February 7th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama team lowers expectations for Potomac Primary

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, engaged in some serious expectations-lowering heading into next Tuesday’s "Potomac Primary," made up of contests in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

“You’re not going to see any of these states go 70-30 to anybody,” he said on a Thursday conference call with reporters.

Obama is expected to do well in those contests, all of which feature sizeable Obama-friendly demographics: African-American voters and well-educated, higher-income Democrats.

Still, several Hillary Clinton advisers told the Washington Post today that they will contest Virginia in particular, targeting women as well as working class white voters in the southwestern part of the state.

Plouffe said the Clinton campaign was “telegraphing” their Virginia strategy in the article and declared Virginia a “must-win” for Hillary Clinton, although many observers might say the same thing for Obama.

A campaign spreadsheet “inadvertently” leaked to the media yesterday showed the Obama campaign predicted a 50-48 victory over Clinton in the state on Tuesday.

Obama has several prominent endorsements in Virginia, including Gov. Tim Kaine and two Democratic congressmen. Virginia is also a purple-trending state – the kind of contest Obama hopes to win to prove he can re-shuffle the electoral map in November.

Plouffe said next Tuesday will be a “very big delegate day” (there are 168 pledged delegates at stake, divided proportionally) and that he expects Obama to add on to what he said was currently a 28-delegate lead over Clinton.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Anon

    Just do you thing David. They always want to raise the expectations, that way if Obama wins by 2, they say they spin it into a victory. Keep counting delegates and let them spin. How about super Tuesday being designed Mcauliffe then DNC chairman and now Clinton campaign manager to deliver a knock out blow. Guess what we are still standing.
    Go Obama

    February 7, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Truth

    That right no Latino's or Asian to save you in VA, NC, MD or DC Hillary

    February 7, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Ethel P Lewis

    I support Hillary Clinton.

    However: I have a question for anyone: The bumb on McCain's face has gotten bigger doesn't he have to confront this. It could make a big difference depending what it is. Waiting to hear.

    February 7, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Karen

    I urge Hilary's campaigne not to sleep on Maryland, you have a great deal of supporters, don't listen to the polls. I work with a cross section of individuals and there are 180 employees in my division and out of all of those employees, blacks, whites, middle income, VP's your support is somewhere around 130, there are Hilary signs up in my neighborhood of Bowie, MD, which is in PG County, so Hilary is very competitive in these areas. Please put some effort into Maryland, we are working hard on your behalf.

    February 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Barb

    You say that several Hillary advisers told the Washington Post-targeting women. Every time I hear that all I can think of is the Pide Piper-he toots his horn and the kids line up behind him. They do not know why they just do. Also reminds me of the lemings following the leader and falling off the cliffs in Ireland–they do not know why they just do.

    What a disrepectful insuation to make-women must line up behind a woman. They do not know why they just do. We do have a brain and most of us are capable of thinking for ourselves. Will admit that there are a few of us that you can put a ring in our nose, just pull on it and we will fall into line like meek little sheep.

    February 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Linda

    How are they getting away with not including Michigan and Florida??? This is cheating Floridians and Michigan of their right to vote. Don't let them get away with this Florida and Michigan. I urge to to fight for your rights!

    February 7, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Sukie

    Voting for Obama?

    What you will get:

    A speaker qualified to be a preacher–maybe as famous as Billy Graham

    A good man who, some years from now, could finally qualify from his experience gained as a senator in Congress to be a presidential candidate

    A financial whiz who can come up with money overnight when it is needed; he would make a great financial advisor or accountant

    A possible running mate for the future President of the United States –


    February 7, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Ray - NJ

    28 Delegates Lead? How? Oh Ya, the ones in your head!!

    February 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. hooho

    CNN estimated Ms. Clinton have got more delegates from Super Tuesday. That seems slap Plouffe's so called 28-delegate lead.

    CNN also reported she got enough money for her campaign. Congradulation!

    February 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Obama08

    "Obama to add on to what he said was currently a 28-delegate lead over Clinton." Someone tell me where he has the lead?????

    February 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. SecondSage

    Virginia is a toss but Maryland and D.C. is an Obama Rout.

    Clinton should take Quantico and Alexandria will go 50-50. Richmond and Petersburg is Obama's. Gonna be a good race.

    February 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Don, Rochester, NY

    Getting more realistic now. I was starting to wonder how he'd handle the eventual let down having gotten his hopes so high.

    And what lead? CNN: Clinton-1,033; Obama-937 Hmmm...she's nearly 100 ahead.

    February 7, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. john

    I wonder if Senator Obama will be wearing his American flag lapel pin while campaigning in our nation's capital and with so many historical sites in Maryland and Virginia, all of them representing the struggle for freedom and democracy. Oh that's right, he won't wear one out of protest because he didn't agree with something that our government did. And this is our future commander-in-chief?

    February 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. joe

    28 delegate lead....duh?

    right now clinton is still leading

    February 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. shirley

    Well -educated for for obama??????????? Who are you trying to kid??

    February 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    For Obama supporters are African-American voters,well-educated, upper income democrates. I consider myself a intelligent, upper income democrat and I am voting for Hillary. Sorry can't claim black.

    February 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. gerry

    The Potomac voters must send a strong message to Hillary Clinton that they are moving into the future with Obama.

    This man will show the world how to run a truly consultative democracy in the 21st century.We must not deprive him and ourselves of this glorious oppportunity.

    And remember, if Hillary Clinton is the candidate, Mc Cain and the Republicans get a bounce.The Democratic Party faithful would be foolsih to risk losing the White House for another four years.


    February 7, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Carl

    This is just stupid. Of course he isn't going to win them 70/30. The polls show Virginia 55/43. Maryland 60/40. DC 65/34. What are they talking about? There isn't one single poll that is expecting him to go 70/30. So why do they say something so stupid.

    February 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Go for the Win!

    I hope people in these states understand that a vote for Senator Obama may well loose the White House. For the states that he took on Super Tuesday, there were red states that are 'not' on the road to the White House. The states that Senator Clinton won are the states on the road to the White House. Big difference and a very important one.

    February 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Karen

    An accidental release? They are trying to play down expectations again. What a phony.

    February 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. Impartial

    Obama can't win the campaign without getting Oprah Winfrey. That's sad.

    February 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. Impartial

    Barack Obama can't win without Oprah Winfrey. Just get her on the campaign trail with him.

    February 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. Proud Californian

    28-delegate lead over Clinton???? The last time I saw, Hillary is ahead by 96 delegates!!! CNN, start telling the truth !!!

    February 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Go Obama, you're simply the best. Your wise judgement of the problems we as a nation face is more than money can buy. Obama, you are simply the best.

    February 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. kay

    Just more lies and gangster ways from the Obama camp... Clinton has 1033 delegates Obama has 937.

    February 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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