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. alex123

    Democrats should scrap any system that does not give the nomination to Hillary. She is the chosen one!

    May 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Ann

    We need to seat FL and MI If Obama is a man he should allow them to revote. What is he afraid oh? That he is all talk with nothing to his credit. What is it that even makes him qualified? Voting 144 times in senate as present. We should be careful of what we think we want
    CHANGE I for one wont vote for Obama if Hillary is not on the ticket.
    My one vote will not go to Obama. But to the most experienced person and that will be McCain
    Hillary 08

    May 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. CaDem75

    We should select our candidates just as the republicans do. Winner take all. The primary process allows the public to become familiar with the candidates and allows them to get their message out. Caucuses do not allow each vote to be counted, they need to be replaced with primaries. I think there should be 5 or 6 states voting on each of 9 or 10 primary voting days over 4 months. Four months, The END.

    May 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. Derek

    I think the delegate and caucus process is obviously flawed. However, I think the flaw is only exposed in the case of a very close race. We have one now, and so the issue has risen. However, it seems to me that in all other close races, we've played it out until the end of the process, rather than letting Time/Warner owned broadcast networks and publications anoint a winner.

    May 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. jeff talion

    Hill is just so irritating. She reminds me of the Iraqi spokesperson that continued to deny the US was ivading Iraq in 03. Just face the fact that she lost and beat it.

    May 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Married with children in NC

    The whole reason the DEMS created super delegates in the first place is so that they could override the primary voters. Now Hillary is proposing the supers do just that. Why did the DEMS create the supers in the first place if they didn't want them to be used like this.

    FYI....McCain will win in November. Its a done deal, unless some major event occurs. (e.g. major campaign screw up, death, big scandal, etc.).

    Obama's main campaign strategy of wanting 'change' and working with the other side of the political aisle? McCain has done much more of that and has the record to prove it. Thus on his own campaign strategy of 'why it should be me?' Obama loses to McCain.

    May 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Belle

    Just get rid of all the caucuses, that only reflect a small percentage of citizens and have a winner take all for each state. We would have had a clear nominee by now. Those caucuses we more about bullying people than real discussion.

    May 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Suzanne Johnson

    Wolf, what don't you get? Hillary Clinton is dishonest, does not play by the rules, and used race (negatively) as a wedge issue to divide voter. Obama reigns!

    May 22, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Loyal Dem

    Yes, get rid of the superdelegates, but otherwise please leave the proportional allocations of pledged delegates in place. That truly makes every vote count, unlike the winner-take-all system Hillary wants (which in this case would have selected an extremely unpopular candidate).

    Go President Obama 08 & 12!

    May 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Edward

    The system is stupid, because if the purpose of the primary is to prepare for the general election, why have the system be so different. The General election is winner-takes-all, the GOP has it winner-takes-all, so why do the Dems have a Mickey Mouse, "some for you and some for you" system? I think it's silly, the equivelent of the NFL playing flag football during the Preseason. It prepares you very little. Obama's startegy since Ohio has been to lose by little in state he knew he couldn't win, thus to lessen the damage. Barack, you can't do that come November.

    May 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. lori

    I never liked the idea of super delegates or awarding more delegates to the loser, (Ala Nevada for Obama) by the way I am an Obama supporter but if you lose the state you lose the state. I feel all elections primary and GE should be based on the popular vote and count the votes whoever wins the most states should win the nomination and it should not matter if its big states little states if you have more states won thats it, I hope that they change this b/c if they would it would be over now, perhaps Sen. Clinton would have won and unlike other bitter supporters of both I would have voted for her b/c I do not want more of the same that we have had for 8 years. But, with all that said, we should abide by the rules as they are now and change them for the next time.

    May 22, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Nancy

    Putting all this years election crap aside, they need to do something about the way the dems nominate a nominee maybe they will in 2012. This would all have been over if they did it the same way as the GOP, you win a state you get all delegates then the Dems and the GOP could be fighting it out right now. But no the DEMS and the supporters tell one nominee you are ruining the party, the powers that be in the democratic party don't want to take any responsibility for this mess. They do need to change the process but they won't they like all this mess. This is my last year as a democrat and I am writing in my choice.

    May 22, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Pete The Truth

    Lets go all the way to the convention. I need the entertainment value. Neither of these candidates has a clue. We won't be able to pay for Social Security and Medicare now we want to do healthcare. Please. Anything the federal government gets involved in they screw-up. Ask Hillary how much it costs the taxpayers of New York on all the corruption on food stamps. Ask MS Queen of Pork how many earmarks she is getting this year. The democrats have taken over congress and despite saying they were going to reel in ear marks they are up 30% this year. Nothing is going to change people unless we get a viable third party to change things. Look both hillary and Obama voted against allowing us to put 3% of our own money in our own retirement account. Npbody ask them why. I sure would like top put 3% more in my retirement funds!!! Wake up people!!!!

    May 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Jamie Florida

    The entire system should be scrapped and the popular vote should rule. We live in a nation that calls itself a democracy and yet it doesn't count one person one vote? Instead we resort to some stupid delegate and electorate system. I don't care who wins, just make my vote count just as much as it would in another state. My current state has 3 elecotrates vs. other states that have 55, 34, 21 ect. My vote counts for less in my state than it would in another. Same with the delegates. Count my vote, not the electorates or delegates.

    May 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |

    I feel like oboma is going to be robbed of the nominee. This is so unfair how can the clintons even think about doing something like that they know that a lot of people fear them so they use it to their advantage. People wake up

    why would you want someone with a law suit for your president. If found quilty could be doing time in jail instead of the white house.

    I think thats why she is staying in the race cause long as she is running for president she can not be prosecuted Peter Paul vs.clintons

    May 22, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Rudolph

    Yes, definitely change it. Get rid of Superdelegates, use a winner-takes-all...And if possible (but I guess that's the states' choice) stop doing caucuses...
    You can't complain about Clinton hurting the party and at the same time defend the current system. If you want it to wrap up quickly, they have to use a winner-takes-all.

    May 22, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. janis

    Voters in FL and MI did not even realize their party had broke rules and their votes would not be counted. Many stood in lines for more than an hour. The voters didn't break the rules, the politicians did. Count the people's votes. This is the USA!

    May 22, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Big D

    Why is this the only time that Hillary is being such a fighter? If she's trying to prove that she's a fighter – why is she only fighting this hard for something that benefits her personally? When has she ever fought this hard for something for someone else?
    O '08

    May 22, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |






    May 22, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. TG

    The current process may wind up being changed...honestly, who ever expected a nomination fight going this far? At least this year it has been exciting to go vote, much less watch the campaigns in action instead of the usual 'find out who the nominee is early on'...

    HRC can go to the convention if she wants, but I personally think it's a wasted effort...seems like she thinks that if she can't get the nomination (sour grapes) she should drag down whoever gets it...and improve her chances for 2012.

    May 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |

    Do we need to address Hillary and her dirty tactics again. Remember her little issue with sniper fire. Oh that just turns my stomach. Give it up hillary you are done. Now you want to change the rules when even your own people say you are desperate. What a joke she has made of herself. The primary process is fine tell here to throw back another shot at the bar and give it a rest already.

    May 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. TMR

    I will vote against Obama as well as many other people. He is fraud, totally brainwashed by his wife, a wimp who can cause a lot of grief to our country. Think, people!

    May 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. yns

    Get rid of this delegate system and the caucus system. ONE PERSON ONE VOTE! Same day primaries!

    May 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. AL

    THe DNC can change all the rules it wants for 2012, but to manipulate the current process would be very Clintonesque. Funny how talk immediately arises of scraping Superdelgates just after Obama has gained the lead.
    Has anyone asked the question how Hillary would reach out to Obama's supporters if by smoke and mirrors she won ?
    Had the thought occured to her that to sling mud all the way to the convention at the end of the summer may not benefit her ? Much less make her a better person or leader....
    –Tired of the Clintons trying to bend every rule whenever it suits them...even 4000 year old ones.

    A diseffected Democrat that WON'T VOTE for HILLARY if she wins !!

    May 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Nina B.

    By the way, if Hillary won 65% to 30% for Obama in Kentucky, who got the other 5% of the votes?

    May 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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