Jun 14, 2018

Democrats are divided over superdelegates for 2020

Superdelegates overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee is pushing to scale back superdelegates' power in the 2020 presidential election, per Politico.

Why it matters: Some Democratic lawmakers worry they'll effectively be shut out of helping select the party's 2020 presidential nominee. Others have privately complained that this is the DNC's way of appeasing Bernie Sanders' supporters after the 2016 election.

Democratic divide: Hill Democrats are divided on this issue, as some like the idea of limiting superdelegates' role. Sen. Tim Kaine supports it and Rep. Ro Khanna tweeted "voters not party insiders can select our nominee. ... DC insiders are the last people I would trust with the judgment of understanding what the American people want!"

  • All members of the DNC voted in favor of this amendment in March, the committee's spokesman Michael Tyler told Politico. “We'll continue to seek input from members of Congress who are integral to our efforts to strengthen the Democratic Party and ensure that our 2020 nominee sprints out of the gates ready to defeat Donald Trump."
  • Four House Democrats, including Reps. David Price, who helped create superdelegates in 1980 as executive director of the Hunt Commission; Grace Meng, the DNC vice chair; Gregory Meeks and Rosa DeLauro, met with DNC Chairman Tom Perez yesterday morning to talk about this issue.

The problem: Although Perez's proposal wouldn't completely eliminate superdelegates, it would restrict them from voting in the first round of the presidential roll-call vote in 2020. However, it likely would only take one round of roll-call votes for the party's presidential nominee to be selected, meaning superdelegates, which include governors, members of Congress and other “distinguished party leaders," wouldn't get to weigh in.

Go deeper: In 2016, superdelegates made up 15% of all the party's delegates, but a significant majority of them sided with Hillary Clinton over Sanders. Roll Call has a primer on the history of superdelegates.

What's next: June 30 is the deadline to submit any amendments to the DNC's charter, which will be voted on during a party meeting in August.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 14,800

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected over 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. N.Y. has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

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World coronavirus updates: U.K. PM "stable, improving" in intensive care

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff" in the intensive care unit of London's St. Thomas' Hospital, where he is being treated for the coronavirus, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told the BBC Thursday.

Zoom in: The update comes as ministers meet to discuss whether to extend the United Kingdom's lockdown and after the country's health officials reported Wednesday the highest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths — 938, taking the total to over 7,300. London Mayor said Wednesday the U.K. is "nowhere near lifting the lockdown," with the virus not expected to peak there until next week.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,484,811 — Total deaths: 88,538 — Total recoveries: 329,876Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 432,132 — Total deaths: 14,817 — Total recoveries: 23,906Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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