Dems Tussle for 'Super Delegates'

Convention-goers not bound by state voting are the gold standard
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2008 3:35 PM CST
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks during a town hall meeting at Rosemary Clarke Middle School in Pahrump, Nev., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go neck-and-neck through February 5, "super delegates" may decide the Democratic nominee, reports the LA Times. The goal is 2,025—the number of convention delegates needed to secure the nomination—but the grail is the 796 elected officials who are free to vote their personal preference, regardless of the vote in their home state.

Clinton has 163 super delegates on her side, 99 more than Obama, and the scramble for the backing of the highest-profile super delegates is on. "It's gone pretty far," Bill Richardson said of the push for his endorsement, which presumably would secure Latino votes and the favor of New Mexico's lawmakers and political financiers. Claire McCaskill has already made up her mind: The Missouri senator endorsed Obama yesterday.