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?
Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.