Power And Dollar

How Much $ Will A Super Delegate Cost To Obama (Or Clinton)?

Obama needs approximately 80 super delegates.  How much will these 80 super delegates cost him? 


There are 280 uncommitted super delegates left. 217 pledged delegates are left for contest.  Obama needs 189 to win (Clinton needs 356). 


At this stage, the answer of electability is fairly clear.  Each candidate’s core constituency is known; their turn out rate is know.  Nothing can really get “negotiated” there.  You see what you buy.  Similarly for platform.  Other than a noble cause to vote for the winnable candidate, is there something a candidate can do for a super delegate just to get one additional vote?


It goes down to the question: what will convince a super delegate to vote for a candidate?  Electability?  Policy platform?  Popular vote count? Or something else?


All these above are very legitimate criteria.  However, some super delegates may have something more urgent on their hands: their own incumbency.  If a super delegate is in a tight race, his personal interest may be more at stake.  And Obama is not naïve about this: he has been fundraising for other candidates to gather favours.  The earliest senator endorsements are of this type. 


Other trades are typical political brokering: a promise of a specific legislation or pork barrel project.  What about fundraising support for a super delegate’s 2010 governor race?  Now, we are talking about money, real money for a politician.


Political Action Committees are the only ones that can accept political donations.  And they are owned by politicians.  The owner can forward the money to another PAC.  In fact, the surplus after campaigns belongs to the candidate.  They are structured very much like a personal account.  The point of this status is for the monitoring of Federal Election Committee.  


What did McCain do after he won over Huckabee?  Help pay off Giuliani’s campaign debt.  How?  Forward the money from his PAC!  Now, why did McCain do that?  Once Giuliani is out of the picture and since Giuliani and McCain share similar constituency, McCain wants to use Giuliani to help do fundraising.  And Giuliani was too busy with his own debt.  So, a favour was made, and a favour was returned.  


If the race gets another dramatic turn, the cost of super delegate will definitely rise since the Obama’s need of super delegate will increase.  However, if Obama can win the race all by him (through pledged delegate), then there is no need for Obama to get any more super delegate.  If not, no matter how much old politics he distains, he is still not immune to realities.  


May 7, 2008 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Current Events, Democrats, election, Election 2008, Electioneering, fundraising, Hillary Clinton, opinion, politics, Thoughts, wordpress-political-blogs


  1. Obama has played old style politics. He was a Democrat in Chicago! Chicago! I am not saying Clinton doesn’t play old style politics, but it’s just BS for him to claim he doesn’t, not with Blackwell being an obvious example. I think there are few superdelegates who can’t be bought. But the others are looking for something.

    Comment by huntingdonpost | May 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. I blogrolled you also. Been thinking of going Green Party myself…

    Comment by huntingdonpost | May 7, 2008 | Reply

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