WATSONVILLE, Calif. - Throughout the 2016 Presidential election cycle, Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters railed against the Democratic Party's use of "superdelegates" in choosing their Presidential nominee. A nomination he lost to Hillary Clinton, who received an majority of primary support, but an overwhelming majority of superdelegates.
In August 2018, Sanders and his supporters got their wish. The DNC decided to drastically limit the influence of the un-pledged party leaders, now only voting on the first National Convention ballot if a candidate already has secured a majority of pledged delegates.
"I'm proud that my party made the right changes to reflect the changing opinions of these
superdelegate positions," Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo said.
"Those divisions were there among the delegates," Alejo tells KION. "You're going to a convention and a significant number of seats were made by just appointments. Certainly those who worked hard to mobilize their base thought it was unfair."
In 2016, Clinton already secured the nomination without the additional delegates from the powerful body. But their over-representative support feared of a situation where that might not have been the case.
"(This will) make it clear that the popular will of the people is going to be reflective in the ultimate
Monterey County Democratic Party Chair Alan Haffa hopes this will move the party forward.
"This isn't about 2016. We're looking at 2018 and 2020 and unifying our party," Haffa said.
Senator Sanders called himself a Democratic Socialist, rising in influence in progressive politics. Larry Cafiero is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Santa Cruz, and says the new DNC rules didn't go far enough.
"If the Democrats really wanted to entice those of us who are on the progressive
side (they would) eliminate superdelegates all together."