DNC leaders call for ‘significant’ cut in Dem superdelegates
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), the DNC vice chairman, on Thursday penned an op-ed for CNN endorsing changes to the party’s superdelegate system, which came under scrutiny during and after last year’s primary.
In the op-ed, Perez and Ellison ask the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, which is set to hold its final meeting this weekend to lay out changes aimed at healing party divisions, to endorse a “significant reduction” of the number of superdelegates who vote to decide the party’s nominee for president.
“In 2016, unpledged delegates, or what some call ‘super delegates,’ made up almost 15% of all delegates at the national convention,” Perez and Ellison write. “To create a fairer process for all candidates and empower grass-roots voters, it is critical that the Unity Reform Commission provide recommendations that uphold the mandate passed by the 2016 Democratic National Convention and provide for a significant reduction in the number of unpledged delegates.”
The pair’s call for a reduction in superdelegates comes just hours after 14 progressive groups wrote a letter to Perez demanding a complete end to the superdelegate system.
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called the system unfair after hundreds of superdelegates pledged to vote for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, before the primaries even began.
“As Democrats seek to claim the mantle of economic populism from a Republican Party driving historically plutocratic policies, the role of superdelegates in selecting Democratic presidential nominees stands out as a conspicuously elite-driven process. Furthermore, the superdelegate system remains starkly unrepresentative,” reads the letter signed by groups such as MoveOn.org and Our Revolution.
“The superdelegate system undermines the Democratic Party’s commitment to racial and gender equity, and underrepresents the younger voters forming the future of the party,” the letter adds.
The two DNC officials closed their op-ed by pledging to do more to regain the trust of Democratic Party voters following the “bruising” primary.
“The DNC has come a long way since the 2016 election, but we know we have much further to go to earn the trust of voters and bring more people into the electoral process,” the pair wrote.
“We have our values and the support of the vast majority of the American people by our side. And when we lead with those values, we win,” they wrote.