But what is this mysterious and all-powerful “Superdelgate” that we keep hearing about?
Who are they? And where can I get one?
Well, first of all – a Superdelegate is a party activist or elected official who has a vote at the Democratic National Convention equal to a single delegate.
There are 794 of them and Senators Clinton and Obama are courting and wooing each and every one of them – because they are likely to become the deciding factor in this year’s democratic nomination.
Why is that? It’s because without them, neither Obama nor Clinton can clinch the nomination. Obama leads Clinton in the overall delegate count, but without the superdelegates, neither can reach that magic number of 2025.
Among the superdelegates currently, Sen. Clinton has the lead with 251 of them to obama’s 221 while 322 remain uncommitted.
It’s worth noting too that when you hear about them, it only refers to the Democrats because Republicans don’t use Superdelegates.
Now what makes these unpledged supers so powerful is that unlike a “pledged” delegate in a primary or caucus, these Superdelegates can change their mind anytime and as often as they like between now and the convention in August.
And to make matters even more complicated, some of the Superdelegates have SUPER POWERS!!
Superdelegates like California’s Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres (who by the way hasn’t taken sides yet) has the authority to name FIVE additional superdelegates.
And why do the Democrats have them? Because the party made changes in its delegate selection process after George McGovern’s failed presidential bid in 1972 – IRONICALLY intending to better represent the will of the voters in the primaries and balance or weaken control by the party leaders.
So it’s all eyes on folks like Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Ed Rendell… and a 21 year-old named Jason Rae.
There’s even news today by NYT’s John Harwood that ANOTHER Super will announce today for Obama – Margaret Campbell, a Montana State Legislator.
So it’s official folks: WE ARE ON SUPERDELEGATE WATCH!
And that, is what a Superdelegate is… Want fries with that?