February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.
James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Richard, Ewing NJ

    Doesn't anyone know this? Hillary Clinton has to win Texas and Ohio. These are the two states which she has the best chance and have enough delegates to counter any early Obama's win.

    February 13, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Joyce

    Hillary is our only hope for the future and the best qualified candidate. I agree with the biased media reporting, which seems to favor Obama.

    Keep up the good work and the momentum will turn in your favor, Hillary. We all support you

    February 13, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. LQ, Rochester MN

    Joel – I have been voting since 1972 and I read and research everything and have watched most of the debates (I've lost count). I have always been a Clinton supporter – voted for him twice – defended him during the impeachment hearings – thought Hillary to be a hell of a woman.
    You know where she started to lose me? When I kept hearing her say "my 35 years of experience". I just didn't get it. WHAT 35 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE?? Are you counting her time as First Lady?? Her time in law school? Her time on the board of Walmart? Where are those 35 years???
    Obama actually has more elected experience than she does.
    Where was she on the FISA vote? She didn't show up – she was campaigning.
    For those of you saying Obama is just words – check out his website. His position on the issues is very clear. Obama is not just inspiring young supposedly naive kids. More and more older people sick and tired of the lies of this administration want a clean break from all this BS.
    And I think it was George who thinks we should worry because Obama did some drugs in his youth. So what!! It is over. It's very nice that you never did any drugs but there are many people who screwed up as teenagers and have gone on to live good productive lives, more than that, good lives with INTEGRITY.
    There are nurses and other health care personnel all around the country who are supporting Obama's health care plan. We are not kool-aid drinkers.

    YES WE CAN!!
    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. Randy G

    IF Obama wins the Presidential nomination, after this nasty playing the race card fight against the Clintons, launched by Obama and Oprah, You can count on ALL of Hillary's supporters from day one to vote for mc Cain. He's honest and doesn't need to play childish games to get support. Obama is NOT well liked here in Florida and will lose in November. There's just TOO many Hillary supporters that are angry at the Pro Obama Media. I can't stand 4 yrs of that! No way! Mc Cain will rack up more than 270 electoral votes VERY fast on Election night. The Dems did this to themselves. Bill Clinton, was one of the Best and most Popular Presidents, ever! Enjoy it now Obama fans becuase the way you slam Hillary is ridiculous! What ever goes around come around. Hillary is the Dems only hope of getting the White house back. that's why the republicans are voting for Obama in open primary states!

    February 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. JJ, California

    Go Hillary! You can do it!

    I'm an independent voter. Competency in a candidate is very important to me. I look at Clinton and think she's competent and experienced. I look at Obama and think "pretender." If Obama is the nominee I will probably vote for McCain or a 3rd party. The DNC is making a huge mistake if they let independent voters and Republicans decide who their nominee is. They will be seen as ignoring their base, and many will probably move to McCain.

    February 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Ohio Citizen

    The Clintons are yesterday. Obama has lifted the party with new motivated voters who will not be so if the Clintons are able to wrestle this nomination away. That will be fatal for the party as we will be trying to put new wine into old wine skins. Let's move forward with change.

    Maria Shriver said it right with the Hopi prayer.

    You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is THE HOUR. And there are things to be considered...

    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
    What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.
    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community.
    Be good to each other.
    And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

    Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, "This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and
    will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time
    in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

    We are the ones we've been waiting for.

    February 13, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. lee

    OK folks, Hillary in trouble and she need Bill to help her win this campaign. She can"t win this campaign without Bill helps and she can"t run the whitehouse without Bill help. She just not ready!

    February 13, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. Dozirulf

    THIS Ohioan is for Obama. We just had an Obama organizer meeting in downtown Youngstown (right off the PA border) that was filled to capacity.
    Hillary? See ya. Wouldn't wanna BE... ya.

    For those who think Barack's message is a slew of empty words and nothing more... You're lazy. You haven't taken the time to actually learn about him. Go to his website. Download, AND READ, his "Blueprint for Change".

    February 13, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Seattle Clinton Supporter

    Looks like we know where Obama is getting his ideas. Check out the below.

    The reality is he just doesn't have the depth and experience to be our next president. He needs more experience to know how to bring about the change he talks about. I have no doubt we will all vote for him in 8 years – I will. Just not now! I am not voting for flash or inspiration. I am voting for real solutions that will help me in my real life and Clinton is nrilliant and deeply knowldegeable on all of the important issues facing our economy, Healthcare, etc... Check out the below:

    Those covering Senator Obama’s economic speech in Wisconsin today could be forgiven if it felt like déjà vu all over again. Voters may ask themselves that if Senator Obama cannot produce his own ideas on the campaign trail, how will he solve new problems as President?

    Senator Obama’s only "new" ideas were ones that Senator Clinton proposed months ago:

    His "new" proposal for a national infrastructure bank is one that Hillary proposed August 8, 2007. ["I’m proud to co-sponsor Senator Dodd and Senator Hagel's National Infrastructure Bank Act that we just introduced to establish a federally-backed independent bank that will evaluate and finance large infrastructure projects by subsidies, loan guarantees, and bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States." Rebuilding America speech, 8/8/07; S. 1926, 8/1/07]

    His "new" proposal to create 5 million green collar jobs was proposed by Hillary on November 5, 2007. ["And three, to move us from a carbon-based economy to an efficient, green economy by unleashing a wave of private-sector innovation in clean energy and energy efficiency. I believe that will create at least five million good new jobs from clean energy over the next decade." Energy and Climate speech, 11/5/07]

    Google CEO Eric Schmidt praises Hillary’s plan to create 5 million Green Collar jobs, 11/5/07: "By emphasizing the connection between promoting a green efficient economy and job creation, Senator Clinton’s plan seeks to harness the power of technology and innovation to address one of our most pressing global challenges...The goal of producing 5 million new jobs can be achieved by private sector investment and bipartisan support for increased research and development in efficiency and clean energy."

    In addition, while Senator Obama was busy resuscitating Hillary’s policies, he failed to offer real solutions for the most pressing economic challenges that Americans families face. As Hillary explained this morning, "a plan that fails to provide universal health care, fails to address the housing crisis, and fails to immediately start creating good paying jobs in America again will not turn the economy around and provide the real relief that our people need. We need real results not more rhetoric."

    February 13, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. Patty, somewhere

    It may not have come to this if the media had decided they were not going to crown Obama first and then make the coverage fit their agenda. I am tired of hearing about his inspirational speeches and not much more. I am tired of hearing how unfair it is for him regarding Michigan and Florida. Well Florida was under the mercy of their republican state govt. and had no choice but all names were on the ballot and all things equal they should be counted. For Michigan, it was Obama's decision to ask for his name to come off the ballot. Now he can suffer the consequences for being unwise. That was a decision made by him and noone else. It was not a requirement for him to ask to be removed and Hillary decided to leave her name in deference to the voters of Michigan. So, before I finish , I am still waiting for Obama suporters to state what change they are expecting Obama to deliver. No one states what they expect of him other than the vaguery of "change"......WHAT change do you think you will get exactly?

    February 13, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. Barbara Roberts

    I feel that the news media is againest Hillary the talk like she is a loser even when she was way ahead. I think they should be fair to all. She is I feel the best of all the people running for President of our nation. She makes the most sence and Oboma doesn't have the answers most of the time. He is being bought by the rich like Bush has from the start. Look at the country now as compared to when Clinton was in office. Do you want another Bush or someone who will heal this country and doing so many of the other countries of the world. It isn't Oboma and not another person like Bush.

    February 13, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. AJ, IL

    All Democrats need to take a chill pill and remember what the end game is! To take back the White House! The problem with the Hillary campaign is that they will "say anything and do anything to win" regardless if it hurts the party in the long run. If Obama were to "fairly" lose the presidential nomination, I believe he would campaign for the Democrats to defeat the Republicans in the general election. Although, I'm not so sure about Hillary doing the same should Obama become the nominee and she is not on the ticket.

    Both Obama and Hillary have good policy plans, but I think Obama has a better chance of getting them implemented with Congress than Hillary will. The problem with all these debates is that nothing meaningfully new is offered at future debates. For instance, when Hillary talks about freezing adjustable mortgages for five years, any sensible person who follows politics knows that this will not be accomplished by arguing about it on the campaign trail. That discussion belongs in Congress.

    After March 4th, Democrats will have to come together to show solidarity to defeat the Republican nominee, John McCain.

    Obama in 08!!

    February 13, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Grace

    This is a respond to Carlos from Tampa. Im alos a hispanic from Tampa. You are saying that Hillary will get 50% of the vote. Why do you think so? I totally desagree with you. I think intellegent voters like me will look at the whole picture and issues that reflect us as a person not as group. Im sorry I think your asesment is ignorant at best. I find your comment rude and out of line. I dont have to vote for Hillary because Im hispanic. Hispanics should stop looking for hand outs maybe they think Hillary will be like Bill with hand outs that led to more distruction within our party. . I hope hispanics are smart not to just vote due to name recognition.

    February 13, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. Sundowner

    Hillary wants more free advertising, not a debate. Sorry, Hillary, but we're not all as stupid as the people that have been voting for you.

    February 13, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Ann Marie, El Paso Texas

    My fellow Senator Clinton supporters on here sure do disappoint me. How could any democrat, especially someone who is for Mrs. Clinton ever support John McCain? Do you not here when Senator Clinton herself talks about John McCain's policies? How could you even think of voting for him? Even worse how could you call yourselves real democrats?

    Go Hillary 08! – Vote Democrat even if she isn't our nominee though

    February 13, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. Jody

    I am tired of people saying that Obama is all rhetoric and doesnt talk policy. If you want to know the candidates stance on what they believe, you can easily go to their web sites and do your research on all of them. We can also decide listening by listening to the debates. It is a breath of fresh air to hear Obama inspire on the campaign trail!!! Keep going Obama!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. Roz

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH all the Obamanites Keep crawling on "THE HOPE WAGON" we will see how happy you are in four years.

    And Melissa all good fights that are worth fighting for leave you with a bruise or two and it's not over just because the media is attempting to sway the minds of the American People with their analogies. If ANYONE BELIEVES anything the media is telling them right now about the DEMS race they are just plain stupid. And actually their Bias take on things will sway the minds of alot of people who think they know what is going on because they listened to 3 sound bites on the tv.

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. JohnS

    I like this comment the BEST; it is factual!!!! So, I re-post it

    I believe the office of the President is about "Leadership," the main ingredients of which are "charisma and inspiration." You can always hire experience policy wonks to mull over the details; that's why the President has a Cabinet. Obama inspires people. His genteel nature makes him an extremely likable and respectable fellow to Ohioans by far. These are the core reasons why Ohio will go to Obama. Now, I can't speak for Texas.

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. Ike

    John Glenn endorsed Hillary, when will CNN report this? You folks were salivating when Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama, yet John Glenn, an American hero endorses Clinton and not a single word is said about it on CNN. I thought this was the most trusted name in news, or is it the most trusted name in Obama news?

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. kevin from alaska

    To the Democrats threatening to vote for McCain if "your candidate" doesn't get the nominee:

    If you truly wanted to end the War in Iraq and roll back Bush's tax cuts and make healthcare more affordable you would NOT vote for McCain.

    Hypocrites. All of you that say that.

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Keeping it real

    I have seen post from different sites where people are starting to talk about Baracks safety going into Texas. Learn from history. Barack Obama is after the kind of candidate that hardcore nuts love to hate. Plenty of them post their hate towards on this site everyday. Just keeping it real. Maybe CNN will post this. Don't know why you won't post the truth.

    February 13, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. moba10

    I just can't image Hillary screeching and yelling at me for the next four years. That's just gonna mess the my therapy time I had to had because of my mother.

    February 13, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. WHY CAN'T I LEAVE COMMENTS ON THE TICKER????

    Hey, CNN...

    Why do you guys CONTINUE to block my posts????

    The last 2 comments that I have made have been relatively benign compared to some of the other comments that you have chosen to post...

    What's up with this???? I know that my first 3 posts were pretty scathing rebukes of CNN's coverage of the Democratic Primaries, but does that mean that I'm censured from ALL BLOGGING on the Political Ticker????

    Yvette W.,; Princeton, NJ

    February 13, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. Rita

    I have no idea how a member of a black church that professes a greater allegiance to Africa than to America and that pays homage to a bigot like Louis Farrakhan can be the "one" candidate who can bring us all together. WOULD CNN ASK THAT OF THIS CANDIDATE AT NEXT WEEKS DEBATE: How will his affiliations and beliefs affect his ability to bring this country together. It seems we can ask the Republican candidates about their religious commitment, history and affiliatioin..but it is off limits for Barack Hussein Obama. Go ahead, ask Hillary Rodham Clinton the same question about her religious affiliation. She and her supporters won't care but I but her opponent and his supporters will. Also, maybe it is a good idea to start the debates with the pledge of allegiance.
    I HOPE CNN WILL ASK QUESTIONS THAT WE WANT TO HEAR ANSWERS TO. FOR EXAMPLE: What kind of Medical Insurance does Senator Obama propose for the adult population? How if there is such will it be paid for? WHAT IS SENATOR OBAMA'S plan on dealing with Pakistan....SPECIFICALLY....WHAT DOES HE PROPOSE?
    THANKS CNN...I APPRECIATE YOU STEPPING UP AND ASKING REAL QUESTIONS NEXT THURSDAY....IT IS TIME! WE NEED ANSWERS!
    Rita in Idaho

    February 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. Jake

    Is it just me...or does James Carville look like an alien :-)...in more ways that one

    February 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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