May 28th, 2008
11:27 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton says she expects lead in popular vote, primary delegates


Clinton is stepping up her argument to superdelegates. (AP Photo)

EN ROUTE TO KYLE, South Dakota (CNN) - In a letter sent to superdelegates Wednesday, Hillary Clinton contends neither she nor Senator Barack Obama will have the required number of delegates to clinch the nomination after Montana and South Dakota vote next Tuesday, leaving it up to party insiders to put one of them over the top.

“When the primaries are finished, I expect to lead in the popular vote and in delegates earned through primaries … I hope you will consider not just the strength of the coalition backing me, but also that more people will have cast their votes for me,” she wrote, as she continued to press her case that the race was far from over.

Read Clinton's letter and memo to the undecided superdelegates [PDFs]

Clinton, who has not fared well in most caucus votes this year, has dismissed results from those states for much of the campaign, saying the method disenfranchises too many voters.

In addition to the letter, the Clinton campaign also sent along “electoral and polling” analysis - including an electoral map analysis from Karl Rove and Co. - showing her in a better position to take on the Republican nominee in November. The packet was sent to superdelegates in advance of Saturday’s meeting of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee where the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegations will be decided.

“We have not gone through this exciting, unprecedented, historic election only to lose,” Clinton told a crowd in Billings, Montana Tuesday. “Based on every analysis of every bit of research and every poll that’s been taken and every state that a Democrat has to win, I am the stronger candidate against John McCain this fall.”

Several weeks ago, her campaign sent a similar analysis of her electoral strength in tough congressional districts to Democratic members of Congress and other superdelegates.

Wednesday morning, Clinton took a brief tour of Mount Rushmore before heading out on a two-day swing across South Dakota. When asked by reporters whether she could see either herself or former President Bill Clinton added to the monument, she rolled her eyes and semi-playfully urged reporters to “go learn something” about the majestic structure.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Dear Hillary,
    It's true that underestimating the intelligence of the American people is difficult, but even us bumpkins who fell off the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down know that you can't put the popular vote in Michigan in your column. We would like to say that we can't blame you for trying, but we can't. It's just too much. Please stop.

    Former Hillary Supporter

    May 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Jean

    She wants to disenfranchise all the people in Florida (64%) and Michigan (76%) who didn't vote because they were told their primary vote wouldn't count!! She's trying to steal votes. She won't get away with it. Besides, I don't want such a cheating, lying, freaky shady personality like Hillary anywhere near the White House!

    May 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Helena

    CNN Political Ticker:
    Why are you not reporting that Senator Obama has added 3 more Superdelegates this morning and the day is young. He only needs 46 more superdelegates and is leading in the polls in Montana & South Dakota.

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. JB NJ

    I think that it is admirable that Hilary is holding on to this "fighter" theme, but come on Sen. Clinton, at what cost? Even in boxing the ref. has to call the fight at some point to save the fighter that does not know when to give up. Come on delegates, stop the fight already!

    Sen. Clinton's intelligence is being clouded by her own selfish desire to win. STOP dividing the party and let this one go. Enough is enough!

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Nia

    She only wins if she doesn't count the caucus votes, that's how her math about voices not being heard. Hillary was suppose to act "gracefully" not continue to throw shots at Obama. Or is she running from real issues that Obama and McCain have been discussing for the last two weeks. Get on topic Hilary!

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Lisa



    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Larry

    The Dems won't lose unless Hillary destroys the party, which she is well on her way to doing.

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Nichole - MD

    Would all of this be happening if the roles were reversed?

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Doris,Memphis, TN

    Hillary READ MY LIPS!

    The most pledged delegates.

    Obama 2008-20016

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |


    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Concerned

    This is why she should not expect to have the popular votes and the delegates:

    Hillary completely opposed recognizing Michigan and Florida until after the primaries-i.e., when she realized she might need their delegates to win the nomination.

    "It's clear that this election they're having in Mi & Fl is not going to count for anything," Hillary stated during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio in October 2007.

    Two months earlier, Clinton adviser Harold Ickes actually voted to strip the rogue states of their delegates.

    Terry McAuliffe said in his memoir "The closes [MI's delegates will] get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for on state. The rules are the rules."

    May 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Feron

    "She will lead in the popular vote and pledged delegates ONLY if she excludes all of the states that Barack Obama has won."


    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Relevant

    Obama ALREADY HAS more than 50% of all the potential pledged delegates, how can she possibly claim that she will end up with a majority of them?!

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. David

    Hillary’s argument that ALL states should count (meaning Florida and Michigan) is in direct contradiction to her claim of having the Popular Vote. In order for her math to work for the “popular vote”, she adds Florida and Michigan, and ignores Hawaii, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Colorado, Maine, Nevada and Iowa (because they use caucuses) – how is that counting ALL states? How is that democracy?

    There is a reason that the popular vote is meaningless in a Primary, because it can’t be reliably calculated based on caucuses. That is why there is a delegate system – and if you don’t like it then petition the DNC to outlaw caucuses, change the system to a popular vote based nomination, and run that NEXT time. But in the year 2008, we don’t do it that way – sorry Hillary, you weren’t robbed the nomination, you lost it.

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Jen B

    Every vote counts, she claims.
    Yet, she discounted the one I cast in one of the smaller caucus states.
    Shame on her, her lack of respect for voters, her inconsistencies, lies and pathetic pandering.
    Fortunately, many of us are smarter than she gives us credit for and will wait for a more worthy female candidate to emerge.
    In the meantime, I support Obama 100%.

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    I wish a reporter would ask Clinton about the fact that Obama jumped out to a roughly 150 elected delegate lead after Super Tuesday, Feb 5.

    And that elected delegate lead has remained relatively constant ever since.

    She has gained no ground. Only lost ground in the supers.

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. dg

    Look how nice it is since the person who did not win the popular vote is in WHITE HOUSE

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. A in NYC

    Go hillary!!!

    A nomination of Obama only means the election of McCain.

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. aaron

    Keep on fighting, Clinton! If this country is to have a Democrat in office next term, you are our only hope!

    Clinton 08!

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Rebecca

    I continue to be astonished at how the Clintons LIE perpetually, with hopes that no one will do their homework & learn that they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They are proclaiming to their supporters that they are ahead and that OBAMA is stealing the election illegally. Can you believe this madness??? I am so thoroughly disgusted with them both, I cannot bear to hear or read their words any longer.

    ****If you haven't already listend to keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" from Friday sure you not miss it!!! You can view it on MSNBC's website, or on Youtube.*****

    May 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Peter Damoah-Afari

    LOL.............why is that some people are shameless?

    May 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Michael

    To all Clinton Supporters:

    I do believe a woman can be president and would do a great
    job, but is this really the right woman? She seems to distort
    her position to make her campaign look better. She is hedging
    the numbers based on what she wants to happen with the DNC
    rules committee. Doesn't that sound a little shady? Maybe after
    Obama runs the next administration, we can find an honest,
    forthwritght WOMAN to lead our country. Women every where are
    better than Hillary has shown herself to be. Please wake up and see
    the manipulation and deceit that lies in her campaign.

    May 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Count Florida/Michigan Votes

    Democrats need to include Florida and Michigan. If not, a big possibility, that Democrats will lose the election. For me, its just fair to allocate the votes based on the results. Remember that its Obama who remove his name on the ballot. It's his decision. Hillary is smart. Remember also that all the candidates didn't campaign. It's unfair to allocate it 50-50. Based on what? Based on what one candidates want. It should be based on facts/results.

    My suggestion:
    Florida – allocate votes based on the results since all their names are on the ballot. Doesn't matter if nobody campaigned.

    Michigan -allocate votes based on the result (People voted for Hillary). Its unfair not to count it. The remaining "uncommited votes" should be split equally between the candidates (Obama or others). It's their decision to remove their names. That's why I'm saying Hillary is smart. She should have foreseen this mess coming in the future.

    Democrats cannot win the election by excluding Florida/Michigan. The Democratic nominee cannot also say he/she wins the nomination based on 48 states only.

    May 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. PA Man

    True Clinton does better in Ohio, PA, and Florida. However, Obama also wins PA and is only 4% behind in Florida where he did not truly campaign. He can probably gain the 4% in Ohio as well. It is only may. They are even in Nevada and New Mexico. However, Obama crushes her in the following swing states: Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. He puts Virginia and North Carolina into play. No one mentions this. Some experts even believe he can put Montana, a Nebraska istrict, and Mississippi into play. He has achance to rewrite the Democratic map.

    May 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. John-MO

    Lets us not forget that should the DNC reinstate any of FL and MI delegates that the vote is then rendered valid at which point, Clinton will have the most popular vote. According to, with FL and MI popular vote, Clinton is up by 164k votes and even if the estimate the caucus States Obama would still trail Clinton by 54K votes. Do you remember the end of Feb and all of March where Obama was proclaiming the will of the people should be heard and the Super Delegates should vote the will of the people. Well the will of the people will be heard and Clinton will be there choice. What will happen is that Obama will be made the nominee against the will of the people by the Super Delegates. And that's why he will lose in November.

    May 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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