The 2016 nominating season will end on a high note for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a landslide victory in the District of Columbia’s Democratic presidential primary, which was held today in our nation’s capital.
Of 85,949 total ballots cast, Hillary Clinton received 66,796 votes — a percentage of 77.72%. Bernie Sanders received 17,550 votes, or 20.8%.
“We just won Washington, D.C.! Grateful to everyone who voted,” tweeted Clinton’s campaign, attaching a photo of a beaming Clinton working a rope line.
Sanders’ campaign has not commented on the results.
The D.C. Democratic primary was the very last contest left on the calendar. Now that it has concluded, the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be focusing on getting ready for the convention.
The two candidates are having a closed door meeting tonight to discuss how to defeat Donald Trump and unify the Democratic Party.
In advance of the meeting, Sanders held a press conference calling for new leadership at the DNC (he wants Debbie Wasserman Schultz out), a commitment to do away with “superdelegates”, a commitment that open primaries be used in future presidential cycles, and a robust, progressive platform.
It is worth noting that the Democratic Party’s current rules actually allow for open primaries. It is up to each state and territorial party to decide what method it would like to use to allocate its national convention delegates.
Each jurisdiction does things differently. Some states, like Wisconsin, hold open primaries; some, like Oregon, hold closed primaries. Others, like Washington and Idaho, utilize caucuses. Still others use conventions. The process that each jurisdiction uses is spelled out in its Delegate Selection and Affirmative Action Plan. The state or territorial party drafts the plan, which identifies the method by which delegates will be allocated, and submits it to the DNC for ratification.
Any attempt to change national party rules to compel state and territorial parties to use a certain method (e.g. open primaries) next time around is almost certain to fail. Opponents will point out it goes against the idea of a party governed from the bottom up, because it would deny state and territorial parties the freedom to decide what system would work best for them in a given cycle.
With respect to rules changes, Sanders would do well to focus on trying to get rid of so-called superdelegates, which is probably more achievable. There is a growing consensus among the party’s grassroots that “superdelegates” are unnecessary, and even some in the party establishment share this view.
(For instance, Congressman Adam Smith, one of Washington’s six Democratic U.S. Representatives, has frequently remarked that he doesn’t see a need for superdelegates, and would be happy to do away with them.)
In about a month, the Republican National Convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, followed a week later by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NPI will provide live analysis of both conventions here on the Cascadia Advocate and on The Advocate’s sister publication, In Brief.