From NBC's John Yang
Three weeks ago, we went to Missouri to meet two uncommitted superdelegates for "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams": Leila Medley, the political director for the state's teachers union, and state Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal. At the time, both said they were dismayed that the race was getting more contentious the longer it went. And they both hoped Democratic voters would decide the nominee, not superdelegates such as themselves.
After Wednesday night's debate and days ahead of the Pennsylvania primary, we thought it was a good time to check back in.
Medley tried to watch the debate, but turned it off before it was over. "It was so contentious," she said. "I'm so worn out with all the arguing."
Chappelle-Nadal missed the debate because the legislature, now debating the state budget, was in session until about 1 a.m. Thursday. But she, too, laments that the campaign has been reduced to "bickering."
Medley fears it's hurting the Democrats' chance in November. "What we're doing is we're letting John McCain have a free ride," she said. "He's running a general-election campaign, and we're still fighting among ourselves. … They need to be more civil to each other. It's just gotten too contentious. Somebody has to step aside."
But who? She doesn't see Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) throwing in the towel because he's ahead in the delegate count. And she doesn't see Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) giving up. "She's in it to the end and that really concerns me," she said.
Chappelle-Nadal, one of the 75 superdelegates handpicked by party chairman Howard Dean, now said she's going to try to make a decision by the beginning of July, as Dean has suggested.
She said she's still undecided, but had some critical words for Obama. She found Obama's criticism of former President Jimmy Carter for meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal "hypocritical" given his earlier stance that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And, Chappelle-Nadal said, she finds herself frustrated that Obama's speeches lack detail.
"I hate to say that I'm agreeing with what Clinton's been saying all along," she said.
Meanwhile, both campaigns continue to woo the two. Medley recently got a CD from the Obama campaign, but refuses to open it. Lately, she's also been getting lots of letters from Clinton supporters in California.
And after appearing on "NBC Nightly News," she can't walk into the Missouri State Capitol without being besieged by supporters of one candidate or the other.
She said it's one reason why she's resisting making a decision now -- she doesn't want to look like someone pushed her one direction or the other.
"If I had known what was going to happen," she said, "I would have jumped on somebody's bandwagon much earlier and just gotten it over with."