Delegate Bluster


This Clinton campaign scheme to add wooing Barack Obama's pledged delegates to vote for her is a pretty sleazy and absurd addition to their earlier "let's count the states that don't count" gambit. On the superdelegates front, I have more sympathy for their view since, as I've blogged before, there really are situations where I think it might make sense for the superdelegates to override the caucus/primary outcomes.

The problem for Clinton is that all of this is wishful thinking. Look at the Gallup national tracking poll above. If Obama is winning in terms of pledged delegates, and he's leading in the national polls, and he's leading in fundraising, and he's doing better than Clinton in head-to-head matchups with McCain it's simply inconceivable that superdelegates (much less Obama's delegates!) are going to swing to her banner. All signs point to movement in the opposite direction from elites and the rank-and-file alike. Given the national polling trends, you have to think that some states Clinton won on February 5 -- Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California in particular -- are now more sympathetic to Obama than they were two weeks ago, not less so.

The only scenario in which the superdelegates might decide the election is precisely the scenario in which they should come into play -- a situation where what "the will of the people" is is genuinely unclear. Right now, Obama is unambiguously winning. But Wisconsin votes today, then Texas and Ohio on March 4. What Clinton needs to do is get good results in those states. Everything else both campaigns are talking about right now is somewhere between bluster and a waste of time. This vision of her somehow winning the nomination without securing some solid primary wins is a bizarre fantasy.