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)

    I support the OHIO Governors opinion, only Hillary could win big states to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency. If Obama is the nominee Democrats will loose the election --IF this becomes true please e mail me on 11/05/08.

    April 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Mary from Oregon

    Although I support Obama, I believe it is over for him. He is a wonderful candidate, a fresh voice and a uniter. The reason Barack lost those 200,000 PA voters to Clinton is fear. They are afraid because the clips they heard from Jeremiah Wright established a deep discomfort and they were no longer sure they knew who Obama was. So, although I don't think the superdelegates are as afraid of Obama as the voters are, I think they will back Clinton. The campaign and debates will be predictable, boring, politics as usual.

    April 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Neither! They are both Lawyers who have a European Style Socialist Agenda

    April 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. mitch from ark.

    i hope the 'supers' don't destroy our only hope,in a long time, to change this grid-locked nation.unite behind obama!

    April 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. tomdavie

    Clinton is the stronger nominee. A month ago, with his teflon coating, Obama was the stronger nominee. But now he is a deeply flawed candidate.

    However, so much MEDIA POUNDING has been made of Obama being african american, and new voters (like they all love obama -not clinton) that I think they WANT to find an exuse to give it to Obama without insulting the intelligence of the core base of the party, and the mainstream democratic voters.

    My bet is they will TAP DANCE their reasoning they must nominate Obama no matter what, and then they will PAY FOR IT dearly when he loses the election.

    April 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Sick & Tired


    I hate to inform you, but we are not in a general election this is the primary election. Wishful thinking, but your candidate is behind! Get a clue!

    April 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. ron


    Changing the rules again!

    So now you say to disinfranchise caucus states, that eactly what you mean to suggest. The system was set in place agreed to and now lets cahnge it as we go. It does not work taht way and you and all the other Clinton supporters know it.

    You are doing exactly waht she is doing, these caucus states do not matter! Does she want to be the president of onlythe big states?

    If you have a problem with the process – go right ahead and get it changed after the election.

    April 24, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Paul

    Mr. Wright's mentee Obama is no longer electable. Obama has no right to disenfranchise the voters from FLA and Michigan.

    The DNC and superdelegates know that Obama cannot reach to the base of this party while Hillary has.

    Hillary is ahead in the popular vote by 100,000

    Vote democrat – Vote for Hillary

    Yes she will!!!

    April 24, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. David, New Castle. PA

    Or the Super Delegates could schlep the nomination away from Barrack Obama who will have won it fair and square playing by the party rules. They could award it to the Queen of Entitlement and her supporters would be happy. Blacks and young people who have joined for the first time would justifiably take to the streets and abandon the Democratic Party. The party's better educated members would also leave it as the demographics show they go for Obama too. Do you Clinton supporters really want that to happen just because you want your girl to win so badly? The predictions are that many of you say you will not vote for Obama when he beats her out of this, but would go for McCain instead. That is really sad and indicates you have darker reasons for supporting her than her policies which are nearly identical to his. Do the math; she is already over.

    April 24, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Al

    How do you avoid losing Florida and Michigan in the General Election if you ignore their vote? Sen. Obama demonstrated a lack of respect for these two States when he didn't allow his name to stand. He and Howard Dean simply wrote them off. In retrospect, a bad decision, as Sen. Obama's decision may harm the Democrats in the General Election and his decision has certainly made the work of the Super delegates very difficult. Sen. Clinton made the right choice by allowing her name to stand in these two States. Her decision demonstrates that these two States are important to her even if Howard Dean and Obama wrote them off. Howard Dean's ego created this problem.

    April 24, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Docb

    The clinton spin is more than lies- it is destructive to the party and her image.
    Talk about 'bitter and angry' did everyone catch Carville on LKing... He could not find his VOICE!!!!!
    Judy Judy–You have obviously never seen Obama in the flesh-He is so comfortable with who he is that he does NOT HAVE TO LIE EVERY OTHER DAY TO BRING THOUSANDS TO Him. Actually, she has never brought the calibur or magnitude of crowd to her speeches. VOTERS can trust and believe him–unlike clinton .

    April 24, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. tiredofthecrap

    Judy Green April 24th, 2008 4:09 pm ET

    Barrack Obama is not the right person for our president. He is not in touch with all of the American people.

    Hmmmm....who do you suggest Judy? Seems Hillary is out of touch with young and educated voters and McCain is out of touch with everyone and anyone that doesn't vote repub for the sake of voting repub.

    April 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. Sandy in Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and OregNebraska supers have endorsed Obama today, as well as Superdelegate Rep. David Wu. The superdelegates lining up for Senator Obama are coming in slowly but surely....drip, drip, drip. Soon Hillary will not even have the superdelegate base in her corner – her last vestigae of hope....gone.

    April 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Ready for Change

    I know of two people who have maxed out their donations today for Hillary. Both first time doners, both saying no way they can vote for Obama after actually seeing him in action for the last months.

    Most democrats I know, are more comfortable with McCain than Obama if thats the only choice they have, they at least know McCain is a patriot and Obama is looking less and less presidential if he is forced to get off his speech track and respond to any real issues.

    April 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Ponder this

    look ladies it may be your time.... but HRC is not the one ..........all I see are ladies comment on why Hillary should win.........if Hillary can win North Carolina then she has an arguement to win.........but Obama close a 20+ point margin........and you can say there is virtually no diversity in either OH or PA........so if you feel that your candidate is ready then have her take his constituents out of NC.........he has done a good job of keeping her at arms distance........you got to remember that Obama doesn't have a president on the campaign trail forhim every day of every day..........so out spending is one thing .......Hillary had every political figure that was somebody on her team except (what ever his name is) SO 9 POINT VICTORY ....congrats Hillary and company........but the states diversity in NC doesn't favor her so lets see what she does........but I'm not buying that people in OH and PA will not vote for a Obama because he is not white.......or because his pastors 30 seconds of fame.......if America is truly this divisive then take a trip to Mexico.....and you will see our future

    April 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Rob Winnipeg Canada

    it's technically done Wolf. The math doesn't add up in any way shape or form according to the established and agreed upon rules. Regarding electability perception for big swing states or electoral states remember in the primary you are voting your preference NOT rejecting the other candidate. The general is a whole other ball game.

    April 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Rob Winnipeg Canada

    the folks that toss the mi or fl popular vote into their calculations need to give their heads a shake. If they are going to add those numbers then the equivelent numbers need to be added for the caucus states again Obama has the clear advantage.

    April 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Laura from Muncie, Indiana

    Too many Hillary bashers posting to Cafferty files so I guess I'll start posting over here. I agree with everything 'Z' said above.

    April 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Gael Summer

    Technology makes it possible to break down voters into many catagories
    which is shared with all of us on CNN – percentage of white males, blacks, educated, blue collar, young, over 65, etc. I want to know how many Republicans changed their registration to Democratic so they could vote for Hillary and then re-registered as Republicans so they can vote for John McCain, believing she will be a weaker candidate? I know this is being done, I just want to know how effectively?

    April 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Kim - Ohio

    Everyone who backs Obama says he is a Uniter! Has anyone looked how divided the democratic party is lately? His holy than thou image is destroying the democratic party, not Hillary. 42% of Hillary supporters will not vote for Obama, including myself.

    If all the previous voters (pre Wright, San Francisco, Ayers, etc...) would have known who the true Obama was before they voted, then there would be no issue. I bet alot of people want their vote back and Hillary would be the nominee!

    April 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Get Real

    These super delegates speaking up before the states have had their chance to vote are ridiculous. I saw the interview with Richardson and Carville last night. Richardson was pathetic...I mean disgustingly so. He belongs back in the 5th grade and I remind you that New Mexico went Clinton. Yeah, you represent Richardson. Good luck Obama in the general....you will need it. You cannot attract moderates which is what most of the country is. This is so deja vu of the 1972 election.

    April 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Exhausted candidates AND voters

    Most supporters of Obama will vote for Hillary if she becomes the nominee, and will support the democratic party.

    Most supporters of Clinton will abandon the dems and vote for McCain if Obama becomes the nominee.

    One group will do what's best to support the dems-afterall the two candidates have almost the same platforms and solutions.

    One group will not only tear apart the dem party, but will also support a man who will further Bush's beliefs.

    Are we that childish to destroy things just because they don't turn out the way we want them to? We should be adults about this and support WHOEVER becomes the nominee because we all love this country.

    April 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Bob

    Anyone else see the irony in Dean's urging superdelegates to vote NOW? He, himself, is a superdelegate, and has not voted..

    April 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Ohio Gal

    Barack Obama is the Right person to be president! Hillary ACTS like she is in touch with all types of Americans. She tries way too hard and its not genuine. Basically, she would do anything to win which does not stop short of lying to make herself look more qualified.

    If Hillary was not married to Bill she would NOT be in her position. She is all talk and a walking contradiction. She supported the war....Now she opposes the war. She says Barack is not electable...Now she says he can win. Come on Hillary a little more consistency please! We need a president that gets it right the first time. Obama is the true leader, that doesn't go crying when things aren't going his way. He finds strength to face difficult topics and most of all inspires people that traditionally do even vote to get to the polls. That's a true LEADER!

    She was a chairperson for Walmart for years and one of her core responsibilities was to improve the rates in which women are hired and promoted within the Walmart Corporations, she FAILED at that attempt. And now she wants to talk about improving are economy, please.

    Bottom line, Hillary is just riding the wave that Bill created! She's not all she is cracked up to be. Plus she lies about being almost shot at, seriously, how LAME it that!

    Obama Rules!

    April 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Texican

    Hillary.... Pick me..

    Obama... Pick me.

    How about none of the above. Go with Edwards and Gore.

    Naw, bad idea.

    Go with Hillary she is the best candidate.

    April 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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