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Female vs. male superdelegates: candidates’ numbers so far

Nine of the 11 female Democratic senators (all of whom are superdelegates) have committed to a presidential candidate. They have broken 8-1 in favor of Hillary Rodham Clinton over Barack Obama. (All right, one of them is Sen. Clinton herself. But even discounting that, Clinton wins the Dem sen women by a huge margin. And if you’re wondering, the one Dem sen woman for Obama is Claire McCaskill of Missouri.)

(By the way (and at the risk of overdoing the parentheticals) the two uncommitted are Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Minnesota’s own Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar was quoted in the Sunday New York Times to the effect that “Barack’s impressive showing in our state is attractive to me,” which sounds like an Obama lean, but not a commitment. But I digress.)

Twenty-one of the male Dem Sens have committed. They have broken 14-7 for Obama (yes, including Sen. Obama, who is supporting himself). Obama’s percentage victory among male senators isn’t as impressive as Clinton’s among females.

Because there are more male than female sens (despite a record number of women), the whole thing nets out to 15-15 among senators. (By the way, I’m counting the two non-voting senators that symbolically represent the District of Columbia. They’re both men, for Obama, and can vote as superdelegates. And I’m counting the senators from Michigan and Florida who have committed (there are two, both for Clinton), although the outcome there is up in the air. I’m thinking that at least the superdelegates from the disputed states will be counted.)

Some key questions

What’s the point? Is there any chance that Clinton’s 89-11 percent romp among women Dem sens is not based to some degree on gender?  How about Obama’s almost 2-to-1 lead among the male Dem sens? Is that about gender? Is it evidence that Clinton’s superdelegate strength is significantly about gender? Or that there are advantages and disadvantages to your gender, whatever it is.

To test those questions, here are the comparable figures for Dem U.S. representatives (all of whom are also superdelegates). By my count (I’m relying on the total list of committed superdelegates on the excellent Demconwatch. and I’m trying my best to score them by gender and various categories of superdelegates) the House members break down 78-75 in favor of Clinton. The gender breakdown isn’t as stark as among the sens, but it’s there.

Clinton carries the Dem congresswomen by 27-14. Obama carries the congressmen by 61-51.

The biggest category of superdelegate is the Democratic National Committee members. As best I can tell (I’m less sure of these numbers and all this counting and sexing of DNC members, some of whom have androgynous names, is giving me a headache), Clinton carries the Democratic National committeewomen by a solid 73-46. She also carries the committeemen, but by an insignificant 68-63. So I would say that breakdown is consistent with the theory that Clinton’s advantage among women is the key to her superdelegate lead.

The one category that defies the hypothesis is the governors. Three of the five Dem woman guvs are backing Obama. Eight of the 15 male guvs are for Clinton. The net is 10-10 and a non-factor in the overall superdelegate race.

I should note that there are a small number of superdelegates who are in none of the categories above.

In other superdelegate news
Before I let you go, so I don’t have to write a separate post, I’ve been fairly obsessed with keeping up with the flow of new superdelegate commitments, to see whether Clinton’s Ohio-Texas late-inning rally has stopped the flow towards Obama. Since the last update a week ago on the eve of the Mississippi primary, the trickle of new superdel commitments has almost completely stopped. But what little remains still favors Obama ever-so-slightly. Obama picked up two in the last week. Clinton lost one (not her fault – Eliot Spitzer is no longer a superdelegate because he’s no longer a governor).

In the total superdel race, Clinton leads 244-209, according to DemConWatch, taking her lead down to a new lowest level ever. Here’s the graph. But, clearly, the vast majority of uncommitted superdelegates, who will almost certainly decide the nomination in the end, are awaiting further developments.

Update to previous:
Two new superdelegate commitments went up on DemConWatch today, both for Clinton. That makes the past week roughly a wash. We’ll see if it turns into any kind of new trend in Clinton’s direction. One of the two was a male congressman (the notable John Murtha of Pennsylvania), which would of course changes the totals above by one male. The other new Clinton superdel is Pat Maroney (a male Pat), a DNC member from West Virginia.

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