New Rule For Uncommitted Superdelegates

[ Posted Monday, May 12th, 2008 – 12:28 UTC ]

With sincere apologies to Bill Maher for stealing his schtick, I have a new rule.

My new rule is for uncommitted Democratic superdelegates. The rule is: you are not allowed to publicly bemoan how "divided" the party currently is, or tut-tut that "the nomination process has gone on too long," or even wish that "it resolve itself soon." In other words, if you're part of the problem, you're not allowed to get all vaporous over the fact that the problem exists. Period.

The remaining 250 (or so) superdelegates who have not "put up" their endorsement publicly need to "shut up." Because these mugwumps can end the race any time they want -- by coming out en masse for one candidate or the other. So they no longer have the right to complain that the race is going on too long.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I fully agree that superdelegates are free to do whatever they want, up until they record their vote on the floor of the Democratic National Convention. They can switch their vote from one candidate to the other, they can refuse to answer any press inquiries as to how they're going to vote, they can wait until all the primaries are over to make their intentions known, they can pretty much do anything they want until the end of August. It is their right as superdelegates to do any of these things, because the party rules give them complete freedom to do anything they want with their vote. I am not denying this at all.

I even sympathize with some of them -- the superdelegates from states who have yet to hold their Democratic primary. Some superdelegates feel that they should vote the way their constituents do, and if they feel that way then they have to wait until the votes are counted before they announce their intent. That's perfectly reasonable.

But I'm sorry, I am just sick of seeing these people quoted in the news decrying how the lengthy primary race is "hurting the party." Because if that is the way you truly feel, you (and your fellow superdelegates) have the power to end it all. You always have. Kind of like Dorothy tramping all over Oz just to find out the ruby slippers were her ticket home all the time.

Uncommitted superdelegates, you have the power to end this race. All you have to do is click your heels together three times, call a press conference, and say "There's no candidate like X" or "Y." That's it. That's all it would take. If enough of you did so in the next few days, the remaining primaries would be a moot point.

And in the mean time, please refrain from complaining about how the race won't end. Either end it yourselves, or just stop talking to the media altogether. "Put up or shut up," in other words.


My West Virginia "pick"

Because tomorrow is another primary day, and because the race isn't officially over yet, I offer the latest in my continuing series of "picks" for primaries. After narrowly getting the last two right (I overestimated Clinton's vote by about five percent in both states, but managed to pick the winners correctly), I feel pretty confident about this one:

Hillary wins West Virginia in a landslide.

The only real question is whether her margin is merely impressive, or truly astronomical. Polls indicate Hillary's got the support of around 60% (and Obama a dismal 25%) of West Virginia's Mountaineers. This does leave a lot of undecideds, and (as we've all seen this election season) polls simply can't be trusted at times. But it cannot be denied that West Vriginia is solidly in Hillaryland.

[West Virginians, please note I refrained from making any sort of "hillbilly" jokes here, although with Senator Clinton's first name (and her husband's as well) the temptation to do so was almost overwhelming. But I consider the term to be derogatory, hence my restraint.]

But with a spread like that, the only real question is how big Clinton's margin is going to be. Will it be 20 points (Clinton 60%, Obama 40%)? Or 30 points (65/35)? Or even as stunning as 40 points (70/30) or 50 points (75/25)?

In the grand scheme of things, it won't matter much to Obama. There are only 39 delegates to be had here, so even if Clinton whomps him, at most she may pick up 20 delegates, net. Since Obama has a lead now of around 170 delegates (and an outright lead among superdelegates, for the first time in the race), Clinton's win won't affect the outcome much, if at all.

Still, those are some daunting numbers. I'm going to go with at least a 30-point win for Clinton in the Mountain State, possibly as high as 40 points.

That's my pick, what's yours?


Total correct Democratic picks so far: 38 for 54 -- 70%
Total correct 2008 Republican picks: 37 for 50 -- 74%
Total overall correct picks: 75 for 104 -- 72%.

[Previous states' picks:]

[AK] [AL] [AR] [AZ] [CA] [CO] [CT] [DE] [FL (R)] [GA] [HI (D)] [IA] [ID (D)] [IL] [IN (D)] [KS (D)] [KS (R)] [LA] [MA] [MD] [ME (D)] [MI (R)] [MN] [MO] [MS (D)] [MT (R)] [NC (D)] [ND] [NE (D)] [NH] [NJ] [NM (D)] [NV] [NY] [OH] [OK] [PA (D)] [RI] [SC (D)] [SC (R)] [TN] [TX] [UT] [VA] [VT] [WA] [WI] [WV (R)] [WY (D)] [Guam (D)] [Virgin Islands (D)] [Washington, D.C.]


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post


-- Chris Weigant


13 Comments on “New Rule For Uncommitted Superdelegates”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    The best thing that could happen for John McCain is that Hillary receives 30%-50% of the vote...


  2. [2] 
    fstanley wrote:

    I can understand now that we are so close to the end those who want to wait until all the states have voted before publically endorsing a candidate. I agree with you that if they want to wait they should keep quiet and stop whining about the length of the campaign.

    I would like Sen. Clinton to win 80% of the vote tomorrow but I think it will be more like 60-65.


  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I'm with you. Hillary wins. Maybe this will be enough to assuage her ego.

    At this point, I'm having trouble understand what her motivation for continuing to run is. If it truly is power that drives her, isn't she only creating enemies at this point without really much of a chance to win?

    Maybe she's just buying time, hoping something catastrophic happens to Obama, but she is very close to the point where she could make a lot of people very angry.

    If I could, I'd like to tell her that we need her and we could use her talents to help beat the Republicans in November. If Obama were in similar circumstances, I believe he work for the good of the party. Help us out, Hillary! We still love you and need you!


  4. [4] 
    Thatcher wrote:

    I think what we are forgetting here is turnout ... while WV Dems are overwhelmingly more for Hillary - there is nothing really to motivate the Hillary voters to get out in WV. She's not close to upsetting Obama. She's expected to win big, so individual voters who are for her may not turnout as big as one may think. Then there is the Obama supporters - the campaign and local groups for Obama will be turning out voters as hard as they can to achieve a moral victory to "keep it as close as possible."

    That being said, as close as possible is probably about 20% ... in Oklahoma she only did 24% better than Obama. In Tennessee, 13%. The only truly southern state that went for Clinton by large margin is Arkansas at 44%.

    That being said - I'm going for a 24% spread (give or take 4%) in favor of Clinton.

    But what Obama should do ... knowing he is going to lose big, is turn out a VERY large number of supers throughout the day ... of key people. Say ... 12 - 15 or more. Why? Changes the spin of the evening and next day from "Clinton wins WV big (as expected - or BIGGER than expected)" to "Obama rolls out busload of Superdelegates while Clinton picks up WV".

    Perhaps tomorrow morning is the time, Chris, that one certain former senator comes out for Obama (though highly unlikely because it wouldn't be in that former senator's normal operating procedure - taking the wind out of another's sails).

  5. [5] 
    Thatcher wrote:

    Poblano over at says it's going to be 39% (MOE +/- 6%).

  6. [6] 
    Thatcher wrote:

    Looks like poblano called it right and I'm now in search for crow to feast upon. However, it is interesting to note about 7% of WV DID vote for Edwards.

  7. [7] 
    Thatcher wrote:

    Also - HURRAY for Childers in MS-01!

  8. [8] 
    Thatcher wrote:

    Obama won the Nebraska Primary tonight. No effect on the delegates won from earlier this year ... but isn't Nebraska full of the "white" voters that people say he is losing ground with?

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I said, this is the best thing that could have happened for McCain..

    Looks like it's going to be a convention fight for the Democratic Party...

    Oh well.. There is always 2012...


  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:
  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Thatcher -

    Looks like I was pretty close with "30 maybe 40" points, eh?

    I too was astonished that Edwards got 7%. While watching the returns come in last night, I kept saying to myself -- "wait, this doesn't add up. Obama plus Clinton equals only 92-93% Who are the others voting for?" I tried to get the answer to this, but couldn't find anyone tracking anything other than Obama/Clinton. The West Virginia website wasn't very helpful either. I had to assume it was Edwards, but I really didn't know until I heard news reports on it.

    WV either liked the good-ol'-southern-boy lots and lots, or else there are people there who won't vote for a black man OR a woman. I really don't know.

    And you can bet your bottom dollar the GOP is quaking in its collective boots at breakfast this morning. A Democrat won in MISSISSIPPI?!? In a district so solidly red everyone there had sunburn??

    What's more -- this is the THIRD time in a row this has happened with special House elections.

    So like I said, lots of fear on the GOP side today.

    "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'..."


  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh, forgot to point out...

    Stan got pretty close with "60-65%" too. Well done!


  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Wow, Chris. That is news about Edwards. I hadn't heard that. Interesting and way to call it. Glad I didn't hazard a guess as I would've been quite a bit off.

    I have to give Hillary kudos today for coming out and saying it would be a "terrible mistake" for anyone to vote for McCain over Obama.

    Whichever way it turns out, the candidate who eventually loses can do a lot to help heal the party. And I'd hope the party and people would embrace them likewise.

    If Obama were down, I'd hope he'd do the same. Because the differences between Obama and Clinton are really are not that great when compared to McSame.

    - Dave

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