Superdelegates are members of the Democratic Party who are free to vote for any candidate they choose at the nominating convention in August. They’re mostly made up of Democratic elected officials, party officials and former party leaders. Superdelegates have come to the forefront because they could decide whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton becomes the presidential nominee, if neither candidate wins 2,025 pledged delegates during the primary and caucus season.
The informal term “superdelegate” is applied to unpledged PLEOs (party leaders and elected officials), whose status is independent of primary and caucus results. They are assigned by the Democratic National Committee and their membership is not confined to the current election cycle. In addition, there are "unpledged add-on delegates" who are selected by the states after their primary or caucus. There are 76 such slots for this election, though only 28 have been selected as of May 8, 2008.
How you get to 796 Democratic superdelegates:
The table below contains 805 Democratic superdelegates. This includes all of the 724 unpledged PLEOs, as listed by the DNC, plus the 28 add-ons that have been selected as of May 8, 2008. Also included in this list are the 26 unpledged PLEOs living in Florida, as well as Michigan's 27, although they will not get to vote at the convention because their states violated primary scheduling rules. The eight Democrats Abroad delegates only get half of a vote each, so you subtract four to get the official number of unpledged PLEOs: 720. When all of the 76 add-on delegates are assigned, the total is 796.
To sort the table, click on the column headers:
Sources: Democratic National Committee; state Democratic parties
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