Sunday, February 10, 2008

Super Delegates Smoke Filled Backroom

CNN discussing how super delegates could turn the election of the Democrat nomination for President.

Said Super-delegate Donna Brazile to CNN, "If 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit the Democratic Party. I feel very strongly about this."

Delegates listing

Political Punch
Power, pop, and probings from ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper
The Super-Delegate Mess (and Other Messes)
February 08, 2008 9:48 AM

Greetings from Seattle. And yes, I'm sleepless.

78 delegates are up for grabs here in tomorrow's Washington State Caucus as are 19 SUPER-DELEGATES.

Read more about that -- as well as Clinton's insinuation that Obama's rhetoric is meaningless -- HERE.

Could it be that this race comes down to the roughly 800 party insiders anointed as "super-delegates"?

They comprise roughly 20% of the delegate total, and if Obama and Clinton continue to split the vote count roughly 50-50, how they vote could be crucial -- which is why Chelsea and Bill Clinton, and reps for Obama, are calling them and wooing them.

Super-delegates were created after the insurgent outsider campaigns of then Sen. George McGovern, D-SD, and former Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia, secured the Democratic party nominations in 1972 and 1976, respectively. The idea was to return some power to party officials. Political scientist Rhodes Cook has said super-delegates were created as a "firewall to blunt any party outsider that built up a head of steam in the primaries."

Democratic Dream Ticket Descends into Nightmare

But the buzz among Democratic activists was over the growing possibility that Mr. Obama could beat Ms. Clinton in the race for ‘pledged delegates' awarded in the state-by-state primaries, but ultimately lose to the former first lady if she wins the support of more so-called ‘super-delegates.' They include party officials and lawmakers who automatically get to vote in the Democratic nominating convention this August in Denver. So far, they are backing Clinton by a two-to-one margin.

That support is making a difference. According to post-Super Tuesday delegate tallies by NBC News, Mr. Obama had amassed 838 ‘pledged' delegates so far during the primary season, slightly ahead of Clinton's 834.

But Ms. Clinton remains in the overall lead -- 1,012 to 933, according to the -- almost entirely because of support from super-delegates, including former president Bill Clinton.

The magic delegate number to clinch the Democratic nomination is 2,025. Of the Democrats' 4,000-plus voting delegates, 795 will be super-delegates.

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