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. JM



    May 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Peter

    Clinton camp is getting desperate. Clinton is doing well in the polls, but the polls getting out know have been taken in the middle of the Wright controversy.

    Polls getting out this weekend will include Obamas good response to the Wright-issue, that Obama has the best gas-plan and the backing from Hill and Andrew. Andrew leaving Clinton-camp is a major issue and it is know wonder they called an emergency press-conference. They are desperate and know that the supers don`t fall for their bluff. Clinton is doing well in the polls know, but that will likely change tomorrow and after that, Wright issues is cooling down and the polls will know include Obamas good response. The fact that supers are lining up with Obama and NOT a SINGLE has moved from his camp, proofs that the supers are behind him, they know the wrigt-issue impact is temporarly.

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

    I agree RG - we need to use something to stump her "electability" claims. Do other voters know that she will not be deposed until after the election??? Also wasn't her pastor convicted of some sexual misconduct?? Come on...let us do something before the Clinton's walk away with this nomination. Come on Obama superdelegates...let us make a move to nominate the correct candidate whose name is not Clinton or McCain.

    May 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Paulo

    Ickes is right!

    Obama's momentum did not and does not last forever. Right now, he is falling. PLUS... he is not tough enough and has weaknesses we have no idea where. Rev. Wright won't be shut forever and other issues will come up and be explored by the Republicans.

    Hillary is the best choice by far. She is tough, politically experienced... has a big share of the electorate very much secured and will offer very few weak spots for the Republicans.

    Obama does not have enough to run on until November. With a meteoric rise, If he did not close the deal so far now that his momentum is cooling down, he won't close it at all. Hillary, on the contrary, is a long distance runner.

    May 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Mary in LA

    HILLARY 2008!

    I love how CNN only reports on the annointed one.

    HC got 4 supers today too – check

    May 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Jim, Burlington NC

    It's so sad to see the Hillary fans tearing this party apart.

    Obama is going to win here (actually I'd say he already has given 100,000 voters have chosen to vote early), the Republican adds are henous – and Hillary is sounding more and more like them.

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. J. Sully, New York

    Yeah, why doesn't someone break the Paul vs. Clinton case that's goign on right now and see what schuysters the Clintons really are. How come all we hear about is Rev. Wright. The Clintons have so much baggage, she'd be out of the running if it were all brought up.

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. The Truth

    Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton v Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. Clinton Paul vs. ClintonPaul vs. Clinton

    Look it up for yourselves

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Leon

    When will the Clintons realize that it is not about how much bickering you do, how many negative ads you can put out or how low you can drop against the RNC in the fall – its about whom the Democrats want as their nominee and its about who get the most support, which is clearly Obama for this race.

    And if Clinton gets the nomination, forget the general election, the country will enter into a civil war first. Clinton, you still have some time – stop listening to Bill and step down with dignity.

    Obama '08

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Seriously gross just ick

    I am going to be sick. Let's all thank the political machine and the media for trying to take away our shot at a government for the people, rather than for the corporations.

    I am actually going to bother voting this time because there is going to be someone who represented ME on the ticket. Regardless of what Clinton wants us to think, Obama will smash McBush to bits in the GE once the polls are just about the two nominees, rather than the two nominees and the one wannabe.

    Also, this is one of the very few times she has polled ahead, and it's bound to change.

    Let me just add for the Hillary supporters out there "GO GO GO FIGHTER TOUGH EXPERIENCE GO GO"

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Susan MO

    We believe Hillary Clinton is the strongest of the 2 candidates.

    She is more experienced, for the people, and a fighter.

    Most important, the most experienced.

    Hillary 08 🙂

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. maria Mtl, Can.

    Harold please be realistic, for once. As you well know 99% of peoples are surfing on the net and anyone who wants to be inform about Hillary they just have to google it... And all superdelegates knows exactly whats going on, or in a near futur what could happen. They don't want to be in a party with an other disaster.. See what I mean, I bet you understand...

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Angel for Obama

    There goes the Clinton Camp with dirty devisive tactics again.

    "Obama 08 Enough said"

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. CP-Texas

    #1 These polls as stated are "hypothetical".
    #2 This same argument could have been made 4 weeks back for Obama and will likely change again.

    So settle down Beavis, Obama leads over all in delegates and popular vote (save your FL & MI whine it's not going to happen no matter how much you want it to they broke the rules ....) Obama is picking up superdelegates 2:1 just today. Billie's own cabinet members are backing Obama, what does this tell you about what they thought and think of Hillary?

    OBAMA 08' Baby

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Greg in Annapolis, MD

    OK, so who actually pays attention to these polls? They flip-flop around on an almost hourly basis. What matters to most, and why the superdelegates are starting to come forward (finally) is that Obama is winning! He is going to win! Hillary, on the other hand, cannot win! The people, for the most part, have spoken. Barack Obama is going to be the nominee! These hypothetical matchups mean NOTHING! I really wish national news agencies such as CNN would stop reporting nonsense. Everybody knows that Obama is the stronger candidate and inevitable nominee. PLEASE, let's all move forward to more important issues, like how Obama is going to beat McCain.

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. HillarySkank on myspace

    Even after Barack puts Hillary away, he will still have to fight the battles on two fronts. Clinton said she will do everything in her power to help a Democrat win but unspoken is that she expects that to be her. Anyone who thinks she will campaign hard for Barack when he wins is smoking dope (and is inhailing, and is not lying about inhailing)

    InHail to the chief indeed, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. A pair made in Hell.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Kebede

    How she is going to defeat McCain with her lie, war authorization and NAFTA.

    Go away Billary!!!!! Do not damage the Democrat party.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Independent

    The last time I checked, being "strong" dosen't mean being divisive or manipulative or smearing your opponent who happens to be on YOUR team.....maybe someone should tell Hillary and her supporters that this isn't the general election & that Barack is not the enemy....Mcsame is & his fellow republicans!!!!

    What WILL unite the democratic party is how the winner gets the nomination....I GUARANTEE u that if the superdelegates give this to Hillary, repulicans WILL win the general elections period.

    The infamous Clinton baggage has not been publicized on cable TV during these primary contests......the republicans have a nuclear plan ready to be used against Sen.Clinton...that is... IF she steels the win from Sen.Obama!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. ruby


    I am sending this twice hoping that CNN publishes this.. They have a way of throwing out anything that works for Hillary…

    AS PER REV WRIGHT"S SPEECH…. What you all need to realise is that he did not say anything different. All that he said, about America and AIDS etc, Obama had heard, and supposedly denounced in March. What upset Obama, was that his innermost secret is about to get exposed… as soon as the Rev. stated that, “Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls,” Wright told the Press Club. “Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors. . . . I do what pastors do. [Obama] does what politicians do,” he was asking ALL American to think, and ask themself, is Barack Obama telling them {American people} the truth about himself.

    What Wright was saying is that he knows, based on his long personal relationship with Obama, that Obama agrees with him but can’t say so publicly for political reasons.

    There is no way that Wright would not have known this man real good, not after 20 years.. You are all in for great REGRET!!!!

    I am so shocked at the way you have all turned from the person who can take this country to where it needs to be.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Boye

    Funny that they are point to polls now. Where has their polls being the last few weeks? These polls only indicate who is having a tougher week not who is more electable.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Ludovic

    general election match up polls is not relevant at this time
    a few weeks ago, Obama was doing better than hillary in those polls. in fact this is the first time since super tuesday that hillary is doing better than obama in general elections match up polls
    I don't think that supers will buy that

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. kenny cole


    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. carol NORTH CAROLINA

    RG I am gladd you notices this. I have been putting this on the blog for about 3 weeks and it was not put on. I am so happy that someone else can see where i have had some great concerns with Hillary now

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. mcd

    They are looking at the big picture, not just THIS WEEKS polls. Nice try though sir, keep moving the goal posts.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Beverly, NYC

    Hillary, whatever happened to letting the states vote....taking this to the convention. Two-Faced wench.

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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