February 14th, 2008at 07:29pm Posted by Eli
What is the practical purpose of the superdelegates, anyway? It appears that they are either a way to circumvent the will of the primary and caucus voters… or a way to reaffirm it, depending on whether the superdelegates vote according to political loyalties or their state/district’s primary results.
So if their only purpose is to either subvert or rubberstamp the primary outcome, why should they exist at all? If the party establishment decides to step in and override the results of a close election if they don’t like the winner, it will be a serious breach of faith with their voters and destroy the legitimacy of the nominee. Democratic turnout will suck, and downticket races will suffer. How is that a good thing?
Hopefully the party establishment is not so thick as to not grasp this (I’m sure Howard Dean gets it), and will encourage the superdelegates to do the right thing if neither candidate gets enough ordinary human delegates to clinch.
Hey, here’s a fun thought experiment: Imagine that the Electoral College includes 50 “Superelectors” who are not bound by their states’ electoral results, and not governed by any rules on how they should vote. Now imagine a close presidential election where the winner of the popular vote picks 250 regular electors, and his opponent only 238… but the opponent wins the Superelector vote 35-15, making him our next president. How do you think that would go over?
(Yes, I’m well aware that if the Republican candidate were the beneficiary, the media would praise the Superelectors for their courage and integrity, but I don’t think the rest of us would buy it.)