April 24th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
6 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. Nelda

    If you are a Hillary supporter tell me why if she is so experienced and ready on day 1 and all the other things she says she does better than Obama why can't she close the deal? She says she is the one who can beat John McCain in November,really than why hasn't she beat Obama yet? These are easy questions. She will just lie about things that is why I don't trust her.

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. John Smith

    Of course the Republicans have waited for years to have their revenege on the Clintons! Thye so want Hillary that it is sad to see the democrats cry to put Hillary out there; I mean "an impeached presidentail family." This is where the Republicans left off (impeachments, lies etc), and it there that they will pick up. So, give Hillary the nomination and let us see!

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Mrs. America

    By numbers, Obama will have earned it based on primary wins he received before people started finding out the less attractive details about him. However, with what we know now, and keep on learning more, if he is the Dem candidate, we might as well hand over the presidency to McCain.

    The super delegates should go with their gut, which probably says put Mrs. Clinton in and accept the fallout from Obama fans (yes, fans). If Obama wins the rest of the primaries, or at least most of them, my opinion would change and I would support their appointing Obama, even though I believe, and probably so do the super dels, that he probably can't beat McCain. He's too inexperienced. Hillary is the only good choice, and I'm not anti-Obama. I supported him before the truth started coming out.

    I sincerely fear more Bush policy for the next four years. America needs to start repairing its tattered global reputation and start giving back people their civil rights. McCain will not do either.

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

    New news coming out? Obama-odinga-rezko-ayers-auchi-saddam hussein scary stuff going around on you tube, Obama is not FOR the U.S.

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Mike

    To all HillBillies out there:

    Hillary has won the big states by winning the traditional republican districts in the individual states. Those districts will return to the Republican fold at the general election.

    Hillary has lost all the "big states" in the districts where democrats do best. Think about it.

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. dv

    Traditional democratic states like California and New York will vote Democratic whether Hillary or Obama (or even me) is the candidate. Margin of victory does not matter in a general election – It doesn't matter whether California and New York are won 80%-20% (which Hillary thinks she could do) or 51%-49% (which Obama could most certainly do). A win is still a win. These states need to be taken out of Clinton's "formula". With those states in Obamas camp (versus McCain), he does have a better chance than Hillary.

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Gaby

    Strange!
    They say that Obama lacks experience but Bush had 4 years of experience as President and he blew it.
    People said that Obama slammed the people of Pennsylvania, but did he really? Or he just told something that it is a reality and people of Pennsylvania is not willing to accept ? Maybe they like the sniper story better, or the Colombia trade better.
    They also said that Hillary got a lot of money after winning PA, maybe now she will be able to pay her debts! So much for the one who is going to fix our economy and cannot even fix hers!
    Hillary is the one offending the American people with her lies and her negative attitude.

    April 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Chocolate Diva from Texas

    I agree with all of the bloggers who wish it would just be over. If HRC wins I am going to vote for her. To me it's more important that this thing is over and we take the whitehouse back. Like a month ago.

    BigSexy1975 for Obama

    April 24, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. His own worst enemy

    The hateful, nasty, insulting Obama supporters ruined it for their candidate.

    They took voters willing to vote for Obama- to staunch NEVER Obama, voters.

    That is the price to pay when you denigrate and disrespect your fellow Americans and fellow democrats.

    Alienating the very people whose votes you need in Nov to secure a win.

    Obama supporters are allegedly "educated"- but we'll see how smart their strategy of hate and intimidation is, come Nov.

    April 24, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Kel from Auburn, AL

    The real question is, are the reasons to not vote for Obama worth putting Hillary in office? I think its a given that everyone likes Obama more.

    April 24, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. gary

    SUPER DELIGATES SHOULD GO FOR REALITY NOT FANTASY. HRC HAS A TRACK RECORD, KNOW HOW , AND IS OUR BEST CANIDATE FOR PRESIDENT. O.B. HAS NOTHING BUT A SMOOTH SPEECH AND SOME CHURCH COMMUNITY SERVICE. WOW. HE IS SUCH A GREENHORN. O.B. HAS A CLOSED BOOK OF LIFE. HRC HAS OPENED HER LIFE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD . I HOPE THEY GO FOR THE BEST QUALIFIED CANIDATE. THIS IS OUR COUNTRIE'S LIVES THEIR PUTTING IN THEIR HANDS. O.B. IS NOT READY . HE NEEDS 8 MORE YRS. AND SHOW SOME KIND OF A TRACK RECORD THAT HE HAS HELPED OUR COUNTRY. HIS FIRST TIME TO GO WHERE HE WAS WANTED ,HE TURNED AWAY FROM. THAT WAS NEW ORLEANS. HRC DIDNT HESITATE, AND SHE WAS BEHIND IN THIS RACE. I HOPE THE DELIGATES THINK ABOUT ALL OF THESE THINGS. GO HRC.

    April 24, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Venus

    Wolf – you and the media and the Clintons know it's time for Hillary to pack it up and take her lunch because her numbers not crunch!

    Hillary needed to win Penn-State by 65% and not 9%!

    The Gov. of Penn and the Gov. of New Jersey – told Hillary and the news media that Hillary needed to win BIG not slim!

    Also – she would need to win the rest of this race by 68% -
    Plus – she is broke!

    Obama had this wrapped up prior to Ohio when he won 10 states and Hillary won NONE!

    If the shoe was on the other foot – what do you think Hillary and her supporters would require Obama to do?

    It's over for Hillary and has been for some time!

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

    The supes should be blamed for this contracted affair. Why can't they make up their minds?

    SUCH an easy decision. It has to be Obama at this stage –

    simply because you can't choose the person with fewer pledged delegates, less of the popular vote, and fewer states won.

    I think some supes are JEALOUS because Obama hasn't been groomed for this position and he should 'wait his turn'.

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

    Watching the Situation Room is getting painfull. Nothing on Iraq? Nothing on Israel/Palestine talks? Nothing on Israel bombing Syria's reactor? Nothing on the GI Bill? Yet you do a story of "maybe" race had something to do with Pennsylvania, or "maybe" it was the bitter comments, even though you have nothing but speculation to support that. The public would be better served hearing stories that are important that can be backed up by facts. What happened to US journalism?

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

    Its obvious you all know nothing about the will of the people...and can Hillary win the election if only the big states vote for her???? so why on earth would this be an argument ... if she can pick up his states in the general he can do the same voters are not stupid they know whats at stake....... no one really wants a pres that her husband disgraced the nation we are just waiting for it to come up...they are disgusting.......Obama has won the nomination and you all need to stop this nonsense....... we are smarter than you all...this is the 21st century stop living in the past.....believe me the DNC is not going to loose millions of voters (for life) over the nasty Clintons (I did not have sex with that woman) Hillary beside him.... I was under sniper fire in Bosina see the resemblance we dont want this please humor me is it because she is white and she wants to take out revenge on you all for what you did to them when Bill was in the white house having sex with an intern!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop the madness already!!!!! they are pathetic

    April 24, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. jimmy vekmen

    GOP HAS STARTED PROBING OBAMA AND HIS WIFE MICHELLE
    ABOUT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM.
    GOP STRATEGISTS AS THEY PROVED WITH KARL ROVE , ARE VERY THOROUGH . THEY HAVE ALREADY STARTED PROBING ADS AGAINST OBAMA, EVEN THOUGH MCCAIN "DISAPPROVES"OF THE ATTACKS. OBAMA HAS MADE TOO MANY MISTAKES IN ADDITION TO HIS PASTOR PROBLEM. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
    SIGN OF THE DIRECTION OF THE ELECTORATE IS THE PENNSYLVAIA VOTE. JUST TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE STATISTICS AND THE CROSS SECTION OF THE PENNSYLVAINIA VOTERS. HILLARY CUT THROUGH ACROSS ALL THE LINES
    OF ECONOMIC AND DEMOGAPHICS.. (note 92 % OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS VOTED FOR OBAMA) AND HE STILL LOST!!! GO FIGURE IT OUT.

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

    the super-delegates should also consider who has lied the most?, Clintons. who is more dis-honest?, Clintons. who will say anything, do anything, rubbish a fellow democrat?, Clintons.

    Who thinks that the American people wants the Lincoln bedroom to be rented out to campaign contributors for overnight stays?, Clintons.

    After all of these questions are answered, the choice for the superdelegates is clear, Barack Obama is the nominee and will be elected in november.

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. James

    While a vigorous debate could be held over the merits of choosing delegates by means of a primary election vs. a caucus (and there are clearly some very valid arguments for each), this is nonetheless an irrelevant issue at present. The entire DNC, including members of Senator Clinton’s team, helped to craft the present system and agreed to abide by it many months ago. Yet, we continue to hear Senator Clinton argue that the Popular Vote is what ultimately matters most. To illustrate the utter fallacy of this argument, consider two states – Colorado and Oklahoma – which have nearly identical voting populations, delegates from one state chosen by a primary election, delegates from the other by a caucus.

    In Oklahoma’s primary, Clinton gained 10 delegates over Obama by virtue of a 23.6% victory and 98,350 net votes.

    In Colorado’s caucus, Obama gained 15 delegates over Clinton by virtue of a 34.2% victory, but only netted 41,274 votes, well less than half of what Clinton earned in Oklahoma’s closer race.

    In the caucuses of Washington and Minnesota, states much larger than Colorado and Oklahoma, Obama comfortably won by more than a 2-1 margin. In fact, of the 17 caucuses held thus far, Senator Clinton has only won the delegate count (by 1) in American Samoa.

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Sonny James

    If the Super delegates "Give" this election to Hillary....it will be just like when the Supreme Court "Gave" the 2000 vote to Bush.

    That was a "Selection" not an "Election." And this will be one, too.

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Arkansas Undertaker

    To: Judy Green and Matt

    There is no way that a woman will ever be elected to the United States Presidency. Thats just a fact! Even if she gets the nomination by some miracle. She will definiatley loose in November. The citizens of America are not ready for a woman President.

    All of this Hillary Clinton hype is just hot air. And after the superdelegates weigh in and finally bring this stuff to an end, the better. No matter how you try to spin it to her advantage, Senator Clinton is behind in the Polpular Vote and Delegate count. And she will soon be behind in Superdelagates as well.

    People need to wake up and realize that Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton and the 1990's are over with and done. They are not coming back.

    OBAMA 08

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. His own enemy

    The pro-Obama bloggers have been so hateful and nasty. Vulgar and name-calling. Insulting and demeaning to other voters.

    Speaks volumes about the Candidate they support.

    A cocky, boastful, jeering, schoolboy trying to demean others to build himself up.

    We've already had Bush show us that.

    No to Obama.

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Quinn - PA

    If the DNC delgate rules were winner take all, this would not be an issue. Hillary would be the nominee now and campaigning against McCain. Pelosi says their vote should reflect the will of the people, what happened to Richardson who endorsed Obama when NM was won by Hillary, same goes for the Gov of Oklahoma. They all seem confused and not on the same page. What a mess!
    Just a thought from an uneducated, blue collar catholic over 40 year old woman.

    Hillary or McCain 08

    April 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Peter, MN

    Clinton is causing serious problems for Democrats. If she is allowed to be the nominee, McCain will beat her hands down. If the Democrats do not want to weep from the left side of their eyes in November, they should let Clinton go home in peace.She has divided Democrat, she lied about her experience, and has been running negative adverts. The only good thing I have seen from Clinton is the she had a snipper when others were laughing. If Clinton forgot that no one shot her in Bosnia, she will forget so many things in the White House.

    April 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. race card

    Obama lost my vote forever, when he played the race card in SC.

    April 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. HH

    END THE DRAMA VOTE OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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