In what is being called a landslide victory for progressives, the Democratic National Committee has dramatically reduced the power and influence of superdelegates in presidential nominating power.
Members of the DNC gathered over the weekend in Chicago and were expected to make decisions about the system, which has come under fire even more heavily the last three presidential election cycles.
In the past superdelegates have had an inflated role in determining who will be the Democratic party’s presidential nominee. Superdelegates, unline regular delegates, are free to vote for whomever they wish in casting ballots for a presidential nominee. As ThinkProgress states, their support often has been secured via lobbying and side deals.
Under the new rules, superdelegates will have determining power only in instances where the first round of voting on the convention failed to yield a nominee or a “break in case of emergency” capacity. Now it will be up to the delegates selected in primaries and caucuses only.
Watch the final vote here:
Breaking: After a contentious debate, Democrats have voted to vastly reduce the power of Superdelegates, a key progressive demand after the 2016 campaign Watch https://t.co/FEJoRdowEw for live interviews and analysis pic.twitter.com/sFGB7Sqe3G
— Jaisal Noor (@jaisalnoor) August 25, 2018
As journalist Alex Kotch stated:
This is massive. In 2016, Clinton went into the election with 700 committed electoral votes—which had nothing to do with voter preference—simply because she was a powerful party leader. Now that unfair advantage is basically gone. https://t.co/tyJeTDPcX7
— Alex Kotch 🔥🚲 (@alexkotch) August 25, 2018
Many politicians, activists, journalists, and progressives have lobbied on behalf of superdelegate reform. Normon Solomon, national coordinator for the progressive advocacy group RootsAction.org, was unsure that the DNC would actually move on the issue:
“Progressive outrage, agitation, activism and organizing since 2016 forced corporate forces at the top of the party to confront a tough choice — either surrender on the superdelegate issue or deepen the justified distrust among people who believe in the principle of one person, one vote.”
California DNC member Michael Kapp, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries, stated:
“We made these changes because it’s never too late to do the right thing. By restoring trust to our presidential primary process, we are reinforcing the fact that Democrats are the party of the people.”
Congratulations to grassroots activists: the @DNC just overwhelmingly passed the reforms that will empower YOU! Superdelegates no longer vote on first ballot! Caucus and primary reform and FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY! pic.twitter.com/fs7unGbkFu
— Nomiki Konst 🌹🐴🦄🐴🌹 (@NomikiKonst) August 25, 2018
Bernie Sanders said in a statement that the vote is “an important step forward in making the Democratic Party more open, democratic and responsive to the input of ordinary Americans.”
Today's decision by the DNC is an important step forward in making the Democratic Party more open, democratic and responsive to the input of ordinary Americans. This has been a long and arduous process, and I want to thank @TomPerez and all of those who made it happen. https://t.co/YsFh1UorwV
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 25, 2018