by D. Cupples | In an article titled "Clinton Backer Points to Electoral Votes as a New Measure," the NY Times' Katharine Seelye seems to subtly jab Hillary's campaign for considering the importance of electoral college votes in the context of whom the super-delegates should support.
One problem with the article: electoral votes are not a new consideration. About two weeks ago, I blogged about the importance of electoral college votes, and other people were discussing it weeks before my post.
The only people who haven't been discussing electoral college votes are some of Obama's strategists and supporters (and, apparently, some of the people surrounding Ms. Seelye).
Fact: we elect our presidents through the electoral college. Whether the system is good or bad, that's how we'll be electing our president in November 2008. Period.
Thus, if one candidate shows a strong electoral-votes advantage after the primaries end, then any super-delegate who actually wants a Democrat to win in November certainly should consider electoral votes when deciding whether to support Hillary or Obama.
That is not to say that electoral votes should be the only factor. The pledged-delegate count and popular vote count should also be factors. (Remember, the popular-vote lead won't be determined until after the next 10 primaries are finished.)
The number of states that a candidate won in the primaries doesn't matter so much, if only because winning five puny states in the general election doesn't mean as much as winning one big state.
Project Vote Smart has a table of states and their electoral college votes.
The Obama campaign wants super-delegates to merely vote for the candidate who has more pledged delegates (though neither candidate will likely get a true majority).
That would be one way to make Obama the winner, but super-delegates were not created to simply mirror a plurality or majority of pledged delegates. The pledged-delegate count already mirrors itself.
Not all super-delegates would follow the plurality of pledged delegates. Many super-delegates are elected officials, who might think twice before betraying their constituents in order to follow the majority of voters in some other state or district.
The fact is that the DNC's rules allow the super-delegates to vote for whomever they want, for whatever reason they want, or for no reason at all.
A good strategy for us onlookers might be to kick back and see what happens in the next 10 primaries.
There's no reason for the Democratic nominee to be chosen now. The party is already bitterly divided, and if either Hillary or Obama is forced out prematurely, the division will only grow deeper.
Memeorandum has commentary.
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