(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama pocketed two more of his party’s superdelegates Friday.
California congressmen Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza are endorsing the Illinois senator, according to a statement released by his campaign.
“While I continue to greatly respect and admire Senator Clinton and feel she has made history with her campaign, I believe that Senator Obama will inevitably be our party’s nominee for President,” Cardoza, who had previously supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, said in the statement.
Cardoza also waded into the controversy over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic convention. “I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution” to the situation with Florida and Michigan, Cardoza said. “I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately,” he added.
Costa said electability had helped drive his decision. “In my opinion, it is clear that Senator Obama will be the strongest presidential nominee for the Democratic Party,” Costa said in the statement released by the campaign.
Obama leads the delegate race with a total of 1,967 total delegates including 309 superdelegates, according to CNN’s latest tally. Clinton has 1,779 total delegates, including 279 superdelegates. The number of delegates necessary to claim the Democratic nomination is currently 2,026 but that number may change once the Democratic National Committee decides how to resolve the situation regarding the Florida and Michigan delegations.
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is set to meet on May 31 and hear appeals from both states that were stripped of all their delegates to the convention because they held their primaries in violation of party rules.
(CNN) - In this clip from American Morning, Chief National Correspondent John King breaks down the all-important race for delegates in the battle between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for their party’s presidential nomination.
Watch King explain why the Democrats’ superdelegates are likely to ultimately decide who will be the party’s nominee.
(CNN) - Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton in Guam's Democratic presidential caucuses with votes from the largest of the island's 19 villages still to be counted, according to a Guam election official.
With 12 out of 19 villages reporting, Obama has 899 votes (53.9 percent) compared to 769 votes (46.1 percent) for Clinton.
The presidential candidates are battling for Guam's four pledged delegate votes. A total of eight delegates will be elected, each with half a vote at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer.
Also on the ballot Saturday was the race for chairman and vice chairman of the U.S. territory's Democratic party. The winners of that race will serve as superdelegates. According to the election official, the slate of Pilar Lujan and Jaime Paulino currently leads the slate of Joseph Artero Cameron and Arlen Bordallo. Lujan remains uncommitted in the race for president while running-mate Paulino has endorsed Obama. Both Cameron and Bordallo have endorsed Clinton. Incumbent chairman Tony Charfauros and running-mate Mary Ann Cabrera are currently in third place. Neither has endorsed a presidential candidate.
Although called “caucuses,” Saturday’s event in Guam functions more like a party-run primary. Voters cast secret ballots in polling places, as opposed to publicly aligning themselves in presidential candidate preference groups which occurs in more traditional caucuses, such as in Iowa and Nevada.
Polls closed in Guam at 6am eastern time, and vote-counting is expected to continue well into the afternoon. Guam is 14 hours ahead of eastern time.
(CNN) - Another former Democratic National Committee Chairman is backing Barack Obama. One day after former DNC chair Joe Andrew announced his support for Obama’s presidential bid, Massachusetts superdelegate Paul Kirk, who led the party from 1985-89, will officially endorse the Illinois senator Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Get ready for a deluge of new superdelegates.
All superdelegates -– elected officials and Democratic National Committee members -– are not bound by their states’ results, and can vote for the candidate they choose. Both candidates are fighting just as hard for their support as they are for the votes of the people in the upcoming primary states.
But some superdelegates are unpledged add-ons - individuals selected by each state’s Democratic Party. They are elected at state party conventions, executive committee meetings or delegate meetings, depending on the state. A wave of those events are scheduled for the next few weeks, as states finalize their delegate slates.
Unpledged add-ons can be called superdelegates because they both have the same voting rights - the only difference is that superdelegates are selected before the primaries and caucuses, while unpledged add-ons are selected after the state has voted.
Some of these add-ons pledged their support for candidates before they were elected. Of those elected so far, Obama has officially earned six unpledged add-on votes, while Clinton has earned seven.
In total, there will be 76 unpledged add-on delegates. CNN is keeping track of these delegates, but will only add them to the official delegate after they are officially elected at their states’ meetings. As of today, 13 states have chosen their unpledged add-ons, with the results of today’s Maryland selection still pending.
(CNN) – Pennsylvania AFL-CIO president and superdelegate Bill George announced his support for Hillary Clinton Wednesday.
“Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to jumpstart the economy and rebuild the middle class,” George said in a statement released by Clinton's presidential campaign. “Working families in Pennsylvania overwhelmingly favored her in last week’s primary, and I feel that she is our strongest candidate to carry Pennsylvania in November and win back the White House.”
George, a Democratic National Committee member since 1996, had been actively courted by Clinton and Democratic rival Barack Obama in advance of his state’s primary last week. Clinton and Obama both addressed the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention earlier this month. Clinton defeated Obama in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley will endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for president Wednesday, the fifth Democratic superdelegate to choose sides in less than 24 hours, an Obama aide confirms to CNN.
Braley, a first-term congressman who represents an eastern district that hugs the Illinois border, had originally backed John Edwards in the race for the Democratic nomination. He joins fellow Iowan and Democratic National Committee member Richard Machacek in publicly declaring his support for Obama this week. Machacek and Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler both said Tuesday they were backing Obama, while North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley and Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton the same day.
Braley’s decision to support Obama was first reported Wednesday morning by the Des Moines bureau of the Associated Press.
(CNN) - Two of the Democratic Party’s former presidential nominees have endorsed the idea of a superdelegate convention in June to end the bitter nominating fight.
Mike Dukakis, the 1988 nominee, and George McGovern, who topped the ticket in 1972, told the Boston Globe they believe superdelegates should state their choice publicly soon after the primary season ends. The idea was first proposed by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can reach the required 2,025 delegates without the support of the party's superdelegates.
"We don't want an acrimonious battle all the way to the convention and maybe out onto the convention floor," said McGovern, who has endorsed Clinton. "We had that in 1972, when I was nominated, and it was very damaging."
He added that if he had had more time to consider his choice of a running mate, he might have avoided difficulties with his first selection, Sen. Thomas Eagleton, that further damaged his bid.
(CNN) – Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen is proposing a superdelegate “primary” to settle the Democratic presidential race before the party's convention in August.
Neither Sens. Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton are likely to win the 2,024 delegates needed to capture the presidential nomination outright when primary voting ends in early June, making it likely that the superdelegates – party and elected officials who have the right to vote at the national convention – will likely decide which candidate will become the Democratic nominee.
Obama currently leads Clinton in the delegate count 1,621 to 1,479, CNN estimates.
In a proposal first made public in the New York Times Wednesday, Bredesen - who has not backed either candidate - suggested that superdelegates meet for two days in June to vote in order to bring an earlier end to the race and begin the process of uniting the party.
"It seems to me if we have a nominee come Labor Day with a very deeply divided party and morally exhausted party, I think we have a problem,” Bredesen told CNN. “We've got to resolve this in some way before the end of August.”
Other superdelegates have floated similar proposals, but the idea has received mixed reviews, Democratic National Committee officials told the Associated Press.
But Bredesen said it's critical that the party begin the process of rallying behind a nominee because the Republicans have already settled on their candidate, Sen. John McCain.
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Obama said Bredesen's proposal was an "interesting" one that "would probably be the best way to insure that at least there's a couple of months before the convention" for the party to unite.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean has not endorsed Bredesen's superdelegate plan, proposed in Wednesday's New York Times, and so far it has not gained much traction. But clearly, Obama is trying to breathe a little life into it.
But on a conference call with reporters, Clinton senior adviser Harold Ickes said the idea was a good one that will "never happen."
–CNN.com Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s now clear that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will have enough elected or pledged delegates to guarantee the presidential nomination.
Even if you add Michigan and Florida makeover primaries to the equation, neither is going to reach the magic number required for the Democratic nomination - which would increase with the addition of both states - with strictly pledged delegates. They will require superdelegates to put them over the top.
Undecided superdelegates will have to make a critical decision. Even decided superdelegates are in play – they are, of course, also allowed to change their minds. We have seen some high-profile switches in recent weeks. They, too, could be in play.
How should the superdelegates make their decision? What factors should they consider?
Some will naturally tend to go along with the candidate who has won the most pledged delegates. Right now, that looks like Obama.
Others will go with the candidate who has won the most popular votes across the country. Right now, that’s Obama but it could become Clinton after all the upcoming ballots are counted, especially if there are makeover contests in Florida and Michigan.
Some superdelegates will be inclined to support the candidate that carried his or her congressional district or state.
Yet other super delegates will look to the specific states that the two candidates have won and ask which candidate has the best chance of beating Republican John McCain in the fall. Clinton’s advisers point out that she has won the biggest states with the most Electoral College votes, including New York and California. That, they say, would bode well for her against McCain.
I have spoken with several undecided superdelegates in recent days, and most of them tell me they will eventually pick the candidate they believe has the best chance of beating McCain and helping other Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate.
What do you think? Do you agree with them?
–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer