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April 21st, 2008
09:15 PM ET

Superdelegates: Undeclared, not Undecided

Jason R. Rae
Democratic superdelegate and Obama supporter

I firmly believe that at this point in the Democratic primary nomination there is no such thing as an undecided superdelegate. Instead, what we have are undeclared superdelegates. 

These remaining 300 or so people all very likely have a candidate they personally prefer, but are just waiting for the right moment to make it public. One of the key things they are waiting for is the result of tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary. So what are potential Obama and potential Clinton superdelegates looking for tomorrow?

Those who are decided for Senator Clinton but have not yet announced, are looking for a large win to show that she has the potential to remain an active player in this race. They want to see a decisive victory of at least 10 points. 

The same thing goes for those decided for Senator Obama but not yet pledging support. Pennsylvania has always been an uphill battle for Senator Obama. So while a loss would be disappointing, a narrow loss would be seen as a positive in a state where Clinton had been heavily favored. It would indicate his recent problems have not really hurt Senator Obama's electability and that he still remains a viable player in big swing states.

Everything hinges on tomorrow. I have a feeling that after the results, we will see a surge of superdelegates announcing their support for one of the two candidates, bringing one of the two candidates much closer to receiving the 2,025 votes needed to win the nomination.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Jason Rae • Raw Politics
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. nate

    I don't think that the superdelegates should feel compelled to voice their support prior to the Democratic Primaries. The sole reason why they were created was to ensure the electability of a candidate. To ensure a candidate's ability to win the general election, all candidates should be required to campaign all the way to the Convention.

    April 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  2. Scott Lundstedt

    As a registered Republican, I Think Obama is the only candidate who can unite our country and take on some of the People issues which to date President Bush has chosen not to recognize. Why only today he said "We are not in a recession", I really think he must be smoking something. It's like he doesn't care about the average American.

    Bush has so much wealth, its like he can't identify with the cost of oil/gasolene or the cost of everyday foods. If Clinton wins the lobbysts are still going to have control and we get "Bill the Lover" as our 1st Man – ugh!

    April 22, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  3. jes

    The people from the Black community should feel ashamed.For years I have heard many times from numerous Black talking heads how Hilary & Bill Clinton have been both friend & strong supporters of their race,. Now the Black come out in droves to support a candidate who has neither earned or learned enough about governing a country that is at war ,DEEP in debt & hated by the majority of the world. Hilary is on first name basis with the worlds most powerful leaders, she is ready to take on all comers on behalf of the USA & will fight ever step of the way on behalf of the USA. As for the BLACK community a traitor is a traitor no matter what race.

    April 22, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  4. KC, Texas

    I agree with joy watching from Canada.

    Men have had their chance and done a fantastic job of screwing everything up they possibly can on this planet. Let's see how a woman would work things. You might be surprised.

    April 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Kent, Illinois

    Those superdelegates need to get it together and show their support. They need to stop waiting until it is politically correct to show their positions. Obama will be the nominee. 300 undeclared superdelegates?...........Hey superdelegates. End this today. Show your support for the inevitable nominee............Barack Obama. Lets get this circus over with.

    April 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  6. Illinois

    If what this 12 year old is saying is true, then we'll see many SD's declaring their support for Clinton starting tomorrow.

    Of course, we'll also hear/see some SD's who will be rolled out in support of Obama.....that's what he always does when his popularity dips and people are no longer swooning over him. It's like he's waving that red flag to say "look at me!! i'm still popular!!!".

    April 22, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Larry

    Unlike for Barack, I've yet to hear of any superdelegates being pressured, or threatened, to vote for Hillary.

    April 22, 2008 at 1:07 pm |
  8. Julie San Diego, CA

    Tell me when it's safe to turn the tv set back on...

    November 5th?...

    April 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  9. Taj

    If I were a superdelegate, I will not decide for 10 points lead to Clinton or Obama. It is still too early to call.

    April 22, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  10. joanne in ontario

    Personally, I think that it is absolutely ridiculous that super delegates have the right to hold such power. Barack Obama has already surpassed Hillary Clinton in delegates and there is no way she can catch up regardless of the outcome of Pennsylvania's results or the other remaining states. Barack Obama should have been declared the nominee by now. American politics what a screw up.

    April 22, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  11. Taj

    Jason: It is not over yet with PA. Superdelegates will decide after Indiana & Norh Carolina. By then we can be sure if at all Hillary has lost. The Case closed.

    April 22, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  12. Rob

    HRC cannot win even if she were to take the remaining states by an overwhelming majority.
    It's time that the Super-delegates put an end to the Clinton circus.

    April 22, 2008 at 10:28 am |
  13. Mr. J

    The delegates know they have no choise but back Hillary. They realize little Barry cannot win in the genaral. People who vote just for the word change or hope are the same people spend now and get in trouble later. Those are the same people that are calling for Hillary to get out because they can't take the heat. Even they are starting to realize they wasted all this money trying to buy the election.

    April 22, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  14. Lilibeth

    Jason, I just hope that whichever candidate the superdelegates support, that he/she will beat John McCain. At this point, this is what I care about. Who is more capable to debate John McCain on the issues convincingly? Who is more capable to take on the tough challenges on Day One? Who has shown more resilience, more grit, and more courage in this campaign? Who will get us out of this mess in terms of the economy, the war, and our standing with the world? I hope the superdelegates will think long and hard the answers to these questions, and ultimately decide on The One who will beat John McCain. Because if they don't and we lose as a result, I wouldn't want to have to say...I told you so.

    April 22, 2008 at 3:55 am |
  15. Lee-Florida

    If the superdelegate vote for Obama, they will be throwing this election away. because McCain will win in Nov over Obama

    April 22, 2008 at 1:45 am |
  16. Lisa

    Frankly, no one should be declaring anything until the final primary vote in June. There would still be 2 months for the party to regroup and present a united front. By declaring anything until the final primary vote, many voters will once again be disenfranchised if it appears their vote is not going to count in the final analysis.

    The unique thing about the US is our ability to select our representatives - you know, that thing about ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE - and yet, at every turn possible the two parties want to take that away from us. And we stupidly continue to allow it.

    I will continue to hope that change does truly emerge as a result of this election - with the first change being in how the nominees are chosen, first by eliminating superdelegates, and second by ensuring that every vote counts – whether it be holding 5 Super Tuesdays (1/month – 10 states per month) or have a Super Primary vote day.

    There is truly nothing wrong with letting this thing run its course. It really is good for America.

    April 22, 2008 at 12:41 am |
  17. Charles

    After watching Clinton's performance over the last two weeks in Pennsylvania, I have decided that if she gets the nomination, I will not vote. I cannot vote for a Republican and I will not vote for her.

    April 21, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  18. Patsy

    Voting for Hillary soley because she is female is as bad as voting for Obama soley because he is black. I am concerned that this Democratic election is about Black verses Female. And not about Better or Best, Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, etc. The democrates have built up so much hate for whoever they are NOT supporting for this primary.... they will never be able to pull it back together by November. Which is a good thing !!

    April 21, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  19. Mary

    I'm so tired of people telling Hillary Clinton to get out of the primaries. Who do they think they are PUTIN. WE want Hillary to stay in this election because she is the right candiate for democrat nomination.

    What if you make a mistake in telling Hillary to quit. Obama isn't as electable as Hillary and then we get McCain.

    Hillary Clinton is a fighter, a much stronger person, a more knowledgeable candinate and the smartest person in Washington DC by far. PA give her double digits tomorrow. Hillary 08 don't wait

    Single women in PA depend on Hillary Clinton tomorrow. Hillary is a champion for women's rights. If in doubt vote of Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  20. mike

    Hillary's intent is to destroy Obama so McCain will win in November and she can run in 2012. She's a terrible candidate with 54% of the people viewing her negatively and 58% of the people saying she isn't honest and trustworthy. Her negatives get worse the longer she campaigns because she reinforces the negative stereotypes people had of her before this campaign started. She's living down to everyone's expectations. McCain will beat her like a drum in PA, MI, OH, FL, WI, IA, NH, CO, VA, MO, AR, etc. She would carry only the bluest of blue states that any Democrat could win. Plus, she'll be a disaster to down ballot races. SuperD's must do the smart thing and support Barack Obama if they want a chance at winning the White House and holding Congress.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  21. deb813

    I agree with Paul. She can't win and is ruining the chances of Obama in the fall. He has raised millions and millions of dollars even raising a pretty good amount in March, which we can all admit wasn't his best month. He's the candidate they are just letting Hillary Clinton embarrass herself enough to push her out. If she thinks after he won more states, more pledged delegates and more votes she will be the candidate she is dreaming. Because he is raising millions of dollars and bringing millions of democrats into the system. That is what the party bigwigs care about.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  22. Mike in NYC

    "I have a feeling that after the results, we will see a surge of superdelegates ..."

    Not to get off topic, but the time is ripe for a revolution in journalism.

    Ban the most overused word in recent memory - "surge," of course - from all non military-related reportage.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  23. Superdelgates

    Get your head on striaght and think about the real issues in America and around the world. Now you should know the right person for the democrat nomination is Hillary Clinton. Please for America get this right.

    Hillary Clinton 08 or a mistake

    April 21, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  24. Sharie

    Sometimes it seems, the pundits can't see the forest for the trees. Repeatedly, as from the Hillary campaign book, one hears the argument that Obama should be ahead in Pennsylvania because he has out spent Hillary. To look at the situation from a different vantage point it seems Hillary should be winning by a landslide. This given the fact that, not only she is stumping, but she has Bill, Chelsea, her mother, Gov Rendell, Mayor Nutter. Obama has primarily done his own stumping and is incapable of being in two to four places at any given time! I'd say he's doing fairly well when one looks at the facts in a different way.
    Respectfully

    April 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  25. Paul Warnow

    Is Hillary Clinton running for VP on the McCain ticket?

    She’s destroying the Democratic Party and only helping McCain.

    For Hillary Clinton to surpass Barack Obama in pledged delegates, she will have to win 63% of the votes and pledged delegates, in each and every state remaining.

    And for each and every state going forward, that she fails to win 63%, she will have to win increasing %’s, in each and every state remaining.

    At this time, it would take a miracle for Hillary Clinton to win 63% of the votes and pledged delegates in Pennsylvania.

    And it would take a greater miracle, for her to win a majority of the votes and pledged delegates, in the remaining state primaries.

    Consequently, her petty and divisive attacks against Barack Obama; are doing damage to her, Barack Obama, and the democratic party; and only helping John McCain.

    Hillary Clinton should withdraw if she fails to win by at least 20% of the votes and pledged delegates in Pennsylvania.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Mik

    I like Hillay bur she should have run in 2004. I do not know why she did not. I guess she thought it would have been hard to beat G. Bush. If that is the case she did not show courage.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Cynthia

    The superdelegates have known for a long time who they were planning to support and will start to trickle in after tomorrow's election

    April 21, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  28. kit

    If the democrats tallied delegates the same way as Republicans she would be up 1735 to 1636 without counting Florida or Michigan which she both won. Splitting the delegates without a winner take all system, as well as the super delegate question really makes the picture blurry. Perhaps this is why she won't bow out? I don't blame her.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  29. June

    Of course the Super Delegates are waiting to see which way the wind is blowing, after all they have to see what's in it for THEM personally. I found it interesting that Hillary's logic for getting out of Iraq was that there are all these other countries who are potential enemies, I interperated that as "maybe we should be going to war with them instead of Iraq??" Hey Hillary, I thought it was about bringing the troops HOME????

    April 21, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  30. joy

    watching from canada – Hello super delegates, Vote for Hillary, first women president
    Men has had their chances, and will still have in the next term US should be proud to have a woman and women all over the world will too.

    Here's to all women.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm |