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. Tony

    New polls confirm: more Republicans lie in a last-ditch effort to put Hillary on the ticket, not Obama.

    Seriously, these are just ridiculous. Obama can still get a lot of the swing states (and presumably more once [if?] Clinton stops all her ridiculous ads), and - something few people are discussing - he can turn many 'red' states - the Carolinas, Colorado, etc. - into new swing states that could go either way. Clinton is stuck hoping and praying the superdels are dumb enough to believe this BS memo.

    Obama '08.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Real Change

    Hillary is trying to get Obama beat so she can run again in 2012.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. so ironic

    HA HA HA!! They are really the most desperate I've ever seen them now. Did you see the last paragraph? Here is the killer:

    "In the latest AP-Ipsos poll pitting each Democratic candidate against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, both candidates win a majority"

    So even if it was Obama, the results show he would STILL WIN THOSE STATES in NOVEMBER!!!

    What a joke all this Clinton Spin is......

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Dusacre

    Hillary Clinton IS NOT the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. sheena

    RG – I have raised the same issue myself – for some reason the media is not talking about this.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Lee WV

    What can he say that hasn't been said.The look on Hillariy's face in this picture paints a thousand words.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. TX

    Clinton people are very afraid....TIME'S UP....THE PARTY IS OVER...TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. charlie in Philly

    She is dishonest and a panderer. Her politics are destroying the Party.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. trellskig

    Yeah, use your nasty tricks and scare tactics for the nomination. Go right ahead and see what happens. Remember she needs a certain groups vote as well. And you wonder why to supers are leaning twards Senator O!?!?

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. David

    Ickes needs to give it up. He seems as desperate as Hillary. He will say anything and do anything for Hillary to win. He's probably promised 10% of Hillarys campaign contributions is he succeeds

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Michael

    I love it, CNN reports this one poll that shows Hillary ahead by 9 points leaving out all of the other polls that show her trailing! And then it's article after article like the Clinton machine has taken CNN hostage. Bottom line I think CNN realizes that this race is over, and if it's over then there's very little or no news to report for the next 4 months until the general elections heat up.

    I know I know CNN this will be in the "Your Comment is awaiting Moderation" or outright deleted like all my other comments.

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Firm Support of Obama

    I am with you on this's such a shame the Peter Paul story and the Clinton's pastor molestation story is being kept under wraps....

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. FEDUP

    Bush won the popular vote too? Obama promises change so did Bush? Bush sure did change Washington from bad to worse. Obama is new to Washington so was Bush. Bush seemed like a nice guy, so does Obama...are you getting the picture????

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. jaybee

    To me, I think Hillary Clinton really hasn't run that tough a campaign against Obama. If you think about it, she's broadcast very few negative ads. Her critiques have focused primarily on Obama's electability. In fact, most of Obama's problems have come from stories from the press – the Jeremiah Wright controversy and the "bittergate" incidence in San Francisco being two examples. And, of course, Obama keeps losing key primaries, which isn't doing him any favors. Which is why polls are showing he's losing ground.

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Frank F

    Superdelegates will make their choices for support of either candidate but whether it goes in favor of Hillary or Obama, it will do damage to the Democratic Party and could possibly split it. The DNC must include Florida and Michigan to get a clear cut nominee

    America is a democratic country. All of its citizens have rights and are free to express their choice in the leadership.

    The people of Florida and Michigan have their rights and cannot have these rights taken away from them because of foolishness by their leaders regardless of who is at fault, period

    The only way and I mean the only way to resolve the delegate count issue is to have a re-run primary in which Clinton and Obama start off fresh and then the winner and the results will dictate the number of delegates that will be allocated to each candidate. This is a no brainer and simple.

    Having this re-run Primary will unify the Democratic Party once again. This is democracy. Despite what Obama says and spins, this is the solution. Now if he objects to this solution, because it is fair to Hillary, Obama and the people, then he is not a true believer in democracy. Obama then simply wants to gain power at the expense of the folks in these two states. Never mind the spin. The people’s right to vote is the only issue that is important

    If Obama loses then he loses and if Hillary loses, so be it OBAMA objects, it is only because he believes that he cannot win in these two states but if that is the case he should not be the Nominee.

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. CW in DC

    RG said: "Peter Paul. Why did I have to find this out from some random poster"

    RG, I've known about this for months and I have told a lot of friends about it. No one can understand why the media has not picked up on this story. Here is the kicker – the Judge presiding over the case is a Clinton supporter who – without asking – ruled that Hillary Clinton doesn't have to testify in the fraud case until after the election. This ruling was made just a week ago (April 25).

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. JET

    mr ickes do not know what he is talking about. obama is leading all the way and clinton's superdelegate are switching from her to obama,what does that tell you,except if you want to steal the election.

    NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. OK

    Since when did the poll of polls became a determining factor? Obama has been on top for pretty long time.

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Tommy

    Most adults can listen to something and take away from it what they think is relative and true. But kids are different, they are like sponges and are learning all the time. That is why most kids have the same values as their parents. This and this alone is my problem with Mr. Obama and anyone else that would teach their kids to hate or think that they are owed something for acts that happened before they were born.

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. KIRBY


    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Eric-PA

    Clinton ahead by 10 points in new Indiana poll! The tide is turning!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Diing

    Why didn't you also mention that 60% of the American people view Senator Clinton as dishonest?

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. rj

    I agree! Why hasn't the news coverage been saying anything?

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Linda. Boston, MA

    Nice try. But once Obama actually starts to debate McSame one on one, it won't even be close. He's only behind McCain by a couple of points in FLORIDA!!!.... Obama hasn't even campaigned there yet! You really think he can't win when he's only behind by 2 points in a state he's never campaigned in? Keep dreaming Hillary, keep dreaming.

    May 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Sean

    Grasping at straws now. Stand back. A drowning person will pull down anyone within reach trying to save themselves.

    May 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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