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. Jeff

    Yes, I think the only reliable metric should be the elected delegates awarded proportionately so that the candidate with majority delegates wins the nomination. That is democracy in action, not this crap that we are now witnessing. I am losing interest in this kind of politics.

    May 22, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Deb

    I know that what I witnessed in our "Texas Two Step" was horrifying!

    What happened wasn't close to meeting election laws and it was not democratic!

    It is why I know that Obama and his thugs have stolen this Primary season.

    The fact that they ended up with more delegates then possible is the sure proof of "Funny" business.

    I will never vote for a cheater!

    May 22, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Chuck R

    If it was winner take all like the GOP Clinton would have had the election wrapped up after Pennsylvania.

    May 22, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Yes, but no MID election...

    May 22, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Ricky the Rocket, Dallas

    Forget the super delegates-forget the pledged delegates-they are now irrelevant.

    Hillary is going to run as an Independent, so you can stick all your delegates where the sun doesn't shine.

    Obamarites, start planning for 2016'. Your'e locked out until then.

    May 22, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Diane, MT

    No superdelegates. Nancy said eight hundred is far too many, but I think one is too many. Let the people vote, and let their votes be the last word.

    May 22, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Jaun

    This is indeed one of the best election year, but I don't think the domocrats should rethink the rules. THE SUPERDELEGATES SHOULD OF DELIVERED BY NOW.
    Hillary needs a strong message telling her its over...NOW.
    OBAMA 08

    May 22, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Justin, Austin TX

    I honestly think 2012 should be entirely different.

    Starting with winner-take-all, regional primaries, and the only superdelegates are governors, senators, and representatives with 1/2 vote each.

    Let the popular vote decide the nomination – i.e. winner-take-all – and make the whole thing more efficient.

    May 22, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. bili

    the bad thing is hilary is making the whole issue a do or die the first place she agreed to that rule and just because she is not winning she wants the whole thing turn careful of what you to others what you will want them to do unto you.i don't belief that woman have any consceince.

    May 22, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Deezy

    Wolf i'm sorry to say but it looks like you are giving Hillary some nasty ideas. Soon she'll start insisting that she is the nominee by virtue of popular vote inclusive of MI and FL. In any contest rules are set before start of play and players agree to abide by them and no player is allowed to bend the rules towards the end of the game when he/she is down so as to win. I think this MI, FL twister and the popular vote "lie" is total BS!

    May 22, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Bridgette-PA

    If this is the way it's always been, why change it now....because Hillary and her supporters say so?

    May 22, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. mankopi

    Change the rules so I can win!
    A good president is one who knows when to quit but obviously Hillary doesnt know when to stop. Imagine if she started a real war [eg with Iran], do you think she will know when to end it?

    May 22, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Chuck R

    Clinton leads Obama in delegates elected by the voters in Primary Election states. Obama's entire lead in pledged delgates comes from the caucus states. Clinton has had more people vote for her in Primary Elections. ...and yet it looks like that candidate that lost 7 of the last 11 primaries, got less votes and would have lost in a winner take all system may still get the nomination.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. steveg

    Sure, let's change it now since it doesn't suit the whims of your royal highness (intentional "misspelling") Herr Clinton.

    Why is nooone asking her why she has a problem with it only now, when it was what all the candidates agreed to before the primary season.

    She was offered a more than fair percentage of Michigan given noone else was on the ballot (yet another issue she's not being questioned on with any vigor) but refused it. Why? To keep dragging on this artificially inflated issue untl she's given the nomination because of who she is, or thinks she is? It could be argued that Florida's delegates could be seated proportionally to the votes cast but with fewer delegates as some level of punishment for electing stupid representatives who violated the AGREED TO rules. It's harder to argue Michigan since she renegged on taking her name off the ballot as the candidates agreed to, and her refusal to compromise calls into question her sincerity – not that she's ever ever given cause to question her on this before *cough* Bosnia *cough* NAFTA *cough*

    This is getting real old real fast.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Independent for Obama

    I agree that there is no need for 800 superdelegates. Let the people vote, have them elect the delegates, and no more of this messy, drawn out who-endorses-who-today game!!

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Boye

    Well, If they change the nomination system and Hillary runs and loses in 2012; they system will have to be changed once again. We can all complain about the rules when the game is over but the fact is people develop their strategies based on the rules. You can't start a basketball game and at the end say the team with the least number of fouls win the game.
    Yes, the current system has flaws but don't try to use a different yardstick to determine the winner.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Victory for Hillary

    The FACT is, Wolf, had the democrats used the same model as the GOP in their nomination process – Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. The flaws with the caucusing only further divides the party and should be stopped.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. bringin the pain

    NOBAMA ever

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. AK

    Only supedelegates will be left and democratic party will disappear.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Ann

    Hillary is the only democrat deserving of the nomination...we do not need someone who has sat under Wright all these years. If he gets the nomination, after it's proven that she's the most electable, I will give up on this system of ours. It doesn't work....

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Melinda Charlotte, NC

    This race has been the most exciting race of my lifetime. The delegate allocation would be fine with the exception of the caucuses. The caucus system needs to be scrapped entirely. The United States is actually a republic with proportional representation, so it is fine to award delegates based on actual votes. The problem with caucuses is that they are inherenly unfair and are discriminatory. They are also not weighted the same way as primary delegates. The primary delegates represent a much larger swath of people than the caucus delegates do. The superdelegates also need to be scrapped. The United States, I would hope, would be able to choose a president without some other entity overriding the will of the people. In short, make each delegate count for the exact same number of people as any other delegate. Each delegate equals 1,000 people for instance. That is the only democratic solution to proportional representation.

    May 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Dennis

    Wolf, would you please stop encouraging Hillary? If this goes all the way to the convention, you'll be partly responsible for us having to endure a President McTwoface and even worse a Vice President wanna be Reagan Romney.

    May 22, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Just Say...

    The word is no.

    I hope someone will be brave enough to tell Hillary no. Just say no.

    No, Hillary you can't have America. No Hillary the presidency is not yours, so play nice. No Hillary, we know the "hard working whites" voted for you in Kentucky, and West Virginia, but there are other hard working people of all races who voted for Barack. No Hillary, this contest is about the delegates, not the populous vote. And no Hillary, you can't change the rules for Florida and Michigan just because you are losing and those states favor you. You shouldn't have broken the rules by keeping your name on the Michigan ballot.

    Just say no folks. No, no, and no to you Hillary.

    May 22, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Edison from Strubolt County

    The Democrats should put Hillary in an airtight box and jettison her into a black hole. That way it'd be impossible to hear her moaning and groaning ever again.

    May 22, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Wolf ,you are so one-sided towards Hillary, so lets change it right now for her Wolf. Give me a break Wolf!

    May 22, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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