Monday, March 17, 2008

A Guide to DemConWatch

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Welcome to DemConWatch (formerly 2008 Democratic Convention Watch), the premier independent web site for all the information you need about the Transition, Inauguration and the 2010 and 2012 elections.

DemConWatch broke the news about Obama moving his speech to Invesco Field and continues to be a leader in the news your looking for regarding the Democratic Party and the elections.

Here's a guide to what's on the site:

How to Find What You're Looking For:

There are 3 ways to find information at DCW: There's a search box at the upper left of the screen, which searches the whole blog. In the right sidebar there's a dropdown where you can search by tags. And the left sidebar contains a full archive of the posts.

Who we are:

DemConWatch is run by a group of part-time bloggers. We are all avid Democrats. This site is not affiliated with the DNC, DNCC, or any campaign.


Nathan said...

What has happened to the Texas caucus results? There are many more delegates yet to allocate and only 41% of the results have been reported.

Matt said...

Nathan- good question about Texas, and I honestly don't know. They've got their district caucuses on March 29, so maybe we'll find out then.

ChagoFuentes said...

It appears that the final tally in Texas will be a net gain of 4 or 5 delegates for Obama after factoring in a net 4 for Clinton as the result of the primary vote and a net 8 or 9 as the result of the caucus process. We will not have the final official Texas caucus results until the conclusion of the state convention on June 6-7. The 41% caucus returns were the result of the Texas Democratic Party's voluntary telephone reporting system which did not work very well. That system was suspended after a few days. It was only a report of the Clinton/Obama delegates elected at the precinct conventions to go to the county and senatorial district conventions to be held on March 29. At those conventions, delegates will be elected to go to the state convention where the national delegates will be selected. Over a million voters participated in the March 4 precinct conventions, and the results are kept by hand and reported in handwritten minutes and sign-in sheets. I have been a precinct chairman in my county for over 30 years. The turnout for my precinct convention is usually 1 or 2 people - this year it was 56. We usually have less than 200 people attend countywide - this year it was almost 8,000. 10 out of 94 precincts in my county either did not hold precinct conventions or caucuses at all or just did not turn in their paperwork. Another 11 did not include any information about the number of delegates elected. Only about 30 out of the 94 did everything correctly. My guess it that was typical across the state since this is the first time these precinct conventions ever mattered. Democracy was a little messy but it was sure interesting and a lot of fun.

Butler Crittenden said...

Not directly linked to this thread, but I would like to know the Dem convention rules for a second and subsequent ballots. I read the Jan 29 post and gather that all delegates are technically free to vote as they please at all times, though almost all will respect their mandates on the first ballot. No mention about the follow-up ballots. Any information?

Matt said...

Butler - There are absolutely no rules differentiating the first and subsequent ballots. All delegates, pledged and unpledged, are free to vote for any Democrat at any time for any reason.

Now pledged delegates have a political commitment to vote for the candidate they were elected. That commitment would certainly go away if a candidate released their delegates (which is a political statement, not a rules-base statement). If there were subsequent ballots, could there be any shifting of votes without a candidate withdrawing? Sure. Could delegates feel that their pledge only lasts 1 ballot? Sure. But those are all political decisions, not rules-based ones.

Finally, there will not be a 2nd ballot at the convention. There are only 2 active candidates. Someone has to get a majority. Yes, if it was an exact tie, and if the Edwards delegates held for Edwards, its theoretically possible, but there's no way the superdelegates would allow that to happen. All there delegates want to win in November, and they will make sure it happens on the first ballot. I personally believe this actually will be all settled by June at the latest. There will be a mass movement of superdelegates to one of the two candidates after the last primary, and the race will be effectively over.

Plbeard said...


Is it not true that the nominee need to reach the 2025 threshold in order to win the nomination, rather than a majority. I'm confused about how that works. All that is talked about is that target number. Does that only come into play going into the convention? If neither candidate makes that number after the first ballot is that not then what is referred to as a brokered convention?

Matt said...

Paula, 2025, actually 2024 right now, is a majority. It's very unlikely that, in essentially a two person race, one of the 2 won't get the 2,024 delegates on the first ballot.

If your question concerns FL and MI, if they get included, the number of delegates to win goes up - the number to win is always 50% +1 of the valid delegates.

The Political Breeze said...

The delegate trackrt should call out the growing list of Super Delegates (Rep Pelosi, Senator Cantwell (WA), etc.) that have announced their intent to vote for the candidate with the most pledged delegates. These delegates will almost certainly vote for Obama.

Continuing to list Cantwell for Clinton and Pelosi as uncommitted is a bit misleading.

Margie said...

Can someone tell me the exact dates of the Convention in August? Thankyou.

Matt said...

Aug 25-28.

RobH said...


I have a peculiar question, which I know raises some difficult issues. My question is: Is it possible to ban an individual blogger?

On Sunday night the 20th, a poster under the name Aunt Jean flamed your Superdelegate Thread with some nasty stuff. I innocently invited her to go to the Open Thread with that stuff, and keep the SD tracker neutral.


She has torn that thread up in less than 36 hours. Her comments are so vitriolic and mean-spirited it's not funny. At least Yamaka has been entertaining. The comments I'm referring to, by her, are hate speech.

I know all about free speech, and that the concept I raise is counter-intuitive. But the discourse has suffered so much as to make that discussion inhumane.
I'd love to stay, but I think I might not. I think a lot of other good, reasonable, thoughtful, civil folks there might not, as well.

If not a banning, would it be possible for a "referee's visit" there to urge a change in the trajectory, with some implied consequence, if not?


Amot said...

RobH, it's an open thread out there, I think we have to live with aunty! With some luck tonight she will be gone...

Judy Bienvenu said...

Rob & Amot. Let's ignore her. I stopped replying to her bigot stuff and I'm hoping she went away. So far so good tonight and I have my fingers crossed.

Of course, DCW was nice enough to start that new open thread and then she found it too.

A friend of mine told me they that Aunt Jean was really James Carville but IDK.

Unknown said...

How does a person communicate with the undeclared super delegates most effectively?

Jeff Winchell said...

From the number of Senators in your Superdelegate widget (48), I assumed you are counting Senator Dodd as a DPL (as a former DNC Chairman). That would be consistent with the official list of superdelegates you have posted on your site.

In the interest of consistency (hobgoblins be damned), this means that Senator Byrd should also be listed as a DPL (as a former Senate Majority Leader). But this is not the case in your Superdelegate counter widget or in your list of currently uncommitted superdelegates.

Matt said...

Winch - We are counting Dodd and Byrd as Senators. Here's the math: There are 49 Democratic Senators. (Sanders and Lieberman don't count). Three of the Senators are from Florida and Michigan. Remove them, we're at 46. Add in the 2 DC Shadow Senators, which are counted by the DNC in the Senator column, and we get to 48. let us know if that answers your question.

Jeff Winchell said...

OK, now I understand your totals.

FWIW, if it were my choice, I would stick with the Democratic Party's classification priorities though. Being called a Distinguished Party Leader (which includes former Presidents) seems to be more super than a superdelegate who is "only" a Senator.

But I am also sure you are very busy just keeping all the totals up to date. So I don't want to keep you from that more important task.

Independent Voter said...

Hey Matt,

Just a thought. How about adding another column to the right sidebar table that includes MI and FL totals similar to the one at the top for "delegates needed"?

Like I said, just a thought.

jean said...

I know it is an open thread but you really need to check out jayw.
He is off the chart and not funny.

Matt, Oreo and all. Nice Place you have. You have the best site without any question.
Have a great day. jean

siu said...

Matt & Oreo,

you have this section "DCW in the News". I guess the following link does not qualify for that, but might be nice anyway.

The "Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung" is a swiss newspaper. It is often mentionned as the highest-quality german-speaking newspaper (it is said this was the newspaper that the former long-term german prime minister Helmut Kohl read first in the morning, even though it's a swiss newspaper and not a german one).

Obviously, high quality means also that they use news sources of highest quality only. It is thus no surprise that when it comes to superdelegate numbers, they use not CNN, AP, NYT or CBS, but only DCW as the source. The following link gives one such example (i've seen it in several other articles):

(you might not understand much of it, but if you do a search for Democartic Convention Watch, you'll see you're really mentionned)

The paper article even includes the graphs on superdelegate history that you put on this site.

So, for short, your work is appreciated not only in your country, but all around the world by people who like high-quality information. You (or at least your site) start to get famous all around the world...

Thanks and congratulations.

Lea Ann said...

Above is a link to information about one of the super delegates. Just so you know. One of the posts asked if there was info about Republican Super Delegates. N0. SD's were created by the Dems.

Matt said...

Lea Ann - the GOP certainly has superdelegates. Just way less than the Democrats. They don't call them superdelegates, but, then, neither do the Democrats officially.

From Wikipedia:

Each state's two members of the Republican National Committee, and the party chairs of each state and territory are the only automatic delegates to the party's national convention. These superdelegates while officially uncommitted, may also publicly endorse a candidate.

MStewartWhite said...

Thank you for providing this resource, I hope many are coming to your site and getting a better grip on the system.

My sister has been working in Sweden for the last two months and she is constantly being asked about our nomination process. If a Fulbright scholar cant explain our system without further confusing foreigners then there must be something wrong with our nomination process! This site at least sheds some light on this DNC cluster&*^%.

Thanks again!

Independent Voter said...

Matt, are you guys still going by GP's numbers? If so, as much as it pains me, the GP is showing Obama with 1723.5 pledged delegates as opposed to the 1724.5 that you are showing.

Like I said, as much as I don't like the idea of losing one for Obama I figured I would point it out - you know to keep things consistent.

Matt said...

It's an issue with 2 Edwards delegates in FL who have announced for Obama. We're working with GP to get in sync.

Independent Voter said...

Ah, got it! Thanks Matt!

RobH said...


Aunt Jean is out of control on the Open Thread. Cursing (the seven words) and blatant racism re "AA."

Can you please remove posts?