January 16th, 2008
10:51 AM ET
12 years ago

Potentially troubling news for Clinton in Michigan 'win'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/15/art.clintonmichigan.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton won less than a quarter of support from black voters."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton faced a grim statistic in Michigan Tuesday night, despite her primary "win" there: results revealed that she may have reason to worry about her grasp on the African-American vote.

The Michigan primary vote was essentially meaningless: the national party stripped the state of its delegates because it held its contest too early in the election season, and Clinton was the only major Democratic contender whose name appeared on the ballot.

Even so, roughly 70 percent of Michigan’s African-American voters - a group that makes up a quarter of Michigan’s Democratic electorate - did not cast their votes for Clinton, choosing the “uncommitted” option instead. Yet these voters weren’t uncommitted at all: in fact, according to CNN exit polls, they overwhelmingly favored Barack Obama, whose name did not appear on the ballot.

Had Obama’s name been on the Michigan ballot, CNN exit polls show that he would have won an overwhelming 73 percent of the African-American vote, in contrast to 22 percent who say they would have voted for Clinton under those circumstances. If South Carolina’s large African-American community votes as Michigan’s, Hillary may not be feeling much ‘southern hospitality’ in that state.

Related: Blacks, youngest voters choose 'uncommitted' over Clinton

- CNN Political Producer Alan Isenberg

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (738 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Let me get this straight ...... If I don't vote for Obama .... I'm a Racist???

    January 16, 2008 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  2. AnaHadWolves

    And, when the "Obama Strategy" of playing the race card blossoms completely, the Democrats will implode, as usual, on Election Day. Obama's strategists, using "code words" and playing the victim here, distorted and mis-quoted Hillary and Bill Clinton to their political advantage with Black voters.

    Obama is proving to be as sleazy and slippery as those he attempts to castigate. This Democrat will not be voting for Obama for anything.

    January 16, 2008 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  3. Adam

    How about some numbers to go along with the percentages? Percentages are meaningless unless we have the numbers to offer context.

    January 16, 2008 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  4. jay gelek

    Obama is definitely charasmatic and likable but the american presidency is not a beauty contest. Hillary is going to win it in the end despite what the "pundit's" say.

    January 16, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  5. Nick

    CNN, stop doing the anti-Clinton campaign ...!!!!!!!!!

    You have pretty much lost my respect ....

    January 16, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  6. Mike in Kentucky

    "Had Obama’s name been on the Michigan ballot, CNN exit polls show that he would have won an overwhelming 73 percent of the African-American vote, in contrast to 22 percent who say they would have voted for Clinton under those circumstances. If South Carolina’s large African-American community votes as Michigan’s, Hillary may not be feeling much ‘southern hospitality’ in that state."

    I have to confess that I am not well versed in the intricacies of Michigan election law, but, if I could have voted for a Republican or voted uncommited, could I have written in the candidate of my choice...symbolic though it might have been!

    If that is the case, then the symbolic vote did not show up!

    January 16, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  7. Judy Z

    " CNN exit polls show that he would have won an overwhelming 73 percent of the African-American vote, in contrast to 22 percent who say they would have voted for Clinton under those circumstances".

    These data are meaningless.

    January 16, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  8. jd in the ville

    Knowinghow how most people are, I would guess that this will rally the whites.

    January 16, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  9. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    Great news for me and Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama 2008

    January 16, 2008 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. John

    Pathetic. Why does the media insist on slanting the coverage to emphasize the "contest" rather than the issues? A "grim" fact? "Troubling news"? Give me a break. Of COURSE those blacks would have voted for Obama, and they did so, in effect.

    How about covering the issues being discussed instead of the process?

    "News" reporting is often no better than entertainment, and "analysis" has been replaced by speculation.

    January 16, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  11. Tod Palmer

    Well, since we all know how reliable exit polls have proven to be, that's it Hillary. Give up. CNN's exit poll said you can't win, much like all its polls said you'd surely lose New Hampshire. How is this news? Where's the integrity? Primaries, generally, are meaningless ... especially those with only one viable candidate on the ballot. God, can't we get an update on Brittney Spears or, God forbid, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    January 16, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  12. randy

    what a silly and meaningless bit of non-info. how you can infer what "might" have happened in a state where the candidates were not permitted to campaign is just pure rubbish. what cnn "omit" to tell you is that local (Detroit) black politicians were pushing hard for the "uncommitted" line. you really had a pretty one-sided campaign in those districts since the national campaigns were not allowed to go in. now what is CNN going to do next Tuesday when the SC exit polls do not show a 73% Black Obama vote?????

    January 16, 2008 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  13. Monroe

    And you claim race isnt a factor for obama supporters...We ALL knew this was how it would be from now on. This will be a race on race until the end sadly. Senator Clinton was outstanding and very Presidential in the NV debate last night. Once again obama fumbles through his sentences when he doesnt have a "inspirational speech" written for him, its very obvious, this guy doesnt have one original thought...If black voters want to support a candidate based on skin color then white voters will do the same and vote for Clinton or Edwards. Obama has lost.

    January 16, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  14. Hillarylover in Texas

    Oh please. CNN should focus on more than one minority in this country. Stop just focusing on one. The media really blows up things way off. I stopped watching and reading alot of tis BS – the media is making Obama look like this uniter. Someone different. He is no different that all of the candidates that are running. My sister watched Obama once and said. Nope – can't vote for him. Obama isn't impressing as many people as the media makes out. He isn't going to walk into Washington and say "there is a new sheriff in town." This country isnt a dictatorship. WAKE UP AMERICA.

    Clinton 08

    January 16, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  15. Barbara

    Wait a minute. It's 'acceptable' for Obama and his campaign strategists to look to 'rallying' the black and young female vote, but racist or sexist for Clinton and her campaign strategists to rally 'rally' the non-black and female vote?

    I agree with Nick, "stop the anti-Clinton" campaign. It could be seen as 'sexist' by some women. Of course, so far we've yet to hear any feminists get on the 'anti' bandwagon. I wish I could say the same for those who favour Obama and jump at every opportunity to cry foul whenever anyone says anything that even remotely smacks of a challange to Obama on anything.

    Double standards here folks.

    January 16, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  16. Rhett


    Why would you even publish something like this? The real story here should explain how/why any name appears on a ballot if the state was stripped of it's delegates. Much of this nation will view some distorted liberal news snippet and interprate this as a win for Clinton. Results for the Michigan democratic primary should read "N/A".

    January 16, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  17. J Williamson Buffalo, NY

    Most Dem voters simply stayed home as they saw the contest as meaningless – why infer so much? Hillary "won" with 55% of the vote, but that is barely mentioned. The media bias towards Obama is starting to make many of the pundits look like bought and paid for stooges.

    January 16, 2008 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  18. charlotte

    When the media continues to divide the votes by color were never going to get past this RACE thing. Are the ballots somehow color coded? What percent of the white vote did Hillary receive, Chinese-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Arab-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Japaniese-Americans, Hmong-Americans, Vietnamise-Americans, Irish-Americans, Dutch-Americans, German-Americans, French-Americans, English-Americans, Canadian-Americans, And lets not forget the only true Americans the Indians? I'm sure I missed some country. I say take the hypen out and we're all AMERICANS.

    January 16, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  19. Mike, Owosso, MI

    That is what they were instructed to vote for in Detroit by the media and the local leaders- robots of the town.

    January 16, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  20. Anonymous

    WOW. You just cant stop putting a negative spin on everything huh? SHE WON New Hampshire, the media's saying she cheated. She won Michigan, the media is potraying the win as meaningless. She said a FACT about MLK and LBJ, she is lambasted for being a racist. Someone talked about Obama's drug use, they blame it on the Clintons. And then she is portrayed as being too divisive. How can she be divisive when the media is the one fueling the flame? When is it gonna stop!! Whats worse, they're analyzing a minority vote instead of looking at an overwhelming win. How big is the Democratic African American community in Michigan and how many actually showed up on the polls? 70% of what number? You cant even get facts out there. This news piece is a worthless pitch of an anti-Hillary hack.

    She won 60% as compared to 35% uncommited. Even if Obama and Edwards were on the ballot, SHE COULD HAVE WON BIG.

    Stop the media bias! Report FACTS!!!

    January 16, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  21. YesWeCan

    "Let me get this straight …… If I don't vote for Obama …. I'm a Racist???"


    As a Generation X African American and Woman I am sick and tired of all this race and gender BS.

    I won't vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstance and if someone asked me if it was because she was a woman, I would slap them. I'd also slap anyone who would suggest that I am voting for Barack Obama because he's Black or if I were voting for Edwards, because I only think a White man can get the job done.

    I am sick of all this race and gender politics and you know who's fault it really is? The Baby Boomers and they will suffer politically for pushing this crap and being hypocrites. They claim they fought to put and end to all of this crap, but it's their generation that is the one who keeps pushing it. From Media to Candidates to Surrogates, it's Baby Boomers who are being total hypocrites.

    Everyone is getting real sick and tired of the Hypocrite Boomers with their Race and Gender Politics. If Anti-Boomer sentiment grows in America, remember it started right here in 2008 . Mark your calenders. The Hypocrite Boomers have lost all respect from the rest of the country. Just take you SSI Checks and leave everyone else the heck alone! Grrrrrrrrrr!

    January 16, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  22. Prophet

    Tick,tick,tick the clock goes.
    And who says obama is preferred to clinton when they are all the same- stooges- special interest representators. Definitely the Democrats will implode for they have ignored the real man-Edwards. For sure Huckabee is the predicted president!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  23. PJ, New York

    CNN, ENOUGH ALREADY! Stop the Anti-Hillary Clinton coverage!! Why don't you talk about how she 'owned the stage' once again at the debate last night on MSNBC?? Talk about the issues that everyone wants to hear, not the polls. What a pathetic news organization!

    January 16, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  24. jd in the ville

    BUSH 08

    January 16, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  25. SRP

    Mike in Kentucky–If they had written in a name, the vote would have been tossed, so voting "uncommitted" actually makes more of a symbolic stand, because an "uncommitted" vote will be counted.


    PS: anyone find it odd that no Ron Paul supporters have post 30+ entries saying that Paul actually won Michigan, like, 9 months ago?

    January 16, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
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