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. Binkis1

    Quit pushing the clinton spin..like important states , electoral vote , and etc. You are slapping the other states and VOTERS in the face...I know you are a catholic but thought you were a jounalist!
    Did someone forget to tell you and hillery that Ohio and PA went republican last time... And she is hated by 50% of democrats!.
    As to your FUZZY math- that is another clinton spin...QUIT ALREADY.

    GO back to being a reporter and away from political HACK.

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

    Who is the right person to be our president? The person who says, "Pledged delegates can and should change their mind", translating, "people's vote/will doesn't count, pick me"? I will be ashamed to have her as my president. Wont you?

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Me and 14 Million

    When Obama was so arrogant and cocky and dismissive to brush Hillary Clinton off his shoulders... he appealed to the Nation's children.

    But to the adults he came across as NOT presidential. Those who laughed, will vote for him.

    He lost my vote- brushed me right off along with Hillary.

    The rest of America wil NEVER ever vote for such a boastful elitist.

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Venus

    Some of you people kill me about states Hillary won and that we need them for the general election...

    Just like Indiana – Indiana is a red-state – so please stop trying to compare Indiana to Ohio or Penn.

    You need to look at the fact that Hillary and Obama are both democrats!

    The other issue is 90% of the people don't vote in primaries –
    You act like the whole states are voting at this time which is not true!

    Hillary lost this race prior to Ohio – Obama won 10 states – Hillary had zero! So – where were you Hillary supporters then? Also – the media is full of crap trying to break down the blue collar, the whites...
    Look at the states that Obama won – states like Iowa.

    So please – stop with the bs. Hillary needs to leave! It's over and also – look at how many delegates Obama has since Feb!

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Spirit of America

    Time, especially after the PA results, to take the blinders off.
    Obama cannot win. Too many anti-American skeletons in his closet.

    If these so-called Superdelegates have the best interests of their party and country at heart, the only viable choice is Hillary.
    If something else is motivating most of them, then Barack is the Dem nominee and the Reps will win by a landslide in November.

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. ostriches burying our heads in the sand


    Hiding(facts)- Ripping (the Democratic party)- Clawing (Obama and anyone else that comes between her and the Presidency)

    Supers please decide quickly and offer deliverance from this madness!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. ed

    People crack me up with who won the battle ground states. Is there anyone using their brain, there are two democratic candidates one will when and one will lose. It doesn't matter who won what state it is all about the delegates when it comes down to the Democratic nominee. Both of them have had more votes cast for each other than two or three of the republicans combined in the same state. But it is false to claim that just because someone won the large states that they will do it in a general election and it doesn't mean that the loser can't win in the general election either. Look at the total number of votes cast for the Democrats and compare that to those cast for the Republicans. That tells me that no matter which the candidate is that unless more republicans show up at the polls then it looks like there may be a Democratic President.

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. fairandstraight

    it's been crunch time months ago. I think if Sen. Clinton and Sen Obama was not raising so much money, this would have been over when they looked at the fact that Clinton can not caught up with Obama. Therefore, the party should have rallied behind him in full support before the entire Democratic party is destoryed forever.

    April 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    The experience myth

    Barack has more experience than Abraham Lincoln when he became President. One might ask experience at what? With experience comes increased indebtedness to lobbyists, increased numbers of political favors that must be repaid, increased numbers of rivalries, and no chance at a honeymoon period after election. Experience how? Eight years versus a couple in the Senate? That doesn't mean much. Think carefully what experience means.

    As for winning big states-this is meaningless when your opponent is also a Democrat. Barack and Hillary won't be running against each other in the general election. The margins don't mean much folks.

    Superdelegates should wait. This is how one gets political capital and favors in Washington–the currency of exchange among politicians. If you think politicians act in the best interest of their country, you are sucking dreamsicles. They are beholden only to their immediate constitutents and those that donate to their campaigns.

    April 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Chuck


    If the DNC is to win and win big, as well as make a world wide statement they better look beyond those proven historical states. Granted Obama did not win OH and PA; however he did win over all in TX and other large states. The Main point is he also carried by wide margins many states normally considered Republican states, which is critical to the democratic party. Could Obama win in OH, PA, MI, and FL? Yes, Democrats in this country are NOT ready to hand the election to another Republican, especially one that supports and mirrors a very large majority of the Bush ideas and ideals. Those that say they will not vote for one or the other are for the most part venting in they are showing their frustration with this whole nomination process.

    April 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Deborah





    desperate hillary she thought she was going to have a cake-walk into the whitehouse surprise surprise

    OBAMA 2008 VOTE SMART VOTE OBAMA in 2008!!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. max

    MIKE: These are primaries............. were you educated....... give Hillary all the states she has won in the primarys can she win the general without the states Obama has won....................... I'm just saying all states matter all people (voters) matter not just the blue collar working white voters if that group only voted for her in the general would she win???? because at this rate no one else would vote for her You people have no common sense........give her all her stattes and blue collars and she is still a looser

    April 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Steve Goldstraw

    Enough already. 21 "debates" over a year of "campaigning" and 41 primaries and caucusses. Time for the superdelegates to declare their preference, SOON!!! Within the next 2 weeks and stop the negativity.
    Their entitled to a vote, so vote now. Or else the party will devolve into negative emotions and fail

    April 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Me and 14 Million

    Cnn refuses to post any comment that is anti- Obama.

    Obama lost my vote when he brushed Hillary off his smug shoulders.

    Me and 14 million Hillary supporters found his antics childish, immature and not worthy of the white house.

    We will not vote for this arrogant, cocky elitist.

    April 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. vern anaheim,ca

    wolf,the democrat super delagates had better vote for the person who has the most votes comming into the convention,if they don't they will split the party and insure the republican victory in november which would be a disaster

    April 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. to SUZAN

    suzan you need to give up...you re not helping hillary with your arguments based on nothing but fanatism.

    Some people here are trying to make up there mind and you're not helping...

    Obama did not Slam or insulte people in PA and hillary does not have the experience she claims to have. All is claimed as her experience happens to be false or failed.


    She is making the democratic party look bad, she is deviding democrats in favor of mccain...all she cares about is herself. She is so heartless that she has to read her speeches to make sure she does not uncover herself. She cannot speak with her heart. so pls stop it.
    If Obama was as heartless as her, he'd let people know that JEREMIAH WRITE was actually the pastor the clinton's called for counselling, into the white house, when they had marital issues over the lewinsky scandal.

    BE honest, be fair or keep it shut

    April 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Jean Angeles

    I feel Florida vote's should be counted.listen to our message. CLINTON CLINTON CLINTON

    April 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. bloggers

    CNN caters to the Obama bloggers- even though their posts are vile and viscious and hateful.

    They are hoping to create the illusion that Obama has the support.

    Why then is he only at 50%

    April 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Hillary-ious

    If nothing else, the superdelegates should be able to announce how they will be resolving debates such as how we should determine the popular vote tally. We have such a quagmire at this point that both candidates are claiming to have the popular vote lead. Of course, Senator Clinton's math is rather dubious and questionable, but for the DNC and the superdelegates in general to stay silent on this issue just enables her to do this, and it puts the whole system in question. How can we feel confident in a fair election if we don't have a clear cut system for establishing who is winning?

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Dan (TX)

    I'm waiting to see if the Democrats can follow their own rules. If not, why bother?
    The Democratic party intentionally set up the Superdelegate system to overrule it's rank & file members.
    As long as Clinton and Obama continue to have close wins for the remainder of the primary season, neither one will be able to claim 2025 pledged delegates without the help of superdelegates.
    Superdelegates are free to change their minds up until the official vote is taken at the convention. Let the season play out – follow the rules – see what happens.
    Speculation at this point is futile! 🙂

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Audrey, San Francisco

    Mike your model is not applicable because Obama isn't going to run against Hillary in November, he is going to run against McCain.

    Besides, Hillary has already told us all on national televsion that Obama can beat McCain. So I think the electability argument is officially off the table.

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. American Girl

    TO Susan from MO.

    She is also

    1. An experienced Liar
    2. A seasoned Liar
    3. A flip-flopper
    4. A manipulator
    5. A deceiver

    Get real, the Republicans will have a field day with her. She is incorrectly believing that her past won't come back. When the Repulicans attack her those tears will not mean squat.

    This has become aboth race and people will just vote for her becasue of her being white.

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Kay

    Hillary and her campaign workers like Mike have no shame in twisting data to their advantage and pretending to be telling the truth. What a bunch! The Dem Party leaders are weak. Otherwise they would not allow Hillary to be doing the dirty work for the Republicans, watching Hillary, Bill and MaCauliffe and the gang shift the goal post ad infinitum to suit their goals (pun intended!). Can the leaders of the Dem Party come out and define what constintutes a win? Isn't that simple? Why allow these bunch of fairytalers to be babbling around trying to confuse the crowd? Here is the danger in allowing this. Not everyone is literate enough to know what is happening. The less literate Democrats may become disillusioned when Obama is finally declared the winner if they are not made aware of the rules at this time. Unfortunately, Hillary has most of the illiterate members of the Party. They may then feel cheated and not vote for Obama. Howard Dean, TIME IS UP!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Sante

    "Perestroika" = CHANGE started in Russia at1985.
    In 1992-95 they cobplitely colapsd!
    Where Mr.Obama /The Primadona/ is leading us?
    We still do not know!
    Does he? May be you should ask his Pastor-Mentor!

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    It really isn't about whether HRC or Obama can win the big states in the Dem. primary, Who else are dems. going to vote for? The big question is who can attract the independant vote! That is OBAMA. Think about what would happen id HRC got her way and the Supers disenfranchised the black vote by going for her! Can the dems. afford to have blacks stay home, or even worse, vote rep.?

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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