The Democratic party's rules clearly allow for a candidate to win more pledged, or elected, delegates and then lose the nomination because the roughly 800 or so party activists and elected officials cast their votes the other way.
That, in fact, is where this race is headed. It is mathematically improbable that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, will surpass Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in pledged delegates -- even if she were to win the next 10 contests, plus add on new Michigan and Florida contests.
The proportional allocation of pledged delegates makes it very tough.
The problem for Clinton is that it will be tough to explain to voters -- especially Obama voters -- why her support among superdelegates (hypothetically) should thwart what the majority of pledged delegates desires.
I asked her about that today in the Little Italy section of Pittsburgh. See if you think her explanation is a good sell to voters:
Tapper: Senator Clinton you had a dinner Wednesday night in which there were several uncommitted superdelegates, members of Congress. I was wondering if A, you could tell us a little bit about that dinner and B, How do you explain to Democratic voters -- not to the likes of us -- but how do you explain to Democratic voters the idea of Senator Obama winning potentially more pledged delegates and you trying to win the presidency with more Superdelegates?
Clinton: Well, you know, there are there are three different kinds of delegates. You know delegates who come out of caucuses, delegates who come out of primaries and delegates who are appointed either because of the position they hold with the Democratic party or because of their elected position. That is the process that the Democratic Party has followed for 30 plus years and I think its important to work hard to make your case to all the different constituencies within the Democratic party and each of them have a role to play in the nominating process and that's what part of what we are doing to win the nomination.
Tapper: But do you think you can explain that to voters?
Clinton: I think that, you know, we are we are following what it was determined to be an appropriate process for picking a nominee. You know, caucuses are small not particularly representative. Primaries have many more people involved. Superdelegates, so called, are in the process because many of them are long time elected officials long time party activists who can exercise independent judgment about who is best able to both present the Democratic party case and win the White House and that is the way the party has set it up and that’s what were following.
What do you think? Did she sell it to you?