Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What the Heck is a Superdelegate?

So what is a superdelegate and what makes them so ...well... super?

Lets begin with a difinition:

Wiki's definition:
The 2008 Democratic National Convention, where the Democratic presidential ticket is formally agreed upon, has 796[2] superdelegates, although the number is not final until March 1, 2008. Superdelegates to the Democratic Convention include all Democratic members of the United States Congress, Democratic governors, various additional elected officials, as well as members of the Democratic National Committee.[3] A list of superdelegates can be found here.

Here is the list: Democrat Superdelegates

A candidate needs a simple majority of the combined delegate and superdelegate votes to secure the nomination. Democratic delegates from state caucuses and primaries number 3,253, resulting in a total number of votes of 4,049. The total number of delegate votes needed to win the nomination is 2,025.[2] Superdelegates account for approximately one fifth (19.6%) of all votes at the convention. Delegates chosen in the Democratic caucuses and primaries account for approximately four fifths (80.4%) of the Democratic convention delegates.[2][4] Note: All numbers in this section assume that Michigan and Florida's delegates are not counted per current Democratic National Committee rules. If those rules are changed before or during the convention, the numbers above will change as appropriate

The Democratic Party is often criticized during election cycles for conducting primary elections in a non-democratic fashion, since superdelegates are appointed by the party and are not obligated to support the candidate chosen by the voters. There have been repeated calls to eliminate the superdelegates from the primaries to more accurately reflect the popular vote.

However, with proportional wins in the primaries and caucuses, even though the popular vote may favor one candidate, that may not get accurately reflected in total delegate count either.

According to Article Three, Sections 2 and 3 fo the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States:

The procedure to be used for certifying unpledged party leader and elected official delegates is as follows:

Not later than March 1, 2008, the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee shall officially confirm to each State Democratic Chair the names of the following unpledged delegates who legally reside in their respective state and who shall be recognized as part of their state’s delegation unless any such member has publicly expressed support for the election of, or has endorsed, a presidential candidate of another political party;

1. The individuals recognized as members of the DNC (as set forth in Article Three, Sections 2 and 3 of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States); and,

2. The Democratic President and the Democratic Vice President of the United States, if applicable; and,

3. All Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives and all Democratic members of the United States Senate; and,

4. The Democratic Governor, if applicable; and,

5. 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.

Whats the point of Superdelegates?

What's The Point Of Superdelegates? Why do other elected officials from a state get a delegate vote, therefore boosting a candidate's delegate count, even if they haven't won the state.Why should my governor, or my senators, have a delegate vote at the convention. Candidates have to vie for delegates -- why the [all but] freebies?

one answer...(don't know if it's the best answer. I haven't found one yet to satisfy my concerns)

I read somewhere that the democratic party argued that superdelegates were necessary to insure -- well, I can't recall the exact wording, but what I took from it was to insure that the person they wanted got elected. Over 700 swing votes can make a big difference. And the fact that so many votes reflect the choice of one individual and have the same weight as the votes that each reflect thousands of votes irks me.

However, I remind myself that it's up to each party to make its selection however it chooses, even if it's rock-paper-scissors, and since I don't belong to either party, it's none of my business. Let the party members complain if they don't approve.

Smelly fish ... if you ask me.

More attempts to satisfy my curiosity behind this Democratic Process (ya right..did the people vote for this?)

Delegates, superdelegates, and brokered conventions...oh my

The Convention Delegate Process Explained

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:34 PM

    It's not just the DNC-The RNC awards "At-Large" delegates to states who meet certain criteria, hold positions, etc. I don't think there's as many but there are less Republican delegates in the first place.