Pollster and political analyst Scott Rasmussen said Tuesday he remembers the 1980 convention in New York and how the superdelegate system came from an effort to prevent outsiders from taking control of the Democratic Party presidential process.
“We have an incumbent president, Jimmy Carter, running for re-election,” Rasmussen, who was at the convention, told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” program. “A lot of Democrats were unhappy because he was moving to the center with deregulation. There was a challenge by Ted Kennedy from the left. He lost early on, but he was winning the last states just like Bernie Sanders. But when it came to the convention, Carter had more pledged delegates and Kennedy thought ‘they wanted to vote for me.'”
The first rule was to unbind the delegates, he continued, the “same talk we heard this year from Republicans. It didn’t work. At the convention after he lost that vote, Ted Kennedy finally conceded, but that election set the stage for what we know as superdelegates.”z