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. Cameron


    Obama 08.

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

    Bottom line.. McCain will be the next president. If Obama wins the nomination the real race card will be played. The people who are uncomfortable voting for a black person will flock to the conservative side regardless of the agenda and what it will do to our country in the next 4 years. Get ready for 4 more years of Bush!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Justme

    Me thinks they doth protest toooooo much. Of course her paid advisor would pitch this crap to the super delegates.

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Now it's begging time... its over... let it go!

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Fay

    If she's that strong why she's enable to beat Obama in first .

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Donj, NJ

    Please...I thought polls didnt count for the Clinton campain. As long as it favors them, they are for it. This only happens because of Rev Wright issue. In a few months everyone will rally behind O8ama.

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. JDC // Ohio

    Love this mess the Dems are in!
    "Operation Chaos" (Rush Limbaugh) voter

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Jane

    Just think, after Hillary Clinton loses badly in NC, we won't have to hear anymore about any of this nonsense. Hurrah!

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Dave

    I'm begging you.....please!!!!!!
    what a bunch of hooey. they know they are beat and the only way is an overwhelming superdelegate count and it's just not happening.
    on a side note, are we really supposed to believe that DC Madam killed herself....yeah, right!

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Marcus in Oklahoma

    This switch says more about Clinton than it does Obama. Why are so many of the Clintons' former supporters (Reich, Lewis, Richardson and now Ickes) withdrawing support of Hillary Clinton to now support Obama? Maybe they know something about Hillary we don't know. You Clinton supporters need to think about this.

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. 60 years old White Lady

    HILLARY -Do not start whinning.... When Obama was a head in popular vote... and show he had better chance to beat McCain.. No one asked you to quit the race... And then you were asked to quit.. you said NO... Let Obama stay in race until June... Are you scared? He is ahead in pledges delegates, states won... Shame on you triying to change the rule at your BENEFITS ONLY... Enough is Enough..

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. frustrated in PA

    Polls taken in May that supposedly reflect the outcome of an election in November are a joke. Get back to me on November 1st with some poll numbers.

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Moses, Ca.

    Keep talking about Rev. Wright and you'll see more Super Delegates flowing to Obama. Watch and see, you don't get it do you.

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Chris from San Antonio

    Wow, polls in democratic states.

    Does the Hillary campaign really think those states will go (R) in November? Seriously, don't be stupid.

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Obama 08

    So now the Clintons have changed the rules so that the polls decide who's nominated. They get more and more desparate and ridiculous.

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Jay

    The Clinton camp is clearly delusional!

    :o) This is truly hilarious!

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. CW in DC

    Wow. What's next? Begging?

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. GCG - Austin, TX

    "Ickes says relevant results in those categories include Obama’s rising unfavorable ratings"

    Of course he doesn't site hers, which I don't think can rise much more as they're already at the top (although not quote as high as Dubya, yet).

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. California Voter

    Apparently, the recent Obama endorsements are coming from delegates that are reading tea leaves. Why else would they support someone who now that the public is getting to know something about his character and core values is shifting to Clinton. If the democrats want to win in November they 1) let the voters in Michigan and Florida be counted and 2) consider who can win the swing and big states. It's nice that Obama won Utah and Idaho, however, those states are not going for a democrat in November.


    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |


    So fine, so fine the web you spin,
    I come too close and I'm caught again!
    In the web of wild design,
    I do not know what fate is mine!
    All the day sit and spin,
    Spin your web and you draw me in.
    Spin, spin, spin, spin!

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. sue

    These polls will drastically change when the Dems pick a nominee. The Dems will then start backing the nominee no matter what and that will put the Dem nominee (whoever it is) way ahead of McCain either way!!

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Paulinus, Canada

    Don't be fooled. Hillary is slightly ahead in the National polls by virtue of Rev Wrights recent speech and her fear tactic in the recent primaries. How about her threats to Iran? This woman cannot be trusted. She might be worse than Bush. No wonder she backed the war in Iraq.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. GenXUSA

    Huh? Hillary does better among younger voters?

    You need to correct this posting CNN- Hillary has never done better than Obama among young voters, and young people will stay at home in November if they feel Hillary unfairly had the nomination handed to her despite not getting as many delegates from the primaries and caucuses.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. john

    yucky...all the worms from bubbas regime are starting to crawl out from the darkness in hopes that her royal highness can put them back in power.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Jim

    Yes she can and she will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hillary, President.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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