Category Archives: Superdelegates

2020 Democratic Convention — Unity and Reform Commission — Part 2

One of the issues in the last several primary cycles — for both parties — have been the role of unpledged delegates.  There are several reasons why both parties designate certain party officials (and on the Democratic side, elected officials) as automatic delegates.  First, it removes these individuals from the competition for the “regular” delegate slots making it easier for grassroots activists to compete for a delegate slot.   Second, these individuals have a slightly different perspective than the voters.  While everyone wants the party to win the White House, state party officials are also responsible for winning as many down ballot races as possible.  Elected officials want to win their own races.  As such, in theory, if the leading candidate seems too extreme or flawed, the unpledged delegates could swing the nomination to the second-placed candidate.   Before 2016, the Republicans decided to bind their automatic delegates based on primary results in their state.  After 2016, some Republicans might regret that their automatic delegates no longer had that power given the continuing fiasco that is Donald Trump.  However, in neither party, the automatic delegates have ultimately supported the candidate that won the most delegates; so this theoretical power has never been used.

Even though this power has never been used to change the result, many Democrats have wanted to reduce the power of the automatic delegates.  The resolution that created the Unity and Reform Commission mandated that, while elected officials (Senators, Representatives, Governors) and distinguished party leaders (e.g., former presidents, former DNC chairs, former speakers/caucus leaders) would remain unpledged, DNC members would be pledged in accordance with the primary results.  The task for the Unity and Reform Commission was to make recommendations as to how to handle this process.  First, the recommendations distinguish between DNC members who represent the states (state party chairs and the DNC members elected by the state parties) and other DNC members (at-large members and those who represent groups of elected officials).  The “state” members will be bound based on the state results; and the “national” DNC members will be bound based on the national results.

On the issue of exactly how to bind these automatic delegates, the Commission did not reach a final recommendation but, instead, suggested two alternatives.   The first would just pool the delegate votes with no individual votes on the first ballot.  The second would create a mechanism for assigning the automatic delegates to specific candidates based on the delegates personal wishes with some random mechanism if the personal preferences do not line up with the required allocation.   Unlike regular delegates, however, the automatic delegates would be absolutely bound to these allocations. Continue Reading...

Also posted in Delegates, Democratic Party | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Alaska joins Maine in calling for end to superdelegates

The Alaska Democratic Convention … also approved a resolution demanding an end to the use of super delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

“This year especially, we’ve seen a lot of concern about super delegates and the weight they’re given in the party. And some people would really like the delegation to reflect the will and the vote of the people,” said Jake Hamburg, the communications director for the Alaska Democratic Party. – KTVA

Alaska’s resolution is non-binding, and Maine’s binding resolution doesn’t take effect (in theory) until 2020, but, in reality, once the primaries are over this issue will likely just fade away. Continue Reading...

Comments Off on Alaska joins Maine in calling for end to superdelegates

Super Delegates 2016 — The Arguments

The two parties take very different approaches to the election of pledged delegates.  In the Republican Party, the influence of winner-take-all states and winner-take-most states allows a front runner to win the nomination while only getting a plurality of the vote.  In the Democratic Party, the fact that 14% of the delegates (officially unpledged party leader and elected officials, unofficially superdelegates) go to the convention as unpledged delegates and the pledged delegates are allocated proportionately, make it hard for even a clear front-runner with a majority of the votes to win enough pledged delegates unless the other candidates suspend their campaigns.   As a result, for the second competitive cycle in a row, both candidates need the support of at least some of the super delegates to win the nomination.

There are a lot of different arguments for what superdelegates should consider in making their decision.  The problem for Bernie Sanders and his supporters is that almost every argument favors Hillary Clinton.

Continue Reading...

Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Delegate Count, Delegates, Hillary Clinton | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Super Delegates 2016 — The Arguments

Primary End Game — Democrats

Yesterday, I took a look at the role of uncommitted delegates and the selection of delegates (particularly those pledged to withdrawn candidates) could influence the end game of the Republican nomination process — particularly in how many pledged delegates Donald Trump will need to win to have a shot at getting nominated.    Today,  I take a look at similar issues for the end game of the Democratic nomination.  Because the Democratic party uniformly gives candidates a significant role in delegate selection, the issue for the Democratic party is uncommitted delegates (barring an upset in the remaining primaries, entirely automatic delegates) and the later stages of some caucus states.  Again, the starting point will be the Green Papers count of hard versus soft delegates.

Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Delegate Count, Delegates, Hillary Clinton, Philadelphia, PHLDNC2016, Primary and Caucus Results | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sanders wins Democrats Abroad

34,570 voters cast their ballots from over 170 countries all around the world, through in person voting, by fax, email, and post, and the results are as follows:

Bernie Sanders received 69% of the vote in the Democrats Abroad’s Global Presidential Primary, Hillary Clinton 31%.

Sanders picks up 9 pledged delegates as a result of the primary, while Clinton secures an additional 4 delegates. –DA Continue Reading...

Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Delegate Count, Delegates, Hillary Clinton, Primary and Caucus Results | Comments Off on Sanders wins Democrats Abroad

Is Bernie Sanders a Superdelegate?

If he was a Democratic Senator, he would be. But he is officially an independent.

Green Papers says he is, but they don’t have Angus King (I-ME), who also caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.

Hmmm… Continue Reading...

Also posted in Bernie Sanders | Comments Off on Is Bernie Sanders a Superdelegate?

Democratic Delegate Count

 Pledged DelegatesSuperdelegatesTotal
New Hampshire915611516
South Carolina391454414
American Samoa424183
Northern Marianas42592
North Carolina6047826849
Democrats Abroad4921610
New York13910838177108
Rhode Island111392013
West Virginia1118621720
Virgin Islands613091
Puerto Rico362464224
North Dakota51311614
New Jersey79471229149
New Mexico181682616
South Dakota101021210
District of Columbia164242406

2383 to Win. Updated 6/16

GOP numbers can be found here.


Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Delegate Count, Delegates, Hillary Clinton | 12 Comments

Let’s Talk Super Delegates

Back in 2008, DCW published everything daily we could find on the Super Delegates. This year, it’s a little different since Hillary Clinton received many commitments prior to the voting beginning. It’s important to remember that “Super Delegate” is a media term, it refers to party regulars who are allowed a vote at the convention. The full list of 712 people include:

  • President and Vice President (if they are Democrats)
  • Democratic House and Senate members
  • Democratic governors
  • Former Democratic presidents and vice presidents
  • Former Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate
  • Former Democratic speakers of the House and Democratic minority leaders
  • Former chairs of the Democratic National Committee
  • Certain State Democratic leaders

The remaining 4,051 delegates are selected either through the caucus process, or directly elected via primaries. 2,382 delegate votes are required to turn a candidate into the party’s nominee. Already, over 400 delegates have committed to Hillary Clinton. It’s expected that today the Congressional Black Caucus will endorse her also. There is a split in the Progressive Caucus with most endorsing Clinton. Remember, though, as we at DCW learned in 2008, the pledges and endorsements can change over the course of the campaign.

So when you see numbers of delegates coming out of primaries and caucuses, they often include the number of Supers. For example, in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders won 15 delegates in the voting, Hillary won 9. However, she has six committed Super Delegates, and there are two uncommitted at this writing. Continue Reading...

Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Delegates, DNC, Hillary Clinton | 2 Comments