midterm elections and well before the 2020 presidential campaign season.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/us/politics/superdelegates-democratic-party.html

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats Take Major Step to Reduce Role of Superdelegates (Original post)
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 OP
LisaM Jul 2018 #1
murielm99 Jul 2018 #2
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 #3
LisaM Jul 2018 #4
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 #5
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 #6
LisaM Jul 2018 #8
metalbot Jul 2018 #19
The Mouth Jul 2018 #20
Fiendish Thingy Jul 2018 #23
StevieM Jul 2018 #25
George II Jul 2018 #10
4bucksagallon Jul 2018 #7
whathehell Jul 2018 #9
shanny Jul 2018 #11
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 #15
shanny Jul 2018 #16
bucolic_frolic Jul 2018 #12
leftofcool Jul 2018 #13
Voltaire2 Jul 2018 #14
leftofcool Jul 2018 #17
demmiblue Jul 2018 #18
sinkingfeeling Jul 2018 #21
rollin74 Jul 2018 #22
scipan Jul 2018 #24

Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 03:57 AM

1. Ugh.

What an unnecessary distraction, not to mention a slap in the face to long-term party loyalists and dedicated public servants.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 03:58 AM

2. Correct.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 03:59 AM

3. It is a long overdue reform.

The process of selecting candidates should be democratic and not elitist.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:03 AM

4. Super delegates have never selected a candidate.

I think they are an important element, though - a safety net, too - and the people who most resent them aren't necessarily in the party anyway.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:08 AM

5. Oddly this rule change appears to have broad support

within the party and is going to be adopted without any real controversy within the party.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:15 AM

6. Oh and they more or less did select Mondale.

He didn’t have a majority without them. Didn’t work out too well.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:40 AM

8. That's not exactly true..

And it had become impossible to nominate Gary Hart.

https://www.nytimes.com/1984/05/26/us/party-s-rules-give-mondale-edge-as-super-delegates-are-chosen.html?nytmobile=0

Mondale and Ferraro went on the campaign trail and told the truth but the voters didn't want to hear it. I saw Geraldine Ferraro speak in 1984 and it was one of the most inspiring moments of my life.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 07:29 AM

19. A safety net against Democracy?

Or am I misunderstanding you?

That seems a lot like a similar argument:

Electoral college - seems like the people who most resent them are people too lazy to campaign in small states.

Both the electoral college and super delegates are a valid and legal part of our electoral process. Both make the vote of some people more valuable than the votes of other people. If we're going to stick with them, let's own them. We can have GOTV drives in California in which we tell people "Hey, we need your 6/10ths of a vote!". And can you imagine what we can do in Montana? "Your vote is worth 2 votes to us - the only way to legally vote twice for president!". Or maybe we can own this on party campaign materials: "Become a Democrat and work for your party - in a few years, you could be able to vote at the convention however you want, independently of how people voted in the polls!"

I feel like if you aren't willing to change it, you should own it.

This isn't about the last election - this is about the fundamentals of "one person, one vote".

I think it's totally appropriate to have super delegates who set and vote on party policy, but that's separate completely from having the ability to vote in a way that does not align to the voters of the party. To your point, they've never selected a president, so I'm not sure why we would need to leave them with this power.

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Response to metalbot (Reply #19)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 08:09 AM

20. My understanding is that their function is to prevent a deadlocked convention

After 1972 with ballot after ballot appearing to make the party completely dysfunctional the idea was that you had a cadre of loyalists- those who would put party above personality (some would say 'principle', others would disagree with that). In the event of a truly deadlocked and chaotic convention these people would have the ability to make a decision regardless of the stridency of smaller but voluble and dedicated groups.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 09:47 AM

23. Super delegates skewed the narrative, by creating the illusion of an unbeatable front runner

Very early on, starting with Iowa and New Hampshire, the media's inclusion of hundreds of super delegates in the delegate total gave the impression of a huge, unbeatable lead for HRC, whereas if the supers were left out, the narrative would have shown a much closer race, at least in the beginning, when the perception of "viability" has a significant effect on a candidate's momentum.

I applaud this step by the party leadership, and look forward to a more straightforward primary process in 2020 (would still like to see caucases end).

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:37 PM

25. That was never anything but a Sanders talking point. The SDs would have gone over to Bernie had

he won the PDs, just like they went over to Obama in 2008.

If Bernie had gotten more PDs than HRC he absolutely would have been the nominee.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:09 AM

10. A couple of more rules we need: , too? No...

- Only Democrats can choose the candidates, no republicans or independents voting in Democratic primaries
- Potential candidates must release their tax returns

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:17 AM

7. It's about time.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:47 AM

9. Good news.

It's a needed reform.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:10 AM

11. Good.

Interesting to see many ( in other threads) who oppose un-democratic caucuses support un-democratic super delegates.

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Response to shanny (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:42 AM

15. Yup. I happen to agree that caucuses are idiotic.

The process should be open and democratic.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:45 AM

16. I agree

And I would like to see same-day registration for primaries and the general.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:22 AM

12. Political gravitas - substance - was one basis for superdelegates

we can now have more susceptibility to charisma to begin our own streak of winning

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:34 AM

13. The DNC can do whatever it wants. We stopped caring when idiots stopped voting for Hillary

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Response to leftofcool (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:41 AM

14. lulzd

But you do get credit for an original non sequitur argument.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 06:09 AM

17. The DNC is a joke

They can make all the stupid rules they want to as long as they stop begging for my money.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 06:40 AM

18. Good (and get rid of caucuses, too). n/t

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 09:10 AM

21. I think it's the right step.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 09:39 AM

22. good!

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:33 PM

24. I'm on board.

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