May 22nd, 2008
03:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Could Democrats scrap the current delegate system?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Blitzer: Democrats are already starting to look past 2008."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic presidential nominating process is still being played out. It certainly looks like Barack Obama is very close to wrapping it up, but Hillary Clinton is not yet giving up.

There are still three more contests left, on June 1 in Puerto Rico, and on June 3 in Montana and South Dakota. And now, Senator Clinton and her advisers are even leaving open the possibility that this process could drag on to the Democratic convention in Denver at the end of August, especially if there is no change in the party’s refusal to seat the full Michigan and Florida delegations.

Back in early January, just before the first caucuses in Iowa, few would have thought that this process could continue into June. Many pundits actually predicted the Republican nominating process could drag on. But the widely-held assumption then was that the Democrats would wrap it up quickly, probably with Hillary Clinton winning the nomination. All of this goes to show that making political predictions can be a risky business.

Now, Democratic insiders are already starting to look beyond this year. Some are questioning the entire nominating process.

For example, should the party do away with its superdelegates. “I never supported superdelegates to begin with – 25 years ago,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, herself a superdelegate, said today. “I ran for the Chair of the National Committee opposed to superdelegates. You can imagine what a winning platform that was.”

She wants the Democratic Party to reconsider its rules. “There should be some representation of that leadership of the party and the congressional, gubernatorial and other manifestations of the party, but I think 800 is far too many.”

Is it too early for the Democrats to rethink their rules for 2012 based on what has happened this year?

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. rice, bryan

    this has actually been the best election year that i can remember. people are excited for once.

    May 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Ray jay

    Wolf.......Give your head a shake... You sound like your writing her position speaches and are sucked in

    May 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    The question shouldn't be "could they" rather, "when they scrap the system, what might it be replaced with?"

    May 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Tina

    Wolf...let's get real here.

    May 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. NO-BAMA



    Why would they implore a system that gives MORE delegates to the candidate with LESS votes (example: obama in nevada)...

    You call that democratic ?

    Not to mention, they allow Clinton to be SWIFT-BOATED !

    And they can't even reign-in George Bush?

    It's over for the DEMS

    May 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. cnn loves hillary

    really, i'm not gonna visit you site, and you tv stations any more,

    you truly are Worst than fox new.

    its a well known fact that CNN is on hillary's pay roll.

    May 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Donna Canadian Observer

    Hell yeah,
    Up here in the great white north it's the votes that count you get the majority your the winner case closed.
    While your at it get rid of the electoral colledge too.
    Go by the popular vote, this would have saved your bacon in 2000 and Gore would have been your Prez for the last 8 years!

    May 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Venus

    The race is over June 3, 2008! Hillary doesn't have to get out – but after that---- she needs to pack it up- she didn't and I know it's killing her and Bill – since they didn't plan on having to beat anyone!

    Well... no doubt – they are the joke of their party now – now that a rookie from no where is ahead and winning!

    Our system is fine ----– it's the losers that are having a problem with our system!

    Go Bam!

    May 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Proud1of 26% in WV

    Scrap it ,go to winner take all states without any superdelegate mess.Let the voters decide.

    May 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Denise

    Wolf – get real. This is just a game Hillary is playing. She couldn't care less about Michigan and Florida. If she did, she'd have come out fighting for them back in February. I guess you don't read the blogosphere much. Wake up call: Democrats are turning against her fast. I don't understand why the media acts like she's still in this and feels she deserves a consolation prize. She lost! Just as many other candidates lost. She's no champion for women. In fact, she giving us all a bad name.

    May 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. DAN

    Wow John McCain is on Ellen and he's good and connecting with the audience. He will be hard to beat in November, he's for real check it out.

    May 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. TJ Johnson

    It would be typical of democrats' knee-jerk reaction to everything to now change a process that has been successful, this cycle an exception.

    May 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Scott

    I think DNC is doing they Job RIGHT I cant say that about "Hillary. She is a JOKE of all JOKE's . She sign NOT to Rally there FL and MI NOW that she is losing she feel that she have change it. the people better open there eyes and see what Hillary is up to. It's all about helping the company's they are getting money from. she was the only one campaigned in Florida or Michigan, Look at this pic what do you see. Hillary wont's to steal this incrementally. if she do I will not vote for her or the Democratic party any more.

    May 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Gayle

    There is nothing democratic in the way the Democratic party manipulates the timing of the votes and the use of superdelegates. If they want to know who the people of the democratic party want they should have a popular vote and let the person the people of the party, not just the leaders, want as the Democratic nominee.

    May 22, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    Something will definitely be changed for the years to come. This whole superdelegates made this process a big mess only becasue they never thought it would come to this point. I'm not shure what needs to be done, but something will need to be changed so that we will NEVER have to go through this again.

    I say do winner takes all

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Donna, NY

    Don't worry Wolf, any system that doesn't benefit the Clintons WILL be scrapped. I think there are some changes that should be made with the superdelegates, but I like the caucuses.

    Hillary did not do well with the caucuses, so that will be scrapped, because the Clintons run the DNC. They are the most selfish, self-centered people on the planet.

    Obama 08

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. JJ

    No I don't think it's too early to rethink the process. Actually, all processes need to be looked at and reviewed periodcally to see where improvements can be made.

    I think they should re-think and revamp the process primarily because of the superdelegates. I can't imagine being in a system where the majority of the nommination rests on the hands of politicans. What about the common people who cast their vote. I don't think it's hardly fair for a bunch of people could have so much power that they can overturn the will of the people.

    No one should have that much power

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Arin

    Clinton is already applying the "scrap the current delegate system". She wants all the delegates in Michigan, and wants Obama to get ZERO.
    Get it... she wins Michigan by acclimation. Come on Wolf, call out the absurdity that is the idea that Clinton is winning the 'popular vote'. There was no primary in Michigan and Florida. People were told it wouldn't count so stay home, and many did. Talk about disenfranchisement!

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |

    Hmmm.... You think that the Democrats would have decided on this after the 2000 election when every Democrat felt the election should have gone to Gore b/c he won the popular vote.


    1 VOTE = 1 VOTE


    Seat FL and MI the way they voted if Obama will not allow them to revote.

    Hillary 08

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Personally I think we should have a national primary day similar to Election Day. Also, I don't see the need for caucuses even if they do build up a party. Just because you caucus with a party doesn't mean you'll vote for that party in November anyway. Further, the traditional system gives too much power to obscure states like Iowa and New Hampshire. After Hillary lost Iowa everyone said she was done even though just one state voted. Then when she won the second state, New Hampshire, it was hailed as a big comeback. Why all the fuss? It was just 2 states out of 50 that got to vote. Lastly, the process is too long. Let's have all Democrats and Republicans vote in their party primary in June, hold the conventions in August and have the general election in November. Simple fix I think.

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Romulus, Michigan

    When thing don’t go the way (white people) want it to go; in their favor. It is time to change the system. When Tiger Woods was winning every tenement it was time to change the rules.

    May 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. truthurts

    She should call her girlfriend Geraldine since she is the one responsible for the supers....

    May 22, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. White Grandma for Obama

    We should definitely keep the proportional delegate system. That seems much more "democratic." I would be in favor, though, of scrapping the superdelegate count, or at least changing it as Nancy Pelosi says.

    May 22, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Bob in Des Moines

    WE NEED CHANGE on this process. I was in the Iowa Caucuses and they are very manual and disorganized. It was really quite a nightmare.

    For now, we should have our process mirror that of the Electoral College for winning states. This would help to ensure victories for the general election.

    Bigger picture: I think our overall election system needs overhauled. The people's voices should put a candidate in office if this is a true democracy. I think all delegates and the electoral college should be scraped. They give members of our government too much power to overturn the popular vote. This is why we were stuck with Bush for the last 4 years where the people did not want him.

    May 22, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Charlie

    We were so blind in 2000 and 2004, but our eyes are open now. Americans want the truth. We don't want one more soldier to die for oil or the other lies we've been told.

    It's a new day and we are smarter than a fifth grader.

    Obama 08

    May 22, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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