Obama Challenging Clinton For Superdelegates And Money

We’ve had yet another day in which nothing big happened but numerous items showed how strongly the momentum is with Barack Obama. Although Obama has dominated Clinton from the start in terms of winning delegates, the race has appeared much closer due to Clinton having a lead in superdelegates. The majority of these came from early endorsements when the conventional wisdom among many Democrats was that 1) Clinton’s nomination was inevitable and 2) anyone not backing the Clintons will suffer once they are back in office.

With a viable alternative present, the vast majority of superdelegates making commitments in recent weeks have backed Obama over Clinton. As a result, Bloomberg now reports that Obama has tied Clinton in terms of  elected officials among the superdelegates:

Barack Obama has pulled even with Hillary Clinton in endorsements from top elected officials, with a surge in support from congressional freshmen and governors from Republican-dominated states.

Obama yesterday won the backing of Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, who became the sixth head of a Republican-leaning state to come out for him in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the past week, Obama picked up support from first-term Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Clinton, backed by two governors from Republican states, gained no superdelegates in that time.

Obama, 46, is endorsed by 16 U.S. House freshmen to Clinton’s 6, and 40 percent of his congressional allies are from “red states,” or those that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, compared with one-quarter for Clinton. That bolsters the Obama campaign’s argument that he would have broader backing in the general election.

Clinton still maintains a narrow overall lead of approximately thirty among superdelegates due to having greater support among party officials.  She cannot even count on this edge for long as some of her superdelegates are looking for an excuse to bolt. New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha have both stated that Clinton cannot maintain the support of the superdelegates unless she wins the popular vote. Corzine also suggested that he might vote for Obama should Clinton fail to win the popular vote. Even accomplishing this might not be enough as the nomination race is really about winning delegates, not the popular vote. Right or wrong, the system is set up so that the candidate who wins the most votes does not necessarily win the most delegates.

Another sign of Obama’s dominance in the race can be seen in the March fund raising figures.  Hillary Clinton didn’t do badly bringing in $20 million, but Obama raised twice as much.

In other political news, John Edwards says he will not accept the vice presidential nomination. I doubt anyone would offer it to him, so he might as well go ahead and say this. After 2004 any presidential candidate considering him would soon figure out that1) Edwards can’t pull in any states for them and 2) Edwards would use the spot primarily to promote his own 2012 campaign.

Jimmy Carter has come about as close to endorsing Obama as someone could without making an actual endorsement:

“My children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama,” he said at a news conference, according to the Nigerian newspaper This Day. “As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for, but I leave you to make that guess.”

Sounds like another superdelegate for Obama.

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