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."
The Hunt Commission was formed in 1981 to change how the party selected delegates, and to "figure out what to do to prevent outsiders like Carter or [George] McGovern from taking over the party again. It was specifically designed to give the party bosses more control so they created superdelegates."
And with that system, the odds are against Sanders to win, said Rasmussen.
"Whether he wins this time or not, the odds are against him," he told the program. "Hillary Clinton has a 243 delegate lead. Among the pledged delegates she has a huge lead among the superdelegates. If the rules are changed because Bernie Sanders doesn't like the outcome the results and the consequences will be just as unpredictable as they were the last time the rules were changed."
But Rasmussen said he believes the process to be "badly, badly broken from the ground up," even though it is working well at this time for the Democratic Party.
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