DNC Chair Will Need Majority, Like an Instant Runoff

Posted by Rob Richie on February 20, 2017

It's the final week in the highly competitive race to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. As people gear up for the Saturday vote, keep in mind that with 10 candidates, it's highly unlikely that anybody will earn a majority of the initial vote. Just as with the Republicans in their 2009 race for chair, the first round leader in fact may not win. Instead, in what amounts to a series of runoffs, the winner will ultimately be the candidate who represents a majority of the 447 Democrats casting votes -- someone who can combine strong first choice support with support from backers of candidates who withdraw.

Iowa Democrats this year picked a chair using ranked choice voting, with the winner recognized as someone who bridges divides within the party. The repeated voting takes longer, but both have the same goal of getting to a consensus winner.

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