BRANDON, South Dakota (CNN) - In the face of Barack Obama’s insurmountable lead among pledged delegates, Hillary Clinton on Friday again declared victory in the popular vote and suggested the current nominating process fails to represent the true will of American voters.
“We’re going to have to change the system by which we pick the nominees, I believe, and we are with the system we have now,” Clinton said, responding to a supporter here who lamented the role of superdelegates in selecting the party’s nominee. “And I’m a big believer in one person one vote, and I believe in as much democracy as possible.”
Clinton told the supporter that “superdelegates will play a big role” in choosing the nominee, but said she would prefer a primary-only system in which nominating contests would be bundled together.
“I think that’s an issue for debate in the future because I believe we should have primaries everywhere, and everybody, as many people as possible should be encouraged to vote,” she said. “We ought to group them so that nobody is at the tail end, so everybody has a chance to participate. But that’s all for the future.”
Despite her apparent dig against superdelegates, Clinton and her campaign have routinely argued that those party elites should be able to exercise their independent judgment in choosing a nominee, regardless of vote totals or pledged delegate counts.
Clinton also entered into a lengthy fulmination on the question of electability, arguing that she can “put together the electoral map” to defeat John McCain and citing a sampling of Karl Rove’s electoral maps and polling data, obtained by ABC News earlier this week, that showed her performing better than Obama in key states.
“Ask anybody who is supporting my opponent to please tell you how he gets to the 270 electoral votes that we must have to win,” she said. “Every independent analysis that I have seen, some of them done by no friends of Democrats as well as objective news channels, show that I defeat John McCain in key states like Florida, like Ohio, and my opponent does not. Show that I have won states totaling 300 electoral votes. My opponent has won states totaling about 217 electoral votes.”
On her chances in South Dakota, Clinton said she is “racing against the wind here” because Obama has “a lot of the institutional support, a lot of the political establishment” in the state.