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.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) -– Sen. Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton’s top backer in the May 6 primary state of Indiana, argued Saturday that superdelegates need to evaluate Barack Obama’s “bitter” remarks when deciding who to back for the Democratic nomination.
“I think it’s a real potential political problem and it’s something for superdelegates and voters to think about,” said Bayh, who was made available to reporters by the Clinton campaign to speak about the controversy.
“The far right wing has a very good track record of using things like this relentlessly against our candidates, whether its Al Gore or John Kerry,” Bayh said, “I’m afraid this is the kind of fodder they might use to harm him.”
The popular Indiana senator said Republicans were able to tarnish Kerry’s war record and turn Gore into a “serial fibber,” and predicted they will “use this to damage Barack, the Democratic party, and ultimately frustrate the change that we need in this country.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed Tuesday that he supported a proposal that would ask Democratic superdelegates to weigh in publicly by July 1.
The plan, proposed by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, would mean the Democratic nominee would be known sometime between the end of the primary season in early June and the beginning of July – long before the August nominating convention in Denver.
"Sen. Reid agrees that superdelegates who have already made up their minds declare their support by July 1," Reid spokesman Jim Manley told CNN.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Tuesday that she “hopes” the contest will end before July, but did not back calls to make that deadline a mandatory one, saying she thought the process “will work its course” without interference.
–CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A federal appeals court Friday threw out a Florida man's suit over the Democratic National Committee's decision to bar Florida delegates from the party's national convention, saying he had no standing to file suit.
The ruling by the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals affirms a lower court order that found that Victor DiMaio, a Florida resident who sued the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party, "undeniably lacks standing to bring this suit ..."
DiMaio claimed that the DNC announced refusal to seat Florida's Democratic delegation because the Florida party violated DNC rules on scheduling its primary violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Middle District Court of Florida ruled that DiMaio could not file suit under federal rules because his "complaint does not assert any actual or real controversy with the DNC or the FDP." The appeals court agreed.
The DNC said it was pleased with the ruling because it affirmed previous decision that "national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate selection rules."
The suit stemmed from the DNC's decision to strip Florida of its convention delegates because the date of the Florida primary was moved up without party approval.
(CNN) - Some Democrats say they fear their party's method of picking a nominee might turn undemocratic as neither presidential candidate is likely to gather the delegates needed for the nomination.
Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are running neck and neck toward the party's August convention in Denver, Colorado. Most projections show neither getting the necessary 2,025 delegates in the remaining nominating contests before then.
Party rules call for the votes of superdelegates - 800 or so party officers, elected officials and activists - to tip the balance. The party instituted the system to avoid the turmoil that a deadlocked race would create at a convention.
But even some superdelegates are questioning the system, as the party heads toward the conclusion of a race in which they might determine the outcome.
(CNN) - The tight presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has brought unaccustomed scrutiny to superdelegates, the Democratic Party insiders who may prove decisive in deciding the party’s presidential nomination this year.
Superdelegates are party leaders, Democratic members of Congress, former presidents and Democratic governors, who each get a delegate vote at the party’s nominating convention and are free to cast it for any candidate, regardless of their state’s primary season preference.
Two of these party insiders told American Morning anchor John Roberts Monday that they are ‘uncomfortable’ with their votes being the deciding factor.
“I think the best people to decide our nominee should be actual voters in primaries and caucuses,” said Maine superdelegate Sam Spencer, adding that the function of superdelegates was “somewhat outdated and not the most democratic way of doing things.”
CNN estimates Hillary Clinton already has the support of 224 out of the 796 superdelegates and Barack Obama has support from 135, leaving 437 up for grabs.
–CNN's Emily Sherman