January 28th, 2008
07:04 PM ET
7 years ago

State of the Union audience looking toward next year

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Many of the Democratic members of Congress convening for President Bush's final State of the Union address tonight have already weighed in on his replacement.

Of the Democratic congressional endorsements, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York leads the remaining candidates competing for their party's nomination with 79 viable endorsements. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is in second with 59, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina follows with 16.

Democratic congressional endorsements play an important role in a candidate's ability to secure the party's nomination, beyond any influence they might have with voters. Each Democratic member of Congress gets one vote at the party’s national convention in Denver this August, where the official nominee is elected. These are “superdelegate” votes - independent of their home state's primary or caucus outcomes, which result in the distribution of “pledged” delegates.

To win the nomination, a candidate needs 2,025 of the 4,049 available votes at the convention. There are 286 Democratic members of Congress, including territories. Of those, only 268– about 7 percent of the total convention vote - will have a vote at this year’s convention, because Florida and Michigan have lost their seats due to violations of Democratic Party primary scheduling rules.

Though there is usually a presumptive nominee by each party's conventions at the end of the summer, it’s possible the tight races between the candidates might come down to delegate counts this year.

On the Republican side, John McCain leads with 38 congressional endorsements, though GOP members of Congress do not get to vote at their party's convention this summer.

Some notable endorsements for Sen. Clinton include Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Both are prominent members of the California congressional delegation, where the New York senator is looking to capture many of the state’s 370 delegates on Super Tuesday, February 5.

Sen. Obama has received the backing of both Massachusetts senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. These two prominent members of the Senate could help Obama secure many of the state’s 93 delegates a week from Tuesday as well.

Former Sen. Edwards, who has pledged to stay in the race until a nominee is selected at the convention, has the support of the majority of his home state of North Carolina's Democratic congressional delegation. He also has the backing of Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Rep. James Oberstar of Minnesota, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Next Tuesday, the Democratic candidates will compete for 1,681 pledged delegates across the country, which will help determine the eventual nominee in August.

– CNN's Adam P. Levy
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. peter oriavwote

    Fine endorsement figures for Senator Hillary Clinton. However, she needs to increase her congressional support and endorsements geometrically before super Tuesday, February 5, 2008. We have no doubt, she stands a high chance of getting nominated. Just some political wit required to gain key endorsements.

    January 28, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I'll wait for the morning headlines– I've got to wash my hair tonight.

    January 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. John

    (According to CNN.com, on the subject of earmark spending) White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, "The president will say that if these spending items are worthy, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote." Sure, I want Congress to stop being frivolous with our money, Mr. President, but I also want your administration to be open about whether or not you guys fire for politically motivated reasons and whether you permit heinous practices in your jails or whether you are snooping on us. Why can't the President tell us when he orders secret actions that do not pertain to his authority like ordering spying on US citizens without a judicial warrant? And why did you not tell the Republican Congress (you know–the one that served 6 of the last 8 years at least) to talk about their earmark spending? but I bet you that nobody will see this as CNN has silenced me before.

    January 28, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. Marilyn

    CNN why don't you write in your lead "Hillary Clinton leading with Democractic Congressional Endorsements."

    Can you at least give an article or two about John Edwards?

    You had no problem writing in big bold letters that Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy were Endorsing Obama. You guys are ridiculous. You're journalists are terrible.

    January 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. hillabeans

    Wow,maybe the Supreme Court will have the final say on our nominee too.

    January 28, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. John

    And by the way, could we cut the clapping because only 30% of the country is actually pleased with your job, Mr. President. And I for one have a life. I don't see people clapping at everything I say either so since we live in a supposedly egalitarian state, I ask that people treat you the same.

    January 28, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. John

    Censored by CNN yet again! Do you people believe in free speech? You guys make me sick. There are only 3 comments. Frankly, why can't you post them all? Is this all that you can do, just censor people.

    January 28, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. John

    By the way, why do I have to submit my email address to you? Is it enough that you do not email me back.

    January 28, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. John

    CNN, I am not spamming you but you guys really don't get how freedom of speech works. Honestly. It's really, really ticking me off that you have Marxist readers who actually don't want me to say what I want to say. Why do I feel that Fox News is actually more tolerant, which is saying something. I am done. Thank you, leader of all news, for silencing me.

    January 28, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Sonny

    It looks like the super delegates will ultimately determine who the party nominees are after all the primary states and caucauses take place for each party.

    The state of the union will improve by next year when the current president is not leading the country into one adventure or another...

    January 28, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik

    Bush might as well be speaking to Laura Bush, I don't think anybody cares what this lame duck and dangerous president has to say.

    Only thing I care about is telling Bush "GOOD RIDANCE" next January.

    January 28, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Wayne, Greenville TX

    More lies tonight from the Liar-in-Chief. He can't leave the White House soon enough for me.

    January 28, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  13. BILLY JOE, IA

    CNN is ready to project the State of the Union is BAD!!

    January 28, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Still Hoping Not To Be Moderated Too

    Dear John:

    Look out...the black helicopters are circling. I hear you can get rid of their brain prodding by wearing a nicely fit tin-foil hat too.

    The Pres is smart to use hi-tech methods to fight terrorism. And...given the flavor of your posting...I wouldn't worry too much about being "censored."

    January 28, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. independent for obama

    Ted Kennedy will undoubtedly help sway many Democrat superdelagates to Obama. He is after all a legend among democrats, he could even probably be called Mr. Democrat!

    January 28, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Don

    So far the most interesting thing. Obama snubs Clinton. Clinton goes to shake Ted Kennedy's hand.Kennedy reaches over Obama and shakes Clinton's hand, all the Senators around Obama, shake Hillary's hand. Obama turns and ignores Hillary. Politics of change? I don't think so. That was rude and is just a glimpse into what kind of President Obama will be. Hillary was atleast gracious enough to talk to Ted Kennedy after his betrayal of her years of support and friendship. Shame on Obama. Guess this won't be an issue either.

    FROM MAYA ANGELOU'S NEW POEM FOR HILLARY
    There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you're born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies. Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to be what it can become.

    She declares she wants to see more smiles in the family, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. She is the prayer of every woman and man who longs for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.

    Rise, Hillary.

    Rise.

    January 28, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. Mary Chandler

    Regulate the oil companines! Regulate the oil companies! Regulate the oil companines! That is the only way to fix this economy. WE regulate everlything but the oil companies. The "Reagan Trickle donw theory" of the republican party has destroyed the security of our country's economy. It is not true that the better off the company is the better off the little man will be. The greedy just get greedier and stingier. NOw it has gone so far as to put this entire nation in tremendous debt. All of this talk about rebates is ridiculous! Why , gas will only go up and we will stay broke. The oil companies will have larger profits and the nation will be in geater debt. Congress must regulate oil companies if this nation is to recover.

    January 28, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. maynard

    send bill clinton over east to fight with the boys see how he would like it.

    January 28, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. chet

    Hillary Clinton did this to herself.

    January 28, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. Dem08

    The censorship does seem to be happening.

    Interesting fact about tonights State of the Union. Hillary comes in, goes over to shake hands with Senators. Ted Kennedy reaches across Obama and shakes Hillary Clinton's hand. A very gracious move on both parts after Kennedy's betrayal of Clinton today. Other Senators shook Clintons hand while Obama turned and ignored Senator Clinton. Is this the change in politics we are being promised? This was rude and shows you what kind of man Obama will be as President. Hillary has always treated Obama with respect, regardless of whats been mis-reported. CNN reporter told this story, so lets see if CNN goes anywhere with it. It would be headlines by now if Clinton would have been that rude to Obama.

    January 28, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. United???

    If Obama is a great uniter, why is he playing the tired ole game of not applauding, not standing with the republicans. He sits in defiance of Bush with the rest of the democrats. This is a small thing, but I thought Obama was above this. Thats what he has said. He will play the same political games that politicians always play. Wake up America, Obama is a typical politician. No great change.

    As for Bush. Its great he is bringing home 20,000 troops. But thats still 10,000 more than were there 6 months ago.

    January 28, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. yup

    Actually only 26% of the country may be watching this evil windbag! G-d give us the strength to remain united and free through the remaining 11.5 months of this hideous regime! God Bless America, and give it back to us!

    January 28, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  23. LJ

    I agree that endorsements from the Kennedys to Barack is news worthy....and it is both a positive and a negative in my opinion...but...I agree with Marilyn...why no mention of Hillary leading with congressional endorsements? I feel that CNN, an organization that was my last hope, is leaning toward giving one candidate more press. You guys have an obligation to report as is, unbiased.
    It is becoming quite obvious who you are throwing your support at. I am begining to lose my faith in you.

    January 28, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. BETH

    REGARDLESS OF MY PERSONNAL POLITICAL INCLINATIONS, I FOUND IT QUITE DISTASTEFUL TO WATCH THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDDRESS WITH NANCY PELOSI IN THE BACK GROUND READING A NOVEL, WILL SOMEONE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS?
    TODAYS AMERICAN YOUTH IS FREQUENTLY STEREOTYPED BY A FLAGRANT DISRESPECT AND DISREGAURD FOR AUTHORITY- NO WANDER WHY- FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM- DER!!!!
    I MAY NOT AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT ON A NUMBER OF LEVELS BUT HE IS THE PRESIDENT.
    MY LAST THOUGHT IS NANCY STOP POUTING IT IS NOT VERY GROWNUP OR VERY LADY LIKE- YOU WOULDN'T WANT ANYONE TO THINK YOU WERE A POOR BABY, NOW WOULD YOU?
    SINCERELY A CONCERNED AMERICAN

    January 28, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  25. vince

    it does not really matter who we put in the white house. The American public will lose again anyway

    January 28, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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