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. Z

    Who will be better President? Answer: Hillary
    Who can beat McCain? Answer: Hillary

    Obama might "represent the future" , but it will not be as President because HELLLOOOO...HE CAN'T BEAT MCCAIN!! Wake up Democrats.

    April 24, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. JIm

    The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales of new homes dropped by 8.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 526,000 units, the slowest sales pace since October 1991.

    The median price of a home sold in March dropped by 13.3 percent compared with March 2007, the biggest year-over-year price decline since a 14.6 percent plunge in July 1970

    Who are you goning to call? Hillary of course, she can fix anything, Hillary is fixing Obama's wagon.

    April 24, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. John B. From New Hampshire

    With all those criteria, the decision looks pretty clear to me anyway. Doesn't look like too much of a tough decision. If HRC did not have the last name Clinton, this would be a political no brainer!

    April 24, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Matthew, Philadelphia, PA

    Obama's win over Hillary in Missouri (they were separated by less than 1% – it was so close the state was actually called for Hillary at first) is not the same as Hillary's much larger 10% or more wins in PA, OH, NJ, and FL.

    Missouri showed that Obama could closely compete with Hillary in a Midwestern state (which borders his home state of Illinois by the way) that we as Dems would like to win.

    Hillary's big wins in PA, OH, NJ, and FL show that – despite his outspending her by 2 or 3 to 1, he cannot win in the key battleground states Dems NEED to win.

    April 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Alda

    How can a news website have a lilnk to give donations to Hillary Clinton. That does not seem right, unless you also have a link to give donations to Barack Obama, and also John McCain

    April 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Susan MO

    We sincerely hope Clinton wins.


    She is more experienced
    She is for the people
    She is a fighter

    Why not Obama?

    He lacks experience
    He slammed the people of Pennsylvania
    We do not need a president who insults the Americans.

    Strongely for Hillary Now 🙂

    April 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Judy Green

    Barrack Obama is not the right person for our president. He is not in touch with all of the American people. Let’s face it; we are a very diverse nation from different ages to different nationalities. We need a president that can easily connect with all of our people not just the majority of the people. Obama has spoken from his heart. I believe his heart is seeking the truth. He is not comfortable with himself and this has reflected in his speeches and some of the words he chosen.

    The right for women to vote is taken for granted today. One day soon it will not matter what nationality we are. Obama and Clinton have both been instrumental in bring the matter of our rights to the forefront.

    We need a president that is comfortable with themselves and this will make the American people feel secure.

    April 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Lee WV

    Jack Cafferty brought up a good point,If the super delegates take the nomination away from the candidate that is ahead in every catagory and give it to Hillary there will be he– to pay.I don't think that just because 10% or lessof voters liked her better than him in the so called big states that he cannot take the sure 45% that liked him better and build on that and win these states in the fall.Give it to Hillary and try to see her win without the 90+% black votes.

    April 24, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. monica

    A good vetting is what senator clinton needs to convince the supers of her electability, how will she stand up to the rebublicans when they bring up monica lewinsky? and other "issues" that plagued the clinton years.

    April 24, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Kathy

    Wolf, more than 4000 brave men and women haave lost thier lives, and countless of thousands have been injured mentally, physically, and emotionally-all so that Iraqis can vote. It is shameful if the votes in MI & FL are not counted-to what then .....have these brave men and women sacrificed so much. Shame on this country if these votes are not counted, these men and women lost thier lives for WHAT ?????

    April 24, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Barbara Richards

    You, the media is now quoting Hillary's claim that she has more popular votes as if that might be true. It is rubbish. This is distorting reality to a huge degree. CNN should not be playing an active role in her campaign to lie to America!!!

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

    I am sick and tired of the Clinton's b/c they're drugging the democratic race like drugging their cat.please give up and give a chance for a new young but talented Obama.

    Truly canadian supporter for Obama.

    April 24, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. phil

    floridas democratic primary was also tainted .. any one remember where bill was at that time .. he was in florida speaking about his wife .. again the clintons dont follow the rules they decided on they bend them to thier own ficticious fact sheet . i would rather vote in the mayor of south park than the clintons .

    April 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. jAYjAY

    Hillary's margin of victory in PA. is 9.3 and rounded correctly it goes down to 9 she did not win by double digits.

    April 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Darryl Miller

    Mike it not too late to go to school.

    April 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. James, IN

    Its about time the super delegates come out and support who they want. Rather than still allow Hillary to continue her negative campaigning. It is hurting the party. It is time; people should speak up.

    April 24, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Jim T

    wouldnt the voters in the big states still vote democrat even if hillary aint their nominee?

    if they didnt, then they would be very very anti-obama or anti-change/hope, either that or bigotry

    if the big states do vote for obama in the general, then what does the electability factor has to do with anything?

    April 24, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. L

    Shall Pastor Hagee be a superdelegate since he is the authority and belittles Catholics and the dear peoples of India ?

    April 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Lisa

    Well if the Superdelegates voted today they will vote for Hillary! Sorry to Obama supporters but the superdelegate will decide who they think is the best candiate to beat Mccain.

    April 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Superdelegates can look at all of the above for who would be the best nominee, but what must top off that list is the will of the people and the buck stops there.

    April 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Arielle

    Mike- your line of thinking would only work if everyone who voted for Hillary would vote for Mccain in a general election. Howevr, many democrats would be voting for the democratic candidate no matter what. The primary and the general election are not comparable.

    April 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. TruthTeller

    Wolf: This can't be right. You're suggesting that factors other than the pledged delegate count can be taken into account by the Super Delegates? But the Obama folks say that's the only factor that matters. What's that you say? The Obama folks are wrong–the Super Delegates can take into account anything they want, not just pledged delegate totals? That's what the rules say? Interesting. Very interesting.

    Memo to Obama campaign: what you folks have been saying about the role of the pledged delegate lead in the Super Delegate selection process is pure hogwash.

    April 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. meggy

    PA goes white...NC will follow.

    April 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Preeti

    Blitzer - stop peddling Clinton support !!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. berksdan

    I agree with Hillary on this: The Superdelegates need to vote their conscience, not neccesarily the way their constituents voted.

    They need to step up, and decide who has the ETHICS, the INTEGRITY, the HONESTY to lead America into the future. Who will build the consensus to achieve a better America for all?

    Clearly that candidate is Sen. OBAMA.


    April 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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