# Superdelegates

Two good posts about superdelegates

Buried at the end of a detailed post on the dueling delegate counts provided by the Clinton and Obama campaigns, Chris Bowers put forward a great idea for a Michigan/Florida compromise:

If I were in charge, I would seat Florida’s pledged delegates as is, and seat the pledged delegates from Michigan Clinton 73-55 Obama. From that point, I would strip both states of their superdelegates. This way, the voters of the two states are not punished, but the superdelegates who are responsible putting both states in this mess are. I actually think that this should become the standard punishment for states that flout the primary calendar: keep the pledged delegates, but strip the superdelegates with no possibility of reinstatement. I also really like the idea of superdelegates whining that they should be seated at the convention. That would be an hilarious press conference.

I have written before that it would be suicide for Obama to go into the general election campaign having argued for ignoring the primary votes in Michigan and Florida. I was open to a revote, but the Obama campaign made sure that didn’t happen in either state. Bowers’ idea makes a lot of sense to me. Rank and file voters should not be punished for the screwups of party leaders.

Meanwhile, JedReport put up a good diary at Daily Kos blaming the superdelegates for prolonging the primary election campaign.  

I think the extended race is on balance good for the Democrats, because voters are being energized all over the country (click here to read about the surge in Democratic voter registration in Oregon).

But if you’re an Obama supporter who’s frustrated that the race continues, JedReport’s diary indicates that your anger at the Clinton campaign or the media is misplaced. The superdelegates could have brought down the curtain on this race two months ago, but they have stood on the sidelines.

My only quibble with JedReport is that the pledged delegate count, which he thinks should guide the superdelegates’ decision, does not necessarily reflect the will of the people.

So far there have been at least two states (NV and TX) where Obama emerged with more pledged delegates despite having fewer people turn out to support him.

Also, the caucus systems in many states produced lopsided delegate counts that (in my view) do not reflect the will of the voters. Does anyone really think that Minnesota Democrats would have favored Obama over Hillary by a 2-1 margin in a primary?

Not only that, one caucus-goer in Wyoming had as much influence over the pledged delegate race as 19 primary voters in California (here is the link).

I’m for changing the system to ban caucuses for purposes of presidential candidate selection. Also, I would want to change the way pledged delegates are allocated so that no candidate could lose the popular vote in a state while winning the pledged delegate count.

Of course, this does not excuse the strategic failure of the Clinton campaign to have a game plan for the caucus states.

But if we are going to ban superdelegates, or require superdelegates to get behind the pledged delegate leader, then we better have a more equitable system for allocating the pledged delegates. It’s wrong for Obama to net as many pledged delegates from a low-turnout caucus state as Hillary netted in the Ohio primary blowout.

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