Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a rally in Seattle
Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a rally in Seattle (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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