Democrats Are Divided Over What to Do About Superdelegates | NTK Network Democrats Are Divided Over What to Do About Superdelegates

Democrats Are Divided Over What to Do About Superdelegates

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus is pushing back against proposed reforms to how the Democratic Party nominates their presidential candidate.

By NTK Staff | 08.14.2018 @3:00pm
Democrats Are Divided Over What to Do About Superdelegates

The Democratic Party is divided over what to do with their controversial superdelegates, ahead of a pivotal vote at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) annual summer meeting in Chicago on August 23.

Superdelegates “are elected officials who have the power to vote at the presidential nominating convention.” Their influence was the cause of great debate during the 2016 presidential nomination process.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his supporters saw superdelegates as part of a rigged system that tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton, and resulted in Clinton receiving the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016.

Sanders supporters have been pushing for reform to the superdelegate process since the last presidential election, and earlier this year the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee proposed “barring superdelegates from voting on the first nomination ballot during a contested convention unless it’s clear that one of the candidates has an overwhelming lead in delegates.”

Now, though, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), is pushing back against this proposed reform to superdelegates, in a letter to DNC Chair Tom Perez released on Monday.

“Passage of the reforms in their current form would disenfranchise elected officials for no substantive reason and would create unnecessary competition between those elected and their constituents,” Richmond wrote.

According to The Hill:

“Richmond said he is expressing the concerns of “many of my colleagues in Congress who are members of the Congressional Black Caucus.”

“Under the proposed reform, however, elected officials could run to become pledged delegates if they agreed to give up their superdelegate status.”

“Richmond argued this would create unnecessary tensions between elected officials and constituents.”

“The thought that a member of Congress would have to compete with their constituents in an election to secure a first ballot vote on the party’s nominee creates unnecessary friction between those elected and the people they are elected to serve,” Richmond added.

Richmond also warned that this proposed reform could create the “perception of an uneven playing field,” and argued that reform to the nomination process was not necessary as the superdelegates “never usurped the candidate favored by most primary voters.”

While it’s unclear how the DNC will vote on this proposed reform to their nominating process, one thing is clear: the DNC summer meeting will be a contentious one. It seems the progressive and moderate wing of the party will continue battling over how to nominate their presidential candidate in 2020.

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