11/10/16 | Jacob Straub | Regular Correspondent
On the Surface
Hillary Clinton’s failure to win 2016’s election possibly came as a result of blunders in the primary season. The DNC’s email leak and subsequent scandal this summer–indicating foul play against her rival Bernie Sanders–likely contributed to Clinton’s defeat. Thus, the Democratic Party has been forced to question and reform it’s superdelegate system.
Causes of Reform
During the Democratic party’s primary season, potential nominee Bernie Sanders was the early leader in both the popular vote as well as the pledged delegate count. Voters, from both parties, felt upset and disenfranchised by the establishment. By February 19th, Hillary Clinton held 451 superdelegates with Sanders possessing just a measly 19. Superdelegates have the ability to vote for any candidate they perceive as better, and Clinton dominated the early election despite earning fewer primary votes because of this. Many of Sanders’ supporters thought this unfair and called for an amendment to DNC policy abolishing superdelegates.
The amendment decisively failed 108 to 58, pitting insurgent Sanders backers against the party establishment. Advocates of the amendment claimed that it would make the nomination process more democratic, those opposed claimed that superdelegates help protect citizens from themselves. Although this amendment did not pass, both Sanders’ and Clinton’s staff met and drafted a “unity commission” to meet after the general election to draw up changes to the party’s nominating process. As part of that proposal, the commission will be charged with “making specific recommendations providing that members of Congress, governors and distinguished party leaders…remain unpledged and free to support their nominee of choice, but that remaining unpledged delegates be required to cast their vote at the convention for candidates in proportion to the vote received for each candidate in their state.”
Abramson, Seth. “Clinton and the DNC Are Not Just Colluding — They’re Changing the Rules for Superdelegates.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 9 May 2016. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.
Jilani, Zaid. “DNC Votes to Keep Superdelegates, But Sets Some Conditions.” The Intercept. TheIntercept.com, 23 July 2016. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.