Since early February, Barack Obama has been chipping away at Hillary Clinton's lead in Superdelegates. The 2008 Democratic Convention Watch Superdelegate Endorsement List has chronicled her fall from a lead of around 100 on Super Tuesday, to 7.5 today. But this tally excludes an important category of superdelegates called the Pelosi Club, which I explain below. When the Pelosi Club superdelegates are included in the tally, her 'lead' is reduced by 8, which means that
Friday, May 9, 2008
Barack Obama Now LEADS in superdelegates
Those familiar with this blog have heard about the Pelosi Club in several posts, including The Cantwell Club, my Running List of Obama Endorsements, and of course, Former President Jimmy Carter Joins the Pelosi Club. In brief, any superdelegate who has committed to voting for the winner of the pledged delegates (those elected by the voters) is in the Pelosi Club. The group is named after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has repeatedly said she would cast her vote for the winner of the pledged delegates.
At this point, all experts agree that Clinton cannot overtake Obama in pledged delegates. She would need to get more than 80% of all remaining votes to do so--a larger margin than any state so far for either side. So, for the purposes of tabulating the number of superdelegates who have said how they will cast votes at the Convention, it makes sense to add the Pelosi Club superdelegates into Obama's column.
What is the effect of that? Well, there are two Pelosi Club members who have endorsed Obama (Zoe Lofgren and Tom Daschle). They are already being counted in the Obama column, so there is no effect on the tally. There are 6 uncommitted Pelosi Club superdelegates (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Jimmy Carter, Governor Roy Romer, Christine Pelosi, Betty Richie, and Denise Johnson). Adding them reduces Clinton's superdelegate lead by 6. Finally, there is 1 Pelosi Club superdelegate who has endorsed Clinton: Maria Cantwell. Her commitment to cast her vote for the pledged delegate winner means we should move her from the Clinton to the Obama column, which reduces Clinton's superdelegate lead by 2.
The combined effect of counting these Pelosi Club members is to reduces Clinton's superdelegate lead by 8, from 7.5 to -0.5. Thus Obama now has a lead in superdelegates (as well as a huge lead in pledged delegates).