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. Darth Vadik, CA

    Susan MO,

    Insulting? Obama? No no no no no no no.
    Its Hillary who insults the people by dismissing all the people in the states she has lost, you know.

    As far as her experience, with the judgment like NAFTA and the war vote she obviously hasn't learned from her excperience.

    April 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. paul oregon

    obama is the strongest person to win his campain is veryorgangized
    people ard willing to support him because he doesnt talk downto them. he hasnt lied to them. why would any want alier for a president?
    he doesnt have to prove anything he allready has. the clintons are the
    insiders all the experince and they cant put this guy out. that ought to
    tellyou something. i wonder how long it will take the superdelelegates
    to figure out that with allof the clintons spins. shes making them look
    like they are notto smart?

    April 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Your Fan

    She enjoys this....she is really in her element, she's God's Pit Bull

    April 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |


    HILLARY '08

    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Dylan

    Answer to Question #1: Barack Obama

    Answer to Question #2: Barack Obama

    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    The superdelegates should have made up their minds by now. And lets' face the facts, no matter how the Clintons have tried to change the rules. This race is about delegates and in the end; Obama has and will have more delegates. He received more delegates because more American voted for him over Clinton. The superdelegates do have a choice; however they can not change the will of the American people. Having said that, they should crown Obama has the winner so the entire Democratic Party can unite so we can defeat John McCain in November.

    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. truth be told

    hillary supporters keep on harping that obama will not win against mccain in november. i wish i have their foresight and intellect. that way, i'll be a very rich man and i don't have to work anymore. i'll just sit and read their innocuous blogs. i'll be fun to see how they'll eat their words when obama is declared the nominee and the winner in november. fun, fun, fun.

    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Brian

    Hillary was a liar. Hilliary is a liar.

    The superdelegates do not want riots on the streets. Most will vote Obama.

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Dal

    I am not white nor Black.
    Looking at the way the white America is going especially the older folks (age 40+) it appears that the racial divide is still there and will remain there for a long time. This is the main reason why Clinton is winning and Bill has been good at mentioning the race card all the time to make sure that the white America votes for Hillary Clinton.
    Lets look at the other side if Obama is not the candidate then certainly the Black voters would feel snubbed. If they feel that and they have the right to vote say for McCain then Hillary Clinton will not get into the White House . May be the Americans need to look at themselves and see why they need this Black man OBAMA to be the president.
    1. It will most probably bring America better relations with the rest of the world.
    2. No more old politics.
    3. Stronger America
    4. Better life for the Americans.


    April 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Rick in Oregon

    Alda....get yourself informed. That is an AD, that Hillary paid for. Obama has had them on here before also. It's not like CNN said, "Hey Hillary, we'd like to help you raise some money so please allow us to put a link up on our site for ya'."

    The campaigns for each person have paid for the ads to be up on the site.

    I like what Stacy Clarks said. I too want a democrat and I'll take either Obama or Clinton. I would prefer to have both.

    Unite the party and decide to run together!!!

    April 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Sallie Mae

    Hillary is such a joke! Give it up sister!!

    OBAMA '08

    April 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. robert, new york

    These Obama supporters writing in are fanatical! It's really scary. Zero intellect and irrational responses. I think the Kool-Aid trough is empty at long last however. Whew!

    April 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Proud Democratic Military Member

    I am a democrat and have not chosen a particiular candidate. However, I know how the rules work. The rules state that the person with the most delegates should win the nomination and that person is Obama. If these rules are not followed that does not say much for the character of the democratic party. I cannot be apart of a party that cannot follow the rules that they made. I will then have two choices; vote for McCain or not vote at all. I will probably choose the latter.

    April 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Rich

    "Who are you goning to call? Hillary of course, she can fix anything, Hillary is fixing Obama's wagon." – Jim

    How is she fixing Obama's wagon? I guess you mean sabotage with Rove smear tactics.

    Hillary didn't fix Health Care the first time around. She didn't fix the inane desire to invade Iraq. And with her integrity virtually non-exisitent and talking of "obliterating" Iran while criticizing Obama for wanting diplomatic relations to solve things peacefully, I don't see her fixing our nation's image in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    April 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. David, New Castle. PA

    Obama represents youthful hope and change, a breath of new life into this cynical time. Hillary represents division and the snarly past.

    Let us hope Barrack wins because if he wins, we win. It seems like a no-brainer anyway–he has already got all the math on his side and Hillary cannot possibly catch up to him; he leads in most pledged delegates, most states, most votes. Only an idiot or rabid Clinton supporter would blame the Michigan/Florida situation on him. He has just played by the rules that were set by the Democratic Party leadership and agreed to by all the candidates, including Her Highness the Queen of Entitlement. Use the CNN delegate calculator, she would have to win 70% of ALL the remaining pledged delegates to even tie his total. That is just not going to happen no matter how hard the Clintons swift boat Obama.

    With this reality in mind, is it not time for the Clintons to start thinking about supporting his candidacy instead of continuing the Tonya Harding treatment that they have been giving him? The party needs the Clintons and her supporters to help Obama win the presidency in November. Or they can vote for McCain and go to ....

    April 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Lavon Miller

    If Hillary wins the nomination, my vote will be with her. If she does not, I will vote Republican. Incidentally, I vote for the person and not for the party. I grew up among people who would vote Democrat no matter who was running. I vote for people I feel will attempt to do the job and have the ability to do so. I would rather have a President like George Bush for example who does what he thinks in his heart is correct even if it turns out to be wrong than someone that simply looks at how politics will deal with the decision made.
    I do not trust Obama–think he is a slick talking politician more interested in being President than he is in the people and determined to be the first black president. Black does not bother me. I would have voted for Collen Powell if he had run as I could trust him and know he would try to do what was best for the country. (I am white)

    April 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. JAMES

    Why can't Hillary close the deal..? CNN won't ask the question. the clintons have been around for years, why can't she close the young buc out..scared of the answer...white politics.

    April 24, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Leslie

    Over the past few months I have realized that Obama is much like an ice berg. What you see is NOT what you get. I really suspect that deep within him and his wife reside a hatred for all white persons and others who have power and who don't support the Muslim world. I'm not jumping on Hillary's bandwagon, but if I had to vote for only
    Hillary or Obama I would definitely vote for Hillary - though I don't like nor trust her, either. I do believe, however, that she is American, through and through. Obama may not be an American thru and thru. His wife definitely isn't.

    April 24, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Rich

    To avoid the perception that super delegates are swaying the election, they should voice their opinions slowly over the next month or two. That way the final contests, with votes from the people, will be what puts either one candidate or the other over the line. Waiting until August benefits very few people.

    April 24, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. NO-BAMA


    (and we know how much Obama preaches about following rules)

    Mr. Obama: DO NOT try and move the goal post in the middle of the game. Remember, John Kerry & Ted Kennedy are voting for Obama–EVEN THOUGH their state voted for Clinton in a landslide.


    April 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Penny

    I know one thing for sure. If the nomination of the DEM presidency is decided by 300+ super delegates and NOT by our votes, I am not going to vote in November. It doesn't matter if we vote because somone else will decide anyway. What a democracy! This is getting so bad. Our country is in critical shape and we need to get on with electing a president and NOT by a small group of people who are called super delegates! I am so tired to reading about all the "spin" that is put on everything. We are in trouble and I do not see any light at the end of this dark tunnel.

    April 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Brent from Ohio

    Common! Clinton needs to be the nominee, she has won states that a democrat has to win to get in the white house!!!

    Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Florida are key swing states that DONT WANT OBAMA!!! They want Clinton and if Obama gets the nomination, might as well hand those 70+ electoral votes to McCain....

    April 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. truth be told

    hillary's followers are also harping on the downturn of the economy and that she will be the savior. now, this is a stretch. her minions are forgetting about nafta and her vote for the war. nafta outsourced millions of jobs out of the country, ergo, millions of american jobs lost; her vote for the war, we now know was a total catastrophe and huge failure in terms of lives of thousands of american, allies and iraqis and billions of dollars siphoned off our economy. with these, they want hillary to save us? she can't even manage her own campaign!

    enough said.

    April 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Denise Creager

    I just have to wonder, If those other states that voted before Obama true colors started coming out and the primaries that still had Edwards on the ballot who would be leading now. In the beginning I truly thought I could vote for either Obama or Clinton. I'm glad I'm in Indiana because of the time we have had to hear and see who Obama really is I can and will only vote for Clinton. I would hope that all those super delagates think about how many people who already voted may now wish they had a chance to do it all over again, Oh they do in November.

    April 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Kendall

    Your picture selection for the 2 candidates clearly shows who you support CNN. Its a sad day when Faux News is more balanced than CNN. You should be ashamed.

    April 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11