Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mr. Super's take on where undeclared supers stand

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

If anybody knows superdelegates it's Mr. Super. In his latest post he gives a rundown of where he thinks the remaining superdelegates are in their decision.

Governors (7): All Pelosi Club members, though Kentucky's Steve Beshear could conceivably endorse Senator Clinton, and North Carolina's Mike Easley could endorse Senator Obama.

US Senators (19): As colleagues in the Senate, it's feasible that all could be Pelosi Club members.

Undeclared House Freshmen (18): All Pelosi Club. there 40 freshmen in the class of 2006, the 18 who have not endorsed look to be facing tough re-elects and don't want to risk splitting their base by picking a side. It's not what they were elected to do.

House members (52): Of the remaining House members, most are Pelosi Club. There are a few who may endorse prior to their state's primary, that's a total of nine members when you take out the Freshmen who were referenced above.

DNC Members (126): Virtually all up for grabs, save for a few Party luminaries.

I honestly believe that the peacemakers in all of this could be Jimmy Carter, who though he was not a popular president has since become the most popular ex-president, and the award-winning and Al Gore.

Now our definition of Pelosi Club is a superdelegate that commits to voting for the delegate winner. Not sure if Mr. Super is including the ones that say they'll vote for the leader of the Popular Vote. Hopefully he'll drop in and let us know.

Update: Mr. Super has confirmed that, like us, he considers the Pelosi Club going for the leader of the pledged delegates.


Unknown said...

Unfortunately I am not sure that is true.

He just said:
"Pelosi Club - my analysis of this term is that it means overall delegate leader since that is what the DNC rules call for."

He then clarified:
"The rules to nomination are based on the ability of a candidate to win delegates. Not just pledged delegates or superdelegates, but all delegates. This is what I was referencing."

So I think he is saying that if Clinton has more total pledged+supers she can win, even if Obama has more pledged? Is that what he is saying?

There seems to be some sort of self-referential definition here. I can't say that it makes sense to me. Can somebody explain?

Mr Super said...

My position is not just pledged delegates, but total delegates - just as the rules dictate. I believe that Pelosi's position is the same.

Unknown said...

Hi Mr. Super,

Thanks for posting. Here is why I am confused. You seem to be answering the question: who will get the nomination? Your answer: whoever has the most dels+supers (irrespective of popular vote, electability, or whatever). Great.

My question is not who will get the nomination, but who will the remaining supers support in the first place?

My understanding of the Pelosi club is: they believe the undeclared supers should vote for whoever has the highest pledged delegates.

So if hypothetically Obama has 1700 pledged delegates, and Clinton has 1550 delegates, then the Pelosi club believes that Obama should win. But Clinton's argument is that if she can get 524 supers, she should be the nominee even if that seems to overturn the decision of the people (the pledged delegate leader).

So in your analysis of Pelosi Club members were you using the definition above? Or a different one?

Thanks. Hope the question makes sense. It is not easy to explain

Derek said...

I think, Mr. Super, that you are putting us on. Very well done.

The undeclared members of Congress are going to vote at the Convention for the candidate with "not just pledged delegates, but all delegates."


So what are they going to do, abstain on the first ballot?

"Party Leaders" indeed!

Mr Super said...

I think, Derek, that you're not getting it that not all Supers are undeclared. About 67% of them have endorsed, and with the pledged delegates they comprise the total delegate haul for both Senators Clinton and Obama.

Matt said...

Mr. Super:

Here is Pelosi's comment:

And, the speaker said again in an interview Friday that was aired today, the decisions of the party’s “super-delegates’’ to the Democratic National Convention should “reflect’’ which candidate has claimed the most pledged delegates in a contest which she believes will end well before the convention in Denver.

This quote implies she will support the leader of the "Pledged Delegates", not the total delegates. That's the definition we've used in our post on the Pelosi Club. We haven't, however, trademarked the phrase, so clearly you and anyone else are welcome to use your own definition!

antigravity said...

i think the important question is when.

there are at least four different shades of the Pelosi Club... in the end they're all just excuses to procrastinate - they don't want to risk picking the wrong horse. these guys will wait for the weather vane to point incontrovertibly in one direction (if that ever happens).

with Michigan and Florida in limbo, the risk cannot fully resolve, and might likely not fully resolve all the way until convention. so what you seem to be saying is that there's only 130-140 or so more superdelegates that are willing to endorse before the convention in August.

is that what you think?

Unknown said...


Thanks Matt. Yes, it seems like the definition being used by Mr. Super is different from what I understand your definition to be. Which is why I wanted the clarification.

Demconwatch definition of Pelosi club is : winner of pledged delegates should win.

Mr. Super's definition of Pelosi club is: (winner of pledged delegates + currently pledged supers) should win.

cbsmith42 said...

With all due respect to everybody, the candidate with the higher total delagate count (pledged and super) is the same as the candidate with the highest pledged delegate count. Do we really need to split hairs any further?

Mike in Maryland said...

cbsmith42 said:
"Do we really need to split hairs any further?"

Yes. When you have a practiced word crafter, such as all politicians are famous for being, yes you do need to split hairs.

In all actuality, the leader in pledged delegates right now is Obama, and unless his campaign completely stops, he will be the leader of the pledged delegate count on June 3. There can and will be small shifts in the delegate counts in the caucus states, but nothing major.

The reality, though, is that the superdelegates can decide to withdraw their endorsements. In fact, we've seen several who already have. There is nothing in the rules that says that a superdelegate can't change their endorsement to/from a particular candidate from one day to the next.

Possible? Yes.

Probable? Not likely, especially if the superdelegate is an elected official who hopes to win a future election. But still possible.

Thus for someone to say "I will vote for the candidate who has the most delegates" doesn't tell us anything. Pelosi explicitly stated that she will vote for the candidate with the most pledged delegates. She didn't qualify it with 'most delegates'. She qualified it with 'most pledged delegates'.

So in my opinion there is a definite and very dramatic difference between what Mr. Super stated, and what Pelosi stated.


JackFord said...

As Sen. Hillary Clinton has ‘managed’ to take the Pennsylvania state, the Democratic race for nomination is very much alive – and most likely to be decided by superdelegates.

If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to and push them to support Clinton or Obama

If you haven't done so yet, please write a message to each of your state's superdelegates at

It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Obama in office?!

Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It's that easy...

Clinton Supporters:

It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?!

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It's that easy...

we'll make it REALLY easy and include a list of names, addresses, and affiliations of superdelegates from each state including your state

Mr Super said...

Hey Matt - thanks for the clarity. I actually refer to "Pelosi Club" members as "rubber stampers" but went with your terminology to try and keep it consistent. Looks like my definition is different, though. Sorry about that.

John said...

Hmm...very interesting. The pretty strong implication is that most of the 96 remaining elected superdelegates will break for Obama.

A fairly cautious estimate would suggest that Obama ends up with another 200 delegates out of the rest of the primary process. That gives him 1691 pledged delegates.

He currently has another 234 superdelegate endorsements. That gets him up to 1925 delegates.

If the elected superdelegates break to him, as Mr. Super suggests, at a pretty high rate - say 2/3 to 1/3, Obama gets another 64 supers from them - so that gets him up to 1989 delegates.

There's another 62 add-ons to be decided. The current margin is 8-3 for Obama (with two uncommitted), so I'm going to guess that Obama should at least split the remaining add-ons. That gets him another 31, for a grand total of 2020 delegates.

All he needs is 4 DNC delegates to win. Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Howard Dean, and Donna Brazile are all pretty clearly going to vote for him, if it comes down to it. (also, there's some of the DNC in the Pelosi Camp, and a few Clinton endorsers there, as well.)

So it looks as though, if Mr. Super's belief that most of the elected supers will end up breaking towards Obama is right, Obama has essentially already won, barring a complete collapse.

Also, the current Captcha word is "Seq My Coq". Awesome!