Black superdelegates defect to Obama

Hillary Clinton’s slide in the race for superdelegates continues, with the defection of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta earlier today.

Lewis, who has campaign for months on behalf of Clinton, said in a statement that he changed sides in order to “express the will of the people” after Obama won the Feb. 5 Georgia primary with 90 percent of the black vote, a scenario that was also repeated in Lewis’ own Atlanta district.

Lewis’ switch-a-roo also comes on the heels of the decision by another black Georgia congressman, David Scott, to jump from Clinton’s bandwagon to Obama’s.

The nature of superdelegates’ commitment to candidates is fickle and historically follows the front-runner. With Obama’s 11 straight primary wins, that pattern seems to be repeating itself, with Clinton’s lead in the superdelegate count now at 241 to 183, according to the independent blog Democratic Convention Watch. In January, before Obama’s momentum-shifting Super Tuesday performance, Clinton’s superdelegate lead was 160 to 60. That means Obama has eaten into Clinton’s superdelegate lead by 16 percentage points.

Obama’s total delegate count is 1,371 to Clinton’s 1,274, according to Democratic Convention Watch. 2,025 delegates are needed to secure the Democratic nomination.

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