Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2008

Open road to Denver

Kansas superdelegates to play role in tight race

The Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency will likely be determined by the 250 superdelegates on the road to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Denver.

The Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency will likely be determined by the 250 superdelegates on the road to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Denver.

March 6, 2008


Who's ahead?

Sen. Barack Obama survived defeats in three primaries Tuesday with his lead in the delegate race essentially intact.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton netted only a 12-delegate pickup, despite winning primaries in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, according to an analysis of returns by The Associated Press. There were still 12 more delegates to be awarded.

In the overall race for the nomination, Obama had 1,567 delegates after picking up five new superdelegate endorsements Wednesday. Clinton had 1,462. It takes 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination could have ended Tuesday.

But it didn't, and it's still anyone's guess when the campaign between Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will end.

In fact, there's virtually no way for either Obama or Clinton to reach the magic number of delegates needed to win the nomination - 2,025 - without picking up a sizable chunk of the 250 superdelegates who have not yet given their support to either candidate. A superdelegate is a Democratic Party official who can vote at the national convention by virtue of his or her party standing or office.

"A fair number of superdelegates right now are probably less than thrilled," KU political science professor Burdett Loomis said. "At some point, they're going to have to make an extremely tough decision."

In Kansas, there are nine superdelegates, one of whom is a yet-to-be-chosen member of the public. Of the other eight, three have endorsed Obama - Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic Party National Committeewoman Randy Roy and Democratic Party National Committeeman Lee Kinch - and one, Kansas Democratic Party Vice-Chairwoman Teresa Krusor, has endorsed Clinton. The other four - Rep. Nancy Boyda, Rep. Dennis Moore, Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates and National Federation of Democratic Women Chair Helen Knetzer - remain uncommitted.

Spokespeople for Moore and Boyda said the U.S. representatives have received calls from both candidates. Gates said he expected to remain unpledged at least through the May 17 Democratic state convention. Knetzer did not answer messages left with her Wednesday afternoon.

Rebecca Black, Moore's spokeswoman, said this election cycle has been much like every other for the congressman in terms of requests for endorsements, something he's not done previously.

"I don't think there's any additional pressure to make up his mind this time," Black said.

With the delegate count as close as it is, and only three contests scheduled between now and the end of April, it's very possible the competition will carry into summer and possibly until the Aug. 25 convention in Denver.

Loomis, however, expects that some sort of agreement will be worked out before then, even if it is just a few days before the convention. The same thing happened in 1984 when Walter Mondale didn't technically win the nomination until the convention; however, Loomis said, an arrangement was made beforehand.

Obstacles remain even to that, though.

"Things could unravel in the heat of decisions made at the convention," Loomis said.

And for the first time Wednesday, one of the candidates made positive remarks about a joint Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket. In TV interviews Wednesday, Clinton seemed receptive to the idea, though she clearly indicated she expected to occupy the top bill of such a ticket.

While lamenting that the race was still marching on, Gates, the Kansas Democratic party chairman, said he was excited and intrigued by the race as it stands.

"This is a healthy process," Gates said. "I'm so proud that our party is in a race between people who could become the first woman and first African-American to be president."

Loomis said he expected both candidates to be well-funded, and that any dramatic shift would come only if a major scandal or flaw were discovered in either candidate. Ultimately, he said, the candidates have views that are too similar for issues to spark a serious shift in the balance.

"On issues, Hillary and Barack are really close on a lot of things," he said. "They'll try to get some leverage, but I don't think this is an issue campaign."


acoupstick 10 years ago

"I don't think anyone realizes what the Clintons will do to insure their win."

Lots of people do. That's why they vote for Obama,

average 10 years ago

Moore and Boyda would have to be incredible nitwits to support Clinton at this point.

First, if Hillary Clinton is on the top of the ballot, Boyda loses. No question. Bye bye. If Obama is on the top she stands a real fighting chance (having Manhattan, Pittsburg, and half of Lawrence in her district).

Besides that, if either of them vote Clinton, against the delegate votes in their districts, their state, and against the national pledged delegate lead, to select a candidate who repeatedly insults Democrats in states she couldn't win, they will lose way too much support base. The only question is whether the disaffected will immediately bolt the party, or stay in long enough to kick Gates and Krusor to the curb.

Sigmund 10 years ago

Obamania is fading quickly and Billary is in the best position to win in November. Democratic bigwigs and "Super-Duper Delegates" (all Democratic delegates are equal but some Democratic Delegates are more equal than others) are very concerned that the Tony Rezko Chicago real estate trial that began the Monday prior to "Super Twos-day, Deux" will make Barack look less than a change agent and more like just another slick talking corrupt Chicago Democratic politician, slash heart throb.

Boyda and Moore, known for being more politically expedient and less for being courageous, after licking their fingers and sticking them in the wind should do whats best for their political careers and throw their votes to Billary, even if it is against their constituents wishes. Their constituents have a very short memories and won't vote Republican under any circumstances anyway.

DaREEKKU 10 years ago

Wow, it's about time that people begin to question Obama. Before now every piece of verbal fecal matter he has spewn forth has been wrapped in gold foil and sold as a bon bon. I'm still not buying any of it.

Claire Williams 10 years ago

Anonymous user

Sigmund (Anonymous) says: "Their constituents have a very short memories and won't vote Republican under any circumstances anyway."

On the contrary, I know several democrats (myself included) who would vote for McCain over Clinton if Obama does not receive the nomination. Do not underestimate the fury of a scorned voter.

blessed3x 10 years ago

Isn't this the "Let every vote count" party? The party that still wakes up crying in the dead of night because Bush "stole" the election...twice. Now they have the very real possibility that their nominee will be decided by a bunch of political fat cats posing as super delegates that are beholden to one candidate or the other while the voters in Michigan and Florida are told to go eat cake. Too rich. What an absolute joke the Democratic Party is.

Has anyone heard about the "add on delegates"? I even heard that this brand of democrat lunacy comes with it's own built-in system for bribery.

gogoplata 10 years ago

I am disappointed with the results so far in this presidential race. We had the opportunity to set this country back on the right track by voting for a man who could truly implement positive change. The American people dropped the ball by nominating McCain over Ron Paul. Now we have to choose between a welfare state democrat or a warfare state republican. Pick your poison.

Phill_Davis 10 years ago

"...the liberal media, who are practically policy makers for the left, are giving Obama a free ticket."

If Obama's getting a free ride, then the liberal media must be making donations to McCain. McCain has actively obtained the support of John Hagee, a radical preacher who is virulently anti-Catholic and who believes that the US-supported two-state solution in Israel will cause Armageddon. This gets little coverage in major news outlets even while many repeatedly cover rumors that Obama is a radical anti-Semite, started b/c of rejected support from Louis Farrakhan, a confirmed nutjob.

Part of this is because the GOP horserace was over rounding the bend and the Dems are moving into the homestretch neck-and-neck, but McCain's definitely not getting the tough vetting a presidential candidate needs.

Centerville 10 years ago

How 'bout that governor of ours? Boy, she's sure doing a great job for Obama, isn't she? /so

ksharddem 10 years ago

I always wonder why anyone goes to Loomis for answers. He is seldom correct and often times just states what everyone already knows. The point that I wish he had made (but be may be unaware of) is that our National Convention is actually a caucus itself. It is designed for this reason, to select the Party's candidate. Normally, it is a rally for one candidate. But in function, IT IS A CAUCUS TO DECIDE THE NOMINEE.

Political historians talk about how the process was built and designed to fit the demands of that time. A large geographical region, with an uninformed public, no mass means of communications, and a desire to let every vote count. This was the best system that could be designed.

However, we do not have these same problems today. As such a new system should be implemented to better reflect the desire of the voting public. This does not come without complications but to cling to an out-of-date system is foolish and will explode in controversy for the Party no matter who wins. We, as a Party, should move forward and bring our system of candidacy selection into a more current state.

I hope that no matter who your selection is in the Primary that you would support the Nominee against McCain. In the end, having a Democrat take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the goal and the name should be less important than the desired outcome.

LiberalDude 10 years ago

Yes, actually Centerville, she is doing a great job for Obama. Who would have ever thought 6 months ago that he would be in this position today.

I really think that either Democrat candidate will have no problem beating McPain. Nader (74) and him (71) should be playing bridge at the retirement center.

Jake Esau 10 years ago

I wonder if Al Gore wants a recount in Michigan and Florida...

Sean Livingstone 10 years ago


"On the contrary, I know several democrats (myself included) who would vote for McCain over Clinton"

Where do your democrats' friends live? If they live in Kansas, then, I'd say never bother. It's a Bush country, so Mccain will win easy. It's the key swing states that matter, states like Ohio, Penns, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan. Hillary Clinton will guarantee the delegates from Arkansas, another Southern state that most likely will vote for GOP. If you look closely at where Obama win, he won mainly in the states where most likely they will vote for McCain or any other GOP candidates. Republicans tend to vote for their party than their country, they only have self-interest.

For the Presidential election, delegates are extremely important, because winners take it all. I don't like Obama, he has concentrated too much on black voters.. and has been the media "doll". The votes in Texas already said it very clear, Latinos will less likely vote for Obama. He only swing his speech to attract the Latinos recently.

Did you see how McCain pull out attacks on Obama? Who says McCain has nothing to say about Obama? He has, but he's waiting for his time to come. He won't give out too much. Who's the best person to tackle McCain? Hillary, you need a seasoned politician to fight a seaonsed politician. Obama will be good in 8 years time.

mikeisthename 10 years ago

livingstone wrote:

"It's the key swing states that matter, states like Ohio, Penns, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan."

I agree with that and Hillary won four of those five in this long primary season. She has won less than Obama, but she does have the wins that really count. BTW she'll win Pennsylvania.

"If you look closely at where Obama win, he won mainly in the states where most likely they will vote for McCain or any other GOP candidates. Republicans tend to vote for their party than their country, they only have self-interest."

I think some Democrats vote for their party more than their country as well. Their self-interest can be more than the Republicans.
I guess that in every cycle these candidates for the highest office (Dem or Repub) would say anything to win in their and their followers' best interest.

You know what this campaign season has been the most interesting since I have been alive. There's a long way to go, but it should be fun to follow.

jumpin_catfish 10 years ago

Obama = Jimmy Carter redux, Hillbilly = lies, dirty lies and damn lies, McCain = Bush 3

blahblahblah 10 years ago

It has come to the point now where Hillary is a polarizing force even more so than before. She is disliked by so many voters that she is becoming a liability. Being a young voter, if she gets the nomination, in every election in which I was eligible to vote, a Bush or a Clinton has been on the ballot. This country needs to move away from the family dynasties, no matter what the last name is. This is one of the most worthless elections ever. The only way it could get worse was if Hillary got the nod and Oldie McOlderson chose Jeb as his running mate.

average 10 years ago

Blahblahblah -

You don't have to be that young. Any one who is under 50 (including Barack Obama) has never voted in Presidential Election where a Bush or a Clinton wasn't on the ballot.

LiberalDude 10 years ago

Wrong Jumpin_Catfish: Obama=Kennedy. I would actually say that he is more like Robert Kennedy than JFK. Robert Kennedy would have been our best presdient ever, IMO.

Also anyone who says the media has been taking it easy on Obama hasn't been paying attention.

jumpin_catfish 10 years ago

Liberal fasination with the fairy tale greatness of a Kennedy. Priceless. Its value in this day and age. Worthless.

Phill_Davis 10 years ago

"He's a veteran vetee:.vetted up the wazoo::.vetted and vetted again::etc etc"

You're right that McCain has been examined throughout his long career. However, the examination he received was as someone seeking an AZ senate seat, not as someone who is seeking the presidency. He's a media darling - they barely recalled the Keating Five scandal during the recent lobbyist dustup, they don't talk much about the fact that he lets his campaign advisers run lobby from his bus, they aren't hitting him on Hagee, etc.

I understand that news is cyclical, but media generally present McCain as an "independent reformer" when he's neither. McCain doesn't lack scandal, either, but it's not covered nearly as extensively as Rezko or other Dem affairs.

XTC 10 years ago

I think Obama's a flash in the pan. I would not be suprised if McCain asked Colin Powell to be his VP.

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