su·​per·​del·​e·​gate | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌde-li-gət How to pronounce superdelegate (audio) \

Definition of superdelegate

US politics
: a person who is chosen as a delegate to a political party's presidential nominating convention because of his or her status as a leader or official within the party and who is free to vote for any candidate regardless of the results of the popular vote in primary elections and caucuses preceding the convention Superdelegates were invented by the Democrats after the 1980 election in the expectation that in any future close nomination race, they would line up behind the establishment candidate and head off the possibility of a ruinous floor fight at the convention.— Matt Bai

Examples of superdelegate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

More on the Debates Since then, the party has reduced the clout of superdelegates. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Debates Put Democratic National Committee Back in Spotlight," 25 June 2019 That is especially so because of new Democratic Party rules that have diluted the influence of party insiders known as superdelegates, making the delegates scooped up in each congressional district all the more important. Melanie Mason,, "California’s long-overlooked Central Valley holds new allure for 2020 candidates," 4 June 2019 The Providence meeting did not settle the question of superdelegates. David Weigel, Washington Post, "Bernie Sanders supporter attends every DNC reform meeting. DNC member calls her a Russian plant.," 12 June 2018 Then there is the party’s new rule for 2020, in which superdelegates — party establishment insiders who are automatic delegates to the party’s convention — cannot vote on the first presidential ballot if the convention remains contested. Marc Levy, The Seattle Times, "Surprise? Pennsylvania’s 2020 primary could be competitive," 25 Mar. 2019 Again, superdelegates have never actually tipped a nomination, at least through their floor votes. Seth Masket, Vox, "Race is still the central dividing line in the Democratic Party," 26 Aug. 2018 Moore dutifully attacks the idiosyncrasies of the system, like the Electoral College and the Democratic Party’s system of superdelegates. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "In Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore spares no one — especially self-satisfied liberals," 7 Sep. 2018 The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to limit the influence of superdelegates -- part of a series of changes to the presidential nominating process to reunite the party after a rocky 2016 primary process. Fox News, "DNC votes to limit influence of superdelegates in presidential nominating process," 25 Aug. 2018 Under the proposal, superdelegates would be able to vote for president at a convention only if no candidate received a majority on the first round of balloting. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Democrats Weigh Rolling Back Clout of ‘Superdelegates’," 24 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superdelegate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of superdelegate

1983, in the meaning defined above

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2 Jul 2019

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The first known use of superdelegate was in 1983

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Nglish: Translation of superdelegate for Spanish Speakers

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