Will the super-delegates really be able to defy the voters?

Will the super-delegates really be able to defy the voters?

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    In reality are pledged delegates the only ones that matter?

With neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama looking as though they will be able to secure a nomination-winning total of delegates in the remaining primaries an interesting debate is developing over the so called super-delegates.

For if they chose to over-ride the preferences of ordinary voters as expressed through the primary and caucus process then, surely, they would be moving into very dangerous territory. I was particularly struck by this piece from Matthew Dowd on ABC News.

“….how does a party who has protested and screamed and yelled about counting all the votes, that the popular vote matters most, that an election was stolen by the Supreme Court in 2000, go against the votes and participation by voters in the Primary process?..The answer is: I think it’s impossible for the Democratic party establishment to go against voters in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

It would be an untenable position for the super delegates to award the nomination to a candidate who is behind in the pledged delegate count. And if that was to happen, then the November election becomes a very difficult prospect in motivating voters who backed Obama in the nomination process. And since he seems to be the only one inspiring new voters to the polls, it is hard to dampen that enthusiasm.

So the bottom line is: Obama wins the plurality of pledged delegates, then the super delegates really have to go along with what the voters want..”

Obama, himself, takes this view and said yesterday that he was not worried about the likelihood of super delegates ignoring the will of regular voters and tipping the nomination to Clinton. “If we come in with the most delegates, the most states, the most popular votes, I think the delegates would be hard pressed to deliver the nomination to Senator Clinton“.

Today the process continues with the so-called Potomac Primaries. The title refers to the river that runs through Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC, all of which are voting.

In the betting Obama is now the 0.48/1 favourite.

Mike Smithson

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