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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Superdelegate Primary

<p>As the Clinton-Obama duel grinds on, Democratic eyes are turning to those previously underappreciated people known as

Tobey Strickland
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 09, 2008

As the Clinton-Obama duel grinds on, Democratic eyes are turning to those previously underappreciated people known as "superdelegates."

Superdelegates are the elected officials and party leaders who are guaranteed a vote at the Democratic convention. They constitute about 20 percent of the delegates who will gather in Denver in August. They differ from delegates chosen by a primary or caucus in that they are "unpledged"–they don’t have to vote for any particular candidate. If Clinton and Obama continued to split primary votes (and therefore "pledged" delegates) fairly evenly, each will have to win votes from superdelegates to achieve the majority needed to capture the nomination

In other words, the preferences of the superdelegates is emerging as a kind of elite primary-the results of which could decide who wins the nomination.

Clinton is ahead in this contest, according to the various counts compiled by Democratic Convention Watch, CNN, CBS and AP. But everyone has different numbers that are constantly changing as superdelegates proclaim their choices.

Earlier this week, Minnesota Monitor reported that Rep. Tim Walz, a superdelegate, had endorsed Obama. On Wednesday, another superdelegate Sen. Tom Harkin hinted broadly to Iowa Independent that he is skeptical about Clinton. "There are some real dark clouds" around her campaign, Harkin said while professing neutrality. Meanwhile, Associated Press reports that two Michigan congressmen have endorsed Clinton.

The polls in the superdelegate primary will remain open for the next six months.

Tobey Strickland | Reiki Master. In the process of becoming a real estate mogul. Brewery aficionado. Netflix series critic who is semi-professional. Every day, I assist clients in locating their ideal dream house. After I finish my work for the day, you can find me at Crossfit, doing yoga, or meeting up with friends to listen to live music around town. I enjoy traveling regularly, whether it's relaxing on a South American beach or hiking through Asia's mountains. Now it's your turn. What are your favorite places to visit?


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