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Politics & Government

Wisconsin Democrats Take Up Future of Super Delegates at Convention

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Several hundred Democrats throughout Wisconsin are expected to gather at the state convention in Green Bay later this week. Members will vote on a number of issues, including whether to eliminate super delegates from the process. Those are delegates at the national convention who are not bound to a particular candidate.

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders have been outspoken against the super delegate system, saying it gives candidates favored by the party establishment an unfair advantage. JR Ross is Editor of the online political magazine wispolitics.com. He says the resolution to eliminate super delegates likely comes from Sanders’ supporters.

“It’s an obvious reaction from Bernie Sanders’ supporters to the disparity in the number of super delegates going to Hillary Clinton vs. their candidate, especially in a place like Wisconsin, where Bernie Sanders won 57 percent of the vote here in the April 5 primary,” Ross says.

The vote to eliminate super delegates will be non-binding. Wisconsin has 96 total delegates going to the Democratic National Convention in July. 86 of them are pledged which means they are tied to primary votes. Ross says that leaves ten super delegates who can support any candidate they want.

“Members of Congress are super delegates, the members of the DNC are super delegates, the chair of the party, the vice chair of the party, usually those types of elected leaders get those roles,” Ross says.

Ross says six of Wisconsin’s super delegates have indicated they’ll back Hillary Clinton, while one has thrown his support to Bernie Sanders. Three say they’re undecided. While there might be some discord between Sanders and Clinton supporters, Ross doesn’t think what happened at Nevada’s convention a few weeks ago, will happen here. A fight broke out over allocation of delegates.

“Our convention will be different in Wisconsin for the Dems because other places like Nevada had deliberations about the delegate process or the selection process on the floor. That isn’t happening here. We already have the delegates allocated, the people have been picked, that process is over,” Ross says.

Ross notes the state’s Republican convention went off without a hitch two weeks ago. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz captured the majority of the GOP vote here, even though not all delegates are enthused about the likely nominee, Donald Trump. Delegates spent the weekend urging party unity.

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