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. SLO Bear

    If there was any doubt about power corrupting, watching Clinton's amoral pursuit of it is a horrifying reminder of its truth.

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Veteran from New York City

    Mr. Blitzer, you can chose to spin the story, it will not make any defense. It should never be a question of Who. The answer is very simple. Whom that gets more delegates, more popular votes who won more states if all that did not mean nothing for CNN just give Hillary the nomination.

    Those kind of funny stories put the Democratic Party all at war because people like you try to manipulate those Hillary uneducated supporters to create some foolish question about electability.

    You need to grow up, stop exercising poor judgment on your journalistic duty. I am a retired Veteran, in the Army they will label you as Derelection of Duty.

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. ds

    If Clinton has been leading the country as she claims, she should take responsibility for the sad economy.

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

    Judy Green... this race has gone on and on because Hillary DOES NOT connect with all of our people... not even the majority. I'm white male who is quite proud to have worked under 3 different female supervisors, and I will not vote for Hillary. You really think she, an ex-first lady multimillion dollar senator from NY really connects with blue-collar low-income families? She has gone back on everything she has every said she stands for. From gun restrictions, to free-trade, to the importance of voters, to sniper fire, to high-moral campaign standards, to believing in hope not fear. She will do anything to win because her political career will crumble if she loses this race. I can't bear the thought of another scoundrel in the white house.

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Pat Carpenter

    The Democrats are contentious by nature, and time and time again it's what beats them in the elections. They don't seem to be able to get together on much of anything.

    In my opinion John Edwards needs to come forward, bring his pledged delegates to the party and watch the so-called super delegates climb on board. Is that going to happen? Time will tell.

    In the meantime if Obama and Clinton continue the way they are going now, they might as well make reservations for the McCain Inaugural Ball.

    April 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Shawn

    Obama CAN win! Even Hillary stated he CAN win. He represents what this country needs CHANGE, INTREGITY, ENERGY & LIFE!!!! People are afraid of change! We need someone that we can believe in someone that will inspire this country to rise!

    OBAMA 08'–OBAMA 08'--OBAMA 08'-OBAMA 08'-OBAMA 08'

    April 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Hill

    Hillary Clinton will make the best president we have ever had.

    April 24, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. gerard morei

    Superdelegates are Smart and in most cases experienced people. Hillary with much less campaing money than Obama (because regular hard working people are supporting her with money) has proved that she is the only one that can beat McCain in the most important States regarding to electoral votes, so they will endorse Hillary and she will win the nomination and the general elections in Nobember. After that everybody is going to thank the remaining superdelegates for they support to Hillary.
    Hillary for President 2009!!!
    PS: CNN this is the 3rd time I'm trying to post my commet in this article, so please post this one.
    Thank you.

    April 24, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. changing the rules

    The superdelegates are intended to vote for the good of the country and the party.

    They are not supposed to just mirror the popular vote.

    Hillary had their support at the start and they need to return their support to her. She is no American Idol- but she will be the best president.

    April 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. New Party

    The democratic party is a joke...Obama needs to build a new party full of justice and equality and closed to PACs, special interest and racism. A new party for justice and equality...Looking for new rules in the middle of the game and hesitance of superdelegates to support the nominee supported by most American is undemocratic.
    Every body know that the single criteria for nomination is the delegate count...

    Hillary can remain in the democratic party and she will fails in November 100%...

    The new party may not win this year, but sure few years later...Many good generations are coming...
    I'm an independent who strongly support Obama. I will be glad to contribute monthly to his new party...This is the only way for a real change in America...

    April 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. sacto joe

    Barak's honesty versus Hillary's lies: Hmmm! Who would make a better President....

    Barak's intelligence versus McCain's senility: Hmmm! Who would make a better President....

    April 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. tar

    If the superdelegates select Senator Clinton as the nominees, then they can kiss the Democratic Party goodbye forever. The Clintons are not adverse to cheating to obtain their goals, but good honest Democrats will not stand idly by and be cheated out of the nomination. So superdelegates, you can lower your intergrity along with your sense of rightness and the join the despicable Clintons by destroying the Democratic Party.

    Senator Clinton is so set on getting the nomination by hook or crook. If she does not get it, then she has shown that she has and will give John McCain enough ammonition. Therefore she will run again in 2010. Well, Sen. Clinton, I will never vote for you, because of your morals. I don't play in the gutter.

    tar – Atlanta, GA

    April 24, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Matt

    Judy Green: There is not and never will be a president that can identify with EVERYONE. That is an absolutly rediculous statement. Hillary has no clue what it is to be poor, she has no clue what it is like to grow up in a single parent home. She has no clue what it is to be any nationality but white. The difference between Obama and Clinton is, and you said it, he speaks and seeks the TRUTH.

    April 24, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Len

    Never give up Hillary, we love you. lol

    McCain 08

    April 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Stephen Fox

    As a Canadian, I find US politics to be great entertainment – I've become hooked on it. My two cents worth is that if Obama continues to lead in the delgate count and popular vote, he has to become the nominee. I think Clinton is devious and dirty enough to steal the nomination with siuperdelegate votes, but that would without any doubt lead to a Mccain win. Stealing the nomination from the first black nominee in history would have Obama democrats staying home or voting Mccain in droves – they would not flip to Clinton.
    BTW Wolf, you are doing a great job of unbiased reporting. (more than I can say for some of your colleagues)

    April 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Ken

    Let's keep this going until June 3. Why not? By then Hillary and her ilk will have no choice but to conceed. By then Florida and Michigan will not matter because Barrack will have enough of the popular vote in total to negate anything Hillary can try and hold over our heads regarding Florida and Michigan. Barrack will still have the most delegates and states won too. Keep it going. The truth will then hopefully set us all free.

    This is democracy in action. To think this so called battle is hurting the Democratic Party is ludicrous. This all has to happen because this is the way the system was set up. The process will bring everything to light.

    Please stop stating that if Hillary won NY, CA, OH, and PA that only she could win those states in a general election. This is a faulty argument. A Democrat will win CA and NY just like McCain is sure to win TX and probably FL.

    PA is not indicative of how the rest of the US will look during the general election. If you want a better idea of how the country will turn out during the general election look to Missouri. In another week the news cycle will have forgotten about PA and will have moved on to NC and IN.

    April 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Obama

    The Obama people are willing to win even if it is by exploiting race, playing the race card, winning at the flawed caucus format and disenfranchising democratic voters.

    They are willing to win by cheating and deception.

    The media really bought into the hype and elevated Obama to star status. The corupt DNC swiftboated Hillary to give Obama the edge.

    But we want a president, not an entertainer.

    April 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Lets Get Ready for Change!

    Wow... This experience vs non experience issue is so funny. To be totally honest, neither one of them have experience being President as neither one has been President or Vice President.

    The issue of her winning the big states is also funny. Does everyone really believe that all of those states would automatically become republican states. Once a democratic nominee is selected, many people will still vote democratic regardless of who is selected.

    I personally believe so many people are looking at Bill Clinton Presidency and giving Hillary credit. Which to me is not the correct thing to do. We are living in a different day & time so what Bill Clinton did or whatever obstacles he faced will be totally different than what the next President will encounter.

    I would say let the remaining states votes without all this negativity and see where things stand. The clear winner will be the one with the most states won and the most pledge delegates. If popular votes really matter a lot then Al Gore would have been President. Let just keep it real!

    April 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Tim MN.

    Mike your delegate count is great! just how many undecided and borderline democrats are REALLY going to vote for McCain if their candidate doesn't make the cut? NONE! history shows these people just stay home and don't vote at all. The two parties are way too far apart on policies at this point to have a bunch of undecideds on the fence threatening to go to the other if this is the case. I don't see Barack or Hillary telling us that we can stay in Iraq for another 100 years and that $4 a gallon gas is something we have to get used to, and still pay more taxes! Why is it ok for the members of congress to have free health care when they are our "public servants"? Why did McCain collect social security benefits when his wife is worth a $100 million? Did he really need the money or could it have been used to feed the homeless? How many other members are collecting it at the exspense of our elderly? Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice, shame on ME!

    April 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Slick

    Clinton's go to court tomorrow. Will anyone cover these FRAUDS??

    April 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Cyrus - NY

    To Susan MO

    Sadly enough, we elected Bush twice and he also
    – lacked any experience for running a country. Hence, the mess we are in today
    – slammed the people with his repressive policies
    – insulted the dignity and intelligence of Americans in every possible way

    I am not sure how HRC has "more experience" to be a president. Being a first lady doesn't qualify anyone to run for presidency. "She is for the people?" – Which people? lobbyists? PACs? I am a New Yorker and it doesn't seem she is for all the people. She is for those who can support her re-elect and help her run her political machine. I will give you this much....HRC is a true fighter. Her perseverance wins my respect, but her policies and decisions as a public official are a different story.

    April 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Peter from Oregon

    I would ask both Clinton and Obama supporters to ask which candidate is most capable of picking up the independent and switch-over republican votes this fall?

    We have seen record numbers of independents and republicans switching parties in PA, OR and countless other states to ba able to take part in this election. It is widely accepted that most of these cross overs and first time voters are casting their ballet for Obama (i know I am as a recently converted republican to democrat).

    While the mainstream democratic base will most likely pull themselves together in the fall and vote for whomever wins the nomination, I do not believe the independents and converts will follow if Hillary is the nominee.

    HIllary, the way she has run her campaign (not saying that Obama is blameless) provokes an inherent negative reaction in those of us who have reently joined the Democratic party. If she is the nominee in the fall you will see some of us vote for McCain, but you will also see many more vote AGAINST Hillary.

    A vote for Hillary in the primaries is going to equal 2 votes against her in the fall.

    April 24, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Rich

    Mike, you spent a lot of time explaining how things would play out in a general election with Hillary vs Obama. Two points:

    1. Obama has shown a much better understanding of the strategy of the primaries and especially caucuses. Do you really think he would have used the same strategy he used had the apportionment rules been like the general election?

    2. Whoever the Democratic nominee ends up being will be running against a Republican, not a Democrat. Unless you think Hillary is a drop in for McCain, the primaries are not a clear indicator at all about how these states would play out.

    April 24, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Flat-earther, Georgia

    Primaries are not true tests of who the voters want. Too many crossovers trying to influence for the weaker candidate. If close, but no winner, going into the convention, the pols should choose the party's candidate.

    April 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Vacman

    Everyone is making a big deal about Clinton winning most of the bigger states but let's remember just because you win the state's primary it doesn't mean you can win in November!! Obama's camp can state she can't win the smaller states which balances out!! You have to win the smaller and big states to win the Presidency period!! The voters from Michigan and Florida were on the outside looking in because their elected officials made bad decisions but moving their primaries up without DNC approval and Hillary is trying to stir the pot up there with voters because she can't catch Barack in pledged delegate!! Clinton could care less if Michigan or Florida voters if she was ahead on delegates!! She is losing far and square right now so how can she beat MCCain in November if she's can't beat Obama in April!!

    April 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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