By Conor Kenny on March 06, 2008

The motley crew of citizen journalists, activists, bloggers and transparency advocates that make up the Superdelegate Transparency Project (STP) have produced the best, most transparent and highly detailed reporting on the Democratic superdelegates - anywhere. Through collaborative research with nearly 300 citizen journalists, the folks at DemConWatch, LiteraryOutpost, the HuffPost's OffTheBus project, OpenLeft and CMD's Congresspedia have produced a tally that rivals or bests those of the major media outlets. The STP even breaks the numbers down by state and congressional district with ever-expanding bios of hundreds of superdelegates AND we now have a wicked-cool live-updating widget.

With Hillary Clinton within stalemate distance of Barack Obama, the so-called "superdelegates" to the Democratic convention could very well decide the nominee and are an increasingly controversial part of the nominating process. While the members of the STP all came to the project with different opinions on who the best nominee should be or even what voting philosophy superdelegates should follow, we united around the common cause of bringing enough of this process into the light that voters could know just who was representing them at the convention and to decide for themselves what action, if any, they wanted to take.

Today we took the Pepsi Challenge with the websites of some of the biggest major news organizations and found that our citizen-journalist-produced research could stand up to any one of them (see chart below). No one with any sense thinks that citizen journalism can or will ever fully replace that of the professionals, but a massive research project like this needed massive participation and it is particularly poetic that it took regular citizens, cooperating in an open and transparent manner to make this information public.

Site Obama Clinton Transparent Sourcing? Breakdowns by Congressional District? Breakdowns by Superdelegate? Superdelegate profiles? Built by the Netroots?
Superdelegate Transparency Project 202 241 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CNN 199 238 No No, by state only Yes No No
Washington Post 196 241 No (From AP and RollCall) No, by state only Yes No No
New York Times 202 254 Only partial No, by state only No No No
CBS 201 242 No No No No No
Wall Street Journal 191 253 No Yes Yes No No

As of March 6, 2008, 3:25 PM EST

Comments

Thanks for the detailed reporting of superdelegates! This is the best site I've seen with this info! Our organization, with basically no funding, wanted to produce a proportional superdelegate tracking tool, based on data broken up by state and Congressional district. But, you already have everything needed EXCEPT that final column: How the superdelegate should vote - based on whom his/her Congressional district (for Dem Representatives) or state (for the other superdelegates) gave a plurality to.

Can you just add that column? If not, can you make your data available in a DB format so others can?

Clearly there should be winner-take-all among the non-House superdelegates. One of your bloggers wants to pool non-House superdelegates up by state and dole out their votes to candidates by percentage of the votes cast. This is clearly incorrect because superdelegates are not pools. They are individuals who could be expected to reach a decision by independently examining the results, not according to how a nearby superdelegate will or should cast her vote. State-wide superdelegates should be winner-take-all.

But, just to be fair, could you add yet another column showing this bizarre calculation, too?

Let's see if these calls for the superdelegates "not to overturn the will of the electorate" would yield results that the punditocracy believe.