David Kirkpatrick

March 14, 2008

Superdelegates to the Democratic Party rescue?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:25 am

This Bloomberg story may provide the clear blueprint to save the Democratic Party from itself since no individuals seem up to the task.

From the first link:

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama has pulled almost even with Hillary Clinton in endorsements from top elected officials and has cut into her lead among the other superdelegates she’s relying on to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Among the 313 of 796 superdelegates who are members of Congress or governors, Clinton has commitments from 103 and Obama is backed by 96, according to lists supplied by the campaigns. Fifty-three of Obama’s endorsements have come since he won the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, compared with 12 who have aligned with Clinton since then.

“That’s not glacial, that is a remarkable momentum,” Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a superdelegate and Obama supporter, said in an interview. “I don’t think there is anything that will slow that down.”

Someone in party leadership ought to do some serious numbers-crunching (more serious than the various “delegate math” exercises done by the media, and occasionally posted on by me and other bloggers) on what is left in the nomination process and what it will take for Obama to secure the Democratic bid for president. Once that superdelegate magic number is clarified, the party leader should get hard pledges from enough supers to reach the magic number, go to Clinton behind the scenes and ask her to step down or the supers will all go public en masse and publicly, and humiliatingly, end her failing and divisive bid.

It may be a plan along these lines is in place already and will be set into motion after Pennsylvania votes, Clinton wins big as expected and her campaign goes back into the ridiculous “she’s inevitable” mode because of the win.

Here’s more interesting bits from the Bloomberg link:

Both sides agree her chance to win the nomination rests on winning a significant majority of superdelegates because Obama is likely to maintain a lead of at least 150 pledged delegates – – those won in primaries and caucuses — after the last contest is finished. If he does, Clinton, 60, would have to snag more than 70 percent of the remaining 334 or so superdelegates.

And:

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said Obama, unlike Clinton, stands a chance of winning at least part of his state, which has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964 and is one of two states that award some presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than winner-take-all.

“Obama has coattails in Nebraska,” said Nelson, who endorsed his Senate colleague two months ago. “Our internal polls show he can win one, possibly two, congressional districts.”

And:

The same holds true in Ohio, which Clinton won, and Pennsylvania, where voter surveys say she is leading in the April 22 primary. Polls show Obama does as well or better than Clinton against McCain in those crucial swing states.

In Iowa, a February Des Moines Register poll showed Obama beating McCain 53 percent to 36 percent, while McCain beat Clinton 49 percent to 40 percent.

That is one of the reasons he’s won support from governors in Republican-leaning states, including Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Iowa’s Chet Culver.

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