Obama conducts the Superdelegate Waltz

The view that superdelegates were going to be the deciding factor in the Democratic nomination is perhaps being replaced by the view that their backing will be the final factor in deciding who will be the nominee. Their support will swing towards the candidate with the popular vote, etc. Barack Obama has won the popular vote argument, and according to a major Reuters piece from John Whitesides, the Senator from Illinois is getting closer and closer to winning the superdelegate argument as well. Simon puts it into perspective:

In a danger sign for Clinton, Obama over the past few months has sharply cut her lead among superdelegates -- nearly 800 elected officials and party leaders free to back any candidate.

"Obama has won more delegates, he's won more votes, he's raised more money, and now you see it happening with superdelegates too," said Simon Rosenberg, head of the Democratic advocacy group NDN.

(Perhaps the superdelegates are attracted to the candidate who is ahead in what we call the virtuous cycle of participation.)

While the Clinton campaign is failing to contain the superdelegate shift, where it may be finding the most difficulty, and what could prove more dangerous, is in maintaining the argument that the holding pattern of the superdelegates is justifying their place in the race. Simon explains this in reacting to a quote from Phil Singer, Clinton's spokesman:

"Most superdelegates are in a holding pattern. They're waiting to see what happens in Pennsylvania and down the road before they make any decisions," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said.

Rosenberg said the recent string of superdelegate endorsements for Obama made that argument hard to swallow. "A substantial number have moved -- and most are moving to Obama," he said.

This just adds to the good news the Obama campaign has generated for itself. Check out a prior post on the effectiveness of the campaign's general election strategy.