The math says that regardless of who wins North Carolina’s May 6 primary, presidential candidate Barack Obama will still have more pledged primary and caucus delegates nationwide to carry the nomination.
Unless, that is, Democratic party “super delegates” (consisting of bigwigs and players in the party nationwide) decide to throw their weight behind Hillary Clinton, which could skew the Democratic Convention calculus in her favor later this summer when the final delegate total is tallied.
Local Rep. Heath Shuler — originally a John Edwards supporter, and a super delegate like all Democratic members of Congress — said on primary eve Monday that he will throw his vote at the convention to whomever among the Democratic candidates wins the popular vote in the 11th Congressional District.
Below, the full text of Shuler’s announcement and rationale, sent to Xpress via e-mail.
— Hal L. Millard, staff writer
“As the Congressman for Western North Carolina, my attention is focused on keeping jobs in America and creating jobs in the district by investing in renewable and sustainable energy, ensuring every American has access to affordable health care, and solving the illegal immigration crisis.
“As a Congressman, I also serve as a super delegate in my party’s presidential nominating process. Being a super delegate is not a position I sought when I decided to run for Congress, but it is one that comes with the office. Super delegates are to determine, as they see fit, whom they will support at the Democratic National Convention.
“Early in the nominating process, I proudly endorsed former U.S. Senator from North Carolina John Edwards in his campaign for President, and would have supported him with my super delegate vote at the Convention. Since Senator Edwards suspended his campaign, however, I have not endorsed any other candidate and my super delegate vote has remained unpledged.
“I have now decided to pledge my vote as a super delegate at this year’s Convention for whichever candidate wins the majority of votes in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. My focus, however, will remain on being an effective representative of Western North Carolina in Congress.
“Since the Democratic Party’s nominating process provides for each super delegate to determine who shall receive their vote in whatever manner they so choose, I do not believe that any other super delegate is bound to make a decision similar to mine.
“The process of selecting the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee has generated tremendous enthusiasm and attracted tens of thousands of new voters to the polls. In North Carolina, over 500,000 votes have already been cast in the primary and countless more will be cast tomorrow. I applaud each and every North Carolinian who has already voted and encourage every registered voter to get out to the polls tomorrow and make certain that their voice is heard in this historic election.”