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Let the voters decide

From: Noah T. Winer, Political Action
Date: February 14, 2008
Subject: Superdelegates?

Dear MoveOn member,


Clicking here will add your name:

<font color="white">"The Democratic Party must be democratic. The superdelegates should let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama, then support the people's choice."</font>

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You've probably heard about the "superdelegates" who could end up deciding the Democratic nominee.1

The superdelegates are under lots of pressure right now to come out for one candidate or the other.2 We urgently need to encourage them to let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama—and then to support the will of the people.

Can you sign this petition to the superdelegates right away? Click here to add your name:

If we can reach 200,000 signatures this week, we'll publish the petition along with the final number of signers as an ad in USA Today. If you're one of the first people to sign, we'll include your name (with your permission).

The petition says:

"The Democratic Party must be democratic. The superdelegates should let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama, then support the people's choice."

Please forward this email to 5 friends today so we can hit 200,000 signatures by Friday.

Who are the superdelegates? Most of them aren't elected—they're state party chairs, retired politicians, and Democratic insiders. They control 40% of the votes needed to win the nomination.3 The reason they exist: to make sure the party establishment approves of the nominee.

But even some superdelegates have started questioning whether they should be the ones to make the final call: Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore's presidential campaign and is neutral in the race, says the superdelegates "should reflect the will of the people." She threatened to quit her position within the Democratic Party if the superdelegates decide the primary outcome.4

And in a New York Times op-ed, Walter Mondale's former delegate counter writes:

The superdelegates were never intended to be part of the dash from Iowa to Super Tuesday and beyond. They should resist the impulse and pressure to decide the nomination before the voters have had their say.5

The superdelegates could ignore the will of the voters and pick whichever nominee they want, embroiling the entire convention in an ugly fight.6

Superdelegates aren't used to hearing from concerned voters. If enough of us sign this petition, we can urge them to side with whichever candidate—Clinton or Obama—has the most support from voters.

This is about democracy, pure and simple. Whoever you support, we can all agree the Democratic nominee should be decided by Democratic voters.

Please sign this petition. Click here to add your name:

In the long run, the Democratic Party needs to reconsider this undemocratic system, but for this election, we need the superdelegates to do the right thing.

Thank you for all you do.

–Noah, Tanya, Carrie, Laura, and the Political Action Team
February 14th, 2008

P.S. Our friends at Democracy for America have launched a similar petition they're going to deliver directly to the superdelegates. You can sign that one here.


1. "Obama's Lead in Delegates Shifts Focus of Campaign," New York Times, February 14, 2008

2. "Neck and Neck, Democrats Woo Superdelegates," New York Times, February 10, 2008

3. "What role for Democratic 'super-delegates'?" MSNBC, April 26, 2007

4. "Brazile: I'll Quit DNC Position Over Superdelegates," NPR, February 11, 2008

5. "Superdelegates, Back Off," New York Times, February 10, 2008

6. "Convention Chaos Theory," TPM Cafe, February 5, 2008