California Democrats -- looking for a more equitable division of their 336 delegates to the 1988 Democratic convention -- have scrapped the controversial "winner-take-all" method they used in 1984. In next June's primary, the names of the presidential candidates will be on the ballots and delegates will be awarded according to the percentage of the primary vote the candidates receive in each of the state's 45 congressional districts.
The proposal, approved by the party's 169-member executive board, goes to the state legislature, where it is expected to pass.
Under the old procedure, Democrats voted directly for delegates, who were identified with a candidate. This made it possible for a candidate who received a plurality of the votes to win all the delegates in the district.
In 1984, Gary Hart collected two-thirds of the state's delegates while receiving support from only 40 percent of the voters.
Supporters of Jesse L. Jackson, who pushed for the change, contend Jackson was shortchanged in 1984 when he received almost 21 percent of the vote, but only 9 percent of the state's delegates. "This time we are going to get our fair share of California's delegates," said a Jackson supporter.