RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Bowden writes: "Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), the DNC vice chairman, on Thursday penned an op-ed for CNN endorsing changes to the party's superdelegate system, which came under scrutiny during and after last year's primary."

Tom Perez and Keith Ellison. (photo: Getty Images)
Tom Perez and Keith Ellison. (photo: Getty Images)

DNC Leaders Call for 'Significant' Cut in Superdelegates in Dem Primary Process

By John Bowden, The Hill

10 December 17


emocratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), the DNC vice chairman, on Thursday penned an op-ed for CNN endorsing changes to the party's superdelegate system, which came under scrutiny during and after last year's primary.

In the op-ed, Perez and Ellison ask the DNC's Unity Reform Commission, which is set to hold its final meeting this weekend to lay out changes aimed at healing party divisions, to endorse a "significant reduction" of the number of superdelegates who vote to decide the party's nominee for president.

"In 2016, unpledged delegates, or what some call 'super delegates,' made up almost 15% of all delegates at the national convention," Perez and Ellison write. "To create a fairer process for all candidates and empower grass-roots voters, it is critical that the Unity Reform Commission provide recommendations that uphold the mandate passed by the 2016 Democratic National Convention and provide for a significant reduction in the number of unpledged delegates."

The pair's call for a reduction in superdelegates comes just hours after 14 progressive groups wrote a letter to Perez demanding a complete end to the superdelegate system.

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called the system unfair after hundreds of superdelegates pledged to vote for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, before the primaries even began.

“As Democrats seek to claim the mantle of economic populism from a Republican Party driving historically plutocratic policies, the role of superdelegates in selecting Democratic presidential nominees stands out as a conspicuously elite-driven process. Furthermore, the superdelegate system remains starkly unrepresentative," reads the letter signed by groups such as and Our Revolution.

"The superdelegate system undermines the Democratic Party’s commitment to racial and gender equity, and underrepresents the younger voters forming the future of the party," the letter adds.

The two DNC officials closed their op-ed by pledging to do more to regain the trust of Democratic Party voters following the "bruising" primary.

"The DNC has come a long way since the 2016 election, but we know we have much further to go to earn the trust of voters and bring more people into the electoral process," the pair wrote.

"We have our values and the support of the vast majority of the American people by our side. And when we lead with those values, we win," they wrote. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+7 # librarian1984 2017-12-10 10:22
The Reform Unity Commission (URC) has sent its recommendations to the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee, which has thirty-five members and will meet in late January-early February, chaired by Jim Roosevelt. This is the organization that purged all its progressives (and added Donna Brazile) six weeks ago. They will make changes and send the document on to the DNC.

The URC voted on many recommendations this past weekend. Most. votes were unanimous but this is one that was not.

The number of superdelegates was reduced about 60%, from 715 to about 300.

There will be three categories of superdelegates if these measures are adopted:

Category 1, made up of governors, members of Congress and 'distinguished leaders'. These positions are automatic and UNPLEDGED. The six progressive members of the commission voted against this but all (approx.) fourteen members appointed by HRC and Perez voted for it, and it was passed.

Category 2 is DNC members who are automatically appointed but are BOUND to vote proportionally to their state's outcome ON THE FIRST presidential roll call vote at the convention. Previously these positions were unpledged. This passed unanimously.

Category 3 are at-large appointments and they are BOUND to vote proportionate to NATIONAL outcomes on the FIRST roll call vote. This passed unanimously.

Nina Turner and Jeff Weaver both spoke about the need to eliminate ALL superdelegates.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-12-11 14:42
Is there any reason to believe the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee will follow any recommendation at all? The way Progressives are being purged rather than included, the URC may also be a farce, window-dressing .
0 # librarian1984 2017-12-11 18:00
No, nothing obligates them to follow ANY of these recommendations . The six progressives on the commission expressed hope the work would be accepted in toto but none of the establishment people cheered them or anything.

Three of the URC people, none of them progressive, are also on the R&B committee so they'll be a small percentage of the decision makers.

Somebody said it would be open to the public but THIS meeting was not widely broadcast, even to people who'd asked to be notified.

I agree, how can we expect anything after they purged all the progressives?
+11 # ReconFire 2017-12-10 11:25
If librarian 1984's info is correct, (I have no reason to doubt, it's usually spot on), then the party doesn't get it.
It's beyond time to abandon the Dem. ship and quickly build a peoples/workers party. We have wasted enough time waiting to see if the party would do the right thing.
They have not, time to move on.
+6 # librarian1984 2017-12-10 14:23
This is part of what Nina Turner said after the group voted down 'open' primaries, which Jeff Weaver introduced:

"Millennials .. are telling us loud and clear how they feel about BOTH parties. The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of inclusion .. and for this commission not to accept this amendment goes a long way to show that we are not serious about trying to win over Independent voters and making them feel wanted and included in the process (of selecting a nominee) -- but then we're going to tell them how much we love them in the general election because we need them to beat the Republicans. I think that is wrong."
0 # Thinking 2017-12-11 17:26
Building a new party is unlikely to be quick and can sink the progressives; however, as things stand, the Democratic Party is unlikely to be funded by half of its base.
+12 # tedrey 2017-12-10 12:37
I think that, for most of those who abandoned the DNC after the 2016 primary (or rather, whom the DNC abandoned) the retention of any superdelegates at all is a deal-breaker. As for us independents, it definitely is.
+11 # bread and butter 2017-12-10 13:31
Cut the super delegates to ZERO.
+5 # Saberoff 2017-12-10 14:05
"significant reduction"
And we need superdelegates why, again?

"The DNC has come a long way since the 2016 election,..."
Really? Hadn't noticed.
+3 # bread and butter 2017-12-10 18:38
They're trying to "compromise" with us.

We DON'T want superdelegates. They DO want them.

The "compromise" is that, you guessed it, we'll still have them.
+3 # bread and butter 2017-12-10 18:40
Oh, and their purpose is to preemptively stifle the democratic process - as was done in 2016.

That's why we "need" them.
0 # lfeuille 2017-12-10 18:42
So, it really is all that much and it isn't binding. Leaving any superdelegates unbound dilutes the victory in significantly reducing them. And no open primaries. And it is up to the rules committee, not the Unity Commission in the end. I suspect a lot of the unanimous voters were expecting rules committee rejections.
+1 # librarian1984 2017-12-10 19:12
Other recommendations the URC made were to strongly encourage the state parties to allow same day, automatic and early registration as well as party switching -- but the establishment was very resistant to 'open' primaries.

Penalties for not acting in good faith include losing delegates to the national convention and/or monetary support.

But these are just recommendations . The R&B committee is under no obligation to adopt any or them -- and why should they bother? By refusing to dispense with superdelegates they've already lost most progressives.
-4 # ericlipps 2017-12-11 05:58
Everyone on the left is NOW screaming to eliminate the superdelegates (which I happen to agree with).

Back up a year and a couple of months, though, and plenty were suggesting that the superdelegates were just fine, if they could be persuaded to switch from Hillary to Bernie and thus hand the latter the nomination he hadn't earned via the primaries.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-12-11 14:37
No. IF there have to be superdelegates, then they should choose the one whose numbers indicate they can win.

Of COURSE we wanted the system abolished but it WASN'T. This is called playing within the rules of the game. You might dislike a rule, but if you can't change it, you play as best you can WITH it. Ignoring it, has consequences.

Say the rule is the ump has to side with one team and make every decision in its favor. You might find it a terrible and unfair rule, but you are still going to try to get the ump on your side rather than the other.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.