March 10th, 2008
01:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: How superdelegates are making up their minds

Candidates suggest the race will continue beyond March 4th.

Candidates suggest the race will continue beyond March 4th.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s now clear that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will have enough elected or pledged delegates to guarantee the presidential nomination.

Even if you add Michigan and Florida makeover primaries to the equation, neither is going to reach the magic number required for the Democratic nomination - which would increase with the addition of both states - with strictly pledged delegates. They will require superdelegates to put them over the top.

Undecided superdelegates will have to make a critical decision. Even decided superdelegates are in play – they are, of course, also allowed to change their minds. We have seen some high-profile switches in recent weeks. They, too, could be in play.

How should the superdelegates make their decision? What factors should they consider?

Some will naturally tend to go along with the candidate who has won the most pledged delegates. Right now, that looks like Obama.

Others will go with the candidate who has won the most popular votes across the country. Right now, that’s Obama but it could become Clinton after all the upcoming ballots are counted, especially if there are makeover contests in Florida and Michigan.

Some superdelegates will be inclined to support the candidate that carried his or her congressional district or state.

Yet other super delegates will look to the specific states that the two candidates have won and ask which candidate has the best chance of beating Republican John McCain in the fall. Clinton’s advisers point out that she has won the biggest states with the most Electoral College votes, including New York and California. That, they say, would bode well for her against McCain.

I have spoken with several undecided superdelegates in recent days, and most of them tell me they will eventually pick the candidate they believe has the best chance of beating McCain and helping other Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate.

What do you think? Do you agree with them?

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: superdelegates • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Robin

    Excuse me! When the final votes in TEXAS are counted...the winner is still Hillary.

    Yes we WILL!

    March 10, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. norb

    Superdelegates, caucuses, Texes two step. It's all too weird. Have one primary, one day, whoever gets the most votes wins. End of story. Get to business and get out of the war, get the economy back on track. Put people back to work. Times are tuff, it's time to get real. This primary stuff is a waste of time and money. If you think the electoral college is so great, look what you got out of it!

    March 10, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Debra

    Mr. Blitzer can you are Mr. McCafferty.. Please answer 3 questions..

    1. Please find out from Mr. Dean or somene who is looking for options
    for Michigan and Florida (and if agreeable with the candidates) if they could add the total delegate votes with Michigan and Florida then split them in 1/2 with Obama/Clinton or 1/3 between Obama/Clinton and /McCain. Since Hucklebee and Edwards were not in running .
    Or if since Obama has the most popular vote and more delegate votes if he can get a few more than Clinton. In that way they would not have to have an election and the delegates would still be seated.

    The delegates could be seated with the same number of pledges
    they were issued?

    2. Should Clinton should be fined ? Her endorsement of McCain (saying she and McCain had expeirence and Obama only had his speech made in 2000) and she wants to consider Obama as a VP... If that were to happen and something happened to her would not Obama have to take her place the same day...whoa...

    3. Obama has won 12 states but no one really reports on the other countries that has had an impact on the election the way he has. Can you all bring us up to date on those areas as well.

    March 10, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. unhinged

    Is it me or is anyone else afraid what HRC will do if she doesn't win? She has this crazy look in her eye at times and I fear we should give her the nomination instead of watching her descend into madness. I feel like she NEEDS this nomination more than Barack and I am willing to give it to her.

    March 10, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. John

    if supper delegates decide by themslef, then what is this election for? for fun?

    March 10, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. james

    If any superdelegate supports hillary after the way she has run her campaign, they should lose their super delegate status. Hillary has committed the greatest sin a democrat can commit, she's aligned herself with the republican nominee(john mccain) over her democratic brethren. She truly does not care about the democratic party.

    March 10, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Pon Mao

    Tha’s simple, because Clinton is behind and so desperate, she tries to fool (”un-educated”) voters to believe that a vote for her is as good as a vote for Obama!

    It’s ironical that people in US always view election in a third world country is kind of corrupted or full of fraud, now this election in US is going to be the biggest soap opera for the whole world to see!

    It just going to show the world that how far Hillary Clinton will go to try to win the nomination, fooling voters by “offer” Obama the VP slot, even though she’s way behind!

    This will also show the world how corrupted the “democratic process” in US could be

    March 10, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. MistNY

    Absolutely agree with them. If the purpose of this election is to win the presidency, than that is the only way to proceed. If the purpose is to have Obama as the nominee, then that strategy won't work, will it?

    March 10, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Andria

    As Anit-Clinton supporters we will vote for whoever is running against Hillary Clinton. All of the scandals she and her husband have gotten away with are truly disgusting. You Clinton supporters don't even know the first of it.

    MUCH MORE TO COME................

    March 10, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Don, San Francisco

    The SDs definately need to keep their eyes on the prize – the White House. At the same time, however, they should think about the future of the Party and keeping the core from becoming disillusioned. The fact that Obama has greater support among younger voters is especially noteworthy. A lesson, too, should be taken from 2000 when Gore lost some of the Left (who currently lean toward Obama) by moving to the center. Nader picked up some of those votes and we know what happened then!

    March 10, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Superdelegate

    I, for one, am basing my decision on the comments written on these boards.

    March 10, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Joelle, Racine, WI

    Basically, YES!

    However, if the Teenage Preacher gets the nomination, for the first time in my life I'm voting REPUBLICAN!


    March 10, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. vic Dapson

    WOlf you are too pro Hilary Clinton.Hey, hide it a little sometimes!!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Debra

    Super Delegates should vote will of the people. Most Popular!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Billy

    Paul who posted at 2:39 PM is correct.

    However, Hillary won't withdraw beacuse she lacks character, integrity and moral ethics to the right thing...the honorable thing. She cares not for the Democratic Party or for the greater good. She would rather take everyone down with her.

    March 10, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. David

    Funny how Hillary Clinton and staunch supporter Gov. Rendell of Pennsylvania are both named at for election fraud. How can Pennsylvania's election be trusted with Govenor Rendell involved when he is being named in another electrion fraud case? Come on media, you better do your homework on this one.

    March 10, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |



    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    March 10, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Liz

    Clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of President
    Total years of experience in the public sector
    Tangible accomplishments in the public sector
    Relationships with fellow Senators
    Relationships with world leaders
    Economic awareness and solutions
    References from Senators within the GOP only
    Ability to communicate–planned and impromptu
    Ability to embrace positive change within self and others

    March 10, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Beth

    Who says the SUPERDELEGATES are the best to judge who will win the White House?

    Most of the SUPERDELEGATES are Washington politicians who are so caught up in the system they don't know North from South.

    Come on now, only the second place supporters will argue otherwise. Does that include you Wolf?

    March 10, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. k

    the popular vote leader changes if FL and MI are counted.

    March 10, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Shannon Shiflett




    March 10, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    To put it bluntly, for superdelegates to vote against the will of the people would be a kiss of death to the democrat party. This looks like politics as usual with no change and John McCain would stand to win.

    March 10, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Adrian

    Obama, I admire you for not getting dirty like the Clintons. Don't worry, we Anti-Hillary supporters got your back. We know the truth about her and her family of criminals.

    March 10, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Anthony

    They should undoubtedly go with who they feel will provide the best chance to beat John McCain in the fall. I strongly believe that Hillary will get the nomination because she will lead the popular vote. Though Obama will lead in pledged delegates, superdelegates who feel Gore was cheated out of office because he won the popular vote will have no choice but to back Clinton if she wins the popular vote.

    March 10, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Grif

    Then it's up to all the Women, in the USA to get more involve...

    Stay at home mum's, who have young children..

    Why? Bcause History is being made!!!

    March 10, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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