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. Harold

    When will CNN post Michael Bloomberg's comments about how eliminating the gas tax for the summer is a stupid idea? Don't want to show up Hillary and give credibility to Obama? Lets talk issues like that and not some polls!

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Clinton or McCain, but NEVER obama

    obama is a liar. Always has been and always will be. Poor,stupid kool-aid just can't get beyond following the lies.

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

    I question the intelligence of the Hillary supporters who think she has a chance without destroying the democratic party. I support Obama, but if he was in her shoes right now and was doing what Hillary is doing, I wouldnt like him anymore.

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Experience for Texas

    Please help me understand why people think Hillary should drop out of the race. This is what it is all about. We know very little about Obama. What we do know is that he has very little experience and makes bad judgments when it comes to his closest friends. We also know that he has brought us back to the 60s as far as racial issues are concerned. Thanks BHO; as if we don't have enough things to worry about post Bush.

    The Clintons have been looked at so many times for everything under the sun yet nothing. Obomites have the "yes butts" in a bad way.

    Keep on rocking Hillary! The longer it goes on the longer we see the real Barak Hussein Obama!

    Clinton 08!

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Torry

    If Obama gets the nomination it will be a repeat of Jimmy Carters 2nd term nomination which went on to be defeated by Reagan because the Kennedy backers ended up not voting or voting for Reagan .Thats how the Reagan demorcrats got started.

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. norb

    Harold Ickes couldn't even win his last race for Senator from North Carolina. These times they are a changin!

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Nikki, Florida

    Love the pictures...Obama is controlled and poised and Hillary looks scared and nervous

    Absolutely Perfect

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. NC voter

    These Obama supporters sound pretty darn hateful to be accusing Clinton of running a hateful campaign.
    All I've seen from the Obama campaign is a very sophisticated game of bait and switch, they try to distance Hillary from successes of the Clinton administration, but saddle her with the blame for the shortcomings of "his" presidency. The biggest deception of all is the whole "Change" platform, which tries to somehow suggest that the Bush and Clinton administrations are one and the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Cosmic Comedy Queen Go Hillary!!!

    Ain't no way Obama will beat McSame. He has no substance.

    May 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. 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 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. kinny

    I think in the end, Obama is going to be the stronger candidate becuase he is holding his poll numbers fighting his rival Democrats in the front yard and Republics propagana and ADs in the back yard an then the media all around -( he's still standing) that's a Fighter. Thats who we need in the White House.

    Hillary is a master at attack but is severly lacking credibilty in the defesive area. Obama didn't expoilt her or her ex-pastor for what he did. Republicans are going to have a field day with that. Hillary hasn't been through the ringer yet. She's just a big bully right now and eventually she's going to get it from someone bigger, badder, meaner and dirter than she is.

    May 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Cindy

    Obama is not attacking Hillary the way Hillary is attacking Obama, because he doesn't want to attack his own party. McCain is also attacking Obama, and ignoring Hillary, cause everyone knows Obama will be the nominee. That's the only reason why she's rising... her opponents are ignoring her.

    She has tons and tons of weaknesses. If the dems really wanted her, Obama wouldn't have risen up out of obscurity in the first place. Her campaign's desperation to swindle the nomination is really really annoying.. and quite unbecoming for a Presidential candidate.

    May 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Belle

    THE PAUL V CLINTON case is a CIVIL CASE against Bill Clinton you idiots....Senator Clinton was DISMISSED FROM THE CASE OVER A YEAR AGO.

    It is NOT about campaign is about a man who held a big fundraiser thinking Bill Clinton's endorsements would make him tons of money....but Clinton Never said he would endorse the business.

    The business failed, so the owner is suing Bill Clinton saying HE is the cause of the failure.

    Why Hold YOURSELF accountable to your own business when you can blame it on Bill Clinton??? Unfortunately, most of these "frivilous" cases are settled because it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through attorneys and trial. Civil cases are ALWAYS about money.

    May 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Yess

    CNN would you post the backing of 4 New York superdelegates Clinton received today? Be fair to both are supposed to practice unbias journalism.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Illinois

    If the SD's don't listen to this, then it's their own fault that we will lose in November. They simply have to stop catering to the left wing liberals, including Obama and his supporters, and look at what's best for the ENTIRE democratic party. We can't afford to give the election away because the left wing liberals think it's their time to run the country. The extreme wings of either party, left or right, will never be able to accomplish anything in office because this country leans toward a moderate way of thinking and doing things.

    If the DNC continues to cater to only a small minority of the democratic party, it will turn out to be a complete disaster. It isn't Hillary, personally, that people are necessarily wanting in office. It's a person who approaches things from a moderate perspective and Obama is anything but moderate.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Unite the clans!

    It is time to unite the clans behind the nominee, Obama. I voted for him today in NC because there is no way for Hillary to over come the deficit except by tearing him down. I care to much for our party to have that done.
    Unite the clans for an Obama-Clinton ticket. Vote with your head.
    Obama-Clinton 08

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. toot

    The supers can still keep turning to Obama but his drama keeps unfolding and come Nov we will present to you President John McCain. Obama will not win as President because he have too much baggage and there are things that the American people have not been clued in on him.
    Obama supporters be careful of what you ask for!!
    We need a President that will support the Americans and fight to the end not sell us to the highest bidder..

    Hillary for President!!

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. My belief not yours

    Clintons pastor was never accused of anything you foolish Obamanots need to get your facts straight. It was a pastor FROM THE TOWN CLINTON, NEW YORK YOU IDIOTS. AND PAUL V CLINTON HAS BEEN THROWN OUT OF THE COURTS NUMEROUS TIMES. PAUL IS A KNOWN LIAR AND LOONITIC.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. JM



    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Ziv

    Harold Ickes is singing DESPERADO! Polls?

    So when the polls showed that Obama was in a stronger position to beat McCain a few weeks back, what did Ickes say? Well, I guess going by his own arguments, Clinton should have thrown in the towel then. Right? Because Obama has more elected delegates.

    So next week when Obama is shown to be in a stronger position to beat McCain, the superdelegates should again switch over to Obama?

    Why do these Clinton campaign folks think they can fool all of us all of the time?

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. MD Houston

    This is over. Obama is the nominee and the stuperdelegates are jumping on board before the ship sets sail.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. johnd

    Obama's negatives are going up only because some people believe Hillary's lies.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Amber

    Fundraising reports don't make winning candidates for those of you that seem confused.

    You people are showing your blatant stupidity.

    Also...for the one who said Clinton has not be vetted. lol Where have you been for the past 20 years. Oh, you must be one of those 22 year old college kids supporting Obama. Well let me tell you the truth....Clinton has been beat up on and vetted since the 80's (when you were a baby). Still, she has survived and risen up the ranks. Obama gets 3 things thrown at him and his battleship is already sinking! lmao. Grow up folks. If you can't understand politics, stay away from CNN and go watch American Idol.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. SlimSista



    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Jessica

    Someone is a little desperate...

    I really wish CNN would do some unbiased reporting and quit continuing with this Rev. Wright issue, when even Obama's opponents agree that Obama is not that kind of person.

    McCain's pastor that believes New Orleans happened because of God's fury, and Clinton's pastor's sexual offenses are pale in comparison to offensive, but not all that false remarks from a black man who has lived through opression and racism his whole life.

    May 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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