April 7th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Is Clinton ahead in the only count that matters?

The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.
The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In recent days, Hillary Clinton supporters have been pushing this notion that the Democratic presidential candidate who has won the states with the most Electoral College votes should get the party’s super delegates and the party’s eventual nomination. We’ve heard it from Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Democratic Governor Ed Rendell - among many others.

They make this argument because Barack Obama remains the leader so far in pledged delegates, the popular vote and the most states won.

Clinton’s supporters note that Obama may have won more states - 27 to 14, excluding both Michigan and Florida whose delegates so far are not being counted because those states moved up their primaries against Democratic party rules. But they argue that her 14 states have a total of 219 Electoral College votes and his 27 states have 202 - and insist that makes her more likely to win the general election in November.

Among the big states she has won are New York and California.

Obama supporters argue that any Democrat likely will capture those states if recent presidential elections are a model. That may be true but John McCain and his supporters are arguing that he might actually have a chance in California given his supposed “maverick” reputation and the strong support of the state’s popular Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Clinton supporters also argue that she has a better chance of beating McCain in swing states like Florida and Ohio - which they say Democrats would need to win in November. They say it’s all about the Electoral College - not the popular vote - as was made clear in 2000, when Al Gore won hundreds of thousands of more votes than winner George Bush.

It’s a controversial point that the Clinton camp makes.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. Rob Ceres

    The many new voters who came out to support Barack Obama are not going to go for this argument. If this becomes the reasoning behind selecting Hillary Clinton, most if all of these voters will, at best, melt away. More likely, they will migrate to John McCain. The loss of these new and very energetic voters would be the worst thing to happen to the Democratic Party ever. Super delegates up for reelection should note how much their campaigns will be helped when (but only if) these new Democratic voters show up and also vote for them..

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Crystal Mitchell

    Clinton camps sounds desperate, sounds like they are trying to cover something here. Last week, she was trying to go all the way, now today she's trying a new stratgey. What are they trying to beat. Something big is about to hit for her camp and she's trying to brace herself. That's why she's say there are more twists and turns to come. This Penn thing is just the tip of a iceberg. Don't be fooled. If she could win they would have pushed for this long ago. This is a smoke screen. All along it was the superdelegates now that doesn't count it's the electoral college votes, it's whatever it takes. Whatever story fits the bill today. Tomorrow we will be back to popular votes. If Obama was in this same state, they would have forced him out. No questions asked. We as the American people would have had to accept it. The Clintons are trying to take this Primary the same way Bush took the Presidency from Kerry. But we as the American people can stand up and say no more. Clinton has proved that she can't run a campaign without lies, cheating, stealing, drama and under handed double dealing. This is why we are in the position that we are in now allowing these politians to do whatever they want . Why do you think they want it so bad ? Not for you and I, I would say for another 109 million. STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. arizona gal

    It is a ridiculous argument that will not work with all the regular, non-super delegate people, voters. Michigan and Florida should stop whining since they caused their problems themselves. If Obama has the delegate count and popular vote he should be the nominee. Period.

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. jrzshor

    Gore was popular but still lost (he did win lots of other prizes though) So, point well taken.

    Too bad that no one cares. They have declared a winner and they are sticking to him!

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Sherwin

    If we're making such technical, selective-reasoning arguments, then here are two rebuttals:

    (A) Most of the big states that Clinton won were won by less than 5% of the state's popular vote, so it's not like the Democratic party will be losing any ground in those states if Obama is the candidate come November.

    (B) TECHNICALLY, CLINTON LOST TEXAS, so her data is wrong.

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. SamofCarolina

    Many people are reading this article going and thinking..."This makes no sense, everyone knows Obama will when those big states, why is CNN writing this?"

    Well, remember, CNN is here to keep you watching, and the longer this drags out, the better.

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. clinton muehlenbrock

    big bunch of bull, those speculations are not democratic at all. You will lose a whole generation of voters if you try to steal the nomination clinton

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Clintonite

    Face it OBAMA LOST SOULS...You cannot win the election..

    You have no star power

    Hillary 08!

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. ben

    i am a neutral democrat and i am afraid its true BARACK OBAMA has some serious problem coz he is unable to win a big state so i do feel it would be better for our chances that we nominate hillary clinton may be she is not likeable but she is the strongest candidate and she'll make a good president and i dont care abt her personal life coz i am in no lovefest with her!!

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Lana

    Oh puleeze....why don't we call the Psychic Friends hotline also, especially if the Electoral College "arguement" doesn't pan out.

    Sheesh!

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Roy

    The General Election is all that matters here! We have to win the White House! The Obama supporter have to see this eventually! Hillary is the only Candidate the Democrates have who can beet McCain! Obama should realy think about that dream ticket or he may loose this thing for the Democrates!

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Mary56

    Are they going to come up with a new plan everyday. Why not just follow the rules? I guess if they did follow the rules we would not still be talking about Florida and Michigan everyday . The Clintons will do anything to win even if they are the only two left standing. They do not care about the party or this country. I can't believe how much I supported them in the past.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Super delegates need to think hard about who willl win the general election. Will Obama win some of those big states in the general election like New York and California, sure, but he loses in key swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida in matchups with McCain. His camp says that's true but there are states that are leaning toward Democrats this season that didn't in the past and if he wins those states he won't need those traditional swing states.

    I say Obama's claims about a new map of swing states is conjecture. Traditional swing states are proven and if Hillary can win them we know she'll beat McCain vs. Obama's supposed swing state map, which may or may not happen. I think the choice is clear: If you want a winner in November you super delegates should get behind Hillary.

    There's something else that isn't getting a lot of attention and that's the popular vote. If Hillary wins the popular vote, and that includes Florida and Michigan, why should super delegates vote for Obama? The DNC can decide what to do about seating Florida and Michigan delegates but there's no disputing that those people went out to vote and they voted resoundingly for Hillary. They're live people so I don't see why their votes shouldn't count. Republicans win votes by supressing votes not democrats.

    If Obama wins by a few delegates and gets the nomination because Florida and Michigan don't count he'll have literally stollen the election and won it by making sure those voters aren't heard. Then for sure he'll lose those states and probablly more in the general election for his actions.

    Think about it: if Dean wants to come up with a resolution, Clinton wants a resolution, Florida and Michigan want a resolution, so why don't we have one? One answer: Sen. Obama.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. dorothy

    Hillary Clinton, no she is not ahead with the only States that count. and Florida, and Michigan votes do not count, because they were in Violated the Rules, and Barack Obama, was not on the Ballot in Michigan. The Voters are still want a President that has Character, the ability to bring ALL Races, Economical background Together for Change in This FAILED NATION! We want Honesty and Transparency!

    Dorothy
    OK
    ,

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. michael, ny

    Really?

    Why dont you say this: "Obama has to win by the standard I set. Unfortunately for him, I want to win too. So, no matter the number of ways he wins by my standards, I wil always pull another standard that he has not won by and will not. "

    It is sad, racism is still alive in this country. I dont think Obama would have to go through all these redefining of the rules if he were white. But again, like in Business, the black guy has to always work harder to get the same treatment. It is heart breaking to say the least.

    Fortunately, the new generation gives me hope.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Nunya

    LOL. Most amusing, most amusing.

    We can declare victory if we win on Super Tuesday...

    Hmm... the real test will be winning Ohio and Texas...

    Hmm... the person with the most votes should win...

    Wait... the person with the biggest states should win...

    Yea, I've got it! The person winning the states with the most electoral votes should win! Yea, that's the ticket!

    They really don't need to go through such pathetic contortions.

    The bulk of the superdelegates are just waiting for them to have enough success that they have a shred of justification for declaring their support for her and don't alienate large numbers of the supporters of the person who seems to be favored by more of the populace.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. becky

    If she can not come in one door she will make up another...

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. maya

    Bottomline – untill Florida and Michigan count, all estimates are out the window because nothing is valid. Superdelegates should vote as if Florida and Michigan were counted and select Hillary Clinton.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Sukebe

    What are the rules to win the nomination. That should be deciding factor instead of differing ideas. Just follow whatever rules are in place.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Chriss Miller

    Electors are not elected until the general election. Primaries are indicative of nothing related to that.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Jeri from Hummelstown PA

    She keeps trying to change the rules midgame. No, the electoral college doesn't matter at this point. If every vote counts, why does she keep trying to ignore all the states, and their votes, that Obama has won by some wild reason or another? And her claim that pledged delegates can switch is another wild tale. While it may technically be true, if she were to win the nomination by twisting arms of pledged delegates who were pledged to Obama, won by votes cast for Obama, those voters who had their delegate stolen would vote for McCain in a heartbeat. Better to have a republican than a thief!

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. K. Jacobs

    Wolf, . Hillary is behind in the Delegate Count, Popular vote, and number
    of states won. Ed Rendell and other Clinton supporter's twisted logic on the vote counting will not change that fact.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. James M.

    In the Primary nomination season, it is all about the delegates. In the general election, it is all about the electoral college. These are separate elections with completely isolated terms from one another. Therefore, arguing Hillary's abilities to win the general election based upon results on the primaries and caucuses is not relevant. Pro Hillary supporters need to get a grasp of reality and just admit that she lost...fair and square. But hey, let her keep running...let her keep spending all of that money for an election she simply cannot and should not win.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. John Mencias

    There is an easy way to judge this. What was Clinton's camp saying one month ago, two months ago, 6 months ago, 12 months ago?

    There is another point to be made. If at the beginning of it all, Obama and the others were told that the nominee would be determined by who won the most electoral college votes, don't you think he would have ran a different campaign strategy?

    You cannot change the rules in the middle of the game; because then someone can well argue as follows: the nominee should be who has the least number of delegates, the least number of popular votes and the least number of electoral college votes. what could justify this citerion? this is the person who democrats prefer least and hence the one that republicans have a better chance of liking. sounds stupid? well that's what happens when you can make up the rules to suit yourself.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Let's get it right

    Wolfe,
    Is this your 'not so subtle" way of continuing to promote the false hope that Hillary will win? Counting electoral college votes at this point makes absolutely no sense....much like most of your commentary.

    April 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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