Salena Zito has a must read post on her Primary Colors blog that talks about the disconnect between superdelegates and voters. It’s a stinging rebuke of the Democrats’ nominating process, too.

Joe Andrew, a Democratic National Committee chair for five minutes, lives and operates out of Washington, D.C. But when it comes to giving news conferences about the presidential campaign, his podium is in Indianapolis. That is where Andrew went from Beltway boy to Hoosier to make his “big” announcement on changing sides from Sen. Hillary Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama.

And the whole word gasped.

Well, not really the whole world. In all honesty, the collective gasp was heard from within the Beltway, that patch of geography where the chattering elite class of politicos live, breathe and eat.

But drive 15 minutes in any direction outside of the Beltway, and no one knows who Joe Andrew is or why his deflection should affect their vote.

Here is the problem that the media seems to ignore in this race for the Democrats: While there is plenty of headlines and pontifications about superdelegates moving their support to Obama, there is a curious dismissal of Clinton’s string of strong wins with the John Deere voters.

The reality is that elitist Democratic Washingtonians love being in the power chair. They love to think that their’s is the final opinion, that their’s is the opinion that matters most.

As blogs become the voice of Mainstreet America, the superdelegates’ opinions matter less and less. That’s where the disconnect is most clearly seen. At the center of this is Howard Dean, the man who fancies himself as an outsider. In reality, he, like Markos Moulitsas, is a Washington insider with a brash voice pretending to speak for the people.

Salena does the nation a great service by calling voters in the Heartland John Deere voters. They’re trying to tell people who their preference is for the Democratic nomination. The superdelegates aren’t listening. Here’s one of Salena’s most stinging rebukes:

While putting nearly 2,000 miles in the Hoosier State in the past week, the reflections and opinions of the voters is not that different than what I saw in Ohio and Pennsylvania. And those opinions are that superdelegates to them are people who make their minds up based on their experiences and geography, i.e. Washington D.C.

The voters make their opinions and decisions on their experiences in their geography, i.e. Middle America.

Yet the story remains that Clinton cannot mathematically win. Well since Barack Obama cannot win either without her dropping out, perhaps what the analysis should be is why voters continue to vote her in while Beltway news conferences tell them “no, no, no.”

There’s a reason why Sen. Obama is in deeper trouble than DC insiders think. It’s because he hasn’t connected with John Deere voters. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that Hillary Clinton really connects with them, either. It’s just that she’s connecting with them better compared with how Obama is right now.

Neither compares with how Bill Clinton connected with how he connected with John Deere voters. That’s diminished now, mostly attributable to his spending the last 16 years inside the Washington-New York media bubble. That’s another post for another day.

Here’s another key Salena observation that the Democrats have ignored:

There is a huge disconnect between the Joe Andrew voters and the John Deere voters in this world. No one can win in the general election without them. They are the Reagan Democrats that swing elections. The last time I checked, the voters who live in the Beltway have never swung a national election. Ever.

Predictably, the best description of why Democrats are in trouble in their bid to reclaim the White House comes from a voter:

As one Hoosier voter said to me along the road, “just let us vote. Stop telling us it is over before we go to the booth.”

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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