Saturday, February 09, 2008

Howard Dean: Kingmaker?

Just who are the superdelegates? According to Wikipedia:

Superdelegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention include all Democratic members of the United States Congress, Democratic governors, various additional elected officials, members of the Democratic National Committee, as well as "all former Democratic Presidents, all former Democratic Vice Presidents, all former Democratic Leaders of the U.S. Senate, all former Democratic Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic Minority Leaders, as applicable, and all former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee."[3] There is an exception, however, for otherwise qualified individuals who endorse another party’s candidate for President; they lose their superdelegate status. In 2008, Senator Joe Lieberman was disqualified as a superdelegate because he endorsed Republican John McCain.

(Aside: strange that Lieberman was even considered a superdelegate since he is not actually a member of the Democratic party. But I'm so glad he's been stripped (ewww)).

A list of current superdelegates can be found here.

I did a quick hand count of those superdelegates from the above link (both pledged and unpledged) and divided them by why they have that position (DNC member, Governor, Representative, Senator). Here's what I got:

pledged unpledged total
DNC 157 80237
Gov 20 11 31
Rep 138 98 236
Sen 27 28 55
Total 342216

(Note: this was done with a hand count, so the numbers are probably off some (for instance, I know we don't have 55 Senators), but I think the ratios are more important to my point than the overall counts)

Notice that the largest block of superdelgates are DNC members (just after Reps.). Who leads the DNC? Howard Dean. A lot of DNC members really like Dean. They helped elect him three years ago and they, for the most part, really like his 50 state strategy since it gives so many of them money and people that they didn't have before.

My point is this: if this thing comes down to a situation where the superdelegates will decide who goes over the top then Howard Dean could have a HUGE influence over who is the eventual nominee. I think he will try to work towards a deal that gives the majority of superdelegates to who ever gets the majority of elected delegates. I don't think he would abide by an anti-democratic strategy to reverse the popular will.

Dean could very well be the kingmaker in the Democratic primary. And there's no one I would trust more in that role.


Blogger alex9852 said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be an issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.

3:11 PM  

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