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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Reshaping 2016

On a day when it’s customary for the chattering classes to look back over years and decades and discern, or impose, Big Themes, there’s a bit of news that relates to the not-so-immediate future. As Politico reports, a commission set up at the 2008 Democratic National Convention to review the presidential nominating process has decided to recommend that convention “superdelegates” lose their independent voting powers. In other words, they’d still have a ticket to the convention and would still vote, but those votes would be bound by primary and caucus results, just like those of un-superdelegates.
In other words, the Democratic Party’s near-brush with the atavistic specter of a deliberative or “brokered” convention won’t recur barring an actual tie in pledged delegate totals. For those looking forward eagerly to the 2016 presidential cycle, this is an important development.
UDATE: The Change Commission did not really take on the state-controlled nominating system in any serious way. It ratified the two-stage process used in 2008, with IA, NH, NV and SC having the right to go before March 1 (beginning with a “window” on February 1). It also encouraged states to cooperate towards creating regional primaries, while discouraging them from another “super Tuesday.” There’s a decent news story on the recommendations here, from, naturally, Iowa, where the recommendations are being interpreted as a fresh mandate for the state’s first-in-the-nation status.

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