su·per·del·e·gate | \ˈsü-pər-ˌde-li-gət \

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

There were 712 superdelegates allotted in 2016, making up about 15% of the entire delegate selection. Adam Levy, CNN, "A new, smaller role proposed for superdelegates," 8 June 2018 In the past, superdelegates were able to vote on the first ballot at the convention, for any nominee. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "A defining debate for Florida politics," 28 June 2018 Some committee members, including many who represent minority communities, argued excluding superdelegates on the first ballot was tantamount to voter disenfranchisement. Adam Levy, CNN, "Congressional Democrats could lose their status as DNC superdelegates," 13 June 2018 The Congressional Black Caucus wrote an open letter to party leadership in 2016 opposing the elimination of superdelegates and open primaries. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "The Progressive Revolution Is Being Led by a Black Woman," 10 Apr. 2018 Other superdelegates include former Democratic presidents, governors, senators and DNC members. Adam Levy, CNN, "Congressional Democrats could lose their status as DNC superdelegates," 13 June 2018 During a two-hour-plus meeting with a group of House Democrats at DNC headquarters, Perez laid out two options under consideration for superdelegates by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Just a reminder: A republic, not a democracy," 7 June 2018 Taking an initial step, the DNC voted in March to accept a committee report calling for reducing the influence of superdelegates, among other changes. Nicole Gaudiano, USA TODAY, "DNC Chair backs plan to effectively eliminate key role of 'super delegates' in nomination process," 5 June 2018 At the 2016 convention, unpledged superdelegates accounted for about 15 percent of the all presidential nominating votes. Bill Barrow,, "Democrats say they’ll limit superdelegates, but don’t say how," 11 Mar. 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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24 Sep 2018

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The first known use of superdelegate was in 1983

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