Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super-Size Me

The MSM is catching up with the fact that if neither Hillary nor Obama can knock the other out over the next few weeks, we are heading towards a brokered convention, or at least one where the so-called superdelegates (generally elected officials) will have the deciding vote(s).

A few thoughts:

* Expect very few super-delegates to commit in the next few weeks, and those that are 'announced' are probably merely making public those decisions that were made days or weeks ago.

* Strength at the top of the ticket. Undecided super-delegates facing tough election challenges will be trying to figure out who will best help them get re-elected.

* Money matters. Another good way to get re-elected? Raise a lot of money. Obama may have a subtle advantage because he has raised more money from small-dollar donors and those who are otherwise new to the system. Hillary's support is from known, established contributors; Obama's are more likely to be 'friends we haven't met yet.'

* States' rights. Obama has won more states than Hillary, although she has won more of the larger states. If that trend continues, there may be a small advantage to Obama because just as small states are relatively more powerful in Congress thanks to the federalist system, small states are 'over-represented' among superdelegates.

* Michigan and Florida. Hillary won the 'majority' of the delegates for both Michigan and Florida, albeit in un-contested primaries. Expect a big push from the Clinton camp to get these delegations seated, although Obama will fight to the end to keep these swing delegates from affecting the outcome.

* The Edwards delegates. John Edwards was awarded approximately 26 delegates before dropping out, which is the equivalent of 1% of the total needed to be nominated, or a small-sized state like Connecticut. In a race that appears to be heading for a tight finish, both camps will be fighting for these delegates.

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