Bernie Sanders and his supporters have a reason to be happy: it’s the end of the immense clout that was given to Democratic superdelegates. They’re usually public officials, they’re not declared, and they can vote for whomever they like. They usually float with the establishment, which became a source of ire for Sanders supporters, who felt the deck was stacked against them. They’re not wrong. The Wikileaks email dump prior to the 2016 Democratic National Convention showed that top staffers at the DNC were discussing ways to torpedo the Vermont senator’s presidential hopes. The dirty laundry was exposed. Now, unless there’s a deadlock or an assured winner, these superdelegates will be barred from voting at the next convention in 2020 (via NBC News):
The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to significantly curtail the power of superdelegates and make presidential caucuses more accessible, overcoming objections from a vocal minority of its membership.
The reform package, pushed by DNC Chairman Tom Perez and allies of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, among others, passed overwhelmingly by voice vote at the DNC’s summer meeting here — two years after the process started.
Perez and others hailed the outcome as momentous, saying the reforms will help welcome new people into the party by reassuring them that their vote will never be overruled by the party leaders who can vote for whomever they want for the presidential nomination.
“Today is a historic day for our party,” Perez said. “We passed major reforms that will not only put our next presidential nominee in the strongest position possible, but will help us elect Democrats up and down the ballot, across the country.”
The change will prohibit superdelegates from voting for president at the party’s 2020 convention, unless the outcome is already assured or it deadlocks, which hasn’t happened in decades. The vast majority of superdelegates sided with Hillary Clinton over Sanders in their primary fight two years ago.
The news network also added that caucuses would be accepting absentee ballots, whereas the old rules stated you needed to vote in person to participate. The fiasco over this system already had some states reconsidering their nominating processes and while the DNC can’t make states adopt new rules for their respective primaries, NBC added, “The reform package includes measures to encourage states to open their primaries and caucuses to independent voters, as well as to expand same-day voter registration in order to bring new voters.”
Yeah, it’s safe to assume that someone crazy is going to run. Pass the popcorn when that happens.