03 June 2008

Manchin Figures in SuperDelegate Mix as Dems End Primary Season

Gov. Joe Manchin remains one of three West Virginia "super" or unelected delegates uncommitted to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, The Associated Press reports.

He's also chair of the Democratic Governors Association, and so is poised to play a role in the Democrats' efforts to solidify their support after today's primaries in South Dakota and Montana, AP also reports.

"Officials said that if Obama failed to gain 2,118 delegates by tonight, one possibility under discussion was to have key leaders to issue a statement Wednesday urging superdelegates to state their preferences as soon as possible," that article said. "The leaders suggested were Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader; Speaker Nancy Pelosi;" and Manchin.

AP's count found that "Obama was 41.5 delegates shy of the 2,118, needed to clinch the nomination at the party's convention in Denver," while Clinton had 1917.5.

AP also has a separate report on the task that awaits Manchin and other DGA members: "Eleven of the nation's governors will have to perform some political sleight of hand if Barack Obama clinches the Democratic nomination for president. After months of supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton, they will have to convince voters they're just as happy with her rival."

Obama has been endorsed by another 11 Democratic governors, while Manchin is among six uncommitteds, that article notes.

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