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. piper

    I was for Hillary but since penn.I dont trust her she is deceitful if she gets the nomination I will have to change parties or not vote
    .I trust McCain more than her and will encourage my friends to do likewise

    April 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. RJ

    Hillary supporters identify with her devisive "attack" at all cost attitude. Precisely, the kind of neo-conservative idealogy that got the US into a war in IRAQ.

    America needs a president that can restore her image in the world, and lead the country at a time of high anxiety.

    Not a "kill for bear" president that Clinton would be. In fact, she's no better than the current occupant, and Democrats will find their house and senat e majorities reduced in the Novemeber elections.

    April 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. RT

    Well Mike, its nice to live in an IDEAL world isn't it?

    April 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. henrie alabama


    April 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. jimtranr

    The "math" the superdelegates–whose purpose is to prevent another McGovern-like blowout–have to consider isn't just the total vote cast but who cast it, who's likely to vote again in November for the Democratic nominee, and who's likely instead to stay home or, worse, vote for the Republican nominee. So while exit polls may not be the most precise of indicators, they are what's there to work with. And the superdelegates should be giving that data a good hard look in addition to the overall vote counts and "states won."

    My take on what's there is that Hillary Clinton has a better shot at winning the general than Barack Obama has. And that's how I'm going to vote when my turn comes up in Oregon.

    April 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Seth

    Super-delegates WILL NOT overturn the person who won. And the metric used by the DNC to determine who won is pledged delegates.

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. ABC

    Comparison of the three candidates

    As now, Americans are stuck with three candidates. How do we screen the candidates? Here are the things we need to know:

    1. Age and Health:
    McCain is too old (71 now) and in remission from skin cancer. The other two candidates do not seem have these problems.

    2. Character, Wisdom, and Conviction
    The future of this nation depends on the character, wisdom, and conviction of our next president. This is the most important factor to evaluate a candidate. Any person who is not wise enough to understand that our nation has deteriorated in the past few years because of the Iraq war does not deserve to be our next president. Same rule applies to any person who has unacceptable personality frauds or has an agenda that is not totally American.

    McCain is an honorable veteran and respected senator. However, he is too stubborn and too committed to the Iraq (or may-be Iran) war. Obama is an inspiring speaker to some, but slippery and without substance to others. He is the most unknown among the three candidates in this area. Yet, we have already known many things that can handicap him in the general election and in the presidency: for example, his dealings with the indicted Chicago land dealer; his relationship with Rev Wright.; his wife’s stand on races and America; and his smoking and drug history. There is also some doubt if he is totally color blind in dealing with racial issues. Hillary has been in the public light for more than 30 years. She has built some resistance from the public, particularly from the media. However, she is an optimistic and smart person with a resilient strength to overcome difficulties. The most amazing thing is her uninhibited conviction to restore American strength and to lift up the poor and weak regardless of races.

    3. Electability:
    Obama can win the nomination, but not the general electron. The 2008 general election, using the 2004 presidential election results as a reference, will essentially be divided between the “red” and “blue” states. The advantages that Obama had with the black voters and the caucus process can disappear easily in those “red” states in the general election. When weighing in different voters compositions (races and genders) and the general perception about the candidates, Obama may lose one or two of big blue states such as CA, NY and PA, besides Ohio. Where can he find the electro-votes to win?

    Hillary has been able to capture most of the blue states in the primary, despite strong completions from Obama. If she is the democratic candidate, she has a very good chance to keep all the blue states in the camp, besides being favored in Ohio and Arkansas, and possibly FL.

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Eddie G

    You can't compare the general election to the primaries. Primaries are interparty elections. Die hard democrats that voted for Hillary in the primary, will vote for Obama in the fall, unless they are just racists that haven't moved into the 21st century yet. Independents will vote for Obama. Many republicans, like me, will vote for Obama. If the DNC steals the nomination away from Obama, I will vote republican again. I could not vote for Clinton because she is not trustworthy and will stop at nothing to get into the whitehouse. I simple can not understand how over 60% of the voters in Pennsylvania find Clinton to be untrustworthy, yet many of them voted for her anyway....that does not say much for the integrity of those voters.

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. eli

    Hillary won California, but the latest poll shows Obama winning bigger then Hillary when both are against MCain. Same with NY now.

    That's why the electoral count extrapolated to the general election is not applicable. and besides, the more Obama is known, the more people grasp what he is about. It's true some people aren't voting for him because he is black, but I have no doubt his candidacy will be a powerful wake up call for change. Let's not lose hope on the american people

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Jimmy Wright

    Wolf, you sound as though you believe just because Hillary won PA and Ohio in the primary that Obama cannot win those states in the general election. I thought you could see further down the road than that! Give Obama a break! What says Obama won't win PA and Ohio by a bigger margin over John McCain that Hillary won over him. However, it doesn't help Obama with you going over and over the same old stuff about Hillary winning PA and Ohio as though Obama does not have a chance to win those states in the general election..

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. NickNas

    It is plain to see. WHO would the WORLD trust?

    Then look at whos trustworthy numbers are the lowest.

    But I muddy the waters with facts again....sorry

    April 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. results

    Where are the visable results of Obama raising and spending so much money?

    All the people who attend his rallies.

    All the rock and rap videos singing his praises.

    All the celebrities piling on the bandwagon.

    And he can not close the deal. If he is the nominee, he'll still lose in Nov.

    Poeple do not love a hypocritical cheater who gloats and struts and mocks and jeers his opponent.

    April 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Betsy

    You know, I want to put something to rest.

    There are a lot of postings on these comment blogs that bring up the Paul v Clinton trial.

    That is a CIVIL case. Paul is a crook. He now feels cheated because he held fundraisers for Hillary and didn't get anything in return. Hillary even gave back the funds he contributed.

    Peter Paul went so far as to produce an anti-Hillary movie as political propaganda. It seems to be working on some folks.

    There was a criminal investigation of the Clintons surronding Paul, however no wrong doing was ever found. Peter Paul then brought up this civil case against Bill Clinton.

    You can read about this yourself on Wikipedia. Just type Peter Paul.

    Please stop bringing up this CIVIL case and saying it's a criminal case. Paul v Clinton is nothing compared to the criminal trial against Obama's buddy, Rezko. You can look him up too – Tony Rezko.

    April 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. James

    Barack Obama has won some big states. Missouri, Colorado, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois and he is seriously ahead in North Carolina. He can carry big swing states and can win the general election. Hillary said that in the debate. So let's get that silliness behind us.

    What can keep the dems out of the White House is two things: a prolonged negative campaign that obliterates the truly positive things these candidates are bringing to the table and/or each side's supporters pulling a "Nader" if their candidate is the loser.

    Super Delegates, let Barack and Hillary know: if you think you can win the nomination by ripping up the party, YOU ARE WRONG!

    April 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. 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 shot on her while Bosnian were reading welcome address for her. If Clinton forgot that no one shot her in Bosnia, she will forget so many things in the White House.

    April 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Matt

    Obama has tried to smother Hillary's campaign by throwing money at it, and he still lost the last few primaries. Sounds awfully familiar **cough** Bush and Iraq **cough***

    I like Obama, but look at the facts, he cannot close the deal and he is having a really hard time with the blue collar votes. Put Obama, an extreme liberal, up against McCain, a moderate republican and the democrats will probably lose. Obama says he can get the independent voters, but the they look down the middle, not one side or the other. To fight a moderate republican you will need a moderate democrat. And as previous people mentioned, it doesnt matter who has won what states in the primary, look at who will win what states in the GENERAL election.

    Ive said before and I will say it again, whoever won Ohio, and PA will become our nominee because with a falling economy, it will be the states in that demographic that will take precedence.

    April 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Independent

    Susan MO – you always sign your posts "Strongely for Hillary" – please, please, please read my post, because I can't stand it anymore.

    The word is spelled "STRONGLY!!!" There is no "e."

    Thank you.

    April 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Michael G Ventura, CA

    To those would would count Electoral College votes in April instead of November: I recommend that you "let the people's voices be heard" as you're always yelling!
    Fuzzy math is putting it mildly!
    Get REAL.

    April 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Rosa 61 from connecticut

    Hillary is not campaigning; she is throwing a temper tantrum. She needs to find acceptable ways of expressing her anger.

    April 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Richey's, Pasadena

    Hillary will lie and tell you anything you want to hear, if that makes you "feel secure". Obama will tell you how much change is going to occur, even though everyone knows that the legislative branch is more or less gridlocked because it is full of people who have sold their souls in the name of self empowerment, self enrichment and a sickness of representative nepotism that won't be changed by some novice moron with a shady background.

    Get real people. Your expectations are much too high for either of these candidates. The "Billary" monster knows how to thwart the system to their own personal bidding better than any other political "team". Does that make you sleep well at night.

    It'll probably never happen, but I'd sure like to see Americans that support America solidly, despite our differences.

    America is an amazing nation that has done, and continues to do, so many benevolent acts for people in other countries. How about this: let's save lots of money by giving ZERO aid to any other country and just look out for ourselves. Want to see the rest of the world crying like babies then?

    The Soviet Union was the reason other countrties didn't verbally attack us the way they do now. Now that that big threat has been minimized, the U.S., being the only REAL big boy on the block at this time, is the focus of those who natural human instinct is to bring down the one on top.

    If and when a nuclear device explodes in this country, or possibly in Europe, you can kiss the way of life you have come to take for granted goodbye forever. The global financial world will collapse like a deck of cards.

    Security for this country is everything.

    Sleep Well

    April 24, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Stop the Drama

    all the old-timers say Obama cannot win in high electoral states in the general...so you think all the Clintonites will run to McCain ..

    .wake up people ..

    The Clintonites who believe that they are the new House of Windsor in the USA and deserve to be in the WH are in for a shock...

    Obama is bring in new voters and the young ones ...people who are excited to vote for a good honest man ....we have the strenght and will continue to mobilise in the fall ....

    the old-timers of the by-gone woodstock era can stay at home and sulk or vote for the old man who will sleep at the switch !!

    Young people in America will come in droves from every crack in the Union and make a change ...we are taking America from the old timers restoring to the land of hope and freedom for our children to be in a fear free positive world ......



    April 24, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Marshall in Nebraska

    Hill & Friends–Keep dreaming.

    America–Wake up from this Clinton induced nightmare or wake to a Republican reality.

    April 24, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. alice2

    I don't see how they can go for Hillary. It is obvious she is out for HERSELF & the personal political power she will get. She wants to have a Clinton Dynasty. She is i believe a CHRONIC LIAR, & has run a HATEFUL, LIEING, DESTRUCTIVE campaign against Barack. it's her own Dem party she has been destroying. Barack has correct judgment, a new vision for America, wants to move our country ahead, we are done with the OLD POLITICS, Hillary is OLD WASHINGTON, & superdels need to follow the will of the people, otherwise why do we bother to vote, if we really don't count in the end.

    April 24, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. American Girl

    The media is making this about RACE.
    The media is making this about Educated vs. Uneducated
    I do not care, but my vote will never goi to Hillay aka The anti-christ

    April 24, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Mark

    Well, I have been an Obama supporter which is neither here nor there.

    What I am realizing about myself is that I am truely an independent
    and the DNP is really screwed up. If this election comes down to the super delegates making the decision, I'm going for the 100 years of war dispite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.


    April 24, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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