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DNC moves to tie superdelegates to state’s preferences

January 1st, 2010, 04:01 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Tony Romm (via DemConWatch):

A commission of Democratic leaders on Wednesday recommended their party virtually eliminate superdelegates from their presidential candidate nomination process.

Their proposal — commissioned by the Democratic National Committee in the aftermath of last year’s tough primary season — would essentially make the “superdelegate” post an honorary position.

Consequently, these powerful party leaders could no longer select the candidate of their choice; rather, their votes would be tied to the outcome of their respective states’ primaries, which choose winners by popular vote.

Technically, superdelegates can vote for whomever they want at the national convention, but in reality, there’s almost no scenario under which they would actually thwart the will of the popularly selected pledged delegates.

Nonetheless, the mere possibility that they could thwart the popular will creates the illusion that contests that have been completely settled are still up for grabs, as happened in 2008 when then-candidate Obama was a virtual lock to win a majority of pledged delegates but theoretically could have lost if the supers ended up voting for Hillary Clinton en masse. Moreover, because the media included superdelegates in the delegate counts, the delegate scoreboard never really offered an accurate reflection of who was actually winning primaries and caucuses.

Given that superdelegates are extremely unlikely to flip the actual results of primaries and caucuses once the Democratic primary electorate has spoken, they are at best useless and there’s really no point to having them in the first place. If the new proposal is adopted, superdelegates would effectively be limited to a ceremonial role, ratifying their state’s popular vote. That makes far more sense than the current system.


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