Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Rise of the Superdelegate

Tim Kaine is a superdelegate. So are Jim Doyle and Janet Napolitano. When the Democratic National Conventions starts on August 25, 2008 in Denver, the three of them will get to vote for who the party's nominee for President should be. But it won't be because of the results of a primary of caucus in their state.

These three (and many others) get to serve as superdelegates at the contention because of some elected office or party post they hold. In their cases, they are superdelegates because they are state governors and Democrats. Kaine is the governor of Virginia, Doyle is the governor of Wisconsin, and Napolitano is the governor Arizona. All three have endorsed Barach Obama to be the party's nominee, but they are technically under no obligation to vote for him...

There will be 792 superdelegates at the convention in Denver. The convention will have a total of 4,040 delegates (including the superdelegates). Primaries and caucuses will send 3,248 delegates to the convention. That's a little more than 80%. To win the nomination a candidate must get 2,025 delegates. So in theory, a candidate could win the nomination with only 38% of the elected delegates from primaries and caucuses if they managed to get all the superdelegates to vote for them.

The status of delegates from Michigan and Florida is currently in doubt. Without including superdelegates from those states, Hillary has 158 superdelegates who have voiced an interest in voting for her. Obama has 71, Edwards 27, and 514 superdelegates have not yet said who they might vote for at the convention in August.

You can find a list of the superdelegates here...

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