Sunday, March 23, 2008

More on delegate math...and a just a bit about process

Ultimately, the question of who will be the Democratic Party nominee will turn on a number of factors, with the issue of who has more elected pledged non-superdelegates come June being only one. But because many media stories do seem to be suggesting that the math settles the outcome it is important to note that a) the math is more complicated than most coverage suggests and b) what one makes of the process that occurred to reach the outcome in elected non-superdelegates. Given the DNC's current disregard of two populous states important to winning the general election, one might question the relevance of the non-superdelegate count, particularly if the popular vote runs in the opposite direction.

As for the superdelegates, I believe their role is to exercise independent judgment, but many people believe that representativeness calls for the superdelegates who hold elective office to vote according to how the voters in their bailiwicks voted. For example, Bill Richardson would, on this argument, have an obligation to cast a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton despite his recent endorsement of Senator Clinton. Likewise for John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. For kicks, see how voting according to this principle turns out.

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