August 20th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama, DNC call for new primary season calendar

Obama and the DNC are urging for a change in the primary season calendar.
Obama and the DNC are urging for a change in the primary season calendar.

(CNN) – Days before Democrats meet in Denver to name their presidential nominee, Barack Obama’s campaign and the national party leaders called for a new commission to deal with many of the primary season controversies that dogged the party this election cycle, and to develop a system to end the frontloading of the election calendar.

The campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that they would ask the party’s Rules Committee, which meets Saturday in Denver, to create a new commission that would re-vamp the primary season calendar. The goal would be to make sure no votes were held before March, with the exception of a handful of party-sanctioned contests in February.

The new group would consider reducing the number of superdelegates – elected officials and party leaders who are not bound by primary results.

It would also consider undefined “changes” to the caucus system. The Clinton campaign, which fared poorly in many caucus states, complained during the primary season that the voting system was an unfair one.

Recommendations from a similar group tasked with addressing the issue – and reducing the disproportionate influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential nominating process - led the party to adopt a plan last summer that prohibited nearly every state, except those that won a special lottery, from holding their primary before the first Tuesday in February.

South Carolina and Nevada were chosen; later, Iowa and New Hampshire were granted special exceptions that also allowed them to vote in January. Florida and Michigan’s decision to hold their primaries that month, in violation of the party’s instructions, resulted in the loss of all of their delegates to the national convention.

At the Rules and Bylaws Committee’s June meeting, those delegates were restored at half a vote each. Earlier this month, Barack Obama’s campaign sent a letter to party leaders asking them to seat both states’ delegations at full voting strength, a major Clinton demand after the primary voting season began.

The new “Democratic Change Commission” would be charged with delivering its report no later than January 1, 2010.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Vegas

    TRANSLATION:

    "Should have picked Hillary... this loser is going down... DUHHHH!"
    DNC

    August 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Indie-Voter undecided no more!

    All the garbage about Obama is nothing compared to what a McCain Administration will look like...lol...get ready boys and girls. You get what you ask for.

    August 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Real Change

    I tell you what big fella...why don't you concern yourself with the election your fixin to loose (because you're such a wussy and won't fight back) and let this kind of stuff wait till later.

    August 20, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Niky Kaur

    Obama's going to come back. These polls will change.

    August 20, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Michigan Independent

    ...and get rid of the donkey mascot!

    August 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Chip

    I hope HRC supporters see how they are being spat on by Obama. Only now, after he is sure to be the nominee, will he agree to seat the delegates from FL and MI, and only now is he in favor of changes to the caucusses which are really what handed him his victory. This is the real kind of flipflop that people should take note of because it shows he changes when it suits his interests. He is no president.

    August 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Down with the DNC

    Ya know, I don't believe it!! They are actually looking to change this to more of a "FAIR" process!!

    I live in Iowa – there is absolutely NO reason why we should get to vote first. We are a small state – laughable in General Election (God forbid we voted for Huckabee...'faith still matters' signs along the highways – scary).

    I also agree that the caucus needs to be revamped. It's completely manual and it requires you to arrive at a special location before 7 PM. Many people couldn't make it to vote due to bitter weather conditions. People are also intimidated to vote for other people's candidates where in the Republican process your vote is quick and anonymous.

    Also – there should be NO super delegates – NONE. Either make the majority winner of the delegates your candidate, or follow the Republican primary rules that are more in line with the General Election.

    Finally some sense!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. HF in CA

    Regardless, I expect a convoluted mess in the end. Democrats are so very good at red tape.

    August 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Realistic

    Enlightened Voter – No you're disgusting and come election day you're going to be crying your eyes out when "The One" loses.

    August 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    They need to change the way primaries are conducted. This year proved to be the worst year ever for a primary. Intimidation at the caucuses. Only people without full-time jobs can vote in caucuses. Older people cannot stand for hours just to vote in a primary. They should be set up like a regular election, then you would get a better picture of how the general might turn out. It is too late to fix this mess, but hopefully the future can be improved. The Dumb Nuts Committee has done a miserable job of conducting this election process. I'm still in shock with the Texas Two Step...What a joke that turned out to be.

    August 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Jim

    Let it be clear that it was the republicans in control that moved the primaries up for those 2 state's, and their plan of chaos worked. It's really sad that more people don't talk about it being a republican led state that moved the primaries up, with republicans in charge because abviously they don't care.

    August 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Steve

    To all the angry and nasty Hillary supporters on these blogs, where is your money? Why don't you send any money to your "girl"? She's still very deep in debt, and in the last months she received only a few thousand dollars in contributions. Not even enough to pay for a good wardrobe of new pantsuits.

    PUMA claims 18 million votes. Stop creating statistics for yourselves and then believing them. Not everyone who voted for Hillary will vote for McCain. They're too smart, and realize there's too much at stake here to throw tantrum after tantrum.

    In a recent outreach program to find contributors for Hillary, only about 250,000 responded. Fund raising events for Hillary since she lost the primary have been very sparsly attended.

    If the Democratic Party will be split because PUMA won't get things their way after throwing yet another tantrum based on false information, then so be it. The Democratic Party is better off without PUMA all together. We need mature adults to consider the issues, to consider what's at stake if the Republicans win again, and to vote on real political information. Children need not apply.

    August 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Hana, Saline, MI

    These polls are meaningless. The Clintons are up to no good! Watch your back, Obama.

    August 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Charlotte

    They need to change the way primaries are conducted. This year proved to be the worst year ever for a primary. Intimidation at the caucuses. Only people without full-time jobs can vote in caucuses. Older people cannot stand for hours just to vote in a primary. They should be set up like a regular election, then you would get a better picture of how the general might turn out. It is too late to fix this mess, but hopefully the future can be improved. The Dumb Nuts Committee has done a miserable job of conducting this election process. I'm still in shock with the Texas Two Step…What a joke that turned out to be.

    August 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Wake up America

    I hope Hillary supporters start realising that she lost fair and square... Are u seriously proud of the fact that she beat uncommitted in Michigan or that Obama who was unknown then lost in Florida. Get a grip GIRLS!!! Wake up! It's pathetic!

    Hillary because she let incompetents waste manager her campaign, no other reasons. Get A grip! She couldn't control her egocentrical husband, nor could decide on which cheap strategy to choose...

    She should thank Obama for making her throughout the primaries a better candidate that she initially was.

    Seriously GET A GRIP!

    OBAMA / GORE 08

    August 20, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Lisa

    Chip don't say that,

    If Obama tries to change the rules and seat the full delegates from Florida and Michigan I would be done with Obama and the DNC.

    That was the main reason they kicked Hillary out of the race.

    August 20, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Timber (ex dem)

    Too little, too late. The DNC is corrupt and until they all resign they have no credability. The gang of four's (Pelosi, Dean, Brazile and Obama) reign of corruption will be over in November and good riddance.

    August 20, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. mmd

    CNN please tell us who you poll. Every blog I read are 80 to 90% for Obama. even yours. Are you doing wishful thinking and sending a hint to the American people to vote McCain. If you and the rest of the media continue that will be the only way McCain will win. Or maybe on election night you can call all the voting areas and have them report to l you who won. Just like you did for Clinton. Try all you may the bias tell breaks through. Hi Jack , its a good thing you are at CNN to provide some balance.

    August 20, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. no trickle down...

    I'd really like to be able to say that Obama will win in November.
    It should have been a landslide. And I know he feels that his campaign has re-defined the political landscape and electoral map,
    But unfortunately he has marginalized his base.

    The Dems will now have to have Hillary on the ticket one way or another, if they have any hope of winning.

    Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton

    Any other scenario, and the Dem's will (and it pains me to say it) be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Can America afford for this to happen, once more...?

    August 20, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Lacy

    The primary calendars should absolutely be reformed. As it stands now there is a dispoportionate amount of power falling with states with smaller populations. Allowing certain states to hold their primary elections earlier than others is completely lacking in logic.

    It's why we have pandering to extremist voting blocs. Their populations are more concentrated in those smaller states that for some reason are given more power in the process by way of their primary date.

    The system is completely outdated, just like the electoral college. Each vote should count equally. Both systems should be reformed.

    August 20, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. obama?

    Am I wrong that I actually like a candidate that thinks he's good enough to be president? Why all the "obama thinks he's a savior" insults? I... kinda want that in a candidate right now.

    August 20, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Steve, you are just like the losing candidate you are supporting, full of words without any substance.

    August 20, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Lots of revision is needed! Make the playing field even.

    Lose the superdelegates and caucuses, have a national primary day late in the season– May or June - so that everyone can campaign to their hearts' content.

    One vote, one person. No nonsense. No citizen's vote should count any more than any other citizen's vote.

    August 20, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Realistic

    Steve:

    It's country over party. When the Democratic Party chose to run this inexperienced flawed candidate then they get what they deserve. This candidate should never have run at this point in time. Because he was greedy for power and ran before he had enough experience, he will not win and he will be unable to win any future race as well. He should have been kicked to the curb a long time ago.

    August 20, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Michigan Voter

    Sorry Jim Michigan is ran by the dems (into the ground) not the republicans.

    August 20, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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