May 1st, 2008
02:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton adviser makes superdelegate pitch

Clinton's campaign says she has 'automatic delegates.'

Clinton's campaign says she has 'automatic delegates.'

(CNN) - Following a surge in the pace of superdelegate endorsements, senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes released a memo addressed to the Democratic Party’s “automatic delegates” that points to several new polls that suggest Hillary Clinton would be tougher to beat than Barack Obama in a general election bout.

(Ickes refers to superdelegates as “automatic delegates” because he says that term better reflects their status as party leaders and elected officials who are entitled to a vote at the Democratic convention.)

At least dozen superdelegates have publicly weighed in so far this week. Of those, roughly two-thirds have supported Obama, and one-third have backed Clinton.

“A spate of new public polls out this week confirms what we have been arguing for some time: Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November,” writes Ickes.

He points to results in recent national and swing state surveys testing hypothetical head-to-head matchups with John McCain which show Clinton performing slightly better than Obama. He also notes the New York senator’s showing in “the all important subcategories that serve as bellwethers for a candidate’s overall strength.”

Ickes says relevant results in those categories include Obama’s rising unfavorable ratings, and Clinton’s greater strength among independent voters and seniors – and among young voters, a group that has been a vital part of Obama’s base in many of his previous primary wins.

In the latest AP-Ipsos poll pitting each Democratic candidate against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, both candidates win a majority – but Clinton fares better, pulling in two-thirds of those voters against McCain, while Obama receives the support of 55 percent in a hypothetical matchup with the Arizona senator.

soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Apryl

    Obama is being hit by Hillary , John Mccain, and the MEDIA
    and he's still doing pretty darn good. Obama is the strongest. And if the republican really wanted to face him and not Hillary don't you think they'd use there money on attacking her and not him.

    May 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. ABG

    Hillary Clinton is ahead in the polls because America is seeing through the "spin" speeches and taking a harder look at Obama's lack of experience, strength and decisiveness.

    Obama's stereotyping of Pennsylvanians as people who turn to bigotry when times are tough,, his too-long support of Reverend Wright, and his refusal to debate in every primary tells America he is not ready to be President!

    The "fresh face" is now too fresh for the American voters!

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Carol, WI

    Where are these new polls that show Hillary's, "greater strength among independent voters and seniors – and among young voters?" I know Hillary has the old women who want to see a female president before they die sewn up, but what polls state she is stronger than Obama with independents and young voters?"

    Also, what point is Hillary's camp is trying to make regarding "Obama's rising unfavorable ratings?" Do they forget her unfavorable ratings are higher than his? I am confused. All of these ratings have been fluctuating for weeks, so to make an argument based on polls of the days where your candidate is ahead seems a bit desparate to me. Especially, when you are behind in all other relevant categories (according to the rules of the Democratic Primaries).

    I would like to see a timeline of all her statements about the relevant selection criteria from the beginning of the race (it's a delegate race, polls don't matter) through the end of the race when it is all said and done. The contradictions will be endless...

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Ted in Chicago

    James B

    I sure hope you do not have a daughter who might need an abortion

    I vote DEM DEM or DEM no matter shape size name or color

    We need to have a people's supreme court – and there are no four years to wait

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |

    Absolutely she is the ONLY candidate that can beat McCain in November. The republicans know that too and that is why they are so anxious to make it Obama that is the one they are battling with for November. Using psychology to guide us towards Obama who they can beat easily in November. He is a gift to them! McCain will stroll right into the Whitehouse, awful shame as this was our best chance to get it back.

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. wyliffe

    HILLARY, showed a strong forth quater but time ran out. Obama still has the lead and therefore the winner.

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Adam - TX

    The poll of polls don't lie. Hillary is the best candidate for November despite delegate counts, etc. It's up for the selfish Obama supporters to see this and realize he will make a viable candidate in 2016.

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. honkey white guy from cali

    I am glad to see that people are finally starting to talk about this election fraud case in California I have been posting about it for weeks no news media will cover the story for what reason no one will say and they just keep getting away with these lies. Under election laws she is not even eligible to be in the race because of this law suit! no one is talking about that. Does none of Clinton supporters care about the laws of this county or the rules that everyone agreed to if you have lost then you lost but to be a loser of her degree come on now! lies lies lies!!!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Mia and Mike

    Okay CNN, why the cover-up on the Peter Paul debacle? I have been hearing this name for the last several months but don't know much about the issues other than what the posters are saying. Can you all inform the public on just what this entails? Thanks

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. simple thought

    i would vote for her, but they are gonna give the monination to obama,
    who was not vetted by the bias media, so thier darling will get the dem. nod., but come nov. when the dem. base speaks loud and clear, the war hero will win very big.
    ps:: why do people wish to be sober???????JOHN WAYNE

    May 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. fel

    Obama is a JOKE...does not have the strength and courage to be the President of the United states. How can a weakling that is to afraid to have a Real debate with Hillary think he is going to deal with real pressure in the White House.

    Go McCain!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. enomisa

    The first female candidate deserved the same respect and support from her own party and democratic leaders, as has been continually shown to the first African American candidate.

    I guess all those Washington Insiders and all the new age Politicians still subscribe to the Good Old Boys attitude towards leadership and the presidency.

    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Judi in the heartland

    Oh yeah...he's a Clinton suporter. I surely believe what he says. They have been screaming to let the porcess run itrself out...let the people vote they cry. That is unless they think she has the upper hand then it's different. I am so sick of this I could scream.

    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Ben- Portland

    How can anyone possibly argue that she's the best to go against the Republicans when they've made a sport of Clinton bashing over the past 16 years? She stands to have a much longer lasting impact and greater legacy in the Senate as a long term party leader- pending the outcome of the Paul thing, I guess.

    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. shelly

    Poll smoll, the congressinal delegates have already made up their mind, They went to Obama 3-2. drip drip with the rest of the delegates. I here James brown sing "I Feel Good" Obama'08

    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Obama 08


    May 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Moore

    The pastor who was convicted of inappropriately touching a young girl who was sleeping over at his house IS NOT Hillarys pastor. This man was the pastor of the Baptist Church in Washington during the Clinton years in the White House. He was not selected as their spiritual advisor, nor was he their friend. Jessie Jackson was their spiritual years when they were in the White House. The world travelling Clintons were rarely in Washington during the White House years.

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Question

    Do any of you have jobs...other than working for Obama as hired morons, that is?

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. caroll

    NO MORE DYNASTIES!!!! Clintons --GO HOME!

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Danielle

    I guess the Clinton camp is getting nervous. Obama is getting more super delegates each day and some of her supporters are leaving her for Obama, such as Chairman Andrew! My question to her advisor is, if she is so electable and can beat McCain why hasn’t she won the Democratic Primary yet? Why is she still behind? Why is her campaign in debt? Why has she lost more states? Why is she losing the popular vote? If she can’t even win her own primary how in the world can she win the general election? It’s time for Hillary to bow down gracefully, her dirty tactics and lies have left her fighting a battle she has already lost.

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Ok...

    They are right. Come on guys- Hillary has been under scrutiny for how many years and she is still popular. Obama has been under scrunity for 5 minutes and we're finding aweful things out about him. The Republicans must be jumping for joy. Do you guys honestly believe that we will elect a President who sat in a church with a man who said 9-11 was the US's fault? As it those people brought it on themselves? The right thought Hillary was a nightmare, they probably think she's the second coming now compared to this guy. He'll never win.

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. zina

    Didn't the Clinton say that superdelegates are supposed to vote their conscience? Now they are automatically supposed to go the way of the current polls? Which way is it?

    I am really trying to give the Clintons the benefit of the doubt here, but I just cannot go along with this one. Senseless.

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Chris Gorham

    wow that is desperation...knowing that if the polls change again, which they will as they go up and down, this last argument is toast.

    May 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. LJ Blue

    Obama is still trickling in superdelegates from across the country.

    OK. Just how would it look if the superdelegates decided not to pick the only Black candidate to ever run for President, if he actually had the most deligates?

    The "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2007 (from
    The list mentions Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Conyers (D-MI), Larry Craig (R-ID), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Rudy Giuliani (R-NY), Mike Huckabee (R-AR), I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, (D-IL) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Harry Reid (D-NV).

    And we keep electing them anyway.

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Scott C

    When EVERY poll favored Obama, the Clinton campaign said they didn't mean anything, polls aren't trustworthy. Now that there are a few polls putting Clinton slightly ahead in hypothetical telephone poll match-ups the Clinton campaign is putting a LOT of stock in these polls, that as little as 2 weeks ago meant nothing to them.

    The only poll results I can about are the results of the contests where American people went to the polls to vote for their choice of candidate. They have CLEARLY chosen Barack Obama. As long as Obama remains in the lead in pledged Delegates he should be the nominee.

    You can argue that Clinton is more electable, I disagree strongly, she is dead even with him right now in polling and he is in the middle of a new Rev. Wright scandal, if she were more electable, she should be WAAAY ahead right now, instead of slightly behind.

    If Obama is less electable then so be it, he won fair and square... If the primaries don't mean anything then they should just hold one hypothetical opinion poll and nominate based on that... Instead of wasting MILLIONS running primaries that the Clintons want to disregard anyway.

    I for one am a Democrat who doesn't look to kindly on the vote being overturned to give the win to the loser.

    Who is more electable?

    Obama or Clinton

    Obama may have some baggage, but if Clinton is GIVEN the nomination as the loser the Democrats will NOT come together, she will lose 100% of the black vote and almost all the new voters, not to mention every single other person who's vote was cast aside to give Clinton the nomination.

    If Hillary wins, the Democrats lose.

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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