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. John B. From New Hampshire

    Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
    700 Lawyers in: Chicago · Kansas City · Los Angeles · New York · St. Louis
    San Francisco · Short Hills, N.J. · Washington, D.C. · West Palm Beach

    Joe Andrew is a partner in this law firm if that tell you anything.

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. No More CLINTONS

    Now all of a sudden polls count?????

    These people cannot makle up their minds! Sheesh!

    Go Barack!

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Democrat, NC

    So why did former Clinton backer Joe Andrew switch to Obama then? The nominee will be chosen based on the primaries/caucuses and the votes of the superdelegates, and not based on polls which in most cases are statistically irrelevant.

    Obama '08

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Phoenician, AZ

    That's right, Hillary. As you said: delegates are free to decide whom to vote for 🙂 And now, when they are making their choice – WHAT IS IT, YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH? 🙂

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Scott Hughes ATL

    Even the picture of her in this caption looks desparate.

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. OK

    sounds untrue

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Cindy

    And more blah, blah, blah!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Susan / PA

    Where did we get those polls?....Fox News and Survey USA.....both involved business wise with Bill Clinton. Tainted at best.

    Let the people vote....................period

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Carrie

    Wow, thank god this election uses other metrics besides polls. Like states won, delegates, and popular vote. Obama leads in all three.

    Obama's getting hit hard by Clinton (who's fueliing the Wright story), McCain, and the media (who aren't interested in change or the will of the american people), and he's still the frontrunner.

    OBAMA, 2008, because We NEED Change. No more Clintons, Bushes, Mcbush, no more politics as usual.

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Anna

    Polls change all the time. What people think now is not necessarily what people will be thinking in November. In the last election Kerry was beating Bush in Summer but in November Bush won. Anyway I would never want to see the despicable lying Clintons back in the White House. I will take Barack Obama or McCain but NEVER the immoral Clintons.

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Bob

    I thought polls didnt matter.......Can she not get her story straight

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. RB

    Who cares what a poll says which is a sample of the population that prnanly represents .01% of the states population. If she cannot beat Obama in a head to head contest, what makes her supporters beleive that she will fare any better against anyone else.

    Someone make sense of that for me.........this is a long stretch for Clinton to try and win over some super delegates but these are not your ordinary people that you can pull the wool over someones eyes.

    Obama has generated teh surge of new voters, not Clinton! He has the young voters support and he may talk about her eating away at this base bt the same goes for her as well as he is beginning to eat away at her base with the seniors and white collar america.

    Sad last ditch attempt to stay in the race. Once you have Nafta, Columbia trade agreements and a fantasy of a suspension of a gas tax looming over your head, how the hell can anyone trust her.

    Be careful, she may wage sniper fire on the Super Delegates (Sniper Fire = a Big Hug!)

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    To Harold Ickes.....the operative word in the latest AP-Ipsos poll is both candidates win a majority

    i.e. The would both beat McCain, and the ONLY reason Hillary polls better right now is because the "snapshot in time" or the polls at the moment are favoring her due to the Wright six months the polls will be different. That is..they will be different because Obama will have pulled the party back together...(it will be easier if Clinton helps but I don't expect such loyalty from your candidate).

    I am SICK of your candidate and you Mr Ickes..I'm sick of her supporters. I have changed my affiliation to Independant SPECIFICALLY because of your candidate's and her husband's actions. I will NOT support her in the general and neither will the large majority of those new, disillusioned, first time voters that are inspired by Barack Obama and the notion (hope) of no politics as short Mr. Ickes...IT'S UP TO YOU IF THE DEMS WIN IN NOVEMBER....PLEASE SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA.

    May 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I'm not a Democrat...I'm a Republican – and I support Obama....and have donated...and will vote for him....I can't undestand how people can say "I will vote for either Obama or Hillary" – they are polar values the truth...the other....well...not so much

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Bridgette

    Do the democrats really want to win. You can run for office and not completely try and destroy the other candidate. the reality is I don't think all of the Democrats are suddenly go against everything they believe and stand for because their initial candidate didn't get the nomination. So the Clinton campaign stop with all of the scare tactics. It is just not necessary.

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Norisha

    Seems a lil desperate to me....These polls go back and forth all the time!! Supporters of HRC calm down...she can not will not, win the nomination. Obama will be the nominee and become the president and take this nation on a new and beautiful, prosperus nation! HRC will have us speaking Chinese!!!

    OBAMA 2008!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Jim T

    more tougher to beat!? ha ha yea right, those 'BIG STATES' will still vote for obama. they dont want another republican in the white house. just because of winning those states doesnt make a person more electable

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Kenneth M

    Good stratigy but it wont work.

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Moses, Ca.

    People check this out. for every negative thing that is said about Obama, he picks up another Super delegate. Keep the negativity coming, we have this thing over by June.

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Cammi317

    Wow...they're really scared, aren't they?

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Josh, LA

    The Republican Party is battling Obama in North Carolina with ads. This means that Obama is fighting both the Repubs and Clinton in NC and elsewhere. The Repubs are so scared of Obama. Democrats should not act stupid but end this mad nomination process by voting for Obama. Obama is the UNITER!

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Keith R.

    I somehow think the superdelegates don't care what the polls say. It seems they are more interested in making informed decisions rather than just "going with the flow".

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. Samuel, Winston Salem, NC

    I think it is funny that the both would best McCain in these swing states, but CNN mentions nothing about the states Obama would swing over to the Dem party such as Colorado, VA, and even North Carolina to name a few... Go ahead an spew your spin Clinton, but the superdelegates are choosing and most in favor of Obama. I hope the Supers aren't tricked into this by a manipulative pitch. Once it is Obama and McCain, I think it is will be much different.

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Look no matter how many super delegates support Obama, Hillary will take this to the convention just to spite Obama, she does not care about the party at all. She cares nothing for the country, she only cares about her own personal goal of becoming President and as we see it she will do it at any cost. Why can't she admit that she has lost, does she not want to admit that she lost to an African-American. If she really cared about the party she would just bow out now. Forget the polls, what do the delegates say. Obama has more delegated, won more primaries and caucuses.......what else can she do to tanrnish this man, she has done every thing she can to discredit him, blast his lack of experience, she tried the muslim thing with the picture, she got over on the Rev. Wright, but people are now saying that this is Wright thing is played out and Wright does not speak for Obama.....and it looks like it sort of "backfired"......and one of her campaign fund raisers has left to work for Obama due to too much negativity. Why can't she admit that the avalanche of the Obama movement has crushed her.

    Obama 2009-2016

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Maxine

    I don't know where people are getting their numbers, but lets see how April's donations are going, then we will see who is still running strong in the race. Has Hillary paid her past debts???? I think the people that are loyal to the democratic party know Obama is the only way to go. Hillary has discussed several groups of people and she is rattling off promises she can't keep.

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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