Democratic Party Group Recommends Several Changes to Presidential Selection Process

On December 9 the Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission released some recommendations for changing future Democratic presidential selection procedures. The number of superdelegates would be reduced by 60%. Furthermore, most of the remaining superdelegates would be required to vote for the candidate who had won the popular vote in that superdelegate’s jurisdiction. Only Democratic members of Congress, Governors, former Presidents, and a handful of others would retain the power to vote for any candidate.

The Commission also made recommendations about caucuses: the number of votes received by each presidential candidate must be tallied; and absentee voters must be allowed.

Finally, the Commission recommended that the Democratic Party work to persuade all presidential primary states with partisan registration to let voters change their party affiliation as late as primary election day. However, the Commission did not recommend letting independent voters vote in Democratic presidential primaries. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the news that the recommendations have been released. The Commission’s web page doesn’t yet have the text of the recommendations; the information in this post was gathered from various news stories.

Latest Gallup Poll on Partisan Affiliation

On December 4, Gallup Polls released a new poll asking U.S. voters about their partisan affiliation. Gallup periodically does this poll. When respondents answer that they are “independent”, they are asked if they lean toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, and leaners are then classified with that party.

The latest figures: Democratic 44%; Republican 37%; other 19%. See here. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.

U.S. Supreme Court Accepts a Second Gerrymander Case, This one a Democratic Gerrymander in Maryland

On December 8, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Benisek v Lamone, 17-333. This case had been considered for the first time at the December 1 conference, but no action was taken until today. The case challenges the boundaries of Maryland’s Sixth U.S. House district as a Democratic partisan gerrymander. The incumbent Democrat is John Delaney, elected in 2012 when this district first came into existence. The district goes from the Washington, D.C. suburbs, westerly all the way to the West Virginia state line.

John Delaney is the author of the bill to require all states to use top-two systems in congressional elections, HR 2981. In 2014, the vote in the Sixth District was: Delaney, Democrat, 94,704; Dan Bongino, Republican, 91,930; George Gluck, Green Party, 3,762.

Here is the brief of the voters who brought the lawsuit. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news.

Arizona Will Hold a Special U.S. House Election to Fill the Vacant 8th District Seat

On December 8, Arizona Congressmember Trent Franks said he is resigning from the House effective immediately. He represents the 8th district, centered on the suburbs west of Phoenix.

When the special election is called, it will be interesting to see if any reduction in the number of signatures will be ordered. Independent candidates in the typical U.S. House district in Arizona need approximately 5,000 signatures, but in a regular election an independent may take as long as desired to get those signatures. But in special election the petitioning period will be short.

Evan McMullin’s Group “Stand Up Republic” Spends $500,000 on Ads Against Roy Moore

Evan McMullin, independent presidential candidate in 2016 who appealed to Republicans opposed to Donald Trump, formed “Stand Up Republic” after the election. It has spent $500,000 on television ads opposed to Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate next week in Alabama. The ads do not advocate a vote for the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones. But they feature Republicans who say they cannot vote for Roy Moore.