April 3rd, 2008
04:32 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton backers: She must win popular vote

 Corzine and Murtha are supporters of Clinton.
Corzine and Murtha are supporters of Clinton.

(CNN) - Two prominent supporters of Hillary Clinton suggested Thursday the New York senator needs to best rival Barack Obama in the total popular vote to have any chance at winning her party's presidential nomination.

In separate media interviews, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha both indicated they believed Clinton will be unable to convince enough superdelegates to support her if she finishes second to Obama in both the pledged delegate count and the popular vote.

Speaking on CNBC, Corzine suggested it won't be enough for Clinton to argue she deserves the nomination because she has won more crucial swing states than Obama - a talking point the senator's campaign has long argued.

"I think it would be a very hard argument to make," Corzine said of that position. "I'm a very aggressive supporter of Senator Clinton, but I think you need at least a popular vote."

Corzine also suggested he himself may cast his superdelegate vote for Obama should Clinton fail to win the popular vote, though the New Jersey governor insisted he thought Clinton would come out on top in that count if the Florida and Michigan contests were counted.

Murtha echoed Corzine's sentiments in an interview later Thursday, saying, "Clinton has to win Pennsylvania…She has to be ahead in the popular vote to have any chance at all of getting this nomination."

Clinton is heavily favored to win in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, though recent polls suggest Obama may be narrowing the gap there.

Most estimates currently have Obama leading Clinton by approximately 700,000 votes in the popular vote. If the results of Michigan and Florida — the two states that were penalized for moving up its primary — are factored in, the gap is approximately half that.

Re-vote efforts in both states failed last month and it appears highly unlikely the results of either of the earlier contests will stand, meaning Clinton will need to achieve decisive wins in several of the 10 remaining primary contest to have a chance at overtaking Obama in the popular vote count.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (390 Responses)
  1. michael in MO

    Until the issue of Michigan and Florida is resolved, this campaign is alive and well, regardless of outcome. The gaul of Dean and the DNC to disenfranchise millions in these 2 States! A slap on the wrists over a primary calendar debate, and two of the most influencial States in the Union are effectively taken out of the equation? This should be deemed not only illegal and unconstitutional, but grounds for Dean's immediate dismissal. The argument that candidates knew the situation going into primary season is irrelevant – THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE CANDIDATES. IT IS ABOUT MUTING THE VOICES AND RIGHTS OF AMERICAN VOTERS IN THESE TWO STATES! Until their voices are counted, the democratic candidate race is effectively null and void. I am independent, but Hillary Clinton is spot-on with the her intention to pursue this to Colorado if necessary until the issue of Michigan and Florida is resolved. Apparently the only candidate willing to support the idea.

    April 3, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Valdez

    It's good to see that common sense is starting to take hold among the Democratic Party elders. Enough with the emotional attachments. Hillary has ran a sub-standard campaign and deserves to remain in the U.S. senate as a result.

    April 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Obama08

    Jimmy Carter to endose Obama. Great Job, Carter!

    April 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. An Agnostic Democrat

    She must stop lyin' , cheatin' and stealin', too! Oh that's right, she's genetically predisposed to it! It's just comes so naturally ... it's the only authentic thing about her.

    April 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Ticker Junkie

    CNN,

    While Jon Corzine was once a senator from NJ, I think it is more accurate to describe him as the current governor of that state.

    That said, I think that both he and Jack Murtha make a very reasonable argument. It's good to see that not all of Hillary's supporters are raging lunatics.

    April 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Dr. Ed. Proctor

    . . . ."but I think you need at least the popular vote". Corzine, you a trip.

    YES WE CAN.
    Obama 08.

    April 3, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Justin

    Are you kidding me?! How on earth can you factor in either state? Obama didn't campaign in either state and wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.

    I have an idea:

    Let's take a state, any state, let's say California for this argument, take Hillary off the ballot there. Now, let's see what the popular vote totals are. According to the Clinton surrogates, this is completely reasonable logic...what a joke!

    April 3, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. CANDY

    It is about time somebody woke up at 3am to tell Hillary she is not doing the right thing. At least not an Obama supporter this time but a Clinton supporter. Good job .

    April 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Jeff

    well, thats a fair and honest appraisal of the situation from these two. why don't we just leave it at that.

    April 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Ed

    How does an unpopular candidate win the popular vote?

    I suggest she change her name to Mama of Obama Clinton

    April 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. ben szczurek

    Corzine is the Governor of NJ not a Senator (anymore). I'm not even from NJ and I know that.

    April 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Debbie

    I am happy to see that the Delegates are not willing to loose the Presidency to spite Obama. Loyalty should be to the party and voters not to the Clintons.

    April 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Tony

    It should be totally based on the popular vote as should the general election. Florida and Michigan should be allowed to
    revote as it is wrong of the DNC to deny any citizen's vote to
    be counted. Obama needs to stand up and request a revote
    or he may simply steel this election. Not much to be proud of
    there.

    April 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. SB

    The popular vote has been tainted by the Rush Limbaugh efforts. More than 250,000 votes were cast in Texas, Ohio and Mississippi as part of the "Operation Chaos" effort.

    The popular vote is not a valid measure at this point.

    April 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Lynn - Florida

    Popular vote; clearly an apples to oranges comparison exists due to the primary versus caucus process used to seat delegates. For instance; Obama won Washington and captured 53 or 68% of the delegates with a popular vote margin of 3 thousand votes, whereas Clinton won 31 or 55% of Arizona’s delegates with a voter margin of 33 thousand. Does this mean that Obama’s 78 two state delegate count compared to Clintons 56 is trumped by her 30 thousand vote lead? With Obama’s 308 to 167 caucus delegate advantage, this example is not an anomaly but the rule. Obama’s 1% delegate lead under the primary format is supported by popular vote advantage of 2%, but the popular vote advantage of 30% in the caucus format almost disappears when added to the larger primary vote tally. The caucus format should not be dismissed or distorted in the middle of the process. Please stop mixing apples (1 primary delegate on average = approximately 11,300 votes) and oranges (1 caucus delegate on average = approximately 1,200 votes).

    April 3, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. sam

    That's cool!!! but she is a fighter, and let her fight!!!! You would be proud if she is our next president, and you will see Democrat loose the general Election if Obama is a democratic candidate. I am personally voting for McCain if it comes between McCain and Obama, atleast I know McCain loves my county (his country)

    April 3, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Rom

    Yes according to the web site RealClearPolitics Obama is 717,086 votes
    ahead but without Iowa, Washington and Maine that he has won.When you add those 3 states it's approximately 827,308 votes ahead
    Good luck Hillary
    It's not a thin challenge

    April 3, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. pete

    CNN writers need to check their facts.

    Jon Corzine holds the position of Governor of New Jersey, he is not a senator, he is a former senator and now governor.

    April 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. debra

    To be fair, maybe we should eliminate two of the states that Obama won in also. This would give a clearer picture of the popular vote.

    April 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. McCain Clinton 08

    What? Why would the democrats want to be democratic about electing their nominee? Screw the voters, give us Clinton!
    Hilldog!!

    April 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WOW NELIE, AS WE USED SO SAY IN THE OLD DAYS.

    THESE TWO JUST GAVE HER THE NEWS. AS THEY SAY THESE DAYS,

    HOW COOL IS THAT.

    April 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Lanny Davis

    They must be worming their way out of their Hillary endorsement since the goal line is delegate count, no matter how Hillary tries to make people think otherwise.

    April 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. NJ resident

    Umm...Corzine is New Jersey's Governor not a Senator.

    April 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. WIll

    "Corzine also suggested he himself may cast his superdelegate vote for Obama should Clinton fail to win the popular vote, though the New Jersey senator insisted he thought Clinton would come out on top in that count if the Florida and Michigan contests were counted."

    This hurts.

    April 3, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Checkmate

    Jon Corzine is the Govenor of New Jersey not the Senator, get it right CNN.

    April 3, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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