Superdelegates To Determine Nominee

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:23


( - promoted by Matt Stoller)

It can no longer be avoided: super delegates will determine the Democratic Presidential nominee this year. Here is the current situation:

From this point, quick math shows that after Super Tuesday, only 1,428 pledged delegates will still be available. Now, here is where the problem shows up. According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama. (In all likelihood, the winning margin will be lower than this, but using these numbers helps emphasize the seriousness of the situation.) As such, the largest possible pledged delegate margin Clinton can have after Super Tuesday is 937 to 862. (While it is possible Obama will lead in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday, it does not currently seem possible for Obama to have a larger lead than 75). That leaves Clinton 1,088 pledged delegates from clinching the nomination, with only 1,428 pledged delegates remaining. Thus, in order to win the nomination without the aid of super delegates, in her best-case scenario after Super Tuesday, Clinton would need to win 76.2% of all remaining pledged delegates. Given our proportional delegate system, there is simply no way that is going to happen unless Obama drops out.

More in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: Superdelegates To Determine Nominee
So, there you have it. Unless either Obama or Clinton drops out before the convention, there is simply no way that the nominee can be determined without the super delegates. In the broadest definition of the term, "a brokered convention" is a convention that is determined by super delegates instead of nominating contests. Through a deadly combination of a primary calendar race to the bottom and an anachronistic method of delegate selection, we Democrats seem to have already arrived at that point. Short of one candidate dropping out, there is simply no easy way that this situation can be resolved. Given that Michigan and Florida combine for 313 pledged delegates, it is likely that this situation won't be resolved without severe bureaucratic fighting on the DNC rules and by-laws committee, or even a credential fight at the convention itself.

And why should either candidate drop out? Clinton has a large lead in super delegates, and can make a real argument over the Michigan and Florida delegations. Obama, by contrast, will probably lead in pledged delegates at the end of February, and will be able to raise significantly more money than Clinton. And so, we are at an impasse.

My instincts tell me this is a complete disaster, since it will shine light on complicated bylaws and the questionable democratic nature of the delegate selection process instead of on voters. As fascinating as it might be for political junkies, it is not the kind of image Democrats need. We need to figure a way out of this situation in a hurry.

Update: After some thought, the best solution I can come up with is to get a majority of super delegates to pledge to support whoever wins the majority of pledged delegates following the final primaries and caucuses in early June. To resolve the Michigan and Florida situations, simply allocate Florida's delegates as they would have been allocated according to the primary vote there. In the case of Michigan, do the same thing, except allocate according to the exit poll results that show how people would have voted if Obama had been on the ballot.

Our options are not pretty, but that would be better than letting bylaws and super delegates determine the nominee instead of voters.  Hopefully, either Clinton or Obama will run up a long list of wins, and the other candidate will drop out. Failing that, hopefully the super delegates will line-up behind whoever has the most popular support and pledged delegates. Failing both, we could be facing a crisis in the party where the nominee lacks legitimacy in the opinion of the rank and file.


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Two points (0.00 / 0)
As a amateur political junky, I do not find the prospect of the nomination process hinging on technicalities interesting in the least. I hope that the voters do get to determine the nominee, and that the strange, undemocratic, excessively complicated and largely illogical set of regulations that really determine the nominee remain hidden, as they usually do.

And I think there is still a decent chance that the convoluted and undemocratic aspects of the process will remain hidden, and that voter-selected delegates will still rule the day.
Scenario one - Obama emerges from Feb 5 with big wins and big momentum. A Obama-friendly February calendar allows him to sweep the next dozen states and glide along to the nomination. Superdelegates will line up behind him after a sweep of wins, and Hillary will be forced to bow out eventually.
Scenario 2 - basically the opposite - Hillary wins big tomorrow and is able to use her momentum to sweep the rest of Feb, superdelegates line up accordingly, and Obama drops out. Point being, there are two clear scenarios where superdelegates will be irrelevant, and that is if either candidate can become the clear front-runner by the end of February.

The only way superdelegates start to play a role is if there is still no clear front runner by the end of February, and the superdelegates find themselves not knowing what to do. Of course, they should sit down and shut up until every state has voted, but clearly many have not and many more may endorse as the race continues. Then we may face the clusterfuck that you describe - and this will be very bad for the Party and for Democracy.  

"Don't hate the media, become the media" -Jello Biafra


Either scenarios (0.00 / 0)
will still require super delegate support in order for one candidate to win the nomination. No one will ever receive enough momentum to win 76.2% or more of all pledged delegates. That is simply never going to happen.

The only way your scenarios work is if one candidate decided to drop out as the other one starts racking up a long series of wins. that seems particularly unlikely to me in Clinton's case, given her super delegate advantage and the unresolved dispute over the Michigan and Florida delegations. Obama would need a huge lead in order to force her our before the convention. In fact, it might not even be possible.

And why should Obama drop out? He can out fundraise Clinton, winning in pledged delegates, and momentum is clearly on his side.

Unless someone drops out before the convention, the eventual nominee will require the assistance of super delegates. This is a total mess.  


[ Parent ]
I agree with LandStander (0.00 / 0)
But more importantly, I think his scenario is fully compatible with yours. You are right that technically, super delegates will determine the nominee. The key word here is technically! If a clear winner emerges by the end of February, relative to the pledged delegates at play till that time, the super delegates should formalize it by rallying behind that winner. I would define the "clear winner" as someone with a 10-20 percent advantage in the pledged delegates won.

As such, super delegates should really play the role of a constitutional monarch. Do you know who picks the Prime Minister in Canada? The political parties nominate their leader (through conventions) and people vote and pick their members of parliament. The majority party leader is then appointed by the queen's representative as the Prime Minister. S/he could well appoint anyone else, but that would almost be considered a coup.

Similarly, if a candidate emerges with 60% of the pledged delegates at play, yet the super delegates unite to nominate the other candidate, I would consider that no less than a coup of sorts.


[ Parent ]
Somone could start stringing together wins (0.00 / 0)
and, if they do, the other candidate might drop out.

That is possible. However, it is also possible that the picture will remain muddled, or that neither candidate decides to drop out no matter what happens.

It isn't guaranteed to be a mess yet, but it is getting pretty close to a guarantee.  


[ Parent ]
Delegates Vs. Popular Votes (0.00 / 0)
Here's my point.  As seen in Nevada there is a likely possibility that Obama will win equal or near equal delegates as Hillary.  She on the other hand will most likely win popular votes.  I feel that if she wins the majority of the state popular votes (delegates are by districts) then she will emerge a victor.  I doubt Obama would drop out, but it is damaging for the party if he chooses to stay in.  There are two reasons why.  Firstly she will have won the popular vote overall and if he rakes in more superdelegates because he is able to keep up in regular delegates then that is a slap in the face to voters. Secondly she won over 50% of support in Michigan and Florida two HUGE swing states.  If there is a battle whether their delegates are able to go to the convention there will be a huge democratic party backlash.  I hear the hopeful talk about winning "Red" states, but as a voter in one I realize it will never happen.  With our idiotic electoral college if you are a democrat in a "Red" state such as South Carolin and North Carolina you know there is NO chance of getting your vote heard.  This is one of the major reasons why I am a Hillary volunteer and supporter.  She thinks we are ready to have a real republic again and have each individual person's vote count.  We have low turn out because if you live in a state that largely votes the opposite way as yourself then you see no reason to waste your time voting.  Real change will only occur with hard work not day dreaming.  I like Obama, but in the end I do not see major super delegate support swing his way if the popular vote favors Hillary and considering her major victories in Michigan and Florida.  Four swing states are critical: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan.  So far Hillary has had over whelming support in two.  It isn't about winning over college students in Texas, it is about relating to blue collar warking in Cleveland and little blue haired ladies in Florida.  Hillary is best at that and so that is why I believe in the end in November we will be electing our First woman President and our First African American Vice President.

Clinton/Obama '08  


[ Parent ]
Except she didn't in MI... (0.00 / 0)
The problem with FL and MI are that the results are tainted. Michigan is especially bad because Hillary was the only top tier candidate on the ballot.  Just because she got over 50% running unopposed doesn't mean that it is a legitimate result.  Florida's results are at least fairer in that everyone was on the ballot, though the lack of campaigning favors the person with the most name recognition.  This sort of defeats the whole point of the primary which is to introduce the candidates to the voters and let them sell themselves to those in the state. This was subverted in Florida and the results therefore aren't ideally the way you want to break a tie in the nomination process.

I find both candidates disappointing and they will be even worse if they get the nomination through back door dealing and underhanded subversion of the rules.


[ Parent ]
We can't say yet (0.00 / 0)
A tremendous amount hinges on tomorrow.  If Obama really does have momentum and comes out ahead or close in the big states and wins more smaller ones, momentum will continue to build and superdelegates will go where the votes are going.  If not, then I can't see him going past March 4 if he has lost momentum.  These things are very fluid, and once things flow one way, there is pressure for the one behind to drop out.  

Even if it just seesaws closely for months (which I doubt--I don't think time favors Hillary) that's ok.  It took 3 ballots as I recall to nominate JFK.  More than one, anyway.  I think MoDo is right about the unlikelihood of an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket because of the Bill factor (he'd already be her VP enless she puts him immediately on the Supreme Court, maybe even then), and three in a bed is too much if Obama is the candidate.  

But there are always deals to be made.  The real problem is if one of them refuses to compromise and insists on staying to and past the bitter end.  That is when it is bad for the party.  Up until then it just keeps the GOP guessing.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
I think you need to take a valium (4.00 / 3)
Settle down.  This is just how the process works.  In 1984, Mondale needed superdelegates to clinch from Gary Hart.  The world did not end.

And there is plenty of time and opportunity for this situation to resolve itself.  On Michigan and Florida in particular, watch for the state parties in both locations to start moving toward a late spring Caucus to legally select their delegates -- a move that both resolves the dispute fairly and would also guarantee both states an important voice in the process.

On the superdelegates, they will go quickly with the one they think is the winner.  If Obama has a good night tomorrow, and racks up a string of victories throughout February, the superdelgates will likely move in large numbers to Obama.

On the flip side.  If Obama is behind on Wednesday, and can't stake a significant lead before Texas and Ohio, pressure will build on him to withdraw.

I agree that the superdelegates will probably be what puts the winner over the top.  But they will react to the realities of the campaign.

Its not a bad thing, and its not undemocratic either.


[ Parent ]
No, the world did not end (4.00 / 1)
But Mondale got creamed, and a lot of damage was done.

The key is getting a nominee that is legitimate in the eyes of the rank and file, and who is rising toward the end, not stumbling home on the backs of insiders and with negative momentum like Mondale.  


[ Parent ]
One had nothing to do with the other (4.00 / 1)
Hart would have been beaten by Reagan in 84 like a rented mule.  Maybe not as bad as Mondale, but it still would have been ugly.

If you really want to get serious, ask yourself how well the process of letting avergage voters have a major say in our nominee has worked out for Democrats?

The Primaries didn't become the decisive path to the nomination until 1968 at the earliest. Which means in the 20th century, the Democrats got FDR. Truman, Kennedy and LBJ through the old method

Since then, we only got Carter and Clinton to the White House.

Results like that argue for more brokered conventions, to be quite honest.


[ Parent ]
Our best candidate in any primary election (0.00 / 0)
was murdered the night he essentially clinched the nomination with the California primary.  Since then, the democrats have seriously not spent much energy building a bench, and the Dixiecrats actively tried to nuke their own party before just becoming Republicans.  None of that is really the fault of the primary process.  

If Sirhan Sirhan had missed, the last fourty years would have played out quite differently.  And I really don't think the abolishment of smoke filled rooms is what has gone wrong over the pst few years (not to mention, also, when was the last time that the candidate favored by party insiders lost?  1976, maybe?)


[ Parent ]
1992 (0.00 / 0)
Or 1976.  But I recall serious reservations about Bill Clinton.  The problem was, as you say, the thin bench.  Not too many alternatives.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Bush seemed unbeatable (0.00 / 0)
Remember that the field was thin because a lot of candidates who were speculated about ducked out possibly because they thought no Democrat had a chance in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

Cuomo, Gephardt, Bradley, Bentsen, Gore, Nunn....

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
Thank You (0.00 / 0)
Amen, while I am for more popular votes, I think the system is way biased.  I don't like the whoel district idea where fewer people get a greater say.  The whole Nevada thing was scandalous.

[ Parent ]
Reagan would have beaten Hart (0.00 / 0)
Hart was exciting, certainly more than Mondale, but I really, really doubt that he would have beaten Reagan, a sitting President who has popular with large segments of the public.

Hart came out of the experience a strong candidate, and he might have been able to beat Bush in 1988 except that he had some serious flaws, in part arrogance that caused him to almost taunt reporters who challenged him about an affair that it turns out he really was having. At that point he was finished.  It is certainly possible that he might have had problems in 1984 too.

The problem is not the specific process so much as the overall amount of time and money a presidential race requires and the difficulty of breaking into the media fog these days unless one has some striking characteristic or narrative.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
Your worries are founded on semantics (0.00 / 0)
This is semantical hairsplitting to define a brokered convention as one at which the super delegates determine the outcome. This is misleading in a very germane way; I'm surprised you don't get it. The vast majority of the super delegates -- if not all -- will likely have declared their support well in advance of the convention, thus almost certainly providing a majority to one of the two candidates.

You are using your platform to warn us all of an impending doom that is on its surface highly unlikely.

The rest of us get it.


Super Delegates (4.00 / 1)
"The vast majority of the super delegates -- if not all -- will likely have declared their support well in advance of the convention, thus almost certainly providing a majority to one of the two candidates."

Yeah, that is my point. No one can win without the super delegates now. And yes, that is really, really bad.

But please, tell me why the Democratic nominee being determined by super delegates isn't a bad thing, since you and everyone else "get it," or something.  


[ Parent ]
It depends on what you're worried about (0.00 / 0)
First, apologies for the snarkiness of my "get it" remark and I appreciate your reply.

I suppose you can make an argument on the grounds of democracy (letting voters decide rather than representatives) but my impression was that yours stems from practical concerns about having to wait until convention time to decide the nomination.

This probably isn't going to happen because super delegates will make up their minds, in increasing numbers, as we move through the calendar.

It won't make much to get a majority and it won't take much to tip the scales, so the likelihood that these delegates will choose sides very evenly or wait until the convention to decide because it's so close seems to me rather small.


[ Parent ]
My worries (0.00 / 0)
My primary worry is that the Democratic nominee will lack legitimacy in the eyes of the party's rank and file. If super delegates determine the nominee, that could very well happen.

A secondary concern is that a candidate stumbles over the finish line, even though the momentum favors his or her opponent. As I wrote earlier today, the most electable candidate is the one with the momentum. I also think the most electable candidate is the one with the most legitimacy. We need both to happen.

and yeah, having a nominee by June would be nice, too. :)


[ Parent ]
Eyes on the Prize (4.00 / 1)
We all who are not candidates need to periodically take a step back, a deep breath, a moment of silence and remember that while this race matters, on a larger level it does not matter as much as preventing another GOP President.  (On a cosmic level it doesn't matter at all.  Not at all.  The whole encompasses all of us.)  

In short, everyone has to watch becoming so attached to our candidate that we lose perspective, lose focus on what is important.  The candidates may forget, but at some point we have to stop cheering in a knee-jerk fashion for our candidate and look at the big picture.  Non-attachment, in other words. Minimize ego.  It doesn't really matter who's right and who wins.  The country has to keep inching forward in a positive direction or we aren't going to survive.  

Down the road we can help that process.  But not now, more like a month or 2 or 3 from now.  Now we let it unfold and don't try to give ourselves an illusion of control through prediction.  And don't worry about what's six months down the road.  Plenty of time to worry if we are well into spring and there is no clear choice.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
Get a grip (0.00 / 0)
But please, tell me why the Democratic nominee being determined by super delegates isn't a bad thing, since you and everyone else "get it," or something.

------

That's easy.  Because the Democratic party is an independent organization, not a function of the Government.  They get to decide, as an organzation, how they select their standard bearer.  They set their own rules.   And as it happens, it is a very democratic and fair process of selection -- both for at large and superdelegates.

Who are the superdelegates?  They fall into roughly into two groups:  Elected officeholders in the Democratic party, and members of the Democratic National Committee.

How do they get these positions?  

Well, it begins with being elected by members of their own party to serve in a leadership position of the Democratic party.  For officeholders, they obviously have to win a general election too.

The point being, they get those positions because they ran for, and won, a post within the party.  They're elected.  They represent.  That's democracy, baby.


[ Parent ]
Well, I disagree (4.00 / 1)
I think the nature of the two-party system creates a burden of fairness on the major parties. And that burden is not well met by the current rules of the Democratic nomination process. There should be more uniformity throughout the states, as a matter of fairness to all voters, and it should be only individual voter' votes that count towards selecting a nominee.

All the current system does is a) create several degrees of separation between a cast vote and a actual vote at the convention, b) creates confusion among the general party membership over how the process works. Democracy does not need to be a complicated process - when people go out of their way to make it complicated it turns off voters and moves us AWAY from democratic ideals and c) lead to disasters like the one that may face us in the coming months. A simpler, more democratic system, based on the ideal of one-person-one-vote, would be far less inclined to the types of problems we may face if superdelegates, unseated delegates or brokered delegates decide our nominee. It is not complicated in the minds of most voters - votes are cast and decide a winner. When they see the inner workings of the nomination process I promise their will be backlash - including the dire consequences of lowered legitimacy for our candidate and lost faith in the Party itself.  

"Don't hate the media, become the media" -Jello Biafra


[ Parent ]
Media (0.00 / 0)
The only reason people think the process is confusing is because the MEDIA hypes it up constantly.  The only thing I believe the DNC screwed up is not matching the Rpub party by granting 50% of MI and FL delegates to the convention.

[ Parent ]
Very convincing argument. They were elected. (0.00 / 0)
I would prefer primaries in staged round robin state by state manner, with each state giving only a little momentum to the next state, and a system to weight some small states forward and no state allowed to set the date of their own primary.

But failing that, and just talking about now, under this system, as long as the super delegates dont steal the election away from voters in the primaries and caucuses, it's just the way the system works. Like the awful electoral collage.

States will pass a rule allocating their electoral college votes to the winner of the general eventually. The role of super delegates will be brought in line with democratic principles, eventually.

Maybe there could be Restoring Democracy Act that encompasses all these problems. Perhaps a wonk could start writing it now. God knows it's needed. Because a manged almost democracy isn't. Period.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Electoral College (0.00 / 0)
I think you should check out the HillaryClinton.com website to see her plans on disbanding the Electoral college and having a popular presidential election on a National HOliday so workers will actually have the time to vote.  Most European nations have their election on a Saturday or Holiday to ensure voter turnout.  That is why American Idol gets more votes than the US President.

[ Parent ]
PIG, PIE, PO (0.00 / 0)
The issue here is that there are three distinct versions of the democratic party.  In polisci textbooks, they're usually summed up as Party-In-Government, Party-In-Electorate, and Party Organization (or PIG, PIE, PO, for those prepping for an exam).  Party in government deals with voting majorities, committee chairmanships, etc.  Party in electorate deals with party I.D., voter turnout, etc.  Party Organization deals with rank-and-file leadership, turnout machines, etc.

Yes, they ran for, and won, a post within the party ORGANIZATION.  But what percentage of the Party-In-Electorate is well aware of that?  Democratic voters and independents who turn out for the primary are voting for a presidential candidate.  They aren't interested in the internal workings of the party, and at least since Watergate, they have believed en masse that both party organizations are at least vaguely corrupt.

Think of it this way: any time you get a lot of overlap between two of the above party types, problems ensue.  Party Organization going battling the legislators = not pretty.  Complex infighting within the Democratic caucus getting reported on in the NYTimes = ewww.  Turning primary "elections" into a long, drawn-out struggle among "elected Democratical leaders" = just so godawful that, yeah, Chris ought to be blogging about it.

Hopefully it won't be that bad.  But all political parties in the american context are divided into these three types.    It's part of the system.  Try to bring them together and bad things happen.


[ Parent ]
Wrong (0.00 / 0)
Democrat governmental officials are selected to represent their party through a primary selection process.

Same with members of the DNC

They are elected by people who chose to participate in the partisan (or in some states, open) selection process.


[ Parent ]
There is some comfort in that, but... (0.00 / 0)
My biggest problem with the Superdelegates is the amount of power they wield.  If they accounted for 5% of the total, then I could see where it would beneficial to have their say in a truly too-close-to-call situation.  As it stands now they have like 20% of the say and that just leaves open too much room for shenanigans or at the very least the appearance of shenanigans and with a media that seems intent on damaging our party the appearance is as important as the reality.

While they are elected officials to me it is very conservative to allow them this level of power.  Even as elected officials they only represent the will of the voting public 2 or even 6 years ago, some may not even represent their constituents in another 10 months.  They can act as an overpowered conservative check on shifts in the public opinion.  


[ Parent ]
yes, but (4.00 / 1)
the thing is, medium numbers of those Super Delegates could break for one candidate after Super Tuesday, following the momentum, and then larger numbers probably will break for the leader after Ohio and Texas (and Vermont and Rhode Island). IF that lead is over 100.

If that happens, some Super Delegates could even SWITCH, adding to the momentum. You're right, going on forever is a nightmare, and they all know it. Almost everyone with influence in the party will be looking for a way to bring it to a close, and they'll be pressuring the campaign with fewer delegates to end it.


Right on (0.00 / 0)
especially if the Rpubs are set in their candidate by Wednesday

[ Parent ]
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (4.00 / 2)
Why don't we wait and see what happens tomorrow and shortly after before starting with the handwringing. Not that you couldn't be right, but there's a long way to go before then. Meself, I'll just be enjoying the contest for now.

Jumping the gun a bit, but a valid worry (0.00 / 0)
I would have preferred to have this post on Tuesday, but I suppose like anyone else, there is a "thirst for first", in terms of good analysis.  

We'll see, we'll see, we'll see.  35 hours.


My sentiments exactly (0.00 / 0)
There is a good chance things will still be close after Tuesday, but the trouble with predictions is they are so often wrong.  Assuming one candidate or the other will necessarily  win is a mistake, but assuming that it will be indecisive could also be.

I see two ways in which Tuesday could be decisive:

1.  Obama's momentum is over-estimated and early voting for Clinton wins the day heavily in her favor.  A win of 200+ delegates increases the perception of her inevitability helps her to carry subsequent states.  Maybe she falls short of the 2025 pledged delegates she would need to win without the help of super delegates, but she's close enough that no one is going to complain when a majority of the super delegates push her over the top.

2.  Obama wins over undecided voters (there a lot of still out there) by a huge margin and as a result wins the day and by a larger margin than anyone is predicting possible (say 100+ delegates).  Obama's increased momentum helps him to win by large margins in the vast majority of remaining states.   Maybe he falls short of the 2025 pledged delegates he would need to win without the help of super delegates, but he's close enough that no one is going to complain when a majority of the super delegates push him over the top.

It may be that neither of these scenarios happen tomorrow.  But it seems worthwhile to wait a day before switching into crisis preparation mode.


[ Parent ]
One way out: (4.00 / 1)
If, by mid-March, Obama is ahead of Clinton in delegates and the national polls, the Super Delegates will line up behind him and push Clinton out of the race. The party leaders want a long, divisive convention even less than you do, so they'll do everything they can to line up behind the front-runner.

If either candidate is noticeably ahead, the Super Delegates will say, "Okay, that's enough" and line up behind the front-runner.

The only way we get to a real convention fight is if Super Tuesday happens as expected (Clinton and Obama tie), and Clinton does better than expected throughout February. If Obama cleans up in 6-8 primaries in a row this month after 2/5, I expect the Super Delegates (and the national polls) to line up behind him.

It's not a tough decision for Super Delegates. Only one of them is actually married to their candidate of choice. For many, either candidate is fine. The need for a nominee before the convention will outweigh any devotion to a candidate they may have.  


Exactly Correct (0.00 / 0)
When Chris says "We need to find a way out of this," the "we" he is referring to are his fellow Party Leaders and Elected Officials.  The superdelegates are supposed to have the interests of the party at heart.  If either candidate is ahead in delegate count and the national polls (which I hope will continue to be taken for use by the superdelegates) in May, after every significant state has voted, that candidate will get overwhelming support from the superdelegates.  There will be no floor fights.

(fingers crossed)


[ Parent ]
Indeed (0.00 / 0)
This is exactly right - there won't be some kind of disastrous brokered convention, because superdelegates are going to line up behind the person with the most delegates, especially after March 4, when this thing will probably be effectovely decided.

[ Parent ]
Nevadas (4.00 / 1)
The scenario that is most interesting/worrisome to me is if what happened in Nevada happens in a lot more states-- if we see more states where Clinton "wins" but Obama won more delegates. (The unusual, distributed, volunteer-driven nature of the Obama campaign leads me to believe that it is far more likely that Obama will "win the electoral vote but lose the popular vote", than that Clinton will pull off the same trick.)

If there is one unambiguous leader after the primaries are complete, then I do agree that superdelegates, regardless of who've they've committed to, will most likely switch to that candidate. However if one candidate wins on "primaries" and another wins on "delegates", then things are more ambiguous and potentially superdelegates could claim they are only implementing the will of the people whichever candidate they supported. What happens in this situation?


[ Parent ]
What does "winning on primaries" mean? (0.00 / 0)
How would this even be measured?  It's a delegate race, and whoever has the most pledged delegates is going to get the superdelegate support.  How else can it be measured?  Caucus states obviously have way less participation than primary states, and don't even have real raw totals, in any event, so it's not like you can add up total votes to find a national winner.

[ Parent ]
Get it Right (0.00 / 0)
Delegates does not equal people who voted.  Just like the electoral college screws over people in the general elected the particular way in which districts are drawn up is imperfect at best.  Statewide a candidate may win in popular vote, but because of district distributions the second choice candidate will get just as many or more votes.  This has happened in both NH and NV this election cycle.  This bodes ill for the DNC if say Hillary again wins the overall popular votes, but is just barely over Obama in delegate count.  He typically gathers delegates in the areas democrats aren't as strong.  I don't think in a general election he will fare well, but again I live in a solidly "Red" state so what do I know.  I am a volunteer for Hillary because one of her objectives is to get rid of the elecotral college and have a national holiday with a popular vote for president just like the rest of the democratic world.

[ Parent ]
Hopefully (0.00 / 0)
But what if Obama is racking up wins, pledged delegates and polls, but Clinton maintains her 2-1 edge among super delegates? It could happen, and that is the nightmere scenario.  

[ Parent ]
If the Super Delegates go against the will of the people... (0.00 / 0)
...then we deserve to lose. If the Super Delegates are so invested in seeing Clinton as President and are so dead-set against Obama that they couldn't back him if he wins a plurality of the elected delegates, then we don't deserve to govern the country.

That nightmare scenario you paint is near-impossible. Like I said, very few Super Delegates are so invested in their candidates that they wouldn't jump ship if the other person is ahead in elected delegates, polls, and momentum. These people are life-long Democrats who would put the health and success of the party ahead of the success of Obama or Clinton. I can only think of one Super Delegate who wouldn't do that.

At the end of the day, someone will be ahead in elected delegates and that person will be our nominee. The Super Delegates wouldn't dare go against the will of the people en mass. It would destroy our chances in November and do great harm to the Democratic brand.


[ Parent ]
It won't. (4.00 / 1)
They aren't fools.  If the Pollster.com trendline holds, they are leaving Hillary.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget (4.00 / 1)
The vast majority of superdelegates are still uncommitted.

They aren't going to flock to the candidate that looks to be falling behind.  They will go with the front runner.  And there are more than enough uncommitted superdelegates to be decisive.


[ Parent ]
There's a big asterik on that 2:1 advantage, Chris (4.00 / 1)
She has a 2:1 advantage only in the one-third of super delegates who have declared their intentions. Two-thirds of the super delegates (544 of them as of Jan 30) are still undeclared, or are free after earlier declaring for Edwards or Kucinich.

As I recall, it happens like this in every election cycle. Early supporters come out, but the vast majority don't declare until the nominee is decided. With some good reason. Most of the super delegates are not name-brand pols and don't want to risk betting on the wrong horse.

I would be very surprised if the currently undecided super delegates broke either way between now and whenever a clear leader emerges. I think the chances of them breaking against the winner of the awarded delegates is infinitesimally small. Most of these super delegates have to run for re-election, too.

I really don't think it will be an issue. The nomination won't be decided tomorrow, but the results from tomorrow will set a trajectory for each that will be hard to change.  


[ Parent ]
Then enough of her superdelegates may switch. (0.00 / 0)
One of the more interesting things I've heard was about Charles Rangel's wife, Alma, coming out for Obama, despite the fact the Rangel had already endorsed Clinton.  Sounds to me like Rangel is covering his bets, and I think that is symptomatic of what will happen if we get to March, and the Clinton campaign is out of money, and substantially behind in the delegate count.  The superdelegates want to win this one as well, and if Clinton hasn't proven she can't close the deal after all the money and clout she initially brought to the campaign, I think they may well abandon her en masse.  I tend to think that is much more likely than the worst-case scenario you portray.  Not to say that's it's not something worth planning for, but the reality is, there's damn little that I can see that could stop that from happening.  

I think that, if either winds up with significantly more delegates after February (i.e., 150 -200), there is going to be a lot of pressure on the superdelegates to go with whoever has the most pledged delegates.  


[ Parent ]
It Would Never Happen (0.00 / 0)
I am a huge Hillary supporter, but if she does fare poorly in the popular vote then even I and so many others will support Barack.  If you are a true blue that is the best way to do it and that is what will happen no doubt.

What I worry over is if Clinton continues to get the popular majority, but Barack gets nearly equal delegates simply due to the layout of districts.  In that case there would be legitimate claims for superdelegates to choose either as a winner and then there is definite confusion.


[ Parent ]
Polls (0.00 / 0)
According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama.

Although I think this assumption is reasonable for purposes of this article, what if the polls are as wrong about tomorrow as they were about New Hampshire and South Carolina?


Actually, that is my point (0.00 / 0)
Even if the polls are wrong, they will almost certainly be wrong in the other direction, making the campaign closer, not more of a blowout.

the polls being wrong would just screw up the situation even further.  


[ Parent ]
Unless we see a national Bradley effect (0.00 / 0)
or something along those lines.  The Super Tuesday states are a lot different in makeup than the previous states.

[ Parent ]
This is way I think Obama (0.00 / 0)
has to take decisive control of this race.  If they stay even, the superdelegates will trickle into the Clinton camp.  Obama needs a fairly large lead in pledged delegates in order to scare the superdelegates into thinking that siding with the Clintons will hurt the legitimacy of the party.

The Politics of Bruno S.


Is that really the case? (4.00 / 2)
I wonder. I would like input from others, Chris included.

Of course Bill Clinton has a lot of influence in the party, but one would think John Kerry and Ted Kennedy would hold their own as well. I would also expect Howard Dean to side with Obama, as far as he would be allowed to side with anyone. More importantly, siding with Clinton was a very safe choice until January whereas siding with Obama had always been a huge risk. If someone has not formally declared support for one side or the other, following my premise here, would they not be more likely to support Obama?


[ Parent ]
Check it (0.00 / 0)
Kerry is a dream that never bloomed.  Kennedy has some clout with the most liberal of the party, but may I remind you that Hillary has equal support from all three of Robert Kennedy's children.  The Kennedy family is just as split as democratic voters.  I am a true blue and all I really want is a winner for sure.  While I think any candidate we put out will win against an Rpub I am seriously doubtful about Obama's legitimacy as a "uniter."

Straight from the mouth of the Republican party leader for SC,"we could not be more pleased with the outcome of this election as they have chosen the MOST liberal and LEAST experienced candidate running in their primary."

I am still waiting for an Al Gore to step in and support some one.  If he chooses Hillary (not guaranteed by any means) maybe then the media would actually cover an endorsement for her.


[ Parent ]
Really? Electability? Do you really want to go there? (0.00 / 0)
I guess the talking point from both sides is that they're the most electable, but it seems like the neutrals or even the huge majority think Obama is way more electable... and it just seems too obvious too! I mean, Hillary is getting the reliable voters who have always and will always vote Democrat, but they will all vote for Obama in a General Election too. On the other hand, aside from the left wing of the party, Obama is also getting a lot of Republican and Independent votes, which is what will create a huge win. I don't just think he will win, I think it can be a landslide. As for Hillary, I sincerely believe McCain will have a good chance against her, and a month ago, I would have never thought a Republican could win the White House this November.

I seriously doubt that Gore would support HRC. The CW seems to be that he won't endorse, but if he were to, I'd give it an 80-20 that it'd be Obama.

Bobby's kids support HRC is merely a talking point and really a joke. Sure, it helps in TV ads trying to neutralize the perception that Obama is the next Kennedy, but the argument has no place in an intelligent conversation. Ted Kennedy is a former presidential candidate and one of the most senior Democratic Senators, that's why he matters. Caroline Kennedy would not have mattered on her own merit, but many had been saying for years that Obama reminds them of JFK and for the non-political only child of JFK to come out and say "A president like my father" was significant in reinforcing that perception, that's the only reason it matters.

Finally, my main point was about how any superdelegate preferring HRC would have come out in her support last year, and that's where I was looking for an analysis and opinion, but did not get any.


[ Parent ]
Awesome (0.00 / 0)
seriously, where did you get your soul quote from?  I love it!

[ Parent ]
Ga! (0.00 / 0)
A couple of points

Firstly, it is unwise to use the "polling averages" as the basis for a "best possible" result for Clinton.  The polling averages can be, and have been, off by considerable amounts.  a 200+ delegate victory for Clinton still seems feasible, if less likely than it once was.  Similarly, Obama might do considerably better than you suggest.

Secondly, while I will agree that it is quite possible that neither candidate will win a majority of delegates with pledged delegates alone.  I will suggest, though, the following, and I would be willing to place money on it: whoever has the majority of pledged delegates will also secure enough superdelegate support to have a majority overall.

There is no way the superdelegates are going to deliver the thing to a candidate who does not have majority support of pledged delegates.  The superdelegates who haven't endorsed yet are going to be wins who are least committed to any particular candidate, and most committed to not making the party look bad.  Such people are very likely to line up behind whoever is going to have the most pledged delegates.  


What superdelegates are for, surely? (4.00 / 2)
Why the surprise?

To my untutored eye, the purpose of superdelegates is to ensure that, if no clear winner emerges from the primaries and caucuses, the insiders get to choose the candidate.

According to my math, with 3,253 regular delegates and 796 supers, any candidate with at least 1,229 regulars can be thrown the nom by the supers.

Or, put another way, a candidate needs 62.25% of the regulars in order to make the supers's votes moot.

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

And, unlike the IA caucus, it's not without its attractions: if the regular count is close-ish, and the performance of the candidate with most regulars has given rise to second thoughts in the runup to the convention, why should the party be stuck with a choice made without up-to-date info?

Especially given that each Dem candidate has novel features (gender and race respectively) about them which, over a distance of ground, may prove an unexpectedly large handicap.  


I think you missed one thing (0.00 / 0)
And that's the exclusion of Florida and Michigan. That decreases the number of available delegates while the nominee still needs 50% + 1 of the original count. As such, it now takes more (e.g., 55% instead of 50%) of total delegates to win, making things harder!

[ Parent ]
I was talking about the principle of superdelegates (0.00 / 0)
With the 313 FL and MI regulars stripped, that means a candidate needs 1,869 regulars (out of 3,736) to win regardless of supers, and 1,072 to win with supers.

As a percentage of total regulars, that's more than with a full complement - 63.57% - but not much.

And, with FL and MI stripped, the front-runner needs 156 fewer regulars to make the supers' votes moot.

Of course, the smaller the margin over 1,071 regulars enjoyed by the candidate with fewer regulars, the larger his margin must be among the supers.

With just 1,072, you'd need every super to vote against the popular choice.

Rather unlikely.

The closer to 50-50 is the result on the regulars, the more chance of the supers being relevant, and the less potent the gripe against them doing so.


[ Parent ]
Damn! My principles right, my numbers wrong! (0.00 / 0)
I got my basic numbers for regulars and supers from Wikipedia, without noting that these are already stripped of FL and MI regulars.

So both examples I give are light 313 regulars. (The unstripped total should be 3,566, the stripped total 3,253.)

But that doesn't affect my points of principle, so far as I can tell.


[ Parent ]
Obama or Clinton/Obama (0.00 / 0)
At this point I only see two possible ways the super delegates could go.  One, if Obama really gains momentum and it is obvious that Democrats have decided they prefer him over Clinton, I think they will jump on the Obama bandwagon.

But if that does not happen I suspect they will all go with the obvious compromise of a Clinton/Obama ticket.  The other way doesn't work, you need to put experience at the top of the ticket and let the future of the Democratic party get eight more years of experience.  (And how weird would having the ex-president's wife as you VP be?)

Unless Clinton surprises us tomorrow like in New Hampshire, I don't see how Obama isn't on the ticket one way or another.


I disagree on the ticket (4.00 / 1)
While I agree that Obama/Clinton would not work (if for the simple fact that it'd be awkward!), I don't agree with your experience argument.

Did George Bush have more experience than Dick Cheney?

More importantly, what Obama brings to the presidency is inspiration and vision. Those traits are meaningless in a VP position.


[ Parent ]
Vision is meaningless, but not inspiration, in a VP (0.00 / 0)
Obama brings voters, hordes of them.  Many would vote Democratic regardless but many would also sit out or possibly vote Republican without him.  Obama may not be happy in the VP slot, and he'd be marginalized in the administration by Bill but he'd all but seal the deal as far as getting the Dems into the Whitehouse I believe.

[ Parent ]
Dick Cheney was unheard of (0.00 / 0)
and was needed to balance out the fact that the candidate the GOP wanted in the first place was a lightweight over, and especially on foreign policy.  

and then, the joke was that it was just like his fathers' ticket, but in reverse.


[ Parent ]
experience (0.00 / 0)
I meant from the context of a compromise it makes more sense to put the more experienced candidate first, not as a general principle.

[ Parent ]
Don't see Obama (0.00 / 0)
on a ticket with Clinton.  Do see him winning tomorrow and becoming the favorite and the super delegate's choice.  I just don't see Hillary winning any news cycles over the past week, don't see any energy for her in the field, don't see the latest polls as trending any way except toward Obama.  He has more money, a better field operation, and - from where I sit - the only thing she can hope for is a tie.  But I think that's less likely than a loss.  

[ Parent ]
Although I have to say (0.00 / 0)
that Survey USA's poll just released that gives Clinton a 12 point lead in California gives me pause.  Those kind of numbers would mean that the undecideds in the Field poll are breaking overwhelmingly for Clinton and if they actually are and this poll is not an outlier, undecideds could break that way in other states also. This poll really seems at odds with everything else that is happening. Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

[ Parent ]
who would this appeal to among Obama supporters? (0.00 / 0)
Why would Obama as VP appeal to Obama supporters if their candidate has won more popularly elected delegates? I don't see how this compromise idea would unify the party. Obama supporters are going to feel injustice has been done if Obama has more popularly elected delegates and does not get the nomination. Even more so in this case because the VP slot is the third place slot on the ticket. First is Hillary as President, then Bill as the secret President, then Obama as VP. VP is normally a dud job (Cheney being the exception), the VP slot on a Hillary candidacy is even dudder than dud.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Why (0.00 / 0)
Why would Obama as VP appeal to Obama supporters if their candidate has won more popularly elected delegates?

If Obama's lead is clear, then I agree.  I still think this is a possibility.  But if the lead is narrow and marginal I think it will be seen as a tie.  Remember, most of Barack's supporters actually like Hillary and the same is true in reverse.

The key point of the VP slot is it virtually guarantees he will be the Democratic candidate after Hillary.  Also, the VP hasn't been a dud job for 16 years.  It was Clinton/Gore that changed it.  Cheney is a weird, special case of actually running the government from his secret, undisclosed location.


[ Parent ]
Why (0.00 / 0)
why would anything other than a statistical tie be considered a tie? if he wins by a little it is still a win.

the whole hubaloo is about what happens if Obama wins the popular but not the supers. This scenario doesn't exist for Hillary. So really there is only a chance of "injustice" for one candidate, Obama. So already the situation is ripe for  bitterness. I don't know about your conclusion that that most O supporters like HRC - maybe there is a poll to show this. But with the possibility that the margin of victory in the General will be as narrow as the last two elections it only takes a small number of people deciding to stay home to make a difference.

The VP slot doesn't guarantee anything. If Hillary is a disaster Obama could go the way of Gore.

At best VP is like a cabinet position.

But I can't imagine Hillary wants as big a personality as Obama's hovering around the Oval Office either.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare


[ Parent ]
With the ridiculous methodology by which votes become delegates (0.00 / 0)
Any narrow lead will be essentially a statistical tie.  

[ Parent ]
Got it (0.00 / 0)
Well if Obama goes the way of Al Gore then that would be great for him since Gore did actually win and he had a robot personality.  Don't get me wrong I voted for the guy and would have loved to have seen him run in '04, but the man had no personality while that is the one thing Obama has in spades.

[ Parent ]
Ticket (0.00 / 0)
I agree.  There is just no way and Obama/Clinton ticket would work.  She would not represent his whole notion of change and she saw how ineffective that role was during her husbands administration.  On the other hand Hillary would be a fool to not in the very least offer a VP position to Obama for two reasons.  One is it will win back voters who felt any racial misjustice and secondly he will attract young independent voters and draw them away from a McCain rpub ticket.  Let's face it guys.  I like Obama, and I really believe he would make a great VP.  I just can't get over the fact that the majority of his life was not in the political arena and he was a cocaine user.  The rpubs will tear him a new one come November and he will need an experienced vetted individual like Hillary to keep him from faltering.

[ Parent ]
Not going to happen (probably) (0.00 / 0)
If you want change, it's going to require the state and local Democratic parties to cede power to the national party.  Can you see the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee giving up the power to even vote on the reforms you would like to see?  I think that it might take that level of centralization to make the sort of changes you would like.

The only way the system will be changed is if there is a perceived catastrophe leading to a crisis mentality.  I think that only happens if the superdelegates change the outcome that would have resulted if they did not exist (and quite possibly even then only if the non-winner was a sore loser).

One reform that I would like to see, however, is to make states hold congressional and presidential primaries on the same day.  It seems like an unnecessary and costly duplication.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


I still don't see how you're missing this... (4.00 / 1)
Let's say that later this month, Obama has the big mo, and starts racking up a pledged delegate lead.  The more time passes, the more likely super-delegates who have not endorsed will pick Obama over Clinton.  After all, jumping on a seemingly winning bandwagon seems a lot more attractive than endorsing to help salvage a flagging campaign.  Look at how many endorsements Obama has snagged in the past couple weeks alone.  

As for those who've already pledged, it's more difficult to determine.  It would be very embarrassing for Hillary if super-delegates changed their endorsements in public, but there would come a time (probably after Pennsylvania) where they would feel increasing pressure to do so.

My best bet is, assuming we get to PA and Hillary loses the primary, or wins but is still substantially behind, that the super-delegates will not only begin asking Hillary to drop out, but begin talking with each other.  There might be some behind the scenes ultimatums as blocks of delegates threaten to defect en-masse to Obama.

When it comes down to it, the delegates are partisan Democrats.  Obama in no way really challenges the existing power structure within the Democratic party.  Super-delegates have no reason to cut him off at the knees.  And they want a Democratic president in 2009.  They won't carry Hillary's water to the grave of the general election.  


Michigan & Florida (0.00 / 0)
I think your idea for the super delegates to committ to voting with the popular vote is a good one, but I think there is no fair way to handle Michigan and Florida delegates other than to do the same thing.  There is no easy way to determine the true desires of those constituents and they should be "punished" for violating the rules set forth.  Otherwise, why have the rules in the first place?  

A math question (0.00 / 0)
Chris,
Does your "2,025 to win" number assume that MI and FL delegates will be "counted" (i.e. is it just over half the total including these two states)?  If so, is that appropriate (and currently planned by the DNC), since at this point, these state's delegates won't be "seated/counted" (whatever that really means)?  

If the 2,025 is still the "required to win" number and is half the total including MI and FL, that would seem to aggravate the problems you're raising, since it would require a candidate to capture significantly more than half of the actual delegates the DNC plans to seat.  


2025 does not include MI and FL (0.00 / 0)
The number is 2208 to win with MI and FL.

DemConWatch

[ Parent ]
Ted Kennedy endorsement was invaluable to Obama because (0.00 / 0)
it seemed to stem the flow of endorsements headed Clinton's way.

There is no way the "undeclared super delegates" have any recourse now but to vote according to reflect the popular vote of the state they represent.

This has the potential to bitterly divide the Party and set us back just like 1968 and 1984.

I can envision an attempt to draft Gore if we are headed to a deadlocked Convention after a few ballots of no nominee. Hell, maybe even a draft Edwards but all of this would only occur at a convention and really be the backroom deal of all backroom deals in an attempt to preserve unity.

I can see neither Clinton or Obama accepting the Veep position if it is that close.

If I were a super delegate and had not committed I'd stay that way until my state votes. Easy for me to say but isn't human nature to want to help your choice "win" even if they didn't "win the first round and you have the power to do that??

This is awful.

This is going to be ugly.


If the superdelegates select someone out of nowhere for 'unity' (0.00 / 0)
It will be bad, despite how funny it would be to have Gore running against McCain, like what could have happened eight years ago.  

The only advantage to something like that would be it taking the Republicans completely off guard.  

Ugh.


[ Parent ]
Superdelegates (0.00 / 0)
The supers aren't tied to anyone state necessarily.  In fact very few of them are.  Some are simply dem leaders or journalists and such.  Though I agree they will most likely continue to wait for later contests if Tuesday proves indecissive.

[ Parent ]
much to do about nothing (0.00 / 0)
i think in this case Chris you are likely making a big todo about nothing. If the Democratic party officials do not wish to see a total implosion then the super delegates will lineup behind the candidate with the most popularly selected delegates. They can't line up behind popular vote because of the caucus system. I suspect they will also continue to exclude MI and FL because those too would blatantly tip the scale and cause massive rebellion within,  with the quite serious possibility that many Dems will vote Green rather than support Hillary nominated by insiders and a bogus inclusion of MI, FL. In addition the backlash could persist for several election cycles.

For Hillary to get the nomination she is going to have to win the majority of popularly selected delegates, anything else will be disastrous for the Dem party.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare


An artificial FL and MI solution ... (4.00 / 1)
Ewww.

This kind of "solution" would drive many voters away, including myself. It reminds me of everything I dislike about the Democratic party.

These two states still have plenty of time to hold a valid caucus or primary.


We'll look back on this and laugh (0.00 / 0)
I think we'll have one candidate with a majority of the elected delegates and the Super Delegates, who are more concerned with the success of the party than the success of their own personal choice, will fall in line behind the choice of the people.

I see no doom-and-gloom scenario here. We'll be united behind our nominee and kick some Republican butt in November.


Let's say... (0.00 / 0)
Let's say Obama is ahead in pledged delegates in May or June. Then only one-half of the supers would need to join his bandwagon, cuz that would cancel out the Clinton supers. Result: Obama wins uncontroversially.

Let's say Clinton is ahead in pledged delegates in May or June. She wins. No controversy there either.

For this disaster to actually play out, the pledged delegate counts would reeeaaaally have to walk the tightrope - favoring Obama just barely, but not enough to convince a couple hundred supers to do the right thing and put their party above keeping Clinton in the white house.


legitimacy (0.00 / 0)
I'm not at all familiar with these kinds of things, but I'm not too worried.


Failing both, we could be facing a crisis in the party where the nominee lacks legitimacy in the opinion of the rank and file.

This is key. I'd imagine that the DNC is really, really concerned about this, especially in light of the bitterness and disillusionment that came after Bush v. Gore.

scenarios:

  1. Candidate A wins the majority of both pledged and unpledged delegates.
  2. A wins the majority of pledged delegates; B wins the majority of supers; A wins in total. (i.e. the supers aren't enough to push B over the top)
  3. A wins the majority of pledged delegates; B wins the majority of supers; B wins in total. (i.e. the supers push B over the top)

Scenario #1 is good news for the party. Scenario #2 is acceptable; the people have spoken and roll their eyes at the establishment. Scenario #3 would be bad for the party, but unless establishment support is overwhelmingly strong for B, the DNC would be so worried about the legitimacy of their nomination process that they would insist on a brokered convention with A being the winner.

In other words, the party leadership is too politically sensitive / insecure to let the technicalities of process (i.e. supers) trump the will of the people (i.e. pledged delegates).

Just a hunch.

The truth about Saxby Chambliss


Ah, no. (0.00 / 0)
Obama can have the uncommitted from MI.  He took his own name from the ballot. You can't take votes cast for Hillary away and give them to Obama.  That's ridiculous.

Superdelegates for Clinton (0.00 / 0)
According to a back of the envelope calculation, since the superdelegates comprise most of the statewide office holders in the 50 states, including governors and Congresscritters, it was predicted early on that Hillary had a large share of the SDs going into the election.

I'd guess that count included the Kennedys, of course, but this calculation IIRC was done after Obama had announced and had begun his massive fund raising efforts.


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