WASHINGTON (CNN) - Many of the Democratic members of Congress convening for President Bush's final State of the Union address tonight have already weighed in on his replacement.
Of the Democratic congressional endorsements, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York leads the remaining candidates competing for their party's nomination with 79 viable endorsements. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is in second with 59, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina follows with 16.
Democratic congressional endorsements play an important role in a candidate's ability to secure the party's nomination, beyond any influence they might have with voters. Each Democratic member of Congress gets one vote at the party’s national convention in Denver this August, where the official nominee is elected. These are “superdelegate” votes - independent of their home state's primary or caucus outcomes, which result in the distribution of “pledged” delegates.
To win the nomination, a candidate needs 2,025 of the 4,049 available votes at the convention. There are 286 Democratic members of Congress, including territories. Of those, only 268– about 7 percent of the total convention vote - will have a vote at this year’s convention, because Florida and Michigan have lost their seats due to violations of Democratic Party primary scheduling rules.
Though there is usually a presumptive nominee by each party's conventions at the end of the summer, it’s possible the tight races between the candidates might come down to delegate counts this year.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama sought Sunday to use his South Carolina victory to expand his appeal, saying the first Southern primary reflects what Americans are looking for.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Obama argued that the result in South Carolina "speaks extraordinarily well, not just for folks in the South, but all across the country. I think people want change."
But Sen. Hillary Clinton noted that both she and her top Democratic rival "have won a primary and a caucus."
(CNN)– President Bush and Congress laid the framework Thursday for an economic stimulus package that could send money back to millions of Americans.
In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, White House Correspondent Ed Henry explains how the proposal could help pull the U.S. economy away from a recession.
While the candidates on the campaign trail echo the message from Washington and clarify their economic plans, it also appears Sens. Clinton and Obama have called a truce. Candy Crowley reports from South Carolina.
John Edwards is hoping a new web ad highlighting his Southern roots will give him the push he needs in the polls. Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton has the details.
Finally, the stakes are high in Florida ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary. John King reports on the latest polls and where each Republican candidate stands.
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– CNN’s Emily Sherman
(CNN) – The troubled economy is front and central this election year. President Bush and Congress are facing mounting political pressure on the issue, as the Federal Reserve unexpectedly cut interest rates Tuesday.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily White House Correspondent Ed Henry highlights a possible emergency recession plan from President Bush and Congress.
On the campaign trail, the battle between Sens. Clinton and Obama continues after Monday’s spirited CNN debate in South Carolina. Jessica Yellin reports from that state on the latest campaign dustup.
And while the Democrats battle each other, they are starting to focus on a new target across party lines. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider highlights the new cross-party fire directed at Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Finally, just days after a placing third in South Carolina’s Republican primary, former Sen. Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race. Chief National Correspondent John King reports from Florida.
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–CNN's Emily Sherman
(CNN) - Voters head to the polls and caucus sites Saturday in South Carolina and Nevada, contests that could propel two candidates to front-runner status in this year's wide-open presidential races.
A win in the South Carolina Republican primary could give one of the candidates a hand up in a race that, so far, has produced three different winners in three major contests.
Historically, the path to the Republican nomination has gone through South Carolina, which relishes its role of being the political gateway to the South.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Jessica Yellin reports from Las Vegas about the leading Democrats' focus on economic issues on the eve of the caucuses in Nevada. John King reports from Spartanburg, South Carolina about the high stakes for the Republican presidential hopefuls in the first southern primary of the 2008 presidential race.
Plus, Bill Schneider digs deep into the results of a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll. Find out who has benefited bickering between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Finally, it's Friday and that means it's time for Trail Mix - a look at some of the week's most memorable moments from the campaign trail.
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–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
(CNN) - Around the clock campaigning has replaced sleep for most of the presidential candidates. In the latest edition of American Votes 2008, watch the candidates battle it out for their causes.
Related: Saturday’s Presidential primary in South Carolina is the first southern state to weigh in on the race to the White House. Listen to CNN’s Bill Caiaccio and Todd Shaw, a University of South Carolina associate professor of political science and African American studies, analyze what’s at stake for the Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton has become a regular fixture on the campaign trail as his wife mounts her own campaign for the White House.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley takes a look at the Clinton's tag-team campaign style.
Wolf Blitzer also speaks with Clinton backer Bob Johnson about his apology to Sen. Barack Obama.
South Carolina's GOP primary is January 19 and the Best Political Team has the southern state covered. Dana Bash reports on Sen. John McCain's new economic plan announced in Columbia, South Carolina Thursday.
Chief National Correspondent John King is also on the trail in South Carolina and takes a look at Fred Thompson's effort to win the important GOP primary.
Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on the string of endorsements Sen. Barack Obama recently received from Democratic insiders.
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