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. Seth

    What won't the Clintonistas do. They are the ultimate hypocrites. Obama had been leading McCain in the polls forever. They were, of course, silent then. The polls shouldn't be used to help Obama. But as soon as they favor Hillarah... now the super delegates are supposed to pay attention.

    give me a break. the superdelegates are all smarter than that. those polls have been out for a while now and they are continuing to go to Obama.

    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Nando, Florida



    May 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. obama supporter

    the judge says she want have to testafy until after the election in nov.
    does that tell you something
    the court was 4-25-08 ans 4-26-08. i put this on the blogs trhey were not posted
    she has 2 crooked brothers ==hugh and tony rodham- they want post that either
    they must not want quenn hill to be upset. i live in arkansas, and 65 year old white lady. i know the clintons and believe me there is lots not put out on the clintons. like her pastor went to prisom in jan 2008 for malesting a 7 year old girl.
    don't upset hill bill will point his finger at you. if a kindergarden child pointed their finger they would get expelled from school

    please post this, it is only fair
    i am sure this want get posted

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. CJ

    I agree, Obama is not electable. Obama true colors are starting to shine. I am a democrat that would never vote for Obama , I feel he is Anti American, Racist.
    I pray if the supers give this to Obama, I hope Hillary runs as and Independent, and tell the DNC to flip off.
    I will change my party to independent. All those new dems. they registered, they will be losing a lot more than that. Dems. for Hillary, if she is not the nominee switch party to Independent and vote for McCain.

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Gope

    Obama's superdelegate support is piping up now because he is having a rough week and positive news for him will take the attention off of his struggles. It's smart – or typical – politics.

    Whichever of the democratic candidates gets the nomination, half of the party will be upset. The only real uniters are the ones who will try to unite these two candidates on a joint ticket. I don't think it really matters that they are both very similar policy-wise, but the only way this party is really going to come together is if they are willingly or unwillingly forced onto the same ticket. I don't think either would turn down a VP offer, although of course neither should give up their campaigns for the nomination.

    I think Clinton is the way smarter choice for the nomination but let's be realistic here – joint ticket, whichever one is on top (pun intended).

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. bigben

    Hillary just picked up 4 new york sd. Go empire state!

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Keith R.

    The Republican Party has sat idly by.

    Once their missiles are in the air, who's to say what will be the better stance to fight them.

    The only certainty is that a united Democratic Party is better than a divided one.

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Terry Williams

    The connection to ayers is much deeper and more political. Ayers is part of the ultra-liberal inner circle in Chicago politics and he met him through Michelle Obama who served on a board with Bernadine Dhorn, Bill Ayer's wife. He chose to get into his circle to win the illinois state senate re-election after he stole the first one by kicking everyone off the ballot in the first run so he can run unopposed.

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Chalermpol

    The people are getting the number from the "experienced" people. Remember the "dot com stock market crash in March 2000"? That's what happen when the investors'd no experience in investing!! Same thing is happening now with Obama. "Ineperrienced" people have been bidding him up. Watch, he could come down–00ps!!!

    HILLARY 2008, ALL THE WAY!!!!

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

    To Cammi: no, they are not scared, the American people are scared if Obama gets the nomination! He has NO experience and as of late, his lack of integrity is showing. Hillary backers do not like Obama – I have been to three rallys for Hillary and everyone of us agree that he is arrogant and full of fluff. We will all vote for McCain if he gets the nomination. BTW, my vote in Michigan did not count. Keep remembering if Michigan and FL were in the mix, the Kool-Aid machine would be half empty, not half full.

    Hillary '08

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Chic

    Paul vs. Clinton has puzzled me, This is been going on and put on hold till after the nominee battle. Wonder if the judge has been influents by the clinton money?

    Everything about Obama is in the opening why is this being snub?

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

    When President Obama has Rev. Wright to the white house for dinner and their best friends again...because after all Obama is doing what he has to do to get elected...they'll all be very popular superdelegates....Then there's Michelle – "Let's move past the pastor and on to real issues" that means – please ignore my husband is a poor judge of character and he's a lier and let's just shove this to the side because it's hurting our campaign....GO HILARY!! OR MCCAIN!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Emma

    For how long will the Clinton campaign ask the super-delegates to hold back on their endorsements. Isn't it a fact that the polls are a reflection of the propaganda that is fuelled by the media and surrogates alike. If they are truly the winners they would not be acting this desperate. At the end of the day the truth prevails and the truth is not what the media wants us to people but the will of the people. OBAMA 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. karen from philly

    I want to give a shout-out to "Lee From Treasure Island Florida," you are my new best friend !!!

    I second that!

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I have come to the sad conclusion that CNN officially stands for the Clinton Network News channel. This can be the only logical reason for your refusal to cover the Paul vs Clinton trial that is currently underway, failing to mention the conviction of Clinton's former pastor for sexual child abuse, and failing to look into the hypocricy of the Clinton household recieving $800,000 for Bill's support of Colombia Trade Agreement while Hillary states that she is against it.

    I would expect this shallow level of journalism from Fox but had always believe CNN to be fairer and true believers in reporting the facts. I am saddned to see just how wrong I am!

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Linda

    How about the polls from the last couple of months???? Please, we pick and choose the one we want too follow. Unless the superdelegates were waiting for a polls to favor Clinton, which I'm sure will change again next week, this doens't matter.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Lorna, NY

    The people who conducted to polls are Hillary supporters!

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Joe

    Is CNN going to run 1 story on the Paul case? Just 1?? Vetted??? Please.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Griff

    Do! Or Die.. Borack Obama, is "Damaged Good's". Even in an Auction, he would bring very little....

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Republicans are campaigning against Obama because they know they could beat the Clinton's. The republicans don't owe the Clinton's.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. vjh

    Cammi317, you bet they are scared, as is the RNC ! HRC's campaign is comparing apples to oranges. Lets all be honest, whomever the Dem Nominee is, he/she will beat McCain. I find it hard to believe that a Dem supporter would really vote Republican, wanting a 3rd term Bush Admin. As much as I dislike Hillary, I dislike more the fact that gas prices are $4+ per gallon, foreclosures are astronomical, unemployment is up, the war in Iraq, the environment is in peril,you get my drift, the list goes's sad to say, but the country's hardships is a plus for the Dems.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. M. Jan, Exton, Pa.


    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Tony Burroughs

    Leaning on information from polls taken during what would have to be considered among the worst weeks of Obama's campaign to sell this point just seems like a reach. It would also serve Ickes well to refer to the superdelegates the same way that everyone else refers to them. To refer to them as "automatic delegates" when they haven't even all been chosen just seems silly.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Michael in MO

    For the 50 millionth time, neither of them will have enough delegates to rightfully claim the nomination, so it will be up to the superdelegates to make the final decision. That decision should not be based on making some folks feel good about themselves. That decision should be about winning the fugging election! Get real folks. Obama cannot win in the general. Hillary is the democratic party's only hope of winning.

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. joseph

    It's too late to cry when the head is off. American people knows clinton more than she thinks that she knows herself. People are tired of war,war,war. Her latest threat against Iran shows that she's unrepentant. I think that she should be worst than Bush. She's no longer talking about her experience in foreign policy. I wonder what makes her ready from day one if it's the mess in Somalia or more than a million that died in Rwanda genocide, maybe it's the snipper fire. Ride on OBAMA!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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