In Search of a Way Around Pledged-Delegate Math

The Clinton campaigning continues to take the temperature of superdelegates to determine how big a gap in pledged delegates they would be comfortable overturning.

In the course of reporting a piece for today’s paper about Obama’s national political director Matt Nugen and the Obama campaign’s own aggressive superdelegate outreach program, I spoke to Ivan Holmes, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Oklahoma.

Here’s a description, from the story, of his interaction with the Clinton operation:

 

First, he received a warm phone call from Bill Clinton. Then, Hillary Clinton called a couple days before the March 4 Ohio and Texas primaries.

 

“She said she thought it was going to go down to the end and that the superdelegates would decide it,” said Mr. Holmes. “Then she said, ‘You know, I did win in Oklahoma.’ She just made the statement that since she did so well, she hoped that I’d consider supporting her.”

After the candidate’s off-message appeal to his sense of loyalty to his state’s decision—the Clinton campaign has laid groundwork for the superdelegate push by encouraging them to decide independent of what their state’s voters do—Mr. Holmes received another call, just a few days ago, from a Clinton campaign staffer targeting his independent streak.

“She asked an interesting question,” Mr. Holmes said of the campaign staffer, whose name he said he did not remember. “If the pledged delegate difference was 50, 60 or 80 delegates, would that make a difference in who you voted for?’ I told her it wouldn’t and that I never vote on who I think is going to win.”

 

In Search of a Way Around Pledged-Delegate Math