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The Politics of Winning

February 19, 2008 am29 11:47 am

I know two superdelegates. Let’s call one of them Mr. X, and the other Ms. UFTPres. What do they want? The answers are different, very different. Mr. X is much more typical.

Most superdelegates want to win. They want to win the presidency, yeah, of course. But they want their party to win in their state. And they want the top of the ticket to be strong in their district.

Superdelegates are politicians – mayors, state legislators, congressmen, DNC members. They have, not so surprisingly, local concerns: getting themselves and friends elected, and controlling local jobs and contracts.

They have a strong interest in not looking like they are defying their supporters. And they want a winner. And boy, are they stuck. Because should they listen to the voters across the country? in their state? in their district?

(ed – They’ve figured out what most of us have figured out. On the issues, there’s little difference between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama)

Actually, I think most are waiting to see who the winner will be, and then, divided as the electorate is, they will back the winner and claim to be representing the voters. And that’s how we know that Obama has not won. Where are the superdelegates, flocking to his cause? Not yet. When they move to one or the other, they will move in droves, a 5, 10 a delegation at a time.

The Superdelegates know that Clinton is not out yet, and will not commit against her when the race is still even.

Which makes these new battleground polls worrying to Clinton:

Minnesota leans Democratic (2004 D by 2.4%, 2000 by D 3.5%): McCain trails Obama by 15% but leads Clinton by 5%.
Wisconsin leans Democratic (2004 D by 0.2%, 2000 by D 0.4%): McCain trails Obama by 10% but leads Clinton by 7%.
Florida leans Republican (2004 R by 0.0%, 2000 by R 5.0%): McCain leads Obama by 16% and leads Clinton by 6%.

Oh, and Mr. X? Leaning Obama, but not 100% yet, and not ready to declare.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2008 pm29 8:02 pm 8:02 pm

    The Clinton campaign seems to now also be going after pledged delegates.

  2. February 19, 2008 pm29 8:22 pm 8:22 pm

    There is a raft of stories over the previous 12 hours or so about the Clinton campaign taking a more aggressive stance in general, and expecting to succeed doing so. (some of them read like news stories, some are nakedly partisan).

    I think they send a message that the campaign is not over, and do so effectively. I don’t think, however, that any work on flipping pledged delegates (not superdelegates) has begun in earnest. That story is just a warning shot.

    And the superdelegates are responding by…. not pledging themselves yet. They are heeding the calls for caution. They do not believe it is locked up.

    My Mr. X? Still not pledged. Not even if Obama wins his 10th in a row today.


  1. Politics » The Politics of Winning
  2. Superdelegates moving? « JD2718

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