Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mommy, What's A Superdelegate?

A superdelegate is one that isn't required to vote at the convention for the candidate who won the primary/caucus in their state. They're unpledged. They can vote for whoever they damned want at the convention, and nobody can say boo about. They can declare how they're going to vote at any time, and change their minds without notice up until the very last moment when the ballots are cast at the convention.

Who are these people? Here's the list* for this year's Democratic National Convention, in case you care. (Click through to see the whole list. The page I linked just has the ones that have currently endorsed a candidate still in the race.)

There will be 796 of them. That's just under 20% of the total number of delegates that will decide the nominee. I bring this up in light of Matt Stoller's report that the Clinton people think the race may go to the convention.

Picture it now. The pledged delegates go for Obama in a landslide, but the superdelegates tip the balance over to Clinton. At the moment, Clinton is leading the superdelegate race with about half of them declared. That could change. Is there a real chance this could "go to the convention" like the Clinton people think? Um, yes. Yes, there is.

* Note: the list isn't final until the end of the month.

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