With some members still complaining that women would be the losers, the latest Democratic Party rules commission gave final approval yesterday to letting the House and Senate Democratic caucuses send two-thirds of their members as uncommitted delegates to the 1984 convention.
The vote came after assurances were given by two members of Congress that the number of congressional "super-delegates" would be reduced by negotiation before the Democratic National Committee meets to approve the new rules next month.
Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.) told members of the Commission on Presidential Nominations, "I can live with something substantially less than two-thirds," and predicted that a figure closer to 50 percent would be acceptable.
The issue of congressional delegates was about the only contentious matter as the commission, headed by North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., spent less than four hours putting the finishing touches on draft language hammered out in a two-day session last month.
State Rep. Cleta Deatherage of Oklahoma argued yesterday that if two-thirds of the Democrats in Congress came to the convention it is "mathematically impossible" to provide equal division of sexes among the 550 unpledged delegates the new rules allow.
Because there are only 10 females among House Democrats and none in the Senate, she said, even if all the available seats for other uncommitted elected and party officials were given to women there would be an imbalance.
The general rules for the convention require that half the seats be reserved for women, but that provision does not apply specifically to the new category of uncommitted delegates.
Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.), secretary of the House Democratic Caucus, said caucus Chairman Gillis W. Long (D-La.) "wants the two-thirds provision kept intact for now, but is willing to indicate flexibility in support of the goal of equal division when the Democratic National Committee meets."
Other major changes in the rules, shortening the delegate-selection season and increasing the flexibility of individual delegates, were approved without change.
In a letter to commission members, pollster Patrick J. Caddell criticized the new rules on grounds that they could lead to a "de facto national primary." Caddell, who assisted the nomination and election campaigns of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, said that could happen if states move up their primary dates in the calendar, and take advantage of new rules allowing "winner-take-more" bonus delegates.
But a motion to restrict states from moving their primaries earlier in the year was voted down by the commission.