After a convention dominated by party regulars picked
VP Hubert Humphrey for president in 1968,
Democrats promised the next nomination race
would be open to ’68’s outsiders.
George McGovern -who helped draft the new procedures-
went on to capture the nomination,
then lead Democrats to a landslide defeat.
Jimmy Carter, another rules-enabled outsider,
eked out a win in 1976, but his reelection failure in 1980
convinced Democrats to reempower moderate party veterans,
resulting, ultimately, in the superdelegate rule