Pelosi’s Delegate Stance Boosts Obama

Mar 14, 2008 6:08pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Friday that it would be "harmful" to Democrats if superdelegates were to give the party’s presidential nomination to a candidate who is trailing in the delegates awarded in primaries and caucuses.

"If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections," said Pelosi, "it would be harmful to the Democratic Party."

Although Pelosi offered her assessment without directly referencing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., her comments lend considerable support to the Illinois Democrat.

Obama leads Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in pledged delegates: 1,396 to 1,241. Because of the proportional system used by the Democratic Party to allocate delegates, Obama is widely expected to remain in front of Clinton in pledged delegates at the conclusion of the primary season.

Political prognosticators give Clinton more of a chance of catching, or even surpassing, Obama in the national popular vote but Pelosi argued that superdelegates should follow the pledged-delegate, not the popular-vote, leader.

"But what if one candidate has won the popular vote and the other candidate has won the delegates?" asked Stephanopoulos.

"But it’s a delegate race," Pelosi replied. "The way the system works is that the delegates choose the nominee." 

Pelosi’s comments to Stephanopoulos, which were made in Washington, D.C., air Friday evening on ABC News’ "World News with Charles Gibson."

The full interview with Pelosi airs Sunday morning on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

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