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. Susie

    Obama a uniter–give me a break. He inspires hatred and animosity; just read the comments!

    May 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Theresa in Minneapolis

    I too challange the media to cover the Peter Paul case. The Rev Wright story has been shoved down our throats for weeks and weeks and absolutely no mention of the SCANDAL that is currently in California courts!

    May 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. isabelle nyc

    yes supers should base themselves on "polls" rather than
    number of states won
    number of pledge delegates won
    numbers in super delegates endorsements

    that's it??? that is their last argument??


    May 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Gutter Politics

    For all the people calling Obama names' racist (though he is half white), hater, Muslim (ummm...was that Rev Wright for 20 yrs or Imam Wright, I seem to miss the connection).

    Have you noticed that for his ENTIRE campaign – even at this point where his ratings are falling – he is yet to being up any of Billary's baggage – which there is PLENTY OF. This is the only reason her approval rating is going up, because he has chosen NOT to join her down there in the pigpen, wallowing in the slush and mud, even when it is costing him.

    I can promise you if she gets the nomination, the Republicans gutter politics machine will not be as nice. But then again she will be quite at home on familiar territory. I will be waiting with popcorn and a soda, cuz I sure am NOT going to be voting for her. To think this was my candidate up to 6 months ago...sad...

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. OMG

    Yes, Why haven't we heard more about Peter Paul.

    Just because some judge has said she doesn't have to testify until after the November election doesn't mean she isn't involved in a huge fraud case that voters should know about.

    Why didn't Charles Gibson and George S ask her about this at the last debate? Especially since it involved fundraising for her Senate campaign. It is certainly more important than talking about flag pins and the other drivel they raised.

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. John

    If the Dem primary was run like the GOP primary or general election this would not even be a contest. With the exception of Illinois, Hillary won all the big states and if you don't think that counts ask Al Gore. Obama wins states that are going Republican in the fall, like Idaho, Kansas, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi. If he gets the nomination we'll be listening to McCain's inaugeral speech in January 2009

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Heidi

    Obama says he doesn't take money from special interest groups. This is complete nonsense.

    Obama fundraisers who work for law firms that lobby and share the fees include:

    •Allan Katz, a Florida lawyer who chairs the government relations practice of Akerman Senterfitt. The firm took in $3.6 million for Washington lobbying last year, according to public records compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. The firm touts on its website "an enviable level of access" for clients.

    •Mark Alderman, managing partner of Philadelphia's WolfBlock law firm. The firm's lobbying subsidiary earned $930,000 in Washington last year representing clients including defense contractor Lockheed Martin, records show.

    •Scott Blake Harris, managing partner of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, a Washington telecommunications law firm. Harris withdrew as a lobbyist for Microsoft and Cisco in June, but his partners still lobby, he said.

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Sharon Miller

    Obama will lose to McCain. By the way, the Pastor Wright debacle was a staged event to let Obama throw him under the bus. Very clever of Wright and Obama to stage this entire thing. Oh yeah, suddenly Wright goes off the deep end about Obama, a man who has been like a son to him for 20 years. Wright did this for Obama. It worked.

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Experience for Texas

    Do you all really think the Electoral College is going to put an inexperienced unknown with racist ties in the Whitehouse? I love to see all the bloggers who think the popular vote elects the President.

    Do some home work! Clinton has a better chance than Obama beating McCain any day of the week. Wright just proved why we are not ready for all that addition turmoil!

    Clinton 08!

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. R.T.

    Obama wins the nomination by attrition only. Does anyone honestly think if we knew this stuff about him, or if we saw how he handled adversity 6 months ago he'd even be in this race anymore? Nope. This is a nightmare. We are giving the nomination to a guy who:

    a. is not electable, and

    b. is not prepared to handle the job.


    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. George, Los Angeles

    Hillary is the only candidate that can take the White House back for the Democrats. Any other decision is just us Democrats shooting ourselves in the foot again.

    Used to back Barack Obama. Now a prayer for Hillary Clinton.

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Hillary CLINTON 4 EVER

    Hillary Clinton will thrive in againt Republican John McCain.

    Hillary is tougher..


    Hillary Is a surefire winner..

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. JOSH


    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    RG & Deb, I agree with you as well I always knew about the Peter Paul V Clinton I just read the other day about the minister while she's talking about Obama's pastor, I have been waiting to hear CNN say something about that and it still hasn't happen I wonder if she's paying them but it makes me angry because they are not telling people the truth.

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Bit, Alabama

    Hillary Clinton is not the one to beat McSame. To think about what they will bust her with if she wins is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

    The only reason Obama hasn't pulled out the stops on Clinton is because she is one of us (Democrat) and doesn't want to split the party and wants the Democrats to be united. Just because he's quiet now doesn't mean that he'll be quiet with McSame.

    Think about it, the Republicans want Hillary to win so that they can get the White House again by airing out her old dirty and new laundry to the public.

    I hate to see that coming!

    May 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. sick of hillary

    This is to FEDUP: stop whining and shut up!! CNN has more than gone overboard to present Clinton in the positive light and bring up all the problems Obama is have no room to complain that Hillary isn't getting her fair share of good publicity....she has been doing a wonderful job throwing Obama under the bus and keeping the media far away from digging up more substantial garbage on her, which we all know is out there and ready to be unleashed

    May 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Mike

    Gee, I hope Rev. Wright makes an untimely appearance soon, so that Senator Clinton can officially close the deal.

    Go Hillary!!!!

    Rev. Wright, PLEASE disclose MORE garbage on NObama!!!


    May 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Harrison

    HRC – guess you would have thought your $3.2 biliion in earmarks should score you more SD.

    $3.2 Billion??????? That should be used for gas relief.

    You are so lost.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. dorothy

    That has to be a JOKE, with the Mighty work out Barack Obama, has been doing over the last 5 months, I am sure his enough Strength, Boldness, and Experience to handle John McCain, after all he has only being taking a stroll by himself on the Campaign Trail. This is no Comparsion in this Match.


    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Debby

    Ickes is wasting his time. The superdelegates don't want facts they want Change and a Uniter. This is why if they make Obama the nominee McCain will be our President.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Greg Geurin

    Hillary needs to gracefully exit the stage. NOW. She has no chance against McCain and the baggage that could, and would, be unloaded if she were nominated is downright frightening. Furthermore, her credibility even as a Senator is starting to look questionable. I will not even start about Bill appearing to be in the early stages of dementia.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. ton van zwet

    A democratic party in disorder and confusion will definitley result in a defeat in November. The American people (and the people in the rest of the world) will be the big losers. One person has the power to unlock this stilemate: Is Hillary Clinton able to announce that she is willing to be a vice-president. In fact the announcement of an Obama/Clinton ticket would be historic and will change all of a sudden the current situation of a democratic party in problems. She would become without any question the most powerful vice president in the history of the United States. This is important: A strong America is crucial for the future of our planet. So, once again: "a small step for (a wo)man; one giant leap for mankind".

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. James

    If you don't like the current poll, wait a couple of days. yeah right. use the polls of this week not the one from last week to make an argument. You are ridiculous Ickes. These polls are in the midst of Obama taking fire from you, the Clintons, the Republicans, and Rev. Wright. Give me a break. Shut up, Rev Wright shuts up, and let's take a poll.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. David

    RG, thanks for pointing that out, I proceeded to do my research on the Clinton vs. Peter Paul issue, and can't believe that there are people still thinking of voting to bring the Clintons back anywhere near the White House.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Kathy Corey

    I'm really scared. If the Superdelegates join hands in a suicide pact and jump off the cliff with Obama....we will have John McCain as our next President.

    May 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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