Hillary Clinton currently leads Barack Obama by a wide margin among superdelegates appointed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Clinton maintains an approximately 3-1 lead among these DNC superdelegates, although Barack Obama has recently surpassed her in pledged delegates and gained eleven superdelegates in the past week.
Superdelegates appointed by the DNC are party officials, like Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, as well as current and former elected officeholders at the local and state level. These superdelegates are not chosen on the basis of candidate support, and are considered unpledged until they cast their votes. Still, about a third of them have already come out in support of either Obama or Clinton. Superdelegates appointed by the DNC make up close to half of all superdelegates, which all together will have 20 percent of the total votes at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The rest of the superdelegates are high elected officials, who automatically get superdelegate status, such as members of Congress.
DNC-appointed superdelegates who've pledged support for Clinton include Patti Higgins, chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party, and Rhett Ruggerio, a national committeeman for the Delaware Democratic Party who was listed as a member of Clinton's Delaware steering committee. There are nearly 100 in all, and they come from more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, including three from Arkansas, 10 from New York and one from Illinois.
Obama's supporters among the DNC-appointed superdelegates only number around 30, including seven from Illinois and none from Arkansas or New York. They come from close to 30 states, as well as D.C. Martha Fuller Clark, a state senator from New Hampshire, is one of Obama's supporters, and was listed as a member of his New Hampshire Environmentalists for Obama Steering Committee.
More than 200 of these DNC superdelegates have yet to come out in favor of either candidate, a voting group large enough to perhaps have a serious impact at the Convention in August, while the more than 100 who have come out in support of a candidate are still free to change their minds.
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