Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards out

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

John Edwards is dropping out of the race today. What happens to his delegates? First, all of his superdelegates go back into the no endorsement pool. Second, his 4 delegates from New Hampshire and his 8 delegates from South Carolina will go to the convention as Uncommitted. And finally, his delegates from Iowa don't exist anymore, but will be replaced with Clinton or Obama delegates. That's because delegates to the national convention haven't actually been picked yet in Iowa. There are Congressional District (CD) and state conventions still to come, and all his delegates to the CD conventions will have to vote for one of the remaining candidates to the state level convention. We'll get the delegate trackers updated as the day goes on.

Update 1: The post above has gotten a lot of play around the net, but one thing must be corrected.

Iowa: Edwards received 14 delegates from Iowa, but they were split. 5 were state-level delegates, and 9 were CD-level delegates. The CD-level delegates are basically history. First, there are county conventions, and then CD conventions. Since Edwards won't meet the 15% threshold at the county conventions, he won't have any representation at the CD conventions, and won't get any CD-level delegates. Where they go at this point is impossible to say. But he will keep his 5 state-level delegates. By keep, what I mean is that his campaign gets to choose the 5 delegates. Who they end up voting is still up in the air. We'll update the Delegate Tracker.

Update 1A: Turns out I was right in the first place. The state-level delegates are chosen in the state convention, and as Edwards won't meet the 15% threshold, he won't get any state-level delegates either.

Update 2: The South Carolina situation is a bit confusing. But reading the South Carolina Delegate Selection Plan, they essentially have a system similar to Iowa's, except the final number of delegates selected for each candidate have to match the numbers out of the primary. There's no mention of a candidate "releasing" his delegates, so for now, we'll assume Edwards gets to name his 8 delegates. (Who they end up voting for at the convention is another matter).

Update 3: a non-incremental version of this post can be found at MyDD. Also note the following:

There is no first-ballot "vote for your candidate" rule at the Democratic Convention. Technically, any delegate is free to vote for any candidate on any ballot. (There may be state rules mandating a vote - we're still looking into that). Therefore, there is no such thing as a "legal" release of delegates. There is a political "release" - almost all delegates will vote for their candidate unless their candidate tells them they don't have to. But from a Rules point of view, a "release" of delegates mean nothing.

And therefore, it doesn't matter whether Edwards "ended" his campaign or "suspended" it as far as his delegates go. My guess is he will tell any delegates he has left that they can vote for who they want, or he could endorse someone and tell his delegates to vote for that person. But it doesn't matter from a rules point of view. They can vote for anybody at any time anyway, regardless of what Edwards did or say today or does in the future.

Original Update: Before we remove John Edwards' endorsements and numbers I wanted to add them to this post so we have a record of where things stood when he dropped out.

Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
Rep. Brad Miller (NC)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (TX)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)
Rep. Jim Oberstar (MN)
Rep. David Obey (WI)
Rep. David Price (NC)
Rep. Heath Shuler (NC)
Rep. Bart Stupak (MI)
Rep. Mel Watt (NC)
Rep. Michael Michaud (ME)
Rep. Bruce Braley (IA)
DNC Joe Wineke (WI)
DNC Sarah Swisher (IA)
DNC Nancy Larson (MN)
DNC Mary Jo Neville (MD)
DNC Muriel Offerman (NC)
DNC Elisa Parker (TN)
DNC Carol Peterson (NC)
DNC C Richard Cranwell (VA)
DNC Diane Saxe (MA)
DNC Jim Frasier (OK)
DNC Richard Machacek (IA)
DNC John Knutson (ME)
DNC Vince Powers (NE)
DNC John Perez (CA)


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sen. Edwards for the respectable campaign that you ran. My prayer is that your support will go to Sen. Obama and that Obama will ask for you to be his Atty. General. You will bring the much needed respectability to that office and will also work within, not around, our nation's Constitution.

Thank again and good luck to you and Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

Well, Nevada's easy enough - Edwards didn't win any delegates. Iowa is one whole heck of a lot thornier. The delegates elected to the March 15 county conventions keep their seats, even if they were pledged to support Edwards. They can choose to caucus for Edwards, switch to support any other candidate, or caucus as uncommitted. (For that matter, any delegate can do the same.)

So I don't see how to fairly project the results from Iowa. For now, it's probably safest to wipe Edwards' pledged delegate total clean, and to wait until 3/15 to see how the chips fall out.

Martin said...

From the AP:

Edwards won 26 delegates in the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina contests. Under party rules, 10 of those delegates will be automatically dispersed among Obama and Clinton, based on their vote totals in those respective contests. The remaining 16 remain pledged to Edwards, meaning his campaign will have a say in naming them.

As Edwards got 4 delegates in NH and 8 in SC, I'm not sure how the AP got their 16.

Matt said...

Edwards gets to keep 5 of his Iowa delegates, as I described in the updated post. So I give him 17, only 1 off from the AP's 18. But their characterization of the other Iowa delegates is way off. I don't think you can predict how the Edwards delegates will vote at their county conventions. I'm call them "Available"

Anonymous said...

I am with "anonymous!" I hope you endorse Barack Obama, Mr. Edwards, and that he will ask you to be his Attorney General! That would be a win-win! I hope that you do not use your enormous influence to help elect Billary. I think that would be terrible for the country and for the goals you have fought for so passionately!

Pinyan said...

From my recollection of the original campaign "suspension" of Dean, 2004 (also engineered by Joe Trippi), if one suspends the campaign (as opposed to ending it), you can still earn delegates in future contests. Thus when Dean won Vermont in 2004, he picked up a few delegates. If he had withdrawn or ended his campaign, he would be ineligible for future delegates. Since it is unlikely Edwards will hit 15% in any future race with two active candidates remaining and no strong base, it's a semantic difference.

Anonymous said...

What happens if, by convention time, no one candidate has garnered 50% + 1 committed delegates? Do they actually have a convention where they (gasp!) vote for a nominee?

Anonymous said...

And what if one candidate gets 50% + 1 delegates? Does the second place delegate drop out? Out of over 2000 delegates, would not one of them change their mind during the convention? It's a close race this year...

The New England Patriots were the overwhelming favourites in this year's Super Bowl. Why didn't the Giants just concede and not play the game??