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. lynn

    A vote for Obama is a vote for Wright........enter the McCain
    and the Republicans

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Lou

    Peter Paul has been out there for months but the press will not touch it. They feel it is old news but the reality is that HRC will have to testify after the general election and likely carry this mess into the White House if she is the nominee. Sounds like the end of Bill's administration don't it. Is that what we need right now? Fortunately, the superdelegates know this situation all too well and are reacting correctly.

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Delta Dave

    I Googled Peter Paul/Hillary Clinton and found an amazing story on Talk about judicial favoritism – what a rip off. She has been given a break until after November – phew!!, if she gets elected it will be a case of another President being impeached. Oh, and by the way, give my regards to my old friend Bill, said the judge.
    Harold Yuckies must be smoking some good old BC Bud to come up with the nonsense he has pushed out. There's a smell of desperation in the air.

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. swiftboat

    The very best candidate for the presidency in decades has been efficiently and systematically and effectively swiftboated by her own party. The extremely biased and sensationalist media also did their best to derail this woman's run.

    What a shame that the greates country in the world can no longer hold fair and unbiased and elections.

    May 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. sandra from TN

    if the peter paul case came out.. clinton electability would be over.

    please CNN YOU ARE MY FAVORITE NETWORK.. but please start the rippple that will start the big wave of coverage about this case... be the first media network to have some ++++ agains the clintons!

    Come on CNN you can do IT!


    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. yes we can

    Peter Paul v. Clinton

    The media wants Clinton as the nominee because a presidential nominee who is going to be testifying in a fraud case makes a great story to sell and raitings boost...

    CNN isnt reporting on it for 2 reasons...

    CNN= Clinton News Network

    and because CNN reporters are always looking for their own "White Bronco Chase" story...

    OJ part 2

    Its a conspiracy by the media to not inform the public, and im sure my comments will be deleted because they dont want my words to taint thier deceptive practices

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Help Wanted Experience Needed


    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Eddie G

    I can't even has all been said.

    Obama is the best person for the job!

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. elm

    This is why this country needs a President with a stable mind. Sen. Clinton talking about a nuclear war with Iran. If she starts a war, she won't have to worry about the 3 a.m. phone call because we all will be obliterate by Iran.

    Sen. Obama may have problems with Rev. Wright and the bitter statement, but that is nothing when it comes to starting a nuclear war. So, I ask the Clintons' supporters, do you really want someone in the Whitehouse that can cost all of us our lives? Where will your kids be during a nuclear war? They can strick over here just as we can over there in their country.

    Think about it!

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. AK from Uniontown, PA

    the clinton campaign is made up of idiots. Do they know that the GOPS are going to have field day with the lies of Hillary and in addition they will bash Bill's lies too.

    1.) bosnia snipe fire
    2.) bringing northern ireland peace
    3.)hospital story
    4.)where her donations to this campaign is coming from
    6.)calling other people elitist when she has 109 million dollars.
    7.) depends on what your definition of "is" is

    CNN please please please put this comment in. thanks

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    You dems are so scared of McCain that you are ready to lump him in with Bush . By the way, if what bush did after 9\11 was so bad why was he elected by a landslide in 2004. All you do is complain. I do not hear anyone giving ideas on what should have been done.

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Jesse


    No more Clinton lies...

    Clinton CAN NOT win and the math does not add up any way you stack it

    Super Delegates would tear the party to pieces if they gave the nomination to Clinton... and they know it

    The bottom line is like it or not Obama is the choice of the people and the pledged delegates and it is time for everyone to get behind him and move forward

    May 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Curious

    I've just read about this Peter Paul suit thanks to your blog and am shocked this isn't on the news. Where is Hannady or Bill O'Reilly on this one?

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. chuck

    You have to give the Obama campaign credit for their ability to run a totally negetive campaign that does nothing but attack Clinton over and over and over again.

    The "negetive" things Clinton has been accused of saying have simply been that given time the image of Obama as Mr Squeeky Clean would go away and some day Democrats would realize that he was just a typical first term senator from Illinios.

    That's the worst thing she has ever said about him and the Obama campaign has been nothing but a vile Rovian bring up all of the garbage from 20 years ago attack machine.

    From day one the message of "hope" was neve hope, but one of Change by insulting our past. Attack and minimize the accomplishments of other Democrats but particularly Clinton

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Little Bit

    Hilary wants to run against McCain because she can't beat Obama.

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. chris

    If any of you watched the interview on Fox with Hillary she was quite impressive.

    She knows what is going on. She knows how to get things done. If people would set aside their own biases and really listen and watch it is quite clear she is the best Candidate out of the three.

    She had a front seat in the White House when her husband took the Country of of Debt, built reserves, mended relationships with other Countries, stabilized our medical, food, and fuel costs.

    We are where we were at in 1992 after the First Bush, but worse...
    We need her to go in and clean house....

    This is serious, not a game for those that want remain "deaf & blind". Remember Bush got the Presidency because so many people remained "deaf and blind" to all the red flags.

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Nelson - Knoxville

    If we are to base our decisions on polls, then there wouldn't have been any reason to go into primaries and caucauses. 6 months before the primaries, clinton was ahead of everybody by upto 20 points. Now they don't have anything on their side – Pledge degates, Popuplar votes, states won, money raised, temparament to handle issues. The only thing they can hang onto is some polls that are not even consistent.

    Mr. Ickles should know better, nomination is not based on polls but on delegates, so go home and sleep because the game is up.

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Former Hillary supporter

    Well that is what happens when the republicans ignore hillary – of course her hypothetical matchup improves.

    Consider that both the mccain AND clinton campaigns (not to mention fox news) have been constantly firing attacks at obama for weeks now, how could clinton not be favorable in hypothetical polls? Obama is the common enemy for both of these campaings because he is clearly the strongest of the three.

    Once hillary is gone, he can focus his undivided attention on mccain and show the people of this country once and for all how much of the same the republicans are offering.

    Then, you will see how the polls shift.

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Norisha

    I remember that FORMER REPUBLICAN!!! Why isn't the media jumping on all that???

    OBAMA 2008!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. mitch from ark.

    don't base your opinion on polls!they change daily.obama's supporters are not budging,and his lead is continuing to grow ,everyday.negative campaigns will not decide who our politicians are,anymore.go home hillary!

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Mike

    I have gathered some numbers based on the democratic primary to show what will happen in November if Obama is the nominee.
    The democratic primary is different as it shares delegates based on percentage but in the general election it is winner takes all in each state. Each state won is that many delegates to winning the overall count. So if we treat the democratic primary just like the general election this is what we are looking at against McCain.

    I have taken each state that has won by Obama or Clinton and given all the delegates of that state to the majority winner. I even gave Obama all the upcoming states and made him the winner giving him the delegates from them. I did not include Florida or Michigan to avoid any argument. This includes Guam and others that are counted in the democratic primary. This is only actually won states and future states given to Obama:

    Obama won 37 "states"
    Hillary won 17 "states"

    However in a general election setting:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 1750

    If you count Florida and Michigan which Hillary won and polls show that even if Obama campaigned in those states Hillary would have won them at that time:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 2118

    If we gave Florida to Obama and Michigan to Hillary as polls suggest a primary today would give them:

    Obama delegate count: 1692
    Hillary delegate count: 1907

    The bottom line is that Hillary has won in a general election model based on primaries of the democratic party and even giving Obama all the next primary states coming up. The reason Hillary won is she won all the big states practically? These states are historically won by the Republican party as to why Bush beat Kerry in 2004. Therefore if Obama cannot win the big states that Republicans tend to win he has no chance against McCain in the general election. Hillary has the only chance of being a democratic president in 2008.

    So do you want a Republican in office or do you want a Democrat? The choice is clear who is more electable in November.

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    There are way too many things about the Clinton's that I am sure the superdelegates know about that have held them back. Personally, I think this whole campaign has been kept going so that Obama can become practice firing back at all the snipper fire he will get from the RNC.

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Let me get this straight – in NC Obama is running against Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, AND the republican party. They must be school yard bullies that are scared. ALL OF THEM

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Obama 08

    Perhaps they should have included the following comment from camapign strategist Wolfson on being questioned about no expert favoring Clinton's"tax holiday" on gas:

    "There are times that a president will take a position that a broad support of quote-unquote experts agree with. And there are times when they will take a position that quote-unquote experts will not agree with." Sounds exacttly like the BUSH/Cheney philosophy to me.

    If one of Obama's strategists had said this it would be all over CNN!!

    I believe this gas issue is going to be a major thing with her pandering..

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Stop the Anti-Clinton Machine

    We all know she's the smartest and most motivated. We all know she is the best capable.

    However, because you don't like her you want to deny what she has to offer our country. WAKE UP and do the right thing America.

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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