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Democratic 'Unity' Panel Votes For Huge Reduction In Number Of Superdelegates
4 months ago

During the 2016 election, it was no secret that a rift emerged among the Democrats: There were millenials and low-income voters, both important parts of the Democratic coalition, who overwhelming voted for Senator Sanders, while middle-class voters as well as minority voters, two other key voting blocks, overwhelmingly went for former Senator and Secretary of State Clinton. This resulted in a proverbial war between the so-called 'progressive wing' of the party and the so-called 'establishment wing.' One of the main grievances of the progressive wing was about process. They felt that superdelegates, those delegates who were not pledged to vote along with their state, were tipping the race in Secretary Clinton's favor. Tweets about this during the primary season looked a little something like this:

All of this is despite the fact that Secretary Clinton won the primary process by every measure, besting Senator Sanders in both the popular vote and the pledged delegate count, meaning that the desire by some Sanders supporters to do away with the superdelegates would not have shifted the primary outcome. An article from The Wall Street Journal has thoroughly debunked the idea that superdelegates stole the election from Senator Sanders. It should also be noted that while President Obama won the majority of pledged delegates in the 2008 contest, Secretary Clinton according to some counts actually won the popular vote.  

Despite the fact that superdelegates have never in their thirty-three year history voted against the candidate who won the majority of pledged delegates, the perception that the 'establishment' was swaying the primary in Clinton's favor remained a major sticking point.  In the wake of President Trump's shocking victory over Hillary Clinton, despite Hillary Clinton's 2.8 million popular vote victory, the DNC along with Sanders and Clinton decided to form a 'unity' panel to reform the Democrat's nominating process. Sunday, the recommendations finally came out, and one of the major recommended changes is changing the superdelegate system. The unity panel is recommending that superdelegates be sliced be nearly 60%, and tying most of the remaining superdelegates to vote along with the way their state voted. Reaction on social media was swift. Many felt that any superdelegates were too much:

DNC Chair Tom Perez, however, was quite proud of the reforms:

But his words didn't soothe many:

But some were unhappy with DNC Chair Perez for another reason:

The idea for superdelegates first emerged after the famed floor fight of the 1968 Democratic convention, to avoid another contested convention and was finally put into place sixteen years later. Famed statistician, Nate Silver, was quick to point this out:

2020 will be quite interesting.

H/T: Twitter, The Hill, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, TIME