December 09, 2023

Why a GPP? Um, What’s a GPP?

Why a GPP? Um, What’s a GPP?

Between now and next March, GPP will be slung around Dems Abroad circles a lot. What is it? And why have one in 2024?

GPP stands for Global Presidential Primary. It’s conducted both in physical Voting Centers around the globe and by e-ballot, so that DA members can declare their choice for the Democratic Presidential Candidate.

So far, so good. But the next question that springs to mind is “Why have one when we have an incumbent President?” The GPP can be fairly expensive and it involves a lot of volunteer time and energy. And, why not just vote in my home state’s Primary election?

Here’s the Deal

Democrats Abroad, with more members than a couple of the smaller states, is recognized by the DNC as a state party committee, like the Illinois Democratic Party or the California Democratic Party. Like the state and territorial party committees, we send our delegates to the Democratic National Convention, where they make the final decision on our Presidential ticket.

DA delegates are voted on by members of the DPCA. Those are the Chair and Vice Chair of each Country Committee plus elected Voting Representatives proportional to the size of the CC. “One person, one vote.” Greece has one VR in addition to its two officers.

Dems Abroad will send 21 delegates to the Democratic National Convention next August. How they’re chosen is explained in the deep weeds of our Delegate Selection Plan, recently approved by the DNC. It’s a little complicated, but you can find out more in the ‘briefing’ page on the DA website. For our purposes here, it’s enough to know that delegates are allocated to one or more candidates based on the proportional results of the GPP. 

Why Challenge an Incumbent?

In 2024, it’s a different situation. We have a sitting President, widely seen as one of the most effective in US history and also the oldest. Media fixation with the ‘but but but his age’ issue has led to a few challengers stepping up. And, while we’d love to save our money for the General Election, we play fair! Any candidate who can garner enough signatures in a state can get a place on that state’s Primary ballot.

Thus far, three candidates have asked for supportive signatures to appear in the GPP: Joe Biden, Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips. They're all three pretty positive, progressive people. A presidential debate among them would be a dramatic contrast to the rancor and pinched myopia of the Republican debates to date! Sign a petition for one, two or all at this link.

In any case, these candidates have asked to be on the DA GPP ballot.

From now until January 3, members at all levels of the organization can sign the petition for one OR all of the candidates. And come March, we’ll all have the chance to vote for the one of our choice.

And that result will determine how many delegates allocated to each one will be going to the Convention. 

The GPP, then, is an official US election. It’s run by the book, with tight security and voter integrity at every step of the process. So, even if it seems superfluous this time round, it’s real, serious, and part of our civic responsibility.

One more time: To sign a candidate petition for Biden, Williamson, Phillips OR all three, to get their names on the ballot, use this easy link.

By Karen Lee, DAGR Communications Chair