Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold is open to the idea of no longer using superdelegates in the party’s presidential nomination process.
Pressure is mounting for the Democratic National Committee to end the use of superdelegates, which some members argue ignores the wishes of primary voters. During a stop in Madison Wednesday, Feingold admitted it’s a concern he’s had before. “I think the superdelegate system has got to be really seriously questioned. I’ve never been a big fan of it…I feel like it has to be reevaluated in a very serious way,” he said.
Democrats nationally and in Wisconsin have been calling for changes, amid complaints that superdelegates may unfairly benefits candidates who enter the presidential race early. In the 2016 race, there have been arguments that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is largely due to her support from superdelegates, although Clinton also leads among delegates who are awarded proportionately.
The Democrat’s state convention this weekend will include calling for an amendment that urges the DNC to abolish the use of superdelegates in 2020. Some Sanders supporters also want their use removed during the 2016 race, although Feingold said he does not support making a retroactive change. “But certainly going forward, I think it would be much more in the spirit of a populist Democratic Party if we had a different, more direct system,” he said.