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The Power of Super Delegates in Presidential Nomination


Luke_Wilbur
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Superdelegates are delegates to a presidential nominating convention in the United States who are not bound by the decisions of party primaries or caucuses. Superdelegates are elected officeholders and party officials. They are sometimes referred to as "unpledged delegates," but some unpledged delegates are not superdelegates.

 

Superdelegates control more than forty percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination. Most of the super delegates aren't chosen by the general populace, and they are not bound by the votes in their respective states.

 

Superdelegates were first appointed in the 1970s, after control of the nomination process in the Democratic Party effectively moved out of the hands of party officials into the primary and caucus process. The aim was to grant some say in the process to people who had been playing roles in the party before the election year.

 

In 2008, the 796 super delegates will make up about 20% of the entire Democratic National convention. Winning the nomination requires 2,025 delegates

 

The Republican Party has 123 similarly automatically appointed delegates, members of the Republican National Committee. Including these appointees, the Republican Party has 463 unpledged delegates out of a total of 2,380 delegates.

 

A “unpledged voter” is not the same thing as “super delegates”. Almost all of the unpledged delegates on the Democratic side are indeed super delegates (i.e. party leaders), but some of the super delegates are actually pledged delegates, and they are not free to simply vote for whomever they wish.

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Here is a list of Super Delegates.

 

1. Every U.S. Senator who is Democrat (i.e Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama). There is currently 53.

 

2. Every U.S. Representative who is Democrat (i.e Nancy Pelosi, Chris Van Hollen). There is currently 53.

 

3. All living Presidents who are Democrat (i.e. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton). There is currently 2

 

4. All living Vice Presidents who are Democrat (i.e. Walter Mondale, Al Gore) There is currently 2

 

5. All State, Territory, District of Columbia and abroad members of the Democratic National Committee (i.e. Anita Bonds, Jeffery Richardson ) There is 265

 

6. All DNC Chairmen - There is 5

 

DNC David Wilhelm (IL)

DNC Debra DeLee (MA)

DNC Paul Kirk (MA)

DNC Roy Romer (CO)

DNC Bob Strauss (TX)

 

7. National Conference of Mayors - There is 1

 

DNC Hon. Kwame Kilpatrick (MI)

 

8. Dem. Association of Secretaries of State - There are 2

 

DNC Hon. Robin Carnahan (MO)

DNC Hon. Bill Bradbury (OR)

 

9. Nat'l Assoc of Dem State Treasurers Dem. Leg. Campaign Comm. - There are 2

 

DNC Hon. Joyce Beatty (OH)

DNC Hon. Joan Fitz-Gerald (CO)

 

10. Nat'l Dem. County Officials - There are 2

 

DNC Hon. Eric Coleman (MI)

DNC Hon. Margie Woods (IL)

 

 

11. Nat'l Dem. Municipal Officials Conf. - There are 2

 

DNC Hon. Susan Burgess (NC)

DNC Hon. Myron Lowery (TN)

 

12. National Federaton of Democratic Women - There are 2

 

DNC Virgie Rollins (MI)

DNC Hon. Ruth Rudy (PA)

 

13. College Democrats of America - There are 2

 

DNC Lauren Wolfe (MI)

DNC Awais Khaleel (WI)

 

14. Young Dems of America - There are 2

 

DNC David Hardt (TX)

DNC Crystal Strait (CA)

 

15. Democratic Association of Attorney Generals - There are 2

 

DNC Hon. Catherine Cortez Masto (NV)

DNC Hon. Patrick Lynch (RI)

 

16. National Democratic Ethnic Coord. Comm. - There is 1

 

DNC Christine Warnke (DC)

 

17. Nat'l Dem. Seniors Coord. Comm. - There are 3

 

DNC Hon. John Melcher (MT)

DNC Maria Cordone (MD)

 

18. Secretary of Emeritus - There is 1

 

DNC Kathleen Vick (DC)

 

19. General Delegates (i.e. Yolanda Caraway, Marilyn Tyler Brown) There are 119

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Everybody's vote should be an equal vote, but they are not. Clinton vs. Obama is shaping up to be like Bush vs. Gore. Obama could win the natural votes and Clinton could still win.

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California

 

Number of super delegates: 71

Total number of delegates: 441

 

Total number of voters 9,000,000

Number of delegates based on the election: 370

 

1 delegate is worth an average of 24,000+ voters

 

71 super delegates are worth over 170,000 voters

 

1. Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)

2. Sen. Diane Feinstein (CA)

3. Rep. Barbara Lee (CA)

4. Rep. Bob Filner (CA)

5. Rep. Brad Sherman (CA)

6. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA)

7. Rep. Diane Watson (CA)

8. Rep. George Miller (CA)

9. Rep. Henry Waxman (CA)

10. Rep. Hilda Solis (CA)

11. Rep. Howard Berman (CA)

12. Rep. Jane Harman (CA)

13. Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA)

14. Rep. Jim Costa (CA)

15. Rep. Lois Capps (CA)

16. Rep. Mike Honda (CA)

17. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA)

18. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA)

19. Rep. Pete Stark (CA)

20. Rep. Sam Farr (CA)

21. Rep. Susan Davis (CA)

22. Rep. Tom Lantos (CA)

23. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA)

24. DNC Art Torres - CA Chair (CA)

25. DNC Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker - Vice Chair (CA)

26. DNC Steven Alari (CA)

27. DNC Rachel Binah (CA)

28. DNC Mary Ellen Early (CA)

29. DNC Edward Espinoza (CA)

30. DNC Inola Henry (CA)

31. DNC Aleita Huguenin (CA)

32. DNC Hon. Carole Midgen (CA)

33. DNC Bob Mulholland (CA)

34. DNC Christine Pelosi (CA)

35. DNC Robert Rankin (CA)

36. DNC Garry Shay (CA)

37. DNC Hon. Christopher Stampolis (CA)

38. DNC Keith Umemoto (CA)

39. DNC Steve Ybarra (CA)

40. DNC Jeremy Bernard (CA)

41. DNC Vernon Watkins (CA)

42. DNC Alice Huffman (CA)

43. DNC Alicia Wang (CA)

44. DNC Charles Manatt (CA)

45. DNC Hon. Maria Echaveste (CA)

46. DNC Mirian Saez (CA)

47. DNC Mona Pasquil (CA)

48. DNC Rosalind Wyman (CA)

49. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)

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Party Leaders and Elected Official (PLEO) delegates - DNC Members, Democratic House and Senate members, Democratic governors, and former Democratic Party leaders are automatically confirmed to the state parties. In addition, these positions are considered according to the following priority: big city mayors and state-wide elected officials, state legislative leaders, state legislators, and other state, county and local elected officials and party leaders. These delegates can be chosen by a state convention, the State Party Committee, or by a committee consisting of a quorum of district-level delegates. There are both pledged and unpledged PLEO delegates.

 

DNC DELEGATE SELECTION RULES

 

UNPLEDGED AND PLEDGED PARTY LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIAL DELEGATES

 

A. 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.

 

 

B. Following the selection of district-level delegates, and prior to the selection of pledged party leader and elected official delegates, unpledged add-on delegates shall be selected according to the following procedures:

 

1. Unpledged add-on delegates may be selected by either the same selecting body which will select the state’s party leader and elected official delegates, or by the same selecting body which will select the state’s at-large delegates and alternates.

 

2. The equal division and affirmative action provisions of Rule 10.A. apply to the selection of unpledged add-on delegates.

 

3. The list from which the selecting body chooses the unpledged add-on delegates shall contain the same minimum number of names for every such add-on position to be filled as the minimum number of names required by the state’s delegate selection plan to remain on the list of bona fide supporters for each at-large and pledged party leader and elected official delegate pursuant to Rule 12.E.(2).

 

4. Unpledged add-on delegates are not entitled to alternates, and neither shall the delegation be entitled to a replacement, except in the case of death.

 

5. Unpledged add-on delegates may be selected whether or not they previously filed a statement of candidacy for a delegate position or submitted a pledge of support for a presidential candidate.

 

C. Following the selection of unpledged add-on delegates under 9.B., pledged party leader and elected official delegates are to be selected subject to the following procedures:

 

1. Persons shall be considered for pledged party leader and elected official delegates and alternates according to the following priority: big city mayors and state-wide elected officials to be given equal consideration; state legislative leaders, state legislators, and other state, county and local elected officials and party leaders.

 

2. These slots shall be allocated on the same basis as the state’s at-large delegates.

 

3. If persons eligible for pledged party leader and elected official delegate positions have not made known their presidential preference under the procedures established by the state pursuant to Rule 12 for candidates for district-level and atlarge delegate positions, their preferences shall be ascertained through alternative procedures established by the state party, which shall require a signed pledge of support for a presidential candidate. Such an alternative system shall have a final deadline for submitting a pledge of support after the selection of all district-level delegates has been completed and must provide an opportunity for disapproval by the presidential candidate or the candidate’s authorized representative.

 

 

D. A state’s party leader and elected official delegates may be chosen by a state convention or by a committee consisting of a quorum of district-level delegates. They may also be chosen by the

State Party Committee, as recognized by the Democratic National Committee, but only if the state’s Delegate Selection Plan is in full compliance with these rules, and provided:

 

1. Membership on the State Party Committee is apportioned on the basis of population and/or some measure of Democratic strength;

 

2. Members of the State Party Committee have been elected through open processes in conformity with the basic procedural guarantees utilized for delegate selection;

 

3. Such delegates are elected at a public meeting subsequent to the election of district-level delegates;

 

4. Members of the State Party Committee exercising such authority shall have been elected no earlier than the date of the previous presidential election; and

 

5. Membership of the State Party Committee complies with the equal division requirements of Article 9, Section 16 of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States.

 

E. Except as provided in 9.A. above, no person shall serve as an automatic delegate at any level of the delegate selection process by virtue of holding a public or party office.

 

California Unpledged Votes

 

DNC Members 33

Dem. Members of Congress 32

Distinguised Party Leaders 1

Add-on Upledged 5

 

 

http://www.demconvention.com/delegate-map/

http://www.demconvention.com/how-to-become-a-delegate/

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