Skip to content

November 2009

DNC Change Commission # 3 – Caucuses

  • by

The 2008 caucus process generated an unusual amount of attention and controversy, largely because far more people participated in these processes than had ever done so in the past.  Those who favor having caucuses instead of primaries in their states argue that a mix of caucuses and primaries is appropriate, candidates can have more direct contact with caucus attendees and engage in “retail politics,” and caucus participants become Democratic activists.  Those of us who participated in caucuses (which we used in Virginia for decades until 2004) think that caucuses can be confusing to voters and severely limit participation. But the folks in Iowa and other states like their caucuses, they have long been part of the nomination process, and they will continue to be an option.Read More »DNC Change Commission # 3 – Caucuses

DNC Change Commission #2 – Super Delegates

  • by

 Or, more accurately, automatic unpledged party leader and elected official delegates (“AUPLEOs”).  In 2008, nearly 20% of national convention delegates were super delegates – Distinguished Former Party Leaders (DFPLs, e.g., former DNC Chairs), Governors, Senators, members of Congress, and DNC members.  The 2008 Convention Resolution requires “a significant reduction in the number” of such delegates.  It also provides for a review of the formulas for delegate allocation to make sure that the delegates accurately reflect the will of the voters. Read More »DNC Change Commission #2 – Super Delegates

DNC Change Commission #1 – Timing of primaries and caucuses

  • by

This is the first of three postings that discuss the rules issues the DNC Change Commission will consider at its (final) December 5, 2009 meeting.  [corrected]

The Change Commission Resolution adopted at the Democratic National Convention provides that, for 2012, most primaries/caucuses are to be held after March 1; those that are allowed to go earlier must occur after February 1; frontloading should be reduced; the Commission should review enforcement rules; and the DNC should work with the RNC on scheduling.  At the October Commission meeting, staff presented options, including moving back the starting dates and also encouraging regional clustering of contests.

The concern here is that the process starts too early, a few states (i.e. NH and Iowa) have a disproportionate influence, and too many contests happen too soon.  A later-starting, more spread out process would allow voters in different states to evaluate the candidates, voters in more than a handful of states would have a voice in choosing the party’s nominee, and the party can see how candidates progress over time.  A counter concern is that choosing a nominee early allows that candidate to prepare for the November general election that much sooner.  The consensus seems to be in favor of a few contests in February and the remainder spread out over a first tuesday in March to second tuesday in June window.Read More »DNC Change Commission #1 – Timing of primaries and caucuses

Message from Jody Wagner and Senator Warner

  • by

We’ve poured every penny we could into our media effort, and I’m glad to report that your grassroots support has allowed us to counter the national money Bill Bolling’s been getting – we’ve been able to buy more broadcast media in Northern Virginia than he has!

Tomorrow is election day, and we’ve marshalled all of our volunteers to cover the polls and make the final push – your help would be an incredible boost. If you can help, please email Tyee Davenport at right away.Read More »Message from Jody Wagner and Senator Warner