superdelegate

noun
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 But in the event of a deadlock at the convention, superdelegates could come into play. Sarah Almukhtar, New York Times, "Ready, Set, Vote: Here’s Everything You Need to Know for the 2020 Primaries," 24 Jan. 2020 Which one of those will the Democratic establishment, including the convention’s superdelegates, look at on the fourth ballot in Milwaukee in July and decide, yup, that’s the one who can beat Trump? Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Kamala Harris wasn’t cut out for it. Here’s what she should do now," 7 Dec. 2019 Democrats are starting to quietly whisper about superdelegates again. NBC News, "What al-Baghdadi's death changes for Trump — and what it doesn't," 28 Oct. 2019 At the last debate, Rispone brought up his opponent's vote as a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016 in an attempt to tie Edwards to Washington Democrats. CBS News, "Louisiana governor's race is the latest test of Trump's clout," 15 Nov. 2019 The San Francisco meeting isn’t quite as important as in past years, when most DNC members were superdelegates with a big say in the presidential nomination. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "Presidential candidates take swipes at DNC at party meeting in San Francisco," 23 Aug. 2019 Other reforms included reducing the power of the party’s superdelegates. Reid J. Epstein, New York Times, "Caucuses in Iowa Won’t Include Absentee Participation, D.N.C. Says," 30 Aug. 2019 Currently Republicans do not use superdelegates in their selection process, and Democrats have recently cut their power. The Economist, "Is the 2020 Democratic field too crowded?," 31 July 2019 Currently Republicans do not use superdelegates in their selection process, and Democrats have recently cut their power. The Economist, "Is the 2020 Democratic field too crowded?," 31 July 2019

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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The first known use of superdelegate was in 1983

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Last Updated

29 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Superdelegate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superdelegate. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on superdelegate

Nglish: Translation of superdelegate for Spanish Speakers

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