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. angelina for obama

    ah Excuse me senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes (Yikes) that is what the billarys want us to believe, simply because CNN and Fox and the circus media want that..........I have never been polled nor have any of the thousands of friends i have in about 44 states............ we are all democrats, and to be fair even people who supported billary early have come to see the real woman behind clinton who is divisive, and would be a best running mate to Mccain...........her ways and principles are more aligned with bush, and mccain and limbaugh.
    I just read someone come up woith the best name fo her: cruella devil... with all due respect, she has gone beyond the patience of our people......... it is down discusting.
    she voted for the war and has continue
    but you all for]got that
    she lies and lies and still lies..
    she spreads fear, hate and lies
    she is so low I rather vote republican simply because mccain at least says what he believes...............

    so there............

    Obama has more delegates and more support, and CNN and the Fox polls which are so clinton runned, will not turn this election this time because we the people regular americans like myself, have adn will vote to get our nominee........... against all odds.

    Go Obama 08.

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. ash

    No Hillary Never say Never.
    I don't rust this Obama. before he stood, Dem should have done thorough checking of his CV, accounting for every quarter of his life.
    Now, if Dems elect him, You go as an independent and win the elections, and Make History..First independent and Woman President of America. You can do it........

    If you decide not to stand, I will vote for McCain but not O.b.a.m.a....enough of chilubas and mugabes. and omar shariffs of this world!!!!

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

    Obama cant win the general election. We have been thru all this before.

    Nobody in the history of US primaries has ever lost every major primary and then go on to win the white house. It has never happened ever.

    It doesnt happen for a reason. If they dont want you in the primaries, they wont want you in the general election even less.

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Geoff

    This desperate pitch proves Clinton doesn't have many supers in her backpocket!!

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Lou

    A very astute point made about the NC race. The GOP is running ads against Obama but not Clinton. Hmmm, aside from eroding his lead, it is also very telling whom the GOP really fear as the nominee. That person is the most electable.

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Walls

    From the sounds of it.. neither of your alls party nominations can be trusted. Isn't it sad when the Republican candidate [the man that wants to stay in war] is by far the better candidate? Wow.

    People are saying.. "vote Obama or the blacks won't show up in November." Then who cares?.. They shouldn't have the right to vote if they're only voting for someone of their race. Same goes for women with Hillary.

    As a Republican.. I had my eyes on Hillary Clinton but it's becoming more and more obvious that this country is so stupid that we're going to put in a self-proclaimed messiah acting figure. A man with sooo much baggage that he won't sling dirt because he knows he'll have **** slug in his face. God this country is going to hell. It appears Wright was right.. God **** America.

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Debbie

    The only pitch she needs is for someone to pitch her back to New York.

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Peter

    HILLARY 08

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. 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.

    May 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Amber

    Hillary is the only chance to save America. If its not her, it'll be McCain.

    Obamabots...take that to the bank! Have you people really looked at whose fairing better against McCain, or are you just ignorantly and blindly backing the young, charismatic orator. Look at reality people...not "hope". The reality is if Obama is the nominee, we will lose again in November!! WAKE UP!! I expect the naiveness from the college kids, but you adults who have been voting for awhile should know better!

    May 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Sean, Detroit MI

    Polls are not what matter. Voters are the important part of any election. Polls had Obama winning New Hampshire, but it didnt work out that way. Polls had Kerry winning Ohio, and we all know how that turned out. This is yet another weak and poorly thought out argument from the Clinton camp. Until recently, I LOVED Bill Clinton, but now I cant stand him nor Hillary.

    May 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. jp/michigan

    I wish the super delegates just come out of their cocoons and pick someone. So I can either stay a democrat or change my affiliation!

    May 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Divanto

    Can CNN expand on this Peter paul V. Clinton Case for us? Why are the media outlets not talking about it? Why the cover-up?

    May 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Concerned Democrat

    When the clock strikes zero(June3) the candidate with the most delegates win.

    There's no, "put more time on the clock or i hit more big shots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Hillary is really starting to get on a lot of peoples nerves.

    Democrats 08

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Freida NYC

    I am flabbergasted at the hate comments from the Obamabots maniacs. How is it that Obama will unite us, when his supporters are so filled with hate speeches, anger, divisiveness, and arrogance. We all want a Democratic candidate to win, but if is going to be this way...I would rather have a Republican. This is not the kind of change that we need in this country, let's all unite and make this the peaceful, prosperous, and genereous nation it once was.

    Hillary 2008.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Rob

    GO Hillary !!! we all know you are the best 🙂

    to all the hateful Obama supporters: I am kind of sick of reading your hateful, bashing and lying comments. get a crip. just mad that you will lose ? 🙂

    Rob from Charlotte, NC

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Southern view

    The people need to decide who's the nominee not the Party or the Superdelegates. It is outrageous that the Party has been trying to manipulate the primary process through the Superdelegates and by disenfranchising the people of Michigan and Florida. The people are still in the process of voting. Let them vote. Democracy means rule of the people and the Democrats need to live by that rule.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. PP Will

    Don't they realize...America is in bap shape.....We need to shake
    it up and that means not electing any more Bush's or Clintons.
    Do they think that only a Bush or Clinton should ever run this
    country. This is not the United Kingdom.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. mdg

    The Clintons have
    moved the goalposts ("wait until after Super Tuesday")
    changed the definition of a win (popular vote count, not delegates)
    now they want to change the names of the players (automatic, not super).

    Game over. The Clintons had their two seasons.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Scott C

    @ All these Clinton supporters who are saying that this polling PROVES Clinton is the better nominee and the Superdelegates should vote for her.

    Have you been on here for the past two months when every single poll showed Obama as more electable, calling for the Superdelegates to vote for him?

    Or were you with every other Clinton drone who thought they meant nothing.

    How can you think this polling means everything when it meant nothing to you when your candidate was down in the polling for a LONG time?

    It is hypocritical... Big time.

    Obama is in the middle of a new Wright episode that is hopefully over, his numbers will start climbing again.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Paula in WI

    In all honesty,I think a lot of the votes she had before PA will not be cast in the general even if she could get in.Too many have come to hate her and her dishonesty.She has to stop-she is destroying the dems chance to win.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Elisabeth

    Of course Hillary will beat McCain. Obama will not!

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. DemocracyNow2008

    CNN you forgot to add this to your Political Ticker Another SuperDelegate Endorses Obama Today.

    I hope you post this like a good News network should.

    Texas superdelegate John Patrick endorsed Barack Obama today, citing his record of standing up for working families and opposing trade deals that fail to protect American workers. Patrick explained:

    Senator Barack Obama has spent a lifetime standing up for American workers, and he will be a crucial voice for us in the White House. Senator Obama chose a career as an organizer on the streets of Chicago, fighting for working families who lost their jobs, specifically those families in neighborhoods devastated by steel plant closings. He has consistently opposed unfair trade deals that fail to offer protection to American workers – like NAFTA. Senator Obama has a real plan to put money back in the pockets of working families by restoring the manufacturing base in America.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Nunya

    More accurately stated, the current completely hypothetical poll about a fictional situation shows numbers that look better for her. A month ago such hypothetical polls showed better numbers for him. Who knows what they will show two weeks from now.

    Until the candidates are chosen and the voters know the reasons they were chosen, there is even less value in such polls than there are in polls conducted immediately before Election Day – and we all have seen how accurate those are. : )

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. jay

    wake up superdelegates and support Hillary Clinton. Obama is a train wreck.

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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