Will Democrats’ latest effort to win back the confidence of their voters prove successful?
The Democratic National Committee on Saturday took steps to address the role of “superdelegates” in primary elections, but liberals like radio host and former California Democratic Party chairman Bill Press were unimpressed.
“The Democratic National Committee was in town this weekend for their big annual or biannual confab,” Press explained on air.
“And they had this report in front of them on the changes to the Democratic primary process that was going to make it a more level playing field, which we didn’t see the last time particularly because of super-delegates.”
He continued, expressing skepticism at the party’s plans.
“So they passed a resolution — this is what they did on super-delegates. They passed a resolution to say they are going to examine the perceived influence of super-delegates.
“Boy, what a bold move. Perceived influence? I mean, who are they kidding? Super-delegates have a real influence on who gets nominated. We saw that the last time, right? They cannot get rid of this or shake this. I don’t know why.”
The radio host criticized the DNC for merely determining to “study it further.”
Press’ guest, who was present at some of the Democrats’ meetings on the issue, described the deliberation among party insiders.
“They decided to study it further and I believe there was also a long debate during this that they were either arguing whether the text should say ‘reduce the number of super-delegates’ or ‘reduce or eliminate the number of super-delegates’ and they apparently spent about 20 minutes or so arguing about whether ‘reduce’ inherently contains the possibility of ‘eliminating.’ And so this is the type of thing that the DNC spends a lot of time arguing about.”
According to the report adopted Saturday, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will present a final proposal for reducing the “perceived influence” of superdelegates beginning in December, The Hill reports.
DNC chair Tom Perez called the move a “milestone.” He previously told the Associated Press that the party “will improve the democratic process” before the 2020 election.
Superdelegates were a cause of controversy during the 2016 Democratic primaries. Pew Research notes that slightly under 15 percent of delegates to the Democratic National Convention are superdelegates.
During the 2016 cycle, the majority of the assortment of DNC officials, Democratic politicians, and other party insiders overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, leading to accusations of a “rigged” primary.
“If we’re going to win elections, you’ve got to earn the trust of voters, and many voters had a crisis of confidence in the Democratic Party,” Perez said.