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. Sarah

    Thanks Mike for finally showing us Hillary's illogical math. Now we can see why the twisted monkey thinks she has the popular vote.

    April 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. sakki

    If any Obama supporters read this comment, get the message across to Senator Obama not to accept anymore debates from CNN, MSNBC and ABC, it is a conspiracy of Hillary Clinton's camp and the media to go use it aganist Obama. CNN, especially is helping Hillary Clinton to win the nomination.

    OBAMA '08

    April 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Hope, Kansas

    I will vote for Clinton in November or I will not vote at all.

    April 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. John Smith

    Mike is one of those "idiots" with a bird's brain. Is ther anyone out there, anyone with common sense who believes that Obama will not win the so-called big states? has any one figured in a potentail VP that will make this whole issue of "electoral college" mute? It is a sad day in this nation when people cannot use basic "logic" taught in college!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. LB

    I see two candidates. One with a vision of Hope, who is willing to work for the American people to change the way the government is presently working and the second candidate who is constantly reminding people how the government was run during the 1990's. Which reading between the lines says to me that she will continue to run the government with the same old 1990's policies and politics.

    April 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Mike

    Hillary says she's ahead in popular votes. ANOTHER CLINTON LIE.
    Fellow dems, let's not return the White House to the days of renting the Lincoln bedroom, travelgate, Monicagate, Whitewater, missing files, etc. We may be more partisan than in the past, but do we really want to move back into the gutter?

    April 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Brendan D, Niles, IL

    To Judy Green (and those who think like her):

    What has Hillary Clinton done to deserve my vote? Obama has, as you say, "spoken from his heart." From what has Senator Clinton spoken, except a calculated political maneuver?

    I am searching for any reason people have to support Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. So far, the best I hear is that Obama is not ready or that he's out of touch, though neither of these has been either proven nor tested.

    So, Clinton fans, please tell me: Why is Hillary Clinton the better nominee, and why is she the best person for president?

    April 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    More people have voted for Hillary Clinton than any other candidate in presidential history.

    Michigan & Florida voters WILL count in the general election, so they NEED to be considered in this argument!!!

    CLINTON '08

    April 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Shannon from Washington

    I would like to remind all the Hillary supporters and Hillary herself, there is a reason we live in a Democracy. We the people of the United States have voted in the majority for Obama. Hillary has not had enough people vote for her or even donate money to her. There will always be HATERS of Obama and they are the minority, to continually listen to their whining brings down the election. There is only one truthful and upfront candidate and he will be the next President of the United States. SuperDelegates have NOT flocked to Hillary out of respect for the former first lady and I am certain she has blackmailed and called in all her cards against them to remain at least neutral. When Bill Richards dared to cross her threats they publicly crucified him. The super delegates need to get over their fear and intimidation by the Clinton's and do the honorable thing for our country.

    April 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. George Z

    Hillary is winning North Carolina!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Ryan Healey

    It has become very apparent to many in the last week that Barack Obama is not ready to be President. From his constant gaffes to his complaining and going to pieces when asked hard questions during a debate. Sadly, the media's refusing to investigate his background or question is experience earlier in the primary season while gleefully bashing Clinton caused millions of Americans to vote for Obama thinking he was a knight riding in to save the country. Now, they know better and many would change their votes if they could.

    The Democratic party will be defeated in November if Obama gets nominated. They must pull Clinton and Obama aside and make him understand that Vice President is the best he is going to get this time around. Then, together he and Clinton had to patch this up. I don't blame Clinton for getting negative, she HAD to vet Obama when the media refused to. She was right, something we learned in PA!

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Charles Eaddy

    Clinton says that she can win the big states, however if she steals this nomination from Obama the Black community will not vote for her. She cannot win a single big state without the Black vote.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Please Vote Obama

    Dear Superdelegates:

    Please support Obama. You know in your gut that this man has done all he can to elevate the political discourse in this country to steer us away from negative campaigning and to return the focus back to moving beyond the nation's problems.

    You know in your gut that Obama is the one candidate who can get things done in Washington because he can – and IS – bringing people together, inspiring an entire nation to solve its problems together.

    No it won't be easy. But he has shown that he is up for the challenge for the past 16 months. He has closed gaps in the polls that no one thought he could close, he has won over voters that no one thought he could win. And he has handled controversies with a dignity, poise, and thoughtfulness so rare in today's politics – when most thought he would crumble. He did not.

    He is still standing strong. And the movement continues to grow. Please get behind the candidate who has gotten behind us all.

    Obama for America. Yes we can.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Jot

    A vote for Obama is a vote for McCain, like it or not. This is a man who doesn't want Michigan and Florida delegates to be counted what an idiot same like Richardson his surrogate. The democratic pary is done if Obama is the nominee

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |

    More people voted for Al Gore back in 2000, and that's viewed as Bush (or the Supreme Court) robbing him of the Presidency.

    If Obama gets the nomination, it will be viewed the same way.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. can't deliver

    Obama was given the advantage at the start- Oprah, Kerry, the Kennedys and the Shrivers. They wanted to give him a head start.

    It worked- for so long.

    But the American people are more savvy than the newly registered youth- who were too lazy, too selfish and too indifferent to ever vote before.

    We know who the true leader is. We will write Hillary Clinton's name in in NOV if she is not our nominee.

    Many of us don't care for the bandwagon approach to elections. Most of us are looking for the best candidate on a fair and level playing field. The DNC corrupted and fixed this primary for their golden boy Obama. It backfired bigtime. Now we are split 50/50. The Hillary democrats will remember the hate, the name-calling, the insults, the strong-arm tactics, the boasting, the gloating, the cocky swaggering, the jeering and the mocking. We will remember in Nov.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Steve Idaho

    1. If the superdelegates were smart, they would go with the candidate leading in delegates, votes i& states. To go against the will of the voters, would give McCain the presidency

    2. for Hillary to win, she would have to win over 70% of the votes in all remaining primaries. Then she have to seat illegal votes From Michigan and Florida without anybody noticing. The fat lady is half way through her song right now for Hillary and Hillary is plugging her ears and humming.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Judy

    I wish the media would talk about the electoral vote. It is clear that Hillary is the hands down winner when you count up the electoral college votes because she has won nearly all of the big states. That is what we should be looking for (more than number of states or super delegates thusfar) because in November it is the electoral votes that count. The Democratic party would be wise to choose Hillary if they want to beat McCain in the general election.

    April 24, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Time to move on

    If the Democrats fail to nominate Obama they just lost a leader in life time.Primary is different from general election,if Obama as at today can have more delegates than Clinton a well established political name,then the Dem should know he is their best chance to win in november,And thank Goodness superdelegates are not dummies they know better.
    OBAMA 08

    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Badger

    I always thought that the reason we vote for a person is becouse we feel that he is the best choice for the position. I keep hearing the same thing over and over again from people on TV. 'It's not as important if the person is qualified but CAN THEY WIN?' No wonder this country is screwed up.

    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Debbie, NJ

    Mike you have a lot of "ifs". You sound like Hillary. Everyone here is a solution. Let Nancy Peloski take Hillary's place. She does have experience, she's not riding on her husbands coattails, she's a white woman and a Dem. Will this work. ANYBODY BUT HILLARY!!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Ohiobo, J From Vancouver, Canada

    Electoral college math, popular vote, winning the group that matters, Obama does not stand a chance. Hillary is a winner. Obama's youthful supporters should come down to earth. Hillary has to be the nominee for Democrats to win the presidential elections. Emotion of Obama and his supporters is so raw that they throw insults arround. It is sad that both are not willing to work together. Democrats should listen to former Governor Como.
    If Hillary is not nominated, it will be a train wreck for the Democrats because Obama does not yet have the experience to make it in the whitehouse

    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Jane Morris

    It really made me mad that Larry King did a one-on-one interview with Hillary Clinton the might before the PA primary. I am a big CNN fan and usually watch Larry King Live but I'm boycotting him until he gives Barack Obama an interview the night before a big primary. I fault Larry with Hillary's big win in PA and that was not what a lot of us wanted! And yes, I am a 73 year old white retired woman but no way do I wnat another 4 years of a Clinton white house. I want the kind of chnange Barack inspires in me for my children and grandchildren!

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

    Wolf, quit pretending you're impartial and just say what we all know. You're a Hillary supporter.

    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Mike

    Wolfe, why are we still using the electoral college? The electoral college has outlived its usefullness long ago. Why doesn't my vote really count...I don't need someone to vote for me. Those days went out many years ago. I believe the electoral college is a big waste of my tax dollars, particularly when the college doesn't really reflect my views.


    April 24, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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