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Sat May 21, 2016, 06:02 PM May 2016

Primary History

Last edited Sun Jun 19, 2016, 11:37 AM - Edit history (5)

Larger Democratic Delegation -- 7 Nov 1981
Officials of organized labor told the Democratic Party today that it should dramatically increase the number of elected officials serving as delegates to Presidential nominating conventions but should not abandon the principle of having equal numbers of men and women as delegates.

Democrats Bury Purge Provision for Delegates -- 8 Nov 1981
When North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., the commission chairman, asked if anyone wanted to debate the rule mandating "equal division" of each state delegation between men and women, there were no takers. While formal action awaits the January session, it was evident that the provision--for which women in the Democratic Party waged a 12-year fight--is now permanently embedded.

But there was no consensus on the way to bring more members of Congress and other elected officials into the next convention hall. On Friday, both the AFL-CIO and the Association of State Democratic Chairs recommended that 30 percent of the 1984 convention seats be reserved for uncommitted elected and party officials.

In 1980, only 10 percent of the delegate slots were reserved for them, and they were required to pledge that their presidential votes would fall in line with the other delegates from their states.

Rep. Gillis W. Long (D-La.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said that the reason only 37 House members served as delegates was that they did not want to choose between Carter and Kennedy and thereby align themselves with one faction at home.

He said the caucus wanted to choose two-thirds of its members as 1984 delegates--but only if they could go uncommitted, adding: "If they do not have that freedom, I assure you they will not participate."

A Brief History of Superdelegates -- Daily Kos 15 Feb 2008 -- Nate Silver wrote this under a pseudonym.
There were a number of rationales given at the time for the implementation of superdelegates, none of which are necessarily mutually exclusive. The primary purpose of this diary will be to explore those rationales, based on a survey of contemporaneous newspaper accounts from the New York Times. However, it is also important to understand the underlying context: as of 1982, the Democrats had had two absolutely disastrous results out of the last three Presidential election cycles.

Democrats change nominating process -- 21 Jan 1982
The basic rationale for the action, favored by National Chairman Charles Manatt. the Democratic leadership in Congress and the AFL-CIO. is that elected officeholders and party officials are the pick-and-shovel folks of party polities and are entitled to a bigger say. Also. it's argued that since lhey presumably reflect the voice of the, grass roots. their presence In a sense reflects mainstream thinking.

There Is also a seldom-mentioned elitist aspect to the rationale. Thal Is that the party bigwigs have a bigger grip on political realities -on which candidate has the best chance to win against the Republican nominee. Offered as Exhibits A and B are the nominations of McGovern and Carter, neither of whom was the choice of the party backs, In 1972 or 1976.

Finally, there is the political scientists' argument that members of Congress who have had little or no choice in the nomination of a Democratic president and are not likely to have the optimum stake in bis success. and hence aren't likely to be true partners In pushing his legislative program. Again, Carter is the prime exhibit offered.

A History of 'Super-Delegates' in the Democratic Party Kennedy School of Government 1986
“We must also give our convention more flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and, in cases where the voters’ mandate is less than clear, to make a reasoned choice. One step in this direction would be to loosen the much-disputed “binding” Rule 11 (H) as it applies to all delegates. An equally important step would be to permit a substantial number of party leader and elected official delegates to be selected without requiring a prior declaration of preference. We would then return a measure of decision-making power and discretion to the organized party and increase the incentive it has to offer elected officials for serious involvement.” (Remarks of Governor Jim Hunt, Institute of Politics, JFK School of Government, December 15, 1981)

What does it mean to 'clinch the nomination' when superdelegates are involved? DailyKos

After reading a number of impassioned defenses of why the Democratic presidential nomination should not be called next week on June 7th, I got curious. What’s the history here, since the superdelegates were added to the process? When a Democratic candidate hits the magic number of pledged delegates plus superdelegates, are they the nominee?

The answer: history says the first person to get to the magic number is the presumptive nominee, and says it unambiguously, even if the losers often disagree.

Here’s how it has gone since the superdelegates were added to the process.

First, and most obviously, “clinching” has always been defined as having enough superdelegates and delegates to win, since the invention of the superdelegate system in 1984. While some candidates have reached that number on surer footing than others, the press has always called the nomination “clinched” or “locked up” at the point the pledged + SDs number is reached.

Second, most non-incumbent candidates have needed superdelegates to win, and the history of superdelegates has been that once a Democrat hits the magic number and becomes the nominee, superdelegates are more likely to flow to the nominee than from them.

Also, in the history of the superdelegates, they have always ended up supporting the decision of the pledged delegates, and their most important contribution has been to amplify leads of the pledged delegate winner so that they can be assured success on a first ballot, and avoid the sort of messy convention that harms a general campaign.

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Primary History (Original Post) LiberalFighter May 2016 OP
Thank you so much for this! Great info! Lucinda Jun 2016 #1
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