Dems gather to become party delegates

April 13, 2008 7:21:13 PM PDT
Thousands of California Democrats are gathered for the chance to become a party delegate at the National Convention in Denver.

Thousands of California Democrats are gathered for the chance to become a party delegate at the National Convention in Denver.

In most election years, only serious political junkies apply. This year, many more people are interested in the role and with the race for the nomination. The race is so close, the very people being selected could be the ones to determine the winner.

Party activists who've been going to these caucuses for years say the enthusiasm seen here today was unprecedented. So many people want to be a pledged delegate this year, it's not a surprise considering the closeness of the democratic race.

In Oakland on Telegraph Avenue, the line to enter the Obama caucus extended for almost a block. Hundreds of people showed up to cast their ballot for the person they believe should go to the Democratic National Convention in August.

There are many factors people use to make their decision. How long someone has worked on a candidate's campaign for instance, is something that's considered. But the bottom line for most people is loyalty.

These people want to make sure that the person they're voting for is completely loyal to their particular candidate. The last thing the Clinton and Obama campaigns want is for a turncoat to show up at the Democratic Convention in Denver in August.

We talked to several people vying to be a pledged delegate and they say there's no way they would ever break their pledge.

"Never, never never. This country needs Obama badly, and I hope people out there and I hope that people understand that and vote for him in November," says Obama supporter Sharon Wooden.

At the Clinton caucus in San Francisco, we saw a big turnout there as well.

"I'm with whoever Hillary wants me to support. I'm pledged to her. And if we get released, then I'm released. But until that moment, I signed a release. I'm for her," says delegate candidate Henry Walker.

Overall, nearly 3,000 people from California applied to be a pledged delegate, but only 241 Californians get to go to Denver.


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