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. Brent, Fairfax, VA

    al, San Francisco, CA

    Hillary's cup is 55% full, not 45% empty

    She won decisively in Michigan, when all other candidates COMBINED adds up to only 45%.


    You should be dizzy after spinning that nonsense. Did it ever occur to you that Obama/Edwards supporters were no-shows since their candidates weren't on the ballot? Not a fair representation of voter preference in Michigan yesterday...not that that matters to Clintonphobs. What is very encouraging to those of us who think Hillary is bad for this country, are the exit poll results showing African Americans favor Obama 3 to 1 over Hillary.


    January 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Sad to Say

    To all the Hilliary supporters someone posted earlier about the baby boomers being behind all this mess. They are correct except for me I am not voting for Hilliary. I am a black woman who has taken notice that all the black Clinton supporters are old timers and just may be afraid that if this young black gets elected the will eventually be replace with younger candidates white, black or what ever. They are not concerned with the american people they are just trying to hold on to their seats. Black or white I hope we as a people unite and vote all of these old timers out on both sides. They have done nothing for this country and these are the baby boomers that need to rretire.

    January 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Susan

    Let me get this straight. Obama consistently portrays himself as the reincarnation of Martin Luther King in his speeches and he is not playing the race card? I thought people were interested in the issues that affect America – a united America.

    You cannot have it both ways. Either you are a uniter or a divider. If Obama continues to focus on the African America human rights movement as the central theme of his speeches, and others in his campaign sling mud at Bill and Hillary when any educated person can see that there was no racial slur uttered by either Bill or Hillary, then Obama's campaign will implode.

    The African American community needs to show the rest of America that they can see beyond race. The exit polls are troublesome as are many of the comments coming from the usual characters. Fire that one, and that one. But there is no apology from these folks when allegations made by African Americans against others are found to be false.

    I have been a defender of human rights all of my life. And I was never so dejected as when the almost all black jury proved me wrong and voted not guilty in the face of all the evidence against OJ Simpson. Now I hear some in the African American community attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton in the face of evidence that they have an outstanding record on human rights.

    Either these people are undereducated or disingenuous. In any event, it is extremely troubling. If "Whites" indicated in an exit poll that they planned to vote for Hillary as opposed to Obama, they would almost assuredly be branded racist.

    Anybody out there see a double standard?

    January 16, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Carl

    Well Hillary, I"ll give you a nice PR lesson. When you travel around the country, you don't change your voice and personality to "fit" the people you are talking with to promote yourself and your party.

    I will never vote for her after her little speech in a church down south where she happened to break out her Southern accent and language just for show.


    January 16, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Sue

    Obama is not about color. He is simply the most qualified to bring People together. Democrats need to be aware there is an "anyone but a Clinton" attitude out there. No more Bush, no more Clinton, seems to be the refrain. How would Dems react if there was ANOTHER BUSH nominated? See what I mean...

    January 16, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. A voter in time

    I can't beleive people are so simple, as to actually beleive that a majoriy of Michigan democratic voters came out to vote last night. Do you know that an enormous chunck of Michigan's voters did not want to waste their time on this pointless election–especially those who did not support hillary.

    Honestly, had this been a real primary that actually counted, it appears Hillary would have been trounced. A 55% win, as the only candidate, running during a meaningless primary, on a cold michigan day, is a very sad win. now had she won like 70%, that would be a different story.

    I'm not advocating one candidate over the other, but let us be realistic about things. Had michigan voters bothered to vote, I highly doubt Hillary would have been the winner.

    And let us note, that this election counted for nothing, because michigans dems lost all their delgates.

    January 16, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. gesso Cocteau

    Whenever CNN can bash Hillary they will.
    Kind of blending with Fox a bit too much for my taste.
    You have not really been fair to Hillary.
    A positive report now and then might make you appear
    less gender-bias.

    January 16, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Teresa

    As it shows in the real "numbers", Hiliary would have carried Michigan. It seems like yellow journalism to cite only the exit poll percentage of african americans...they are a portion of the whole percentage that went to vote yesterday... In your own exit poll, it appeared that the majority of people who exited and took your poll still would have voted for Clinton. This seems like extremely biased reporting and I daresay irresponsible.

    If Obama had been on the only democrat on the ballot and had the same results, would the article be the same? Just curious. Nonetheless, I find it interesting that two of the major candidates decided not to have their names on the ballot because they wanted to make sure they looked like they were holding solid with their party. Were they not interested in gaging their public, especially the Michigan public? In the end, unfortunately, there is now a state who seems to have no sway in the actual DNC come August. Something seems wrong with that, to me, and I would say that no matter who came out on top.

    Also, someone mentioned confusion over why people did not "write-in". In Michigan, that is not an option, so "un-committed" is their alternative.

    January 16, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Voters beware of an HRC candidacy...you get what you paid for...in the case of HRC who has a ton of political debts to pay...the only ones that lose out are the ones who don't pay their way into HRC's pockets...and that's about 98% of all Americans.

    HRC will disgrace the presidency and bring us more of the same...she is not the agent of change. She can't be...when she is selling herself to the highest bidder. And recently she has a couple of sell-out black surragotes (corporate elite and established washington) telling us all she is more supportive of Black American than Obama.

    A vote for HRC is not a vote for change, but a vote for the same.

    January 16, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Cheryl


    January 16, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. marie

    it's reported that only Hillary's name was on the ballot – and then it's stated that it's just a beauty contest – ? is this just some sort of slang used in political circles to describe this type of thing when it occurs – or is this something new?

    January 16, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Justin, Houston, TX

    I think what's become obvious is that this is just another campaign no matter how much anyone says that it's gonna be different. Each side is gonna spin what the other says. And we as voters have to be able to pick through the nonsense and come away witht the facts of the matter.

    That said, I am a black male and supporter of Hillary. It was clear from last night's debate and from all the others that I've seen that Hillary is the most qualified and best ready to be President of this country. Obama basically said in the debate that he would lead the same way Bush has (please watch it for your own confirmation). We can't have another President relying on advisors to "run" the country while he sits in the Oval Office and just comes up with the vision. Being President requires more than giving great speeches and picking smart people to surround yourself with.

    As for the race issue, the only person that wins from this is the Republican nominee. This whole thing has been media driven and will only serve to split the Democratic Party. If anyone looks OBJECTIVELY at the remarks Hillary made, they didn't even come close to being racist or having any disrespect for Dr. King or anything he stood for. What's clear is this woman has a history of working hard for the rights of all humans, especially minorities (blacks, women, etc).

    I have the utmost confidence that Hillary will be the nominee and I believe to heal this party and for just plain good reason she will choose Barack as her running mate. And as much as they've had differences, he'll accept because it'll get him the experience he needs to be President in 2016.

    January 16, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Andrew

    I'm wondering how CNN can report Clinton won Michigan without making it very clear that there were no other Democrats on the ballot?

    January 16, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. JFK

    These Ticker stories are just getting ridiculous. Hillary wins but she is still losing is getting old. The fact that Hillary is called a racist is even more insane. Given that the Clintons have always supported African Americans and until Obama came along, were heavily supported by the African American community. Why is that if Obama says she is a racist now should change anyones mind? What he is doing is the exact thing he is calling her. He is dividing and using race as an issue. So much for the Great Uniter. Obama just could not handle the Clintons were respected so greatly by the African American community. So what does he do? He tries to rewrite their record and history to win votes. Shame on you Obama!

    Why is that we can not leave comments on the truly important stories?? These Political Ticker stories have usually very little importance in the election or politics. It's usually someone said "this" or said "that" Or some other nonsense! Maybe we CNN readers should at least be able to comment on more newsworthy stories too? Lets demand some change here!

    January 16, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. steveo

    CNN exit polls "show" nothing.
    They show, at best, what people say they will do at a point in time.

    Here's the deal CNN.
    You can decide you're in the news business, or the entertainment business.
    But not both. Not with this reader and watcher.
    Your entertainment news has bled into the real news with bad reportage as a result.

    January 16, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Mr Obama's campaign is twisting things so that a comment about any black man is a comment about him, just as any attack on him is an attack on all black people. I ask again: who is playing the race card here?

    January 16, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Boom!

    I'm Black, female, and will NOT vote for Obama. – Can you believe that? We actually read, write, and make our own judgements independently?
    This was funny (below), but the truth is America is not ready to unite and surely will not unite simply because Obama stands up to the BIG 400 yr old BEAST that we "call" a Democracy... Change will always be in the hands of the individual and not at the political rammering of someone who goes to a church that is itself based on biased principals- Check yourselves, before you wreck yourselves...
    "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."
    Put your faith in God where it belongs, and vote for the candidate that can do the job well.

    January 16, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Nathan John

    After getting New Hampshire so horribly wrong I thought that the "Best team in Politics" would be a little more conservative with their factually vacant predictions. I guess not.

    January 16, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. MIKE, NC

    Senator Clinton lives by the use of racism and the Clintons will lose by their use of racism.

    Hillary barely beat the uncommitted voter; not a good sign for her.

    But then again what has Senator Obama done - NOTHING!!!

    The top 3 democrats all have the same problems:

    They never ran a private business
    They never ran a state or local government
    They never saw a tax they did not like
    They never saw a government program they did not like
    They all hate the military
    They all blame America first
    They are all for big government
    They are for amnesty for illegals
    They are all weak on national security
    They all play the race card
    They all play the class envy card
    They all believe in Al Gores (lies) vision of global warming

    This is the best the Democrats have to offer, is this what the Democratic party has come too?

    Vote for Mitt Romney he is not a Washington insider like the rest of them, Mitt will implement the right change and fix Washington government.

    January 16, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Aron, MI

    I had a great respect for CNN... I have now pretty much lost it!
    What happend to this – so called – neutrel Media?... Is CNN now another verssion of FOX, huh?!
    You guys do whatever you want to do, but Hillary is the best and her victory is unstoppable.

    Are you also trying to creat a huge gap between whites and blacks?!?

    January 16, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. hi

    Mr Obama seems determined to cry “race” whenever anyone attacks him.

    January 16, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. R. Cook

    I think at the end of the day the media pays way too much attention to uninformed voters who will vote a candidate solely on the basis of gender or race. Surely there is a counterbalancing contingent on the other side who will not vote for these same candidates because of gender or race.

    I think the overkill coverage of Hillary losing the black vote paints African Americans as uniformed. Obama's magnetism is a lot more than skin deep.

    January 16, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Ben

    ha, the African-American community is finally seeing her for what she is now. about time.

    January 16, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Zainab Usman

    Obama is too inexperienced to run America. The man has spent only two years in the Senate and does not have much to show for it. Yet he thinks he can run the country.

    I think i will run for president in 2012!

    Did you watch him in the Nevada debate? Clinton showed him how it is done.

    Go Clinton!

    January 16, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Mia, Stafford, VA

    CNN – It is clear that the real "race baiter" is you! This is sad and unnecessary that everyday you take something going on in the 2008 primary process and try to find a racial spin to it. I agree with a previous blogger the story should have been about why only HRC, Kuncinch and Dodd were the only ones on the ballot.


    January 16, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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