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. Antony

    Fine, this week's polls suggest she is 4.8% tougher... it does not matter – superdelegates would only overrun the majorities of votes, states etc, is if the winner was fatally flawed. And not if the runner-up is marginally better. This is not a case with Obama – one cannot say he stands no chance in November. He might be not as good as Clinton, but for Clinton to get nominated the whole establishment would have to go down in flames the way the situation is right now.

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Stop the Drama

    Yes She Will or NoTTT........




    pick me .....pick me.....

    America please help Hillarme or she will go into severe depression after this ..Bill is in panic, Chelsea wonders what will happen to her Hedge Fund job...

    Help the Clintons...they deserve the white house , it is theirs , their birthright!!

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. mitch from ark.

    she also has a 68% negative rating.

    May 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Ethan-Denver

    We knew that sooner or later Obama was going to peak. Hillary peaked in 2000 after her husban left office and there is nothing new you can dig up on her. In the past 3 weeks the dirt on Obama has been so messy that folks are thinking if they had known this before they would have not voted for him. With Hillary I know what I'm getting – a balanced budget, a trade surplus, a universal health-care plan and a husband who likes hot sexy interns. I'd take that over racism, bigorty, push-me-under-the-bus, and unpatriotic doctrines any day.

    PS. Obama knew exactly what his pastor was preaching for 20 yrs. he did go to church for crying out lout

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. DrFill

    Should we put this in the Begging or Crying column for Clinton?
    Either way, I'd have to scroll down to update the list.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Alex in TX

    Seven reasons Hillary will not win the nomination
    1) Math
    2) Peter Paul
    3) Snipergate
    4) Iraq
    5) Columbia
    6) Whitewater
    7) Monica

    Despite his flaws (most of them revealed once he was elected) Bill Clinton was a good president. Hillary would not be a bad president, but Obama will be a revolutionary President.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Pappu

    Mr O the great UNITER ? After listening to divisive speeches for 20 years? No way. His charm and charisma have worn off. He has been revealed as a politician after all. Let's elect a fighter and get a democrat in the White House.

    Go Hillary!

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Chrissy, TX

    These superdelegates must think that the American people are stupid to believe that for 20yrs this idiot (Obama) sat in Wright's church and heard nothing......they are the stupid ones. If the superdelegates that are endorsing Obama think that the Clinton supporters will flock to Obama (if he gets the nomination) they are stupid. I as a woman and Hispanic will cast my vote for McCain and so will alot of other women and Hispanics. Remember McCain is not your typical Republican, he is well liked among all party lines. These superdelegates say that every vote counts, then they need to let the process go forward and let the remaining states have their say and keep their mouths shut.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. memory

    The democratic party better hope that 50% of the voters have a really short memory and forget all the ways that hate and corruption disrupted this politician and her campaign.

    If many of her supporters remember half of the insults and bias and hate and corruption that worked to disadvantage Clinton and to advantage Obama... it may not be the certain win they are expecting.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Mike

    Would you consider voting for David Duke for president?

    What if he ran and even though he sat in klan meetings and listened to their
    rhetoric for years but he now strongly denounces it and because the media
    makes a bigger issue of it he has left the klan altogether.

    What if he has a slumlord friend by the name of Leona Helmsley that
    contributes to him, however he does not denounce her and admits making shady
    business deals including his own house.

    What if he has a terrorist friend that bombed a federal building and killed
    children in the blast by the name of Timothy McVeigh. He doesn't denounce
    him either and even co-chairs an organization with him. Even attends a
    party held by Timothy in his honor to launch his campaign. David says that
    Timothy blew up the Oklahoma building long before he knew him and should not
    mean anything.

    What if David was endorsed by the neo-Nazi party and their affiliates
    worldwide. He denounces them even though his ex-grand dragon klan leader
    published articles from the nazi parties while he attended and paid money
    supporting his klan group.

    However despite all this what if David Duke promotes change and says he
    wants to get past the above petty distractions and unite this country under
    a common cause. Whatever that cause may be.

    Now do you vote for David or would you think that if David ran with those
    people in his circle of friends that it would be utterly ridiculous to vote
    for such a person.

    So if you wouldn't vote for David than why are you voting for Obama and his
    friends Wright, Ayers, Rezko and Hamas?

    No difference other than color.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Belle

    I think the DNC and Pelosi are pushing for Obama...thinking it is better to lose an election than lose the AA vote. Truth REALLY is, it is much easier for a man to be elected than a woman.

    Kind of funny in a way, when Obama says OVER AND OVER, Hillary is not to be trusted, Clinton is a racist, Cinton is untruthful, Clinton is divisive,
    that is good campaigning? That is the high minded HOPE and Change HE IS TALKING ABOUT?

    Yet if Clinton DARE question's Obama's stance on ANY issues, she is running a negative campaign! OR divisive, or a racist, or the cause of every issue Obama has had....Already Obama has done more to divide the Democratic Party than anyone in History. If he wins the nomination, I hope he feels proud of HOW he did it. But he certainly cannot expect my vote.

    Clinton did NOT attack Obama's character, but she did question him on issues....I think Clinton should run an ad with EVERY Single soundbite of Obama changing his story....but I suppose a 10 minute commercial would cost a heck of a lot of money.....

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Suzanne

    These polls don't mean anything at this time. Once Obama has the nomination and can run against McCain he will do just fine. Right now he's running against Clinton, her husband, their democratic machine and the corporate media who is doing everything to destroy Obama and iignore her negatives..Given all of that the super-delegates are still flocking to him and he has the nomination all sewn up. Time to start throwing the mainstream edia under the don't get to decide our elections.....

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Jason Horse

    billary, hillary, HIStory or HERstory,
    usually repeats.

    U gotta love OBAMA
    I do and I am First Nations In Cree Country, Canada

    In Spirit

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Donj, NJ

    do a search on Peter Paul. Amazing!

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Tosha-Atlanta, GA

    Hillary has lost far more states than Obama, not to mention the 11-0 streak back in February. How does the Clinton campaign to do their math?

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Diane - Florida

    Obviously McCain is the only reliable candidate to vote for. Obama is not even electable except by the African American communities and that is based on race alone. You cannot believe a word he says. Pitching ignorance now that his MINISTER has spoken, he now denounces him – just a politician saying what he needs to say.
    Too bad the states who already voted didn't see the real Obama. He cannot even handle his minister much less foreign leaders. Obama needs to just face reality and drop out of the campaign before some more truths surface about his spiritual uncle. Not to mention, his wife, she does not portray a very professional first lady. GO MCCAIN... you're the one to win it now. A second alternative, CLINTON, for sure.

    May 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. tropicalos

    American has to keep quite over the so called spreading Democracy Freedom and Equality because, they are so racialy divided. Clinton has destroyed Obama the only Will be the first African American President. upon having a white mother which played no role to balance his color.
    If the Democrats and superdelegates will Fails this young man who has brought such a huge impact on not only the American politics in Fund raising, Organization and inspiration infact he is already seen as the new face of America World Wide.
    it will be a Big a blow not only to the Americans but also to Human race if Hillary Clinton will steal this nomination with her Desperate mind and Negativity.

    May 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Tony

    I agree, Sen Clinton is by far a better leade than Obama, this is coming from an afro-American, why can these super-delagetes see that, are we going to make the mistakes choosing Obama, over Clinton, and give the republicans another 4 years in the White House

    May 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Susan from Texas

    Obama is the one who needs to get out of the race. No way he is electable. I am a life long democrat and I would rather vote for McCain then him. If they hand him the nomination, it will only be because he didn't want the votes to count in Florida and Michigan! I know many, many Clinton supporters who won't vote for Obama. I will do everything in my power to turn as many democrats into either McCain supporters of convince them to stay home in protest. Hillary Clinton is the only democrat that can beat McCain. She is the best qualified to do the job, and she received the most votes.

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Kel from Auburn AL

    They are scared. These folks are truly and deeply terrified of our man Obama!

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Jenny

    When enough is enough?
    Obama 08

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Cathy

    Andrew is another judas like richardson.It's ok because obama will loose in November any way.

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Caryn, Washington DC

    Hillary is the strongest candidate because she continues to beat down on her fellow democrat further dividing the democratic party.

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. John Kay

    Yes, the superdelegates are seeing polls and also making the right decision by coming over to Obama in droves.

    Another 3:am will soon ring to inform Mrs Clinton of another superdelegate for Obama

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Pragmatist, SoCal

    "Besides…half the country hates her…including me…a 55 year old white woman…IN FLORIDA
    Obama has been kind, a gentleman, stuck to the issues, so if the superdelegates think for one moment the young, the independents, and the black voters will show up at the polls…they are mistaken, we will sit this one out."

    Same here, and the number of people in California planning to do just that is growing. They young were not registering to vote because of the Democratic Party, they are only fooling themselves into thinking that. If Obama is not the nominee...they are in for a VERY RUDE awakening

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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