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Utah's superdelegates split on democratic candidates

Utah's superdelegates split on democratic candidates



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Whit Johnson and Andrew Adams reportingThe tight Democratic race is shining a spotlight on superdelegates, who will likely have a significant role in deciding the nominee for president. At the moment, Barack Obama has more superdelegates than Hillary Clinton.

With Tuesday's primary results, the importance of delegates is more glaring than ever. Clinton has 1,684 delegates. Obama has 1,840. To secure the nomination, one of them needs 2,025.

So where do Utah's superdelegates stand?

Utah's superdelegates are just as divided as Democrats across the country. It's pretty much 50-50 right now. Half of Utah's superdelegates who have already pledged support for a candidate are for Obama, the other half for Clinton. But there are some X-factors, and, as we all know, this race isn't over yet.

With the Democratic National Convention still months away, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a close battle for delegates. As predicted by most analysts, Tuesday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina are likely just another stepping stone.

Donald Dunn, the Utah chair of the Clinton campaign, said, "I think the race is going to continue to go on."

Wayne Holland, the chair of the Utah Democratic Party, said, "Tonight looks like it might be one of those evenings where both sides claim some victory."

So once again, the talk is about superdelegates, or delegates who are not allocated to candidates based on primary or caucus results. Here in Utah, six of the 29 Democratic delegates are superdelegates.

"I think for a state party chair, state party chair should probably reflect what happened in their state primary or caucus. It was an easy decision for me to make on that basis," Holland said. So that means Obama for him.

Holland is one of two Utah super delegates going that way, but two others are pledging support for Hillary Clinton. Congressman Jim Matheson is still undeclared, and the sixth super delegate will be appointed at the state convention this weekend.

Amid the tough and sometimes nasty campaigning, Utah Democrats are confident they will come together when it counts. "I believe the Democrats, either one of the two, will be the next president," Holland says.

"You couldn't get Mitt Romney and John McCain in the same city, and when the time comes, I think you'll see both Senator Obama and Clinton unite," Dunn said.

The two superdelegates who have pledged support for Hillary Clinton were not available to talk today. That sixth super delegate will more than likely be an Obama supporter because he or she is appointed by the state Democratic chair, Wayne Holland, who, as previously mentioned, is an Obama supporter.

wjohnson@ksl.com
E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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