Monday, March 31, 2008

Solving the Democratic Superdelegate Problem

It seems obvious that the Superdelegates for the Democratic Party are getting to be an issue that is causing more and more controversy with this current presidential primary.

The Republicans, who don’t use Superdelegates, seemed to have sailed easily through the primaries and are now focused on their candidate of choice.

The problem with the Democrats is that they have two strong, viable candidates. While the primaries and caucuses have Barack Obama in the lead with delegate counts, there are still several primaries to go, and many Superdelegates remain uncommitted. If there were no Superdelegates, the primary may have been resolved by now, as it’s virtually certain that Hillary Clinton will never win enough delegates at this point to win the nomination. But, we still have those pesky Superdelegates to contend with.

The solution to the Superdelegate problem is to just not have them. My opinion is for the 2012 presidential election, the Democratic Party should seriously consider eliminating Superdelegates. The other thing that both parties should consider is tightening up the primary and caucus dates so all this election brouhaha can be done over a period of two months.

Since there isn’t much we can do on those two issues this season, I think the immediate solution to the Superdelegate problem is this: For any states that have currently held primaries or caucuses, the Superdelegates tied to those states (members of the senate, congress, and state officials like governors) should declare their candidate NOW. Since their state’s voters have already spoken, I think the states’ Superdelegates should make their intentions known. In fact, if the party continues to have Superdelegates for future elections, they should consider giving the Superdelegates only 1 week after their state’s primary or caucus to commit to a candidate.

But for now, I find no reason why a Superdelegate whose state has cast their vote shouldn’t be stating who they would be voting for as well.

I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation. If the Democratic Party fails to act, it will split the party apart and jeopardize their chances in November.

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