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. Boomer

    It's not just CNN, NBC just referred to ".....the democratic candidate and the republican candidates... so they have already decided there is one democratic candidate....." or maybe it was a slip of the tongue.

    January 28, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. GiveMeABreakInTexas

    It's me again God. Please have CNN just let Wolf Blitzer cover President Bush. And please God, don't let him moderate any more Democratic debates.

    And Dear God, please make Hillary shut up and Bill go away.

    AMEN.

    January 28, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  3. Whitney

    I thought Bush did great– good job Dubya!!

    January 28, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Jimmy, Oklahoma Feb. 5th

    If I was from FLORIDA I would be burning mad if some one tried to take away my vote. FLORIDA's VOTE counts to the rest of the world. OBAMA supports vote supression. He also has been fundraising in FLORIDA, but CNN ignores this. but the worl really knows the truth.

    Senator Clinton for President. TED KENNDY PARTY ESTABLISHMENT OBAMA HAS BEEN CAMPAIGNING AGAINST??????

    January 28, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Slvvn

    The government is set up as a business with a CEO(chief executive officer), CFO, Board of directors (congress and the house), and the works. Every time they make a decision money is spent. it is about time that we had a businessman running the largest business in the world and not a life long politician like mccain, HillBilly or Obama.. Romney is the best man for the job! Vote Romney!

    Romney's background not only make him the best candidate for a slumping economy but his international business background make him the best person for negotiating and dealing with foreign affairs! Vote Romney!

    January 28, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  6. john williams san diego, ca.

    the cameras panned on the 'ice maiden' during the speech and my first thought was 'i forgive you bubba'..

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

    A little poem- for Nancy Pelosi

    Twas the night of the State of the Union address-
    I was tired and my house was a mess'
    When I turned on the major networks- what did my eyes behold?
    Nothing other then the Speaker of the House reading a novel-
    how arrogant and bold!
    I instantly leaped from my chair and sat down at my desk-
    For I knew until I spoke my mind I would have no rest-
    SO a tap tap tap on my keyboard arose-
    And thoughtfully created this sweet little pose-
    Oh Nancy! Oh Nancy! How can it be?
    That you would behave so childishly-
    Perhaps if you are this angry and uncontrolled-
    You are ill fitted for such a prominent role'
    Well that's it- I have nothing more to say
    Only, please spear America and don't pout when you don't get your way.

    January 28, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. Mary

    George Bush failed to mention that the misery his administration has created has given birth to the messiah candidate – Obama. The one who will lead us to the mountaintop, renew our hope, unite us and bring us to the promised land. Have we sunk that deep into despair and depression? Probably. But a saviour figure is a transition, not a transformation. I never saw so many American's get religion so fast. All hail, Obama, the newly ordained preacher man. Thanks, George, here's another legacy you can claim.

    January 28, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  9. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    People are just biding their time waiting for Bush & Cheney to leave. Twelve more months will seem like twelve more years! I never voted for them. Everybody is whining now but somebody voted for these guys!.At the end of the day the Dems will regain the White House this year. Iowa will be a Blue State again in 2008. No one wants a Republican here and Senator Harkin will cruise to reelection this year. The Repubs are toast and they know it. Rush does not like McCain so alot of the right wingers will stay home. I have had enough of Republican rule. Texas can have GW back any day!

    January 28, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. xtina - chicago IL

    Big red flag that Obama doesn't believe in consumer choice, but does believe in more government control. That is how he "voted" with his body language and lack of positive reaction to President Bush on not creating another federal bureaucracy for health care. Obama says he's for "change" however we did not experience any change in his several years of "service" in Illinois. In fact, he's even more to the left than Hillary. He doesn't believe we can make our own choices, but thinks the federal government should take away our free choices.

    January 28, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. BETH

    I had a great work of poetry censored by CNN- so I ll go to FOX- maybe they will like it

    January 28, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  12. Michiel

    I've just listened to Curious George give his final (thank heaven) state of the union address. After listening to this drivel, I am putting all of my hope with the Democratic party. I am totally convinced we need a candidate that not only has a plan to repair the damage done to the country and we the people over the last 7 years, but someone with the intestinal fortitude to see that these things get done. While Senator Obama talks of hope, I have no confidence that he can deliver on his message. He has the backing of some very powerful senators, yes, but does that backing come with strings attached? Ted Kennedy is nothing if not old politics. (And as a side note, Ted Kennedy opposed a wind farm in the vicinity of the family compound because it would ruin the view, even though it would have been 5 miles away!). Hillary also has senatorial support, again without strings? I don't think so. Both of these candidates represent the same old Washington. If people in this country are really interested in change, then I would recommend you take a look at John Edwards and his plan for America. He has been out of Washington for the last 4 years, does not accept funds from lobbyists or PACs, and is not beholden to anyone, except his commitment to the American people. I believe he is the only candidate that can repair the damage done to this country and our people. Please do the research and vote for John Edwards.
    And once again, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are feartured on all of the post speech "news" programs, but John Edwards is not. So much for fair and balanced!

    January 28, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. CNN doesn't like me

    Please post my opinion- you are making me wander if what they say about the media is true.

    January 28, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Mike N Louisiana

    OMG Are You Kidding me GO Obama I'm Proud Of What Mr. Ted Kennedy And Ms. Caroline Kennedy On Endorsing Mr Barack Obama. Shame On You Hillary For Using Bill For Your Attack Dog And I Feel Sorry For All You Clinton KOOL AID DRINKERS. The Clintons Are Old News We Need To Open A New Book With Mr. Barack Obama. And So What About Tony Rezko Bill And Hillrey Are Sure Not Prefect Themsevles I Would Stay Home If Hillery Wins The Nom. And That's A Fact. Take That Too The Bank My Friend.

    January 28, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  15. WAYNE

    ASK THE CANIDATES IF THEY WOULD SUPPORT ,,,NO MATTER WHO WINS ,,,,WILL THEY SUPPORT (line item veto) so we can rid the bills on the PRESIDENT'S desk of attackments that cost us more than the main subject of the BILL.

    January 28, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Ray

    Rival Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama came within a foot of each other just before President Bush's State of the Union speech Monday night and managed not to acknowledge each other, and certainly not touch.

    Clinton, clad in scarlet, crossed the aisle between their seats on the House floor and reached out a hand to greet Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic icon whose endorsement she had courted only to lose it to Obama.

    Kennedy shook her hand while Obama, wearing a dark suit and standing between the two, turned away.

    January 28, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  17. Bill

    The Clinton News Network is now prepared to project that come November we will elect a new President of the United States. God help him. He's going to need all our support.

    January 28, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  18. frances mitchell

    My response to the New York chapter of NOW – a woman president would be absolutely wonderful. But Hillary's not the right woman.

    January 28, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. CLARK

    I did not watch "Ws" last state of the union, my stomach churns every time he opens his disgusting mouth. I stopped listening to his blather 6 years ago. It is hard to imagine how much more damage the" two decipals of the antichrist" can do with another year left in the white house. G-d have mercy on us all.

    January 28, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Don, Rochester, NY

    CNN, give her some credit! If Obama was leading in congressional support, it would be a major headline. Your journalists need a lesson in unbiased reporting. It's the same with your delegate scorecards. The FULL scorecard should be first and then see who is leading in state by state delegates from there.

    January 28, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  21. Buddy, California

    George Orwell was wrong. His book should have been called '2008".

    January 28, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. Karen

    Did you see the vote of Obama turning his back on Clinton when Kennedy wanted to shake her hand? IT IS PRICELESS!!!! I have never seen anything so funny in my life. THE GUY IS SOOOOOOO PRESIDENTIAL WHEN HE POUTES!!!!

    This is already all over the intenet.

    January 28, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. Mrs.Leonard

    Im sorry Im a 60 yr old white women who is so scared to even imagine Hillary giving the state of the union adress. This will be a cat fight all the way and back. Lets all hope that the Clintons do not get in office, for the sake of this great nation. In regards to Senate endorsmnet Obama leads in congressional support... I also wanted to add the Hillary does not have in her heart to be a uniter. How on earth shes going to move forward her agenda with republicans who can stand her.
    Lets be smart in order to win you must chip away republicnas and independende to your side, if not we will be in the same place we are today!!! Its a simple formula.. Obama does has proven to bring all parties together and this I know he can do..Look into your heart and go out and support him......

    January 28, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. joe

    i hope obama WONT be giving next years state of the union.

    anyone but obama in 2008.

    January 29, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Paul C

    I consider the most important unfinished business facing the country is getting rid of Bush.
    History will record him as the worse president in history, and I hope ever.
    I will surely miss bashing him at every opportunity and he surely deserves all the scorn and derision that the nation can bestow.

    January 29, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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