Recently, Senator Tim Kaine surprised people when he joined the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders with a call to end the use of superdelegates at the Democratic National Convention. Superdelegates are unpledged delegates comprised of elected officials and influential party members. They can vote for whomever they wish, regardless of how their state or district voted. The use of superdelegates have become controversial in recent campaigns because they are seen as giving establishment candidates an unfair advantage. With Senator Kaine and Senator Sanders on the same side of the issue, it makes one wonder, should the Democrats end the use of superdelegates in their presidential nominating process?
People who wish to end the use of superdelegates feel that they are an outdated notion that can usurp the will of the people. Many are afraid that the establishment can use the superdelegate system to deny the nomination to a grassroots candidate who won in the primaries. Also, if the superdelegates were done away with, you would end campaigns that had clearly lost but are staying in much too long because they believe they can get the superdelegates to give them the nomination.
Those in favor of keeping the superdelegates feel they are the last line of defense against a dangerous candidate. They look to what happened to the Republicans in 2016 as an example. If Republicans had something like superdelegates, they could have denied the nomination to President Trump. Also, the last thing Democrats want to do is become more like the Republicans, so many out there want to keep the system. There are people who feel you could possibly reform or just tweak the system, but they don’t want it gotten rid of entirely.
Video from CBS News explaining what a superdelegate is:
Should the Democrats do away with the superdelegate system? Is the superdelegate a mechanism that can possibly block the will of the people? Or, is it the last line of defense against populists taking over the party?
Yes, eliminate the superdelegates
Those who want to eliminate the system say that it is an unfair establishment tool that can be used to deny the will of the people. They believe that hopeless campaigns use superdelegates as an excuse to stay in a race long after they have lost.
Two things are true and I don't like that they're both true
1) dem party should end superdelegates
2) if R's had superdelegates they could've stopped trump, probably
Luckily I trust Dem voters more than R voters
— Pat Dennis (@patdennis) November 15, 2017
Is it? Superdelegates were acceptable at a time when there was less scrutiny. Now, they're viewed as illegitimate by a large swath of the party. Seems bad to have a divisive nominating process.
— Kyle (@kbrightnj) November 15, 2017
100% agree. Then we won't have any more prolonged, divisive zombie campaigns like Sanders' in 2016 (and Clinton's in 2008), the only remaining rationale for which was "but but it's not over cuz we can still flip the superdelegates!"
— PDG887 (@PDG887) November 15, 2017
They should be. Superdelegates negate the will of the people.
— Alloverthemap10 (@Alloverthemap10) November 15, 2017
No, don’t eliminate the superdelegates
People who want to keep the system say that it is a needed defense against the rise of candidates like Donald Trump. They feel that if the Republicans had a system similar to the superdelegates, Donald Trump would never have gotten the nomination or the presidency.
On the flip side: maybe Super Delegates are a smart thing to have…the Dems could end up with a candidate comparable to Trump…there needs to be a safe guard.
— Susan Sampson (@ssampson0717) November 15, 2017
In 1972, George Wallace received ~700,000 more raw votes from primary voters than George McGovern, the eventual nominee. Democrats are not immune from stupid decisions.
We need to reform superdelegates, but they play a necessary role. https://t.co/TxWNVCYtyd
— Tré Easton (@treeaston) November 15, 2017
Ya, lets make the dems more like the GOP so it's easier for an outsider to hijack the party. Great plan!
— Resist! (@SherpaBerpa) November 15, 2017
No. The superdelegates are what stand between a party and populists. https://t.co/U99ggYgoA2
— Jason Gauthier (@jasonjgauthier) November 15, 2017
Do you think Democrats should end the superdelegate system?