Hunting the Hunt Commission

The private meetings that led to the creation of superdelegates have never been published or made public—until now.

In These Times Contributors

Carter delegates at the 1976 Democratic National Convention (Warren K. Leffler, Library of Congress)

Despite hold­ing a nation­wide series of pres­i­den­tial pri­maries and cau­cus­es in which mil­lions of vot­ers par­tic­i­pate, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty still main­tains a sys­tem of 712 par­ty insid­ers who often have the final say on who the nom­i­nee is. Why did the par­ty choose to insti­tute such a sys­tem? To answer that, you need to go back to the Hunt Com­mis­sion, which in 1982 invent­ed the superdel­e­gate.”

The proceedings of the Hunt Commission have never been published.

The pro­ceed­ings of the Hunt Com­mis­sion have nev­er been pub­lished. In These Times gained access to doc­u­ments housed in the Nation­al Archives, excerpts of which are repro­duced below.

The pages here rep­re­sent only a sam­ple of the total mate­r­i­al looked at by In These Times, which itself makes up a small per­cent­age of the total pro­ceed­ings of the Com­mis­sion. Nev­er­the­less, the doc­u­ments pre­sent­ed here pro­vide an exclu­sive win­dow into the delib­er­a­tion and moti­va­tions that led to the cre­ation of superdelegates.

See the doc­u­ments here.

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