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. Elisabeth


    May 22, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Nando, Florida

    Its funny how when we started last year none of this bullcrap was of Concern??? BUT NOW THAT HILLARY AND PYSCO ARE LOOSING WE ALL HAVE TO HEAR THIS NAGGING CRYING GAME>


    AND GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. stephanie, Washington

    Yes, they should get rid off superdelegate, winner-take call , no caucus only primaries or popular votes.

    May 22, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Kristian

    Notice how Wolfie never bought this up when Clinton was ahead in the superdelegate count? Now that Obama has close to 30 more than Clinton he's suddenly crying out wolf (sorry for the bad pun).

    May 22, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. YES WE CAN ! (Kissimmee, FL)

    Stop being so Spiteful, Hillary !!!!


    May 22, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. another senerio

    you do know that it is totaly possible that the dnc could decide in the convention that neither of the 2 are electable, and nominate someone like Edwards to run in the general election.

    May 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. A Girl from SC

    Superdelegates were to support the best candidate.

    Personally if they did independent thinking and not be swayed by their state, this might work.

    May 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Judy

    The system is flawed and I don't know whose fault it is, but seriously when you have 4000 votes cast in Maine with a popualtion of 1.3 million it's a joke. I 've seen Homecoming Queen contests with more voter participation.

    May 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. linda-Texas

    The DNC's primary election process is incredibly flawed and has made a complete mess of this primary election.

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

    the voting system is old fashioned. The life goes on, evolves, technology evolves, progresses, so should elections, voting system.

    May 22, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Albert

    Not only they could but they SHOULD.

    May 22, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Thomas for Hillary

    No more supers, and have winner take all. You win the state you win the delegates. You lose the state you get nada. If the dems had the GOP rules Hillary would have had this wrapped up back in late March.

    May 22, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Steve

    It's gone– and so is the Democratic Party leadership. Caucuses, apportioned delegates, super delegates all will fall by the wayside after John McCain becomes president.

    May 22, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Dealt

    What I think is amazing is bringing this up at this time. And I'm not sure how to look at this. Is it lack of news, a frantic attempt to throw the Dem party ionto chaos, an equally frantic attempt to help Clinton's frenzy or what?

    Whatever one's opinion about Democrat's rules, the timing for the issue Blitzer has raised is atrocious. GE's so very near. This contest already seems to have a winner. There's no way this can be a helpful suggestion now. Think about it for the next election, if need be, but NOW?!

    May 22, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. Bondy's girl

    The very idea that she might stay in this race until the convention in August is absurd. She has turned into a whiney little girl, instead of the strong woman she started out this race as. She is stating that she wants every vote counted, except of course all the caucus votes for Obama, its ok to throw those ones away because they areny for her. Frankly, the Dems have their work cut out for them before the next race.

    May 22, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Ian

    The problem with the process lies with the so called super delegate factor. Here we have a "select" group of party members that have contributed greatly to the party many of whom have not made a decision to endorse two weeks prior to the end of the race. Not only do they not endorse but they are allowed to be fickle and change their minds, hold out until the convention or not vote period!!! Everyone else better vote based on the rhetoric, so how does that demonstrate leadership, responsibility and maturity when they cannot make up their minds despite all their inside information???!!!

    May 22, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. A Girl from SC

    Obama has a big problem with a lot of issues, especially with the Jewish population.

    He can say what he wants, the Jewish community will not trust him.
    This is where the superdelegates might be able to step in and vote for the Jewish community, against Obama.

    Obama's church supports Louis Farrakhan. This man a Nation of Islam leader and anti Semitic leader recently had a rally in Chicago with over 20,000 members attending to support Obama.

    Having Obama on the ticket is scarey.

    Voters should be aware of who Farrakhan is and why they should fear Obama. The media ought to show videos on this man so the youth understands what he stands for.

    All candidates need to be transparent, including Obama.

    May 22, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. JC

    I agree with NY Governor Peterson 100%.
    DNC will lose its credibility and so will either candidate IF they try to change it now. DNC has to stick with it no matter what.

    May 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Robert in Long Beach, CA

    Let's get the facts straight. The DNC has tried to work out a solution to the Michigan and Florida primary issue before those election even occurred. I heard this on CNN more than once during election coverage. Now the vote is close and the media needs a story, but will not tell that story with all the facts. Why? Now, it's the DNC and the Obama campaign that are at fault for not aggressively pushing for the seating of delegates? Now, Florida is going to court to have it's vote count, when the rules prevent that, but had an opportunity all along to have a process work for the benefit of it's citizens? What are rules for, if not to make sure that the playing field is even. I feel sorry for Florida and Michigan, but their leaders dropped the ball not the DNC. Please report the facts. There were efforts to make sure these states could be counted equitably. There still is an effort to make sure that these states are at the convention, and not left out of the process. You, the media, are creating more of this story than the facts that support the problem to begin with. Shame on all of you.

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Yousri, FL

    I think the Democrats should scrap the current delegate system; and most importantly scrap the Superdelegates ROLE altogether

    They should make the nomination process exactly as the EV system in the general election.

    That way they will have their nominee at the end of the primaries without the mess that the superdelegates create.

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. William F.

    As a reformed democrat, the democratic party selection process is just a mess, too complicated because the party has tried to please everyone and we all know what happens as a result. How anyone can trust a party that comes up with a convaluted process such as this to run our country is beyond me. As for Obama, he would not even be considered for a GM's position at any hotel with comparable experience, yet you guys wanna give him the title of President, I just don't get it. Change, becareful what you ask for you just might get it.

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Phillip

    Hillary is not "fighting for the rights" of those in MI or FL, regardless of how many times you type it repeatedly in capital letters.

    Right now, she says that it's a gross injustice that within a system of democracy, some people's voices won't be heard or counted. But she was suspiciously silent about this issue, and willing to play by the DNC's (explicitly stated) rules, a few months ago when she was still ahead in delegates. Now that she's fallen behind and needs those delegates, she's all about having every vote counted.

    And then, of course, there is another inconsistency, that anyone with at least half a brain will have noticed: if Hillary's message is really to have a truly democratic process, and to have everyone's voice heard and counted, then why does she turn around and, in the same breath, scream that the superdelegates should overturn the votes of everyone in the nation just so she can get elected?

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Obama

    Hello All,

    This is Senator Obama. I want to bow out of the race.

    Hillary is a better choice.

    VOTE Clinton because thats what I am going to do.



    May 22, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. anthony

    it goes to show just how power hungrey the clintons are

    May 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Everyman

    Some needed change:
    1. Eliminate the caucus, because it disenfranchises citizens who cannot attend
    2. Eliminate over-representation of less populous states, which are currently given more than a proportional share of delegates
    3. Let 1 vote = 1 vote regardless of the district in the state in which it was cast
    4. Set 3 primary dates (e.g., January, March, May) and, over election cycles, rotate each state through these dates; each state will have the earliest date every third presidential election

    May 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11