Obama-Clinton Uncommitted Superdelegate Race Update

by: tremayne

Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 15:15

Below, I'll offer a projection of the current "mood" of uncommitted superdelegates. The number of such delegates has fallen from 263 to 262 today with Senator Bob Casey's endorsement of Barack Obama. At this point such endorsements actually benefit Obama doubly. First, he gets another delegate and second, reducing the pool of uncommitteds lessens the ability of Hillary Clinton to close the pledge delegate gap via superdelegates.

If Hillary Clinton's strategy is to take the nomination fight to the convention, DNC Chairman Howard Dean appears to be blocking that path. By blocking Clinton's convention strategy and telling the candidates to "calm down" the rhetoric, Dean is effectively tipping his hand over where his vote will go. The same is true for Senator Harry Reid who has predicted a relatively "easy" and quick end to the campaign. Can't see an easy path for Clinton so he must be talking about Obama. I've moved those two to "leaning Obama" in the uncommitted superdelegate projection I wrote about Wednesday.  Thanks to readers who did some Googling and found other clues I have made a few other updates as well. Overall, the current projection for the remaining 262 uncommitted superdelegates is:

Obama: 134

Clinton:  128

If you want to help us find more clues, go to my original projection and look up some delegates who haven't been mentioned there. But add any new clues you find to this most recent diary and I'll update the spreadsheet accordingly.  Next week I'll publish the whole spreadsheet (if I can figure out how to do that).

tremayne :: Obama-Clinton Uncommitted Superdelegate Race Update

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Arizona (4.00 / 1)
I have no personal knowledge, just using google.  In mid Feb, Don Bivens we have

Super-delegate Don Bivens, an attorney from Paradise Valley, also has yet to decide.

He said he gets weekly calls from Obama and Clinton staffers and the national media, including the Associated Press and CNN. Various news outlets track the numbers of super-delegates who have picked a candidate.

Bivens is waiting to see how the country speaks and will then assess which candidate is in the best position to win in November, he said.

But in early March, we have

Don Bivens, the party chair in Arizona, said he feels a responsibility to help keep peace in the Democratic family and will wait before choosing sides, and then only after touching various bases within the party. But he added, "I do not feel bound by the popular vote; otherwise there would be no reason to have superdelegates, just to rubber-stamp" the outcomes of primaries and caucuses.

The last bit seems lean Clinton by your criteria, but "keep the peace" might push it back to neutral.


It's interesting to note in that two AZ DNC slots will be filled in April.  I wonder if known preference for Obama or Clinton would be a driver in that election, or if other ["normal"] factors would prevail.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Thanks (0.00 / 0)
Hmmm, March trumps February. Sounds like a Clinton-leaning superdelegate who is nonetheless nervous about the recent negative tone of the campaign.

[ Parent ]
There's only 1 AZ vacancy (0.00 / 0)
when Donna Branch Gilby resigned. Why do you think there's another AZ vacancy?


[ Parent ]
Publishing the whole spreadsheet (4.00 / 2)
You might consider trying Google Docs.

Baron Hill (IN-09) (4.00 / 1)
Tea leaves -- Rep. Baron Hill has said he's not 'officially' endorsing anyone yet but is 'personally' for Obama.

thanks (0.00 / 0)
But two weeks later he said he would vote however those in his district do. Perhaps he thinks he knows how they'll vote.


[ Parent ]
it won't be that close (0.00 / 0)
Interesting analysis but I suspect you grossly underestimate the extent to which supers who haven't already committed themselves are just waiting to endorse the pledged delegate leader at the end of the process.  

Something I wonder (0.00 / 0)
Dean has called on superdelegates to state their preferences outright and not wait until the convention to do so. It seems like this would be a difficult act for any super who intends to back the pledged delegate winner.

I wonder if it would be possible to induce superdelegates who plan to do as you suspect-- back the pledged delegate winner-- to state upfront or sign some pledge promising to do so, so that they can state this preference without having to wait for the primaries to end?

[ Parent ]
Sen. Byrd tipped his hand? (0.00 / 0)
First off, I can provide some first-hand reporting that Sen. Byrd's press office has told us (West Virginia Blue) that Sen. Byrd does not intend to publicly endorse before the May 13th W.Va. primary. I've written up my best guesses why here.

Still, I always figured Byrd to be an Obama supporter given the word of their close friendship.

Byrd may have tipped his hand  in this fund-raising appeal he sent out via email yesterday (on behalf of his former aide of 21-years, Anne Barth, now running in WV-02):

I believe more strongly than ever that Americans intend to go to the polls this year and vote for candidates who are determined to bring real change to America.

Working families are looking for leaders who will fight for their hopes and dreams.

There in the opening paragraphs we've got "change" and "hope" as the opening themes. Later in the appeal he highlights Anne's experience though that word is never used.

The appeal closes with:

Anne Barth has new ideas to bring hope and opportunity to the 2nd District. She believes that more can be done to bring prosperity to the region. Anne understands the need for change, but she also understands West Virginia's traditional values and virtues. I am proud of her. Won't you help me help Anne by making a contribution today to Anne Barth for Congress.

Again there's hope and change.

I take all this with a grain of salt. On the one hand I believe every word of a fund-raising appeal like this is carefully considered and scrunitized. On the other hand, when it comes questions of process in politics, Sen. Byrd tends to follow a well-reasoned, but not always so predictable, personal logic.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue


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