The Third Estate
What Is The Third Estate?
What Has It Been Until Now In The Political Order?
What Does It Want To Be?

Super Ultra Mondo Tuesday

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Today is the day that half the states hold their presidential preference primaries. Originally many dumb people like myself expected that this Presidential election would operate in the fashion that previous ones have, with one candidate heading into Super Tuesday with a clear advantage, and with the states voting on February 5 ratifying the success of the winner. This has happened in every cycle in both parties since they invented Super Tuesday in 1988. I'm not sure why I thought this election would follow the normal rules. I mean, when was the last time a woman and an African-American were the top 2 contenders?

Today's conventional wisdom is that this Super Tuesday will witness a split decision, with both candidates emerging with roughly the same number of delegates and number of victories. This scenario has given Chris Bowers the vapors, as he predicts a closely contested race that goes all the way to the Convention and hopelessly splits the party. While this is certainly possible, I doubt it. Equally likely is that one candidate will clearly prevail tonight, with undecided voters breaking in one direction across the nation, rather than tipping in both directions depending on the state. If Clinton or Obama wins the vast majority of the states, then I expect the press will anoint a "winner" - even if the delegate count is relatively close. Also possible is that an tie this evening will be depicted as an Obama victory, after which he romps through a favorable February schedule, followed by decisive wins Texas and Ohio on March 4th, after which Clinton's money and support will dry up.

This isn't to say that Bowers' fear is implausible, only that it's a little too early to start talking about open conventions.

By the way, today is also Fat Tuesday. I'm trying to decide what to give up for Lent. Normally I give up self-discipline, but that's been coming in somewhat handy lately. I'm considering giving up Republicans. I really don't have much use for them anyway.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 8:16 AM
  • Oh political science guru, please enlighten me about one thing in this whole process. I understand how delegates are assigned in the democratic party (proportionally to the vote). I understand what superdelegates are (unpledged people who can vote for anyone; insurance policy against the whims of the unwashed masses). So why does CNN have particular "superdelegates" as already pledged to Obama or Clinton?

    By Blogger Silk Stocking, at 1:18 AM  
  • Because some superdelegates have already announced who they planning on supporting at the convention. Of course, unlike pledged delegates, they can change their mind at any time...

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 9:15 AM  
  • But technically, can't delegates ALSO change their mind?

    Is there any list of how many super delegates are unpledged?

    By Blogger Silk Stocking, at 12:38 PM  
  • Traditionally, pledged delegates are obligated to vote for the candidate they have been selected by on the first ballot. I've heard conflicting results that this rule has changed. However, the pledged delegates are usually activists who are enthusiastically supporting their candidate - so I find it hard to believe that they'd be willing to change their vote. The potential for convention stalemates this creates is one of the reasons they created the superdelegates in the first place.

    Go here for the list of pledged and unpledged superdelegates: http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/superdelegate-list.html

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 2:03 PM  
Post a Comment
<< Home

:: permalink