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Do NOT Read This Unless You Are A Super-Delegate


Greetings Super-Delegate!

I guess you didn't know how popular you were!

There's a lot of noise being made at the moment - and you're on the receiving end of a lot of it.

And you are facing gargantuan pressures.

Some people are telling you that your role is simply to endorse whoever happens to have the larger number of delegates. That you should rubber-stamp whoever is in the lead - however slender the lead.

That argument is about "democracy" in the Democratic Party - even though many of those delegates were awarded by the votes of a large number of people who are NOT registered Democrats. Even though many of the results are far from being fully democratic - eg the caucuses that are voted in by a very small percentage of the overall electorate - because they are held in just a 2-hour time-frame - at times of the day that many older people and shift-workers cannot attend.)

But there's certainly a reasonable argument for just being a rubber stamp. After all, if you exercise your judgment and some people don't like it - you're not really looking forward to having some people claim that you have "thwarted the will of the people" just because you arrived at a different conclusion in the greater interests of the party.

Other people are reminding you that the role you were selected for was created and approved by the Democratic Party (following the 1982 Hunt Commission) because you are required to think for yourself and use your judgment about what will be good for the party overall and in the longterm. That you have been selected to use your wisdom - and not merely to be a sheep. Even though you might personally receive some short-term unpopularity for voting your conscience, your considered evaluation and your wise instincts.

In addition to that - there are a lot of mathematical equations and theories being kicked around.

I respectfully submit that there is a set of information that you should definitely take into consideration.

NOT to the exclusion of all the other data and perspectives. Far from it.

But to ignore this information would be a shame.

Whether we like it or not - the Presidency of the United States is NOT won by the general election candidate who wins the popular vote. Nor by the candidate who wins the most states. Or even the highest percentage of the vote.

The presidency is won by the candidate who wins the most votes in the Electoral College.

And that means that it pays to have a candidate who can win sufficient votes in the electoral college to beat the Republican candidate.

Barack Obama has run a superb campaign and has won 27 States so far. He's going to win Mississippi on Tuesday - so let's make that 28 States.

By contrast - Hillary Clinton has won 15 contests. If you add in the clearly-expressed intentions of the voters of Florida and Michigan that would be 17. Or you can keep it at 15 States.

Either way - advantage: Obama.

But - as we know - the US does NOT elect its president by the plurality of States won.

Winning the White House depends on winning a plurality of the Electoral College.

How is THAT race playing out?

Well that's quite a different story.

Obama has done a terrific job of winning a lot of states that do NOT yield a lot of electoral votes. That's not his fault. And it's not the fault of those states.

It's just a fact of life.

And since one of the primary objectives of the Democratic Party is to win - and retain - the White House - it is instructive to apply the State victories of each candidate - and look at how the two candidates are doing in respect of the electoral college states. Especially the big states that are the building blocks of a Democratic majority. And the all-important battleground states that are essential for a Democrat to win.

Doing such a calculation is not to in any way usurp the role of the delegates in selecting the eventual candidate.

But as a super-delegate it is one of your responsibilities to look into the ramifications of ALL the available electoral evidence.

If the two campaigns are citing opinion polls as evidence of how you should cast your vote - then it is certainly appropriate to apply the actual results of the primaries and caucuses to the electoral college - and see what those results tell us.

Here's where the two candidates stand at present in terms of electoral college votes:

BARACK OBAMA: 197

HILLARY CLINTON: 219


Let's give Mississippi's 6 elecotral votes to Obama. That makes the score:

BARACK OBAMA: 203

HILLARY CLINTON: 219

Leave out the REASON for the delegation squabbles over Florida and Michigan for just a moment - and go on actual votes in those states. The choices of the voters in those two states WILL be counted in the General Election (Supreme Court permitting) so for the purposes of this exercise - we should count the votes they cast in January now. So add in Florida (27 votes) and Michigan (17 votes) to Clinton. That makes the score:

BARACK OBAMA: 203

HILLARY CLINTON: 263

In the ten primaries and caucuses that will vote after Mississippi - there are a total of 73 electoral votes.

If Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania (21 votes) on April 22 - as both she and Obama's staff concede is likely - then at that point the score in electoral votes would be:

BARACK OBAMA: 203

HILLARY CLINTON: 284


At that point - in electoral votes - Hillary Clinton would have a lead of 81 electoral votes. With just 52 electoral votes still in play.

Even if Obama won all the remaining contests - the final result in electoral college votes would still be:

BARACK OBAMA: 255

HILLARY CLINTON: 284

Just a little something to think about...

Follow Martin Lewis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheMartinLewis