Superdelegates

by Liz Olson
Superdelegates

Related Links

In some presidential elections, superdelegates can play a major role in determining the Democratic nominee. Unlike delegates, superdelegates are not bound to represent the popular vote of a region at the Democratic National Convention; they are free to support any candidate for the nomination. The Republican Party does not have superdelegates.

Superdelegates are not selected on the basis of party primaries and caucuses in each state. Instead, superdelegate standing is based on the status of current or former officeholders and party officials, including all Democratic members of Congress. Superdelegate is a term that arose in the 1970s.

In order for a candidate to win the party nomination for president, he or she must gain the majority of delegate votes. The purpose of superdelegates is for high-ranking Democrats to maintain some control over the nominating process. Superdelegates make up one-fifth of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention. So, 796 of the 4,090 delegates at the Democratic National Convention can choose whichever candidate they prefer.

Out of 2,380 total delegates at the Republican National Convention in 2012, 463 are unpledged delegates, who play the same role as superdelegates. Of the 463, 123 are members of the Republican National Committee.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
"Wyoming" is a Delaware Indian word meaning "mountains and valleys alternating."

what’s hot

  1. VIEW ALL

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

10 Best Outdoor Toys of 2015
Looking for an amazing toy that will keep your child playing outside until the sun goes down? See our picks for 10 hot new outdoor toys for all ages.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks