April 24th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Crunch time for superdelegates

Many superdelegates are still torn between the two White House hopefuls.

Many superdelegates are still torn between the two White House hopefuls.

(CNN) - For the few hundred still undecided superdelegates who almost certainly will decide the Democratic presidential nominee, there are two key questions they must answer: who will be the better President of the United States, and who will be the stronger candidate against John McCain.

On the first question, that will come to the superdelegates going over the policy positions, experience, personality, and background of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the end, that decision will probably come down to their gut instincts – who they feel more comfortable with and like more.

On the second question, they will be able to look at some hard numbers. Who has the most pledged delegates? Who has won the most states? Who has won the most important Electoral College battleground states? Who has won the most popular votes? How, if at all, do you weigh in the disputed primaries in Michigan and Florida, both of which Democrats will desperately seek to win in November?

“This is for me a no-brainer,” Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Clinton supporter, is quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying. “If we’re going to plan to win in November, we need to choose the candidate that has the greatest strength in the states that are necessary to get us to the electoral votes we need. I hope the super delegates are paying attention.” He was specifically referring to his state of Ohio and to Pennsylvania, both of which Clinton won by about 10 percent. She won by more than 200,000 votes in each of those states.

But Oklahoma’s Democratic governor, Brad Henry, an Obama supporter, sees it differently. He told The Journal that Obama “represents the future versus the past, the new way versus the old way.” As a result, he says Obama has brought in millions of new voters, especially younger people and African-Americans. Like other Obama supporters, he says Obama can be competitive in several states where Democrats have not always done well, including Virginia and Missouri, both of which he won. In other words, they insist, Obama will win the traditionally Democratic states but will also bring some traditionally Republican states into the mix.

We shall see. These are tough decisions for the superdelegates.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Florida For Obama

    I wish they'd just VOTE already. Put us out of our misery....PLEASE

    April 24, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Uhm, Wolf, it's been crunch time for the superdelegates for about 6 weeks now.

    They're not budging. It's too politically risky to stand for something or someone.

    ... even if it means the Democratic party being torn apart...

    April 24, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Matt

    Hillary, for God's sake!!! Drop out!!! You have officially lost your mind claiming the popular vote!!! Watch out for that sniper fire!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Sara from Arizona

    Please end this, vote Obama 08'

    April 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Steven

    OBAMA is a joke.

    God help America!

    April 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Gobsmacked

    Tough or not I wish they would just have a backbone, make up their minds and decide NOW!

    April 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Mike

    I have gathered some numbers based on the democratic primary to show what will happen in November if Obama is the nominee.

    The democratic primary is different as it shares delegates based on percentage but in the general election it is winner takes all in each state. Each state won is that many delegates to winning the overall count. So if we treat the democratic primary just like the general election this is what we are looking at against McCain.

    I have taken each state that has won by Obama or Clinton and given all the delegates of that state to the majority winner. I even gave Obama all the upcoming states and made him the winner giving him the delegates from them. I did not include Florida or Michigan to avoid any argument. This includes Guam and others that are counted in the democratic primary. This is only actually won states and future states given to Obama:

    Obama won 37 "states"
    Hillary won 17 "states"

    However in a general election setting:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 1750

    If you count Florida and Michigan which Hillary won and polls show that even if Obama campaigned in those states Hillary would have won them at that time:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 2118

    If we gave Florida to Obama and Michigan to Hillary as polls suggest a primary today would give them:

    Obama delegate count: 1692
    Hillary delegate count: 1907

    The bottom line is that Hillary has won in a general election model based on primaries of the democratic party and even giving Obama all the next primary states coming up. The reason Hillary won is she won all the big states practically? These states are historically won by the Republican party as to why Bush beat Kerry in 2004. Therefore if Obama cannot win the big states that Republicans tend to win he has no chance against McCain in the general election. Hillary has the only chance of being a democratic president in 2008.

    So do you want a Republican in office or do you want a Democrat? The choice is clear who is more electable in November.

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. awlswll

    The Electoral College Map is what the Superdelegates should be looking at....When you look at all the big electoral college states Clinton is the candidate who won these states and will win them against McCain in November. So if the DNC want's to win in November, they better go w/Clinton. Obama would lose and lose badly against McCain in these states.

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. tiredofthecrap

    Here is a question for the Hill supporters.....

    Why are you speaking out of both sides of your mouths? On one hand you are saying she should continue to the convention and let everyone down to WV and PR vote and at the same time asking why can't Sen. Obama close the deal.....which is it? I guess whatever is CONvenient huh

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Frank, Missouri

    I am tired of hearing the same stuff over and over again ... make a decision already – or just concede the general election to the Republicans.

    McCain had a broken base and he is fixing it while we had an overpowering base and are nibbeling it to pieces day by day. It's almost as if the Democrats as a party don't WANT to win.

    Plus, as often as I already have contributed to the Obama campaign I might as well have had a subscription 🙂

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Bertha Vanation

    It sounds to me like a contest of "the dream" versus "the reality".

    April 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Brian

    With the contoversary surroing Mr. Obama. Why is there little attention being put toward the upcoming Fraud trial involving both Clinton's?

    I beleive we have every right to be concerned with a Presidential nominee that has a FRAUD lawsuit about to start during the primaries.


    April 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Alonzo Demetrius

    So sad, what the DNC has done to the Democrat party just trying to bring "change" and "hope" to the process... So, now, which either way the superdelegates go, they will split the party for the Nov election. Gee, maybe those old-timers had it right after all???? Can it be they were smarter than the "super-smart, elitist" neoDems of today????

    April 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Andrew Goff

    Superdelegates are clamoring to Barack Obama so they can sleep at night knowing they haven't sold their souls.

    April 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Bell the Superdelegate

    You cannot veto the will of the people... it would destroy the Deomcratic party.

    April 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Beca

    As much as I don't like to see them together, because I think Hillary is better prepare for the job,I think they need to kiss, make up, and get together to get the Republicans out of the WH period!

    April 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Patricia, Redding

    Sorry Wolf, the only question they have to ask themselves is:

    Who did "We The People" vote for?

    April 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Hong

    Ideally all superdelegates should only consider who can bring real good changes, no beautiful words please, to this country.

    April 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. kentucky

    The biggest story of the century is now on U Tube. Its the documentary on Hillary Clinton. The Hilary Movie is going to be the end of this Primary election. I hope the CNN picks up on this soon as well as the rest of the net works. It makes me nauseous that some privileged individuals can get away with anything. Forget the Super delegates watch what the Republicans do with this.

    April 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Tony in PA


    I truly don't know what the big uproar is about over Hillary's statement that most people who voted, voted for her. Like it or not, it is a very true statement. Of course the delegates do not count in either Michigan or Florida but that is not what she is saying. She is saying that those who did vote, most voted for her and like it or not come November, those Michigan and Florida votes will most likely go to McCain or hmmmm what is that fellows name who caused the Democrats heartache elections past......Nader??

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Richard Wright

    Operation Chaos marches on......

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Jenna, NY

    They will make a decision soon in Obama's favor.

    We will have Obama close the Deal REAL soon.

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. bob in L.A.

    I hope any Superdelegate making his or her mind up keep in mind the caucus process is not a good indicator of how people in the party truly feel. Too few people actually attend caucuses. If there was ever a doubt of this , just look at Texas. Clinton easily beat Obama in primary balloting where millions of ballots were cast, but when the cuacuses took place, with people that had already cast a ballot ,the number was neary 90% fewer poeple and the numbers were overwhelmingly for Obama. If you had to use either a a poll sampling of Texas, which do you think is a more accurate indictator – 10's of thousands or millions.

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Stacy Clarks, TX


    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. mama4obama

    I think that what is important here is that not only can Obama win more states and bring in new players to the political game....he can do it with integrity.

    We know we cannot say that for Clinton.

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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