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Triggering the Stampede: Winning (or Losing) the Super Delegates

or a boat, a scream and … a preacher

For months we’ve read complicated scenarios analyzing the delegate and popular vote counts. Some people say the SuperDs should support the candidate with the lead in “pledged” delegates, others that they should support the winner of the popular vote. But I’m having a terrible time picturing the average Super Delegate calculating who deserves the nomination based on criteria that specific.

If Super Delegates are like us (and why wouldn’t they be) they are leaning towards either Hillary or Obama — even if they haven’t already made a public commitment. Those that haven’t endorsed a candidate are waiting for something. And I’m guessing that they’re not waiting for some magic number of delegates to tell them that the time is right.

I think it’s likely that some of them were hoping that Hillary would make the decision for them by dropping out of the race. Remember that rumor before Mini-Super-Tuesday (the day of Ohio, Texas, Vermont & Rhode Island) that 50 Super Delegates were ready to endorse Obama? It’s obvious why we never heard back from them. Well, after Hillary’s 3-state win that day, they’re waiting to know “The Winner.”

So now I’m wondering about the Super Delegates as they watch those exerpts from the Reverend Wright’s sermons. As the SuperDs watch (remembering that the Obama’s are major contributors to that man’s church) are they more likely to support Obama, or less likely to support him?

And Jerome Armstrong has a clue:

HCD Research has some innovative technology that they’ve used for the Wright rant. I’ve long wanted to put it to use myself, it ought to do away with the costly focus groups that most campaigns use (or at least supplement half of them). They were able to spot the SwiftBoaters early on in ’04, and were pretty much spot on with seeing its influence. This is a completed graph of users watching the rants by Jerimiah Wright:

You can go to MyDD to see the completed graph (and read his take on the results) or to the MediaCurve site to watch the graph develop while you listen to one of Wright’s clips. It’s a revelation. MyFoxKC has some of the facts:

Among the study findings:

After viewing the video, are you more likely or less likely to support Senator Barack Obama?

Democrats Republicans Independents
More likely 19% 7% 18%
Less likely 52% 71% 54%
Don’t know 28% 22% 29%

Do you think Barack Obama’s religious ties will to Jeremiah Wright will help or hurt his campaign efforts?

Prior to viewing the video segments:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Help 6% 2% 5%
Hurt 64% 71% 65%
Don’t know 30% 27% 30%

After viewing the video segments:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Help 7% 6% 9%
Hurt 77% 84% 78%
Don’t know 16% 10% 14%

Obama’s trying to contain the issue with stout denial and a speech.  For his sake, I hope the denial stays credible.  But, I think it would have to be some speech to overcome the numbers listed above.

This isn’t the issue most of us would choose for the defining blow.  We want to win with issues and delegates.  And I think would would have.  But this sort of thing has contributed to primaries in the past.  Just ask Gary Hart (who threw-out his own challenge to the press) and Howard Dean.

We’re still waiting for the speech.  But, I’m thinking there’s going to be a stampede.

25 Responses

  1. Judging by those numbers, the right wing will air a ton of Wright ads if Obama is the nominee. Its not just the McCain campaign either, there’s the 250 million dollar 527 Freedom’s Watch who will air Wright ads 24/7.

    I was thinking if its possible for Florida to vote in July. I know the DNC rules state it has to end June 10th but there really won’t be a rally around the winner effect if the winner is seen as illegitimate (either by denying Florida representation by Hillary supporters or counting the Jan. 29th results by Obama supporters). The new machines should be ready by mid to late July and could be the final deciding contest unless of course, the DNC wants a brokered convention.

  2. This primary is a sham and now we are stuck with Obama. I believe he will lose in the GE and of course, all the blame will be on the Clintons. I am hearing that many young people on college campuses are turned off by the Wright sermons and besides his AA community, who will vote for Obama in NOv? The Dem party will go down in flames, along with the MSM and the jackass bloggers who are so madly in love with Obama, they excuse and deny all his negatives. And like the Iraqi fiasco, the majority of Americans will pay the price. Why aren’t we taking to the streets as they do in other countries? Nancy, Howard, Brazile, Kerry, kennedy,Bradley and other buffoons are all complicit in this clusterf*ck and they have no clue on how to get us out of it.

  3. Tiffany,

    I think bloggers are madly in love with themselves , and Obama is the means for them to exercise their power and leverage, and get to admire themselves even more.

    I have to yet see a convincing argument on why Josh/kos support Obama with such ferver and hate HIllary so much that they are sabotaging her chances at EVERY step. Has Josh ever given a reason or even a post on why he has supported Obama? At least Andy Sullivan wrote a half-ass piece in the Atalantic.

    You see, I understood the supporting of Dean (I am embarassed to say I admired him myself), or the dislike for Lieberman who, by standing in the Rose Garden with Bush and undercutting Daschle’s ability to bring a more moderate resolution, was a prime enabler of the War.

    But, in this primary, kos’s idiotic spins on how Edwards has apologized and Hillary has not (which he hammered at every chance the winter of 2007 and beyond) made no sense. Sorry for those who like Edwards, but that was a politician’s piece, and so is Hillary’s response. It would be one thing if Edwards showed courage and acknowleged the suffering of Iraqis or better, apologized for it. Then, I would have admired his stand too. Perhaps, perceptions are different in the US, as I don’t live there.

    Yeah, Hillary would do anything to get elected! I noted that it took her Russert’s Oct debate and then piling up to just show the inconsistency of the Edwards position on healthcare. She had tons of ammunition, plenty of places to show he flip-flopped, but she didn’t. Like the true mother in the King Solomon story, she is always vigilant in not damaging the nominee.

  4. Good morning, kbird and conflucians.

    Nice post.

    Talking about rumours (50 SP superendorsement) What ever happened to Edwards supposed “quasi-endorement” of Obama by the launching of some “fight for the working class” initiative before Mini-Super-Tuesday. What about the new rumour about Edwards endorsing Hillary some in the near future? Is Edwards endorsement even relevant these days for the sake of “party unity”?


  5. conflucians?, confluentians?

  6. Kariebird: Excellent! I had a TC this morning and was worried that the natives would get restless. You certainly came through. 😉

  7. Great post, Katiebird. I don’t see how Obama can overcome this. Now, after all his race-baiting, he wants to tone down the racial talk with a speech?

    I think back now to discussions with Obama supporters at DK, when I asked if anyone was worried about Wright and Obama’s church. So many of these Obamabots didn’t seem to know anything about it. And if you questioned either this or the Rezko connection, they called you a racist or alarmist. At times I wonder if I were the crazy person to worry about this stuff. And now look what has happened. I’ll never question my own political intuition again.

    My intuition tells me now that Hillary will win the nomination in the end. There is no other reasonable choice, unless the party wants to nominate Gore in a compromise move. If Dean insists on forcing Obama on us, the Democratic Party will be dead. The Party is almost irrelevant now, under Pelosi’s and Reid’s cringing “leadership.” I can only hope that old-times like Rendell will lead the way out of this by convincing superdelegates to see reason.

    Thanks again, Katiebird, for another excellent essay.

  8. I heard on c-span there is an article in the NY Post , that is pretty telling re: Obama’s Wright relationship –
    I tried to find it , however , not being familiar with the Post .. have not been able to .. She read it right off the paper and it sure backs up your piece from Fox .

  9. Tiffany, I don’t think we are *stuck* with Obama. A lot could and *will* happen between now and August. We should be grateful to have almost 6 months between now and the convention. There is absolutely no reason why Clinton should get out of the race. She should ride it all the way to the convention and I’m guessing she will.

  10. “This isn’t the issue most of us would choose for the defining blow.”

    Hey, I’ll take it any way Hillary can get it. Besides, they have so many similarities on the issues, the “defining blow” almost HAS to be some fatal character flaw or skeleton in either of their closets. Obama will not be the nominee and this Wright situation is going to be what seals the deal.

  11. Many of the man child bloggers desperately try to view themselves as being like Obama as in highly educated, superbly intelligent, minority (somehow discriminated against), glib, and far too good to do actual labor in the rat race (they prefer to sit on their tushes and tap out great thoughts on their keyboards rather than sweat in court or teaching or scrapping for bucks like the lesser persons). If Obama fails they will be seen as failing also, thus the growing hysteria in rhetoric. It is pathetic that they could not see a Rev Wright coming, and their convoluted rationalization is amusing. This entire mess is only starting. Fox news would not be harping on this if they did not have more goodies to pull out of the hat to nudge up their ratings. It is just beginning to enter the conscientiousness of the public and they do not like it.

  12. Thank you all so much for adding to this post with your insightful comments and kind words.

    I’m peeking in from work, but I’ll try to come back at lunch time.

  13. Sugar:

    “I’ll take it any way Hillary can get it.”

    I am concerned that winning the nomination because Obama implodes on this issue is going to create problems for her in the GE. Many Obama supporters will view the nomination as having been stolen from him, no matter what. She won’t be able to “unite the party” by putting Obama on the ticket. And the GOP will use the Rev. Wright’s fulminations against the Democrats even if Obama isn’t on the ticket. It won’t be pretty.

    Now, does that mean I wouldn’t “take” Clinton as the nominee in such circumstances? Of course not. In the end, Hillary should be able to beat a guy who is running on continuing the failed economic, political and military policies of George W. Bush. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves — the GOP will try to slime all Democrats with this stuff.

  14. I just heard something on the radio about the next meeting of some DNC committee and how they would be discussing the PR switch to a primary (I thought that was already approved?) and that Michigan and Florida with NOT be on the agenda. Has anyone else heard about this?

    I’m waiting to listen to Obama’s speech on CNN. It’s supposed to start soon.

  15. Litigatormom agree completely .. Obama is no longer perceived as a uniter and yes, just as they slimed Gore & Kerry and all liberals it will continue with more intensity as we go on ..

  16. The full text of Obama’s speech is up on Politico right now if anyone is interested.


  17. The obama supporters are going to eat this up like candy.

    Still doesn’t remove Obama’s focusing on one specific color of American.

  18. Excellent katiebird.

  19. I will never support Obama if he is the Democratic nominee. His McCarthy like attacks on people who disagree with him is reason enough for me to support McCain. McCain would have to put Huckabee on the ticket with him to lose my support in a GE.

    There are many other reasons to not support Obama- Rezko, Obama’s willingness to confabulate, his hypocrisy on NAFTA and troop withdrawals …

  20. veetee: I’m not advocating that anyone vote for McCain. Despite his claims to be a Republican maverick, he has bucked his party precious little in the past 8 years. Movement Conservatism is a failure and it would be irresponsible to support it anymore. Besides, McCain acknowledges that he knows nothing about economics and that is going to be as or more important than the Iraq war in the future.
    But I cannot support the candidate who would willfully disenfranchise two crucial states and by extension, all of the other big populous states that have gone for Clinton. It would be just as irresponsible. Therefore, we have to make sure that it is the true Democrat that wins the nomination and we have to also make sure that Howard Dean and his friends let the voters decide.

  21. riverdaughter, I didn’t think you were advocating McCain. I was just stating my position on Obama. I know it sounds like heresy for a (former) Democrat to be supporting McCain, but that is how strongly I feel about the possibility of Obama being president. I am still hoping that HRC will get the nomination, but I see to much determination on a significant number of Democratic power players to push Obama to not have a Plan B.

  22. Don’t you always wonder about the group in polls whose response makes no sense whatsoever in any logical world; for example, the 7% of Republicans who say they are more likely to support Obama after viewing the video? Really? Would this be the same 7% who are (1) outright lying, (2) didn’t understand the question, or (3) still think Ronald Reagan is President?

    I will be joining veetee in not voting for Obama should he get the nomination. While I find many of Wright’s remarks offensive, this does not figure into my choice. When all is said and done, Obama seems even more like Bush than McCain does. I have voted for the Dem presidential nominee in every election since Carter, and I do not like McCain AT ALL, but Obama seems to be nothing but empty rhetoric read into a teleprompter. I judge politicians more on past performance than promises made while campaigning. Hillary wins this contest hands down. McCain has on at least a few occasions stood up to do the right thing. I have no clue what Obama would do on any issue, except possibly push the wrong button, vote “present,” and blame someone else when everything goes wrong. In 2000, I could not have dreamed that Bush could do so much harm to this country in so little time. I’m just not willing to take another chance on someone whose inexperience will put so much power in the hands of advisers, especially the advisers Obama has.

    I am not advocating for McCain, but there are more people than just veetee and I who feel this way. I’m just praying that the DNC comes to its senses and stops throwing roadblocks in Hillary’s path, that Obama does the right thing and gets out now (or at least stops basing his entire campaign on “Hillary is a racist”), and/or the voters in the remaining states save our asses and go overwhelmingly for Hillary.

  23. I have called in on this location on many an instance now but this post is the 1st one that I have ever commented on.

    Congratulations on such a first-rate critique and site. I have found it to be very helpful and educational – I only wish that there were more blogs online like this one.

    I never disappear from this blog without learning anything, from time to time I may feel a tiny bit saddened that I may not agree with a blog article or comeback that has been made. But hey! that is existence and if every one decided to agree on the same thing what a boring old world we would exist in.

    Please maintain your admirable work.

    Having said all of this, and if I’m kindly allowed to continue with my entries I will come again to post on your blog site soon

    Cheers, have a great day and thank you.

  24. Black voters and the netroots’ white guilt can’t get Obama elected. The netroots has always been extraordinarily racist. White guilt is a huge part of racism. They should integrate gender, race and class discussions when the stakes aren’t so high.

  25. […] I wrote earlier this week, this issue of Obama’s 20-year relationship with Jeremiah Wright could trigger a […]

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