By Avelino Maestas
As more and more states hold their primary elections and caucuses in the Democratic presidential nominating contest, we've seen the importance of superdelegates grow. These individuals will undoubtedly help decide the nomination, and they're now the focus of intense scrutiny: for who will the vote, and why?
Since we joined with our partners to begin the Superdelegate Transparency Project, we've seen a number of proposals on how superdelegates can follow the "will of the people." DemConWatch characterizes one group of supers who will vote for the "pledged delegate leader" the Pelosi Club, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Representatives of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign have said she would lead in the popular vote by the time the August convention roles around, implying she would have the most legitimate support.
And while DNC rules give superdelegates unlimited freedom to vote their conscience, at least two supers are appealing directly to their constituency: college students. Lauren Wolfe and Awais Khaleel, president and vice-president (respectively) of the College Democrats of America, have recorded a YouTube video seeking direction in how they should vote:
Wolfe is a superdelegate from Michigan (classified as a DNC member), and we should note that Michigan's delegation will not be seated at the August convention under the current rules. Perhaps the "college vote" will be used as a bargaining chip in deciding the fate of delegates from Florida and Michigan?
Arguments over whether there should be criteria when superdelegates make endorsements not-withstanding, Lauren and Awais' plea to their constituency -- using new media -- is another example of citizen participation changing the dynamics of politics in this country.
Of course, Congresspedia is an excellent place to get started if you'd like to participate! Whether you want more information on the candidates and issues, can post new information on legislation or members of congress, or want to track the superdelegates with us, there are plenty of ways to make your voice heard.