WASHINGTON (CNN) - Jimmy Carter reiterated the sentiments of many Democratic Party leaders on Sunday by saying that it would be a “serious mistake” for superdelegates to choose the candidate with fewer total delegates.
“I think it would be a very serious mistake for the Democratic Party…if a candidate had the majority of popular votes, the majority of delegates and a majority of states - all three - were the superdelegates to vote contrary to that, I think it would be very difficult to explain,” the former president told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
Carter is the latest in a series of prominent Democrats to say that nullifying the popular vote would be a flawed approach. He said that he “basically agreed” with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on March 15 stated "if the votes of the superdelegates overturn what's happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”
Heading into the key Pennsylvania primary on April 22, Hillary Clinton trails Barack Obama by 171 pledged delegates. Even well-known supporters of Clinton have declared publicly that she needs to come first in the popular vote to win the nomination.
"I'm a very aggressive supporter of Senator Clinton, but I think you need at least a popular vote,” Gov. Jon Corzine, D-New Jersey, expressed in an interview on April 3. Later that day, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania echoed the governor’s position, saying “she has to be ahead in the popular vote to have any chance at all of getting this nomination."
Though Carter has not officially endorsed a candidate and made no such announcement on Sunday, he hinted last week that he is going to vote for Obama.
"My town, which is home to 625 people, is for Obama, my children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama… As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for but I leave you to make that guess," he said.
–CNN's Peter Lanier