Texas Democrats scrapping 'Two-Step' presidential primary

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 2:17 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' Democratic presidential primary is set to shift to allocating delegates based solely on voting results, after national party leaders rejected the state's traditional "Two-Step" method that had also included post-election caucuses.

America's second most populous state votes March 1 as part of the 2016 presidential election's "Super Tuesday."

While the exact state tallies may still vary, Texas is expected to have more than 250 Democratic delegates, making it the largest electoral prize of the 12 states planning to vote that day. Only California and New York have more potential delegates, but neither are scheduled to hold "Super Tuesday" primaries.

In previous cycles, two-thirds of Texas' Democratic presidential delegates were awarded among candidates based on primary results. The rest were selected by caucuses held later.

But high caucus turnout in 2008 allowed Barack Obama to take more Texas Democratic presidential delegates than Hillary Clinton, despite Clinton winning the primary election vote.

Some party voters raised concerns then that the two-tiered system was confusing. But Texas nonetheless sought a Democratic National Committee waiver to continue it — only to have it denied last week.

The new, more straightforward system will be submitted for national party approval next week.

It mandates that candidates capture at least 15 percent of the vote in a Texas Senate district to win a delegate from that district, and that they be allocated at-large delegates by taking at least 15 percent of the statewide vote.

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Crystal Perkins says the new plan means "individual Democratic primary voters will have more power in the selection of their nominee. "

"Unfortunately, the Texas Two-Step will not take place this election cycle," Perkins said in a statement Tuesday. "However, Texas Democrats will have an important voice in selecting that nominee."