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. ALECO1


    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. James B. New Jersey

    Still a this is now and Nov. is a different time. Supers can go against the will of the people if they want but that just shows how the Clinton people think the Black folks and Young people must be stupid. We will all go to the polls and vote for an independent so in 2012 we can vote for Obama

    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Tara

    If Hillary is so concerned about polls and electability, then she should drop out! There is no possible way for her to win besides stealing the nomination. The American people will not support a thief, and there for she is unelectable under any circumstance.

    The only thing she is trying to do at this point is tarnish our nominee and set us up for a third term of the dumbest and most ineffective president in U.S. history.

    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Carl

    Polls are fluid and fluctuate day to day. Obama had the highest poll numbers a month ago and those numbers were higher than any Clinton had. Also in NJ he still holds higher numbers than Clinton. Politics is ticking me off big time because it's all BS and that is why I hope Obama wins and can do his best to change that.

    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    Hillary Clintons baggage has not been aired. Her Pastor has been charged with Child molestation and sentenced to 7 years in prison. What will the Republicans do with that!?!?!
    She pulled another Bosnia sniper fire mis-spoke in Indiana TV ad, blaming Pres Bush for Magnequench Factory going to China, when it was Pres Cliinton who signed the deal.
    The donors list of Clinton Library and Foundation will be scarier than Rev Wright or Ayers.
    And let us not forget all those scandals: Trooper-gate, File-gate, White Water, Castle Gate, Vince Foster, Peter Paul, Jennifer FLowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinski, Travel Gate, and God knows what else Rove has cooked up, they've been working on this for years.
    Besides...half the country hates her...including me...a 55 year old white woman...IN FLORIDA
    Obama has been kind, a gentleman, stuck to the issues, so if the superdelegates think for one moment the young, the independents, and the black voters will show up at the polls...they are mistaken, we will sit this one out.

    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. karen from philly

    uh.. the clinton campaign is made up of idiots. Do they know that the GOPS are going to have field day with the lies of Hillary and in addition they will bash Bill's lies too.

    1.) bosnia snipe fire
    2.) bringing northern ireland peace
    3.)hospital story
    4.)where her donations to this campaign is coming from
    6.)calling other people elitist when she has 109 million dollars.
    7.) depends on what your definition of "is" is

    CNN please please please put this comment in. thanks

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. wwf

    Lets see the poll when it is just Obama, not McCain and Clinton vs Obama. Funny how they are worried now that the SD are going to Obama. I am sure the SD know all about the polls, which are not important unless Hillary is winning. Politics as usual.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. D

    So when will the april fundrasing reports come out? Then we'll see who's got it.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Mack

    Sen. Hillary Clinton is by far the best democrat candidate to beat Jon Mccain and the polls points this out. It is silly kind of the superdelegates to see this and vote the other way.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Isaac

    Polls go up. Polls go down. Once Hillary is finally out of the race and her followers come to terms with that, Obama's standing in the public eye can only improve.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Richard

    Ickes and Clinton must be conducting polls on Mars, because she would loose hands down to McCain. Nobody wants another blue dress scandal in the White House. If Sen. Obama was as callus as she is with promoting negative attack ads against her, her already record high negative rating would be even higher. In the general election I'm sure McCain would call in question her support for "Goldwater", her legal situation in White Water, and her ability to making sound decisions with a philandering husband. As far as negative attacks go she's proven she can dish it, but the question remains, can she take as good as she gives.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. Pam

    Careful Hillary, your desperation is showing.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Shirley-Ohio

    Once Obama is elected the nominee those number will change drastrically. Clinton's needs to get out of the race as it is over for her. Once she is out of the race things are going to change for the better with Obama. Nobody and I do mean nobody including some Republicans do not want another Bush term which is what they will get with McCain.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. pam Eugene OR

    She keeps shoveling crap and Obama shines through it! He is a decent man and should be our next President.
    We are tired of the old and really nasty ways of the Clinton campaign . You are desperate Hillary and it is past time for you to pack up and ride away on your broom.
    Please do not take our party with you.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Mario O'dwyer


    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Val

    The superdelegates are not stupid and dumb like the "bitter" folks in rural PA and OH. They know the better candidate and cannot be fooled.

    Obama '08

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. R. and C. Barnes

    I really can't stomach Hillary any longer. I hope the DNC and media realizes that it is much more than 22% of Obama supporters who WILL NOT back her if she is the chosen nominee. No one has ever called or surveyed us in regards to our opinion, and no one we know has been surveyed or polled either. These polls are a joke. The majority of Obama supporters do not have land lines and obviously have not been polled. I think the media would be shocked to discover that it's probably more than 50% of Obama supporters who would not back her if she steals the nomination. And yes, I said "steal" because that is what would have to occur for her to receive the nomination- a backroom deal that would overturn the will of the people. Her campaign is so deceitful and treacherous. They will stop at nothing to see her at top, but don't they realize that she will not receive the votes needed to win? She is unelectable- her disapproval ratings are more than enough to prove this fact.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Jason

    If it were by poll months before an election when Hillary was ahead of Barack by more than 30 points, Hillary should have been crowned by now.
    But she's still trying to find a formulation that will put her on top.

    Hillary, you're not electable period.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Tamara 4 Obama

    Clinton will not win in the GE.

    These polls don't mean a thing, votes do. The country has spoken!
    No more political good ole boy rigga ma row!!!!

    Billary will not win the nomination! She is a liar and she is phony!

    Obama 08!

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Phong Nguyen

    Hmm... we are only beginning to learn about S. Obama's negative side!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. For What?

    How lame.......Her on Super's are jumping ship...What does that say. Just step down, already!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Dave


    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Susan, TX

    This pitch to the Super Delegates that the polls show her a better to beat McCain is nonsence...don't fall for this as far as I'm concerned polls do not mean anything. We all know no matter what the the voters do from here on out the SUPER Delegates will be the ones who will have the final say on who is best to lead this country. We all need to unite behind and vote the Republicans out of office. I'm a republican who is disgusted and I feel Obama is the right one for me. But, everyone has their own opionion but in the end we need to get behind the person who does get the nomination. I'm no fan of Hillary but then if she screws up Obama will win in 2012.

    I hope and pray that it is Obama.....

    May 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Sean

    I think it's a poor strategy to base everything on polls from one single moment. It's only been four months since Iowa voted, and the polls have twisted and turned, risen and fallen countless times since then. So when you consider the fact that we still have SIX months left until the general election, I think it's safe to say that today's polls will be meaningless by the time we vote in November.

    For that reason among many others, we need to select a nominee based primarily on actual primary and caucus results, coupled with the supporting decision made by superdelegates. At this point, it looks like that means Obama will be the nominee, and he, by Hillary's own admission in the last debate, is completely capable of beating McCain in the fall to return the White House not just to Democrats, but to the American people.

    May 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. 28 year old White MAN in FLORIDA


    May 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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