- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has almost no committed support so far from Democratic superdelegates in his bid to win his party’s presidential nomination, even in his home state.

While O’Malley has run as a new-generation leader who can point to a list of progressive accomplishments, Hillary Rodham Clinton has swept up eager endorsements in his political backyard from superdelegates who cite her experience.

“Hillary has worn many hats in her lifetime - secretary of state, U.S. senator, first lady, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, lawyer, public servant, congressional staffer and more,” U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said in his endorsement of Clinton in May.

Superdelegates are delegates to the Democratic National Convention who can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses. They are members of Congress and other elected officials, party leaders and members of the Democratic National Committee.

With 712 votes at the convention next summer, superdelegates make up about 30 percent of the 2,382 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Associated Press reporters reached out to all 712 superdelegates during the past two weeks and heard back from more than 80 percent of them. The delegates were asked which candidate they plan to support at the convention next summer.

The results nationally: 359 for Clinton; eight for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders; two for O’Malley; and 210 who remain uncommitted.

Of Maryland’s 23 Democratic superdelegates, Clinton already has a majority of 12 committed to her. Only one has committed to O’Malley. Six of the state’s Democratic superdelegates remain uncommitted. Four could not be reached.

Clinton’s support in the heavily Democratic state is noteworthy for how quickly and enthusiastically superdelegates pledged to back her, even ones with long ties to O’Malley. On the day Clinton announced her campaign for the presidency in April, Sen. Barbara Mikulski wasted no time in announcing her support, declaring in a statement: “Whoopee, Hillary is off and running!”

That effusive endorsement came swiftly, despite the former governor’s long connection to Maryland’s senior senator. O’Malley worked on Mikulski’s 1986 Senate campaign, and his mother, Barbara O’Malley, has been the senator’s receptionist for nearly 30 years.

In Maryland, only Yvette Lewis, a superdelegate who was the former chair of the state Democratic Party, has pledged to support O’Malley so far. Lewis said she saw firsthand O’Malley’s energy and courage during his two terms as governor. She cited a sweeping gun-control measure he pushed through the Legislature in 2013. Lewis also noted his long battle and eventual success in repealing capital punishment.

“I admire him for his courage in the things he was willing to undertake,” Lewis said.

Boyd Brown, a superdelegate in South Carolina, is the only other delegate to commit to supporting O’Malley so far.

“He’s proven,” Brown said. “Governor O’Malley is the only candidate in the race who has the record of actually doing things, not talking about them, and those achievements read like a Democrat’s wish list.”

Maryland superdelegates backing Clinton still express admiration for O’Malley.

Gregory Pecoraro, a Maryland superdelegate, said he has a lot of respect for O’Malley, but he is supporting Clinton, because he believes she has the right mix of experience and vision for the country.

“I think he’d be a good president, but given the opportunity to support Secretary Clinton, I think she has to be my first choice,” Pecoraro said.

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