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DNC committee votes to limit power of superdelegates

DNC committee votes to limit power of superdelegates
© Camille Fine

A Democratic National Committee (DNC) panel voted Wednesday to move forward with a plan to limit the power of superdelegates in picking future presidential nominees. 

The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a measure to bar superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nomination ballot in a contested convention, according to Politico.

The move is seen as a victory for supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBiden: Trump administration 'coddles autocrats and dictators' Warren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Dem lawmaker to Saudis: Take your oil and shove it MORE (I-Vt.), who amplified calls for superdelegate reform after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election MORE won the Democratic nomination for president in the 2016 election.

Many Sanders backers have maintained that without superdelegates, he would have secured the nomination. Clinton won 544.5 superdelegates in the 2016 primary, compared to Sanders’s 44.5.

Sanders praised the DNC in a statement, calling it a “major step forward.”

"This decision will ensure that delegates elected by voters in primaries and caucuses will have the primary role in selecting the Democratic Party's nominee at the 2020 convention," Sanders said."This is a major step forward in making the Democratic Party more open and transparent, and I applaud their action."

Wednesday's vote sets the DNC up for a full vote on the measure at the committee meeting next month.

If the measure is approved, Democratic superdelegates — lawmakers and other officials who have votes independent from their states’ primaries — will only be able to vote on the presidential nomination if the primary battle resulted in a second ballot.

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said on a conference call that the decision would help "rebuild the trust" in the committee from supporters who “feel alienated” from the party, according to Politico.

"No candidate will be able to have an accumulated lead, whether it’s real or perceived, before a ballot has been cast," Perez said. 

--Updated at 5:20 p.m.