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)

    Where are the CNN News tickers with the results of ALL the recent polls??? Huh?? Huh??

    Guys! Stop following CNN and its biased coverage! Go to REAL CLEAR POLITICS (RCP) and look at all the polls. She's leading everywhere!! Gone is the "tie" in Indiana.
    She's winning in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida against McCain and Obama is NOT. You think Obama is going to be able to beat McCain in November? Haha. Impossible! Hillary knows how to handle it and is the only way to go.

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. TheONE

    It's so funny how Clinton supporters are all of the sudden looking at the polls when they start to favor Hillary, but they fail to point out that it's 2 on 1. It's McCain and Hillary against Barack, back before the Republicans had their nominee Barack was whippin Hillary like she stole God's supper. The republicans are focusing their attacks on Barack because they know he'll be the Democratic nominee the only ones on this earth that fail to see that is Hillary & her selfish supporters, who by the way are willing to blow up the democratic party just to get the nomination.

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Dee

    Hillary will lose to John McCain. If she STEALS the nomination from the front runner, she will lose the general. SHE WILL LOSE!!

    Sorry Clinton supporters. America's presidency is not about creating legacies (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton). We are Americans not Europeans.


    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. micketong

    Sorry, your old Washington ways of doing things can no longer fool us and your profiting off the backs of hard working Americans has come to an end. Obama will take the nomination and the eleection and bring this nation back to greatness...

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Thank you CNN

    uh, yeah.....

    have they seen the latest polls from new jersey? or doesn't that state count now? it counted before when ms clinton won its primary. hm......

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Tangie


    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. LoveOBAMA

    Yes, steal the the nomination and I will personally rally behind Nader or Write-in. I consider myself independent but usually vote democrat. But I will not vote for a cheater. Every major primary and the media is obsessed with bringing down OBama. How about equal coverage on Clinton or McCain. I have not seen one negative story brought up about them? CNN you make me sick. Fox news is deplorable!! If Clinton would please tell me WHAT she did that gives her so much Experience, i would at least respect her. But she is nothing but a rider on Bill's coattail.....

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Carolyn

    "Attention superdelegates, our ship is sinking, but our life boats are better so come with us." This despite Clinton's stratespherically high negatives....and if she keeps bringing up a sign of "character" (wink wink) then please tell me what staying with Bill says about Hillary's character? As a taxpayer I am NOT going to pay the room and board for Bill Clinton's return trip to the White House. It makes me so sad to think of how that man disrespected our country with his antics. Enough!

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Kimberly in Texas

    Oh wait, I thought the Clinton campaign did not believe in polls...oh, yeah, only when Obama is leading...

    Hillary, enjoy your 15 minutes. Obama will be back at the top of every poll real soon...Barack Obama is our next President!

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Mike H.

    Obamaites this isn't over yet. The latest polls I've seen show Hillary ahead by 10 points in Indiana and Obama's lead down to 7 points in North Carolina. And don't forget Obama's large delegate count in no way reflects his popular vote total. The former is inflated by caucus wins in small states where turnout was minimal. Take Alaska as an example. Obama won 5 delegates with a turnout of some 400 voters and a plurality of only 99 votes ( Hillary won New Jersey by 120,000 votes and won only 9 delegates). What an insane system the Dems have put together; it certainly isn't one man one vote. .

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. b-liberal

    The people are starting to know, and show it in polls that Hillary is the stronger candidate. If the polls show this, then I would have to go with the what the people think. They will be the voters. And a lot of bad things about Obama have come to light since some of the poeple voted initially in their primaries.

    The DNC must now decide:

    Obama to make a point now and lose in November.
    Hillary to get it done in November.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Tom

    So the candidate that a week or two before the Pennsyvania primary said "I don't look at polls. They are just a snapshot in time." is now pushing the recent polls that have come out as her superdelegate pitch? Really, how many times can someone keep changing the rules and moving the goalposts so that they appear to be better suited for something that by every traditional marker, they are not.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Dseigner in San Jose

    RG is right, I also stumbled upon this piece of very interesting news. Google Clinton VS Paul in California. It is incredible. Who wants the Clintons circus in town again? I sure don't.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Mary from Sarasota FL

    Oh, Good Grief !! Have you looked at that "evidence" ?? Its nothing.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. fairandstraight

    Sen. Obama is the stronger candidate. He is not only fighting against Sen. Clinton, but the republicans as well as the media. If this is not a test, I don't know what is.

    No other candidate has ever gone through the things this man as endured in the past few months. It is not being able to take the heat, it how unfair and bias this race has been. He has had to defend others as well. I guess if you desire to ever run for president, you need to get a resume on everyone you encounter in your personal life as well as your civic duties.

    I think Sen. Clinton will be slaughter in a race against the republicans. Who knows, after the case of Paul VS Clinton, she might be impeached if she lucked up and win president.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Kris from AZ

    Billary is a master in the debating field. Make no mistake about it. It takes alot more the the mastery of words to get the job done and Billary is not one of them. Obama is our man america. Lets unite and be proud of our administration once again.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Ade

    This is absolute BS. The people that were polled were probably republicans disguised as 'Hillary' supporters.

    Anything to somehow give the impression that Hillary's still got a shot at the nomination...

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. mary landsfind

    hey cnn, what kind of journalism do you do? you have so many stories every single day, how come none of your reporters have reported on peter paul vs. clinton case as of yet? you are certainly doing a poor job to report the truth....... how much did the clintons pay you to keep your mouth shut?

    (i know you are not gonna post it since it speaks against you.....)

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |

    Superdelegates are not as dumb as Hillary,s holday gas tax break we the people are looking forward to visionary leader with sound judgement and not political expidency.Ickes is speaking for a political campaign team and not for the people of "THE UNITED STATES". Nothing will change the minds of people with sound judgement'THE SUPERDELEGATES" Time done done Sir.

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. rj PA

    Finally someone mentioned the court case and Clinton.
    I think CNN are sandbagging this one especialy the Wolf

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. EC

    Are you kidding me Mr. Ickes? Ha! Ha! That funny because right now, my own grandson can BEAT McCain!!! I don't think you realize your comments are insulting to your own candidate who is behind in pledged delegates and the popular votes, AND is only 19 super delegates behind. So how can the second place candidate be the strongest? If she was, she would be in the LEAD!!! DAH.

    For this idiot to even suggest that Sen. Clinton is the strongest candidate is just a bunch of HOGWASH.

    IF she was indeed the strongest candidate she would be in the LEAD from the start wouldn't she? YOU can't claim your the strongest candidate when your are losing or behind the person in the LEAD!! What's wrong with this statement, it doesn't even make any sense.

    This is nothing but another disgusting ploy by a Clinton advisor to try and plead Sen. Clinton's case.

    HOWEVER, when has the second place candidate ever been the STRONGEST candidate?

    If you think about the FACTS and not the FANTASY. Sen. Clinton was deemed the "favorite candidate" by everyone under the sun. UNTIL Sen. Obama proved that to be nothing but a "myth". His ability to capture the lead early on and to widen his lead is NOT a myth, but Sen. Clinton's reality!!

    The Clinton camp continues to spew how she is "more electable", she's the "stronger" candidate when it comes to beating Sen. McCain. But the American People know better.

    Like I said, my 3 year old grandson can BEAT McCain. For the Clinton camp to suggest Clinton can beat Sen. McCain because she's the stronger candidate is truly an insult when you think about how "out of touch" Sen. McCain is.

    The Republican Party has NOT been attacking Sen. Clinton because they KNOW she's is NOT in the lead and therefore is not a contender right now. It's Sen. Obama who they keep attacking because they KNOW he's the one they have to face in November and they KNOW they are in for one hell of a battle once the voters unite.

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. FormerHillarySupporter

    I was going to vote for Hilary but now I feel we have to unite as a democratic party .
    Hillary will do more damage then good if she continues.

    I like Hillary or did until she went on Fox News .

    My feeling is I am a Democrat first and since Obama is making sense on the gas issue and the war issue I have decided to endorse Obama over Clinton.

    I am not a super anything just a voter who has finally become disgusted with Hillary .

    Now I hope others like me who supported Hillary will vote for Obama who I now feel is honest and tells us the truth not what we want to hear.

    I see Hillary has sounding desperate now and pandering to whomever will listen.

    Its sad it really is.

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Ted in Chicago


    You say

    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.

    I disagree with your conclusion - re who they fear the most

    First – the REPS are battling last weeks poll winner – BO being ahead in national polls and the Gallup and Rasmussen Daily trackers

    So they run ads against BO

    They also ran ads they like – of the ugly type – and RW (through no fault of Clinton) is the enemy REPS want to run against

    I suggest that – as per a NYT article recently – the REPS who wanted HRC as their opposition are rapidly deciding the weaker easier to attack DEM torch bearer will be BO and now are begggining to want him as the candidate)

    Watch for a week – if HRC wins Indiana big (8+? would be nice for me) and keeps NC close (5 or under) - I think the REPS will soon redo their commercials (or dust off the old ones) and run against HRC with the wind at her back

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. tim from Ravenna, OH

    I suppose that every person that has posted here will blame Clinton when Obama loses in Nov. Why do dems keep throwing the most liberal candidate out there to be beaten by the Republicans? We have had 1 Democrat in the White House in the last 28 yrs, can anyone remember that name? CLINTON!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. James B. New Jersey

    To be fare it was not Clintons pastor it was a pastor in the town of Clinton. In the Paul civil case both Clintons were dismissed from the case. Just as the prosecuter in the Rezko case stated that there is no evidence of misconduct by Sen. Obama and there is no intention to call him as a witness by the prosecution or the defense.

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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