Sunday, February 17, 2008

Should Super-Delegates Vote with the Majority?

Interesting question. Here is Steve Bough arguing that they should, over at Blog CCP, and here's me taking the opposite side.

I sincerely hope it doesn't come down to a controversy - ideally, the party's choice will be clear by the Convention.

But, if it doesn't happen that way, what do you say?

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Blogger Shane said...

If party delegates decide to not go with the majority of the delegates, the democratic party will once again shoot themselves in the foot in a nearly un-losable election.

2/17/2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

You might be right about that, Shane. The only way I could see the case being otherwise is if some big tide-changing event occurs between now and then. If either candidate committed a MAJOR gaffe, or got caught up in some fresh scandal, then I think the party would be best served to go with whichever one is untarnished. But that's hypothetical, of course. Absent that, if either candidate has a significant (not just a few) lead in popularly elected delegates, then I think the unity of the party would favor following the majority.

2/17/2008 8:00 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

The super-delegates should vote for Obama.

All of them.

Seriously, they should align themselves with the popular vote. Anything else would be seen (rightly) as elites over-riding the will of the people.

2/17/2008 8:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

So why have them? (And maybe the answer is they shouldn't.) But, if they're part of the process, shouldn't they have a voice?

2/17/2008 8:50 PM  
Anonymous travel said...

If Obama loses the popular vote but wins the super delegates and the nomination, there will be consternation at first but the dems will get over it and move on with Obama, everybody loving him except Bill and Hillary.

If Hillary loses the popular vote but wins the super delegates, there will be hell to pay, charges of racism, and a party that will be fractured to the core.

2/18/2008 9:30 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

As interesting as it is for us all to be educated about the stranger aspects of our candidate selection process, I really wish this wasn't a subject of open debate between the candidates. I think it's irresponsible and short sighted of the Obama and Clinton campaigns to be staking out positions and framing this in a way that could undermine the eventual nominee.

I think Dean's statement hit the right note:

[The superdelegates] role is to exercise their best judgment in the interests of the nation and of the Democratic Party.

People have interpreted that in different ways, and I guess that's part of why I think it works - it doesn't shackle them to either side's argument. It's my understanding that traditionally the superdelegates consider voting for the majority vote winner as in the best interests of the party. I expect that's what will happen this time.

To be clear, I think the discussion/debate among voters about superdelegates is a healthy thing, I just think that when the candidates stake out self serving positions on the issue they muddy the water and potentially undermine the eventual nominee.

2/18/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why have them? (And maybe the answer is they shouldn't.) But, if they're part of the process, shouldn't they have a voice?

I thought there job was to basically be a tie braker in case of a three way contest? Like if the popular vote was split 35%/35%/30%.

In this case Edwards has dropped out, so it is a 2 person race.

So your right, why do we have them?

2/18/2008 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Obama continues to win by these margins, the superdelegates will be irrelevant. It is now possible - but perhaps not likely - that Obama can reach 2,025 delegates counting only the pledged delegates.

Long story short: Hillary can backroom deal all she wants; the voters will still secure the nomination for Obama. Democracy wins again!

2/20/2008 10:43 AM  
Anonymous GMC70 said...

A brokered convention. YIIIIPEEEEEE!

I love it.

2/21/2008 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the whole reason the superdelegates were made was in 1980 something when the democratic party members really didn't care much about the party at all. It was more like everyone was sort of their to just chill and hang out with other democrats. No body took it seriously and people got kicked out of the party continuously. So in order to stimulate some motivation in the party they decided to provide some more power into their members.

However, in my opinion I think that the amount of power they gave is a controversy in itself. To have the ability to possibly knock aside the votes of a popular vote goes against "the voice of the people."

Somewhere I read that such a thing happening this election, with its unprecedented number of young, first time voters (myself included) could leave them feeling like their vote counts for even /less/ then they probably did before.

If I find that article I'll post it.

3/27/2008 5:11 PM  
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