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. Onari

    Is this 73 % representing the would be black voters or black voters who actually turned up. What is this percentage to the actual black voters in Michigan. This analysis is just Bizarre...very very unscientific.

    Even when there is no contest for Democrats in Michigan, CNN have time to fuel the race card. Ludicrous.

    January 16, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Colt Stewart

    Hey CNN,
    Here is an apparant news flash. Barrak Obama is the first serious black candidate for President in our history. Blacks will vote overwhelmingly for him no matter what. That should not come as a surprise to anyone!!! Even the news media.

    January 16, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I would like to know one thing. Isn't the Dem's about state rights. IF so then why do they feel a state shouldn't regulate its own election times ?

    January 16, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Wufpakmom, Illinois

    I would think after the debacle in New Hampshire that the MSM would probably try to get their house in order before going off on another meaningless tanget designed to "predict" or "project". When are the media going to figure out that the American electorate are not comprised of sheep? We are intelligent, intuitive, analytical creatures who can think for ourselves, thank you very much. Please cease trying to sway our opinions with "might be", "should be", "could be" prognostications.

    Report the news. That's your job. Then shut up.

    January 16, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Michael

    I am a little confused with CNN's "fuzzy math". Clinton won 55% of the vote in Michigan, meaning these folks would have voted for Clinton no matter what. Add an additional 3% from the so-called pollsters. This adds up to 58%. Now, the uncommitted vote was approx. 40-45%, with Obama getting 70% of that vote. If my math serves me right – 70% out of 45% of the total of uncommitted, still does not surpass 55%. This means if Michigan had an actual "recognized" primary, Clinton would have won fairly easily. Edwards would have received 17% of the uncommitted vote. This type of selective math is embarrassing to CNN as a network. Be fair across the board, and honest with the American people. And stop playing the race card – Clinton would have still received some African-American support, although significantly less because of the in-fighting with Obama.
    After the smoke clears and Clinton wins the Democratic nomination – this will be a non-story. Only thing that stood out to me last night is the potential for a Clinton-Obama ticket. This will depend largely on how much southern support Obama and Clinton receive. If it is significant, this ticket will be unbeatable.

    January 16, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. JP

    Liz Mollica:
    "she would have still won this primary with a "landslide" 55%. Right? or Wrong?"

    Wrong. Hillary's supporters went to the polls regardless of whether or not the votes would count. Many of them are hoping that Michigan does get some delegates to the convention. It is safe to say that most, if not all, of Hillary supporters went to the polls to vote. Conversely, many of Obama/Edwards supporters would have stayed home, because there is nothing to gain in this primary and their candidates names are not on the ballot.

    The problem with your statement is that you are assuming that not a single Obama/Edwards supporter stayed home because their candidate's names weren't on the ballot. Many stayed home, while few Hillary supporters stayed home, so the percentages are skewed and the only significant point in all of this is that 40% of the people who DID go to the polls went there specifically to vote against Clinton.

    January 16, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. steve wilmington

    The Clintons have made a mockery of the black community.

    January 16, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Former CNN fan

    Jay said:

    "CNN, stop doing the anti-Clinton campaign …!!!!!!!!!

    You have pretty much lost my respect …."

    I agree. Let's have some objectivity and neutrality in your reporting–I think they call it RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM!!

    January 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. cornelia

    Barack won the debate. Hillary failed to answer many of the questions, instead being sure to cover the points that were on her briefing sheet. Chris Matthews needs a vacation.

    Regardless of the polls, the voters will decide, and my vote is going to Barack. He has new and different plans and I can't wait until January 20, 2009! Vote Barack!

    January 16, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. rebecca

    Since they say the Michigan delegates aren't even going to be seated at the convention, plenty of people didn't bother voting. So I'm not sure how accurately the results reflect anything. I had Obama supporting friends who didn't bother with the extra effort of making a "not Hillary" merely symbolic vote. When you talk about anti-Hillary bias, think how many times we had to watch Hillary's "touching moment" played ad nauseum right before New Hampshire.

    January 16, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. bob mcfree

    congratulations CNN.
    No matter who is thier candidate- People seem to be against your participation in the election process.
    might as well JUMP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To Annie- E K Stanton is my wifes grandmother. Thank you for your informative post.

    Huckabee will never change the constitution to God's Law without a civil war. But he IS stupid enough to try. what a mess.

    January 16, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. California Independent


    Why do you show Senator Clinton with a win in Michigan on your front page? You're rewarding her for not playing fair. Obama and Edwards took their names off the ballot. She did not.

    You mislead the public by including that on your site. It's yellow journalism. Please get it right.

    January 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Tim Sullivan

    Why are people looking for a problem in Clinton's Michigan win? If you assume the people who voted for Clinton would do so no matter whose name appeared on the ballot (55%) and add the 22% of the uncommitted who said they would have voted for her had the ballot been packed with more names, that give her 64% of the Michigan vote. Obama's 73% of the uncommitted vote is only 29% of the total. Looks like Clinton would have trounced him there had he been on the ballot! Michigan will get their delegates back at the convention. The Dems will not risk losing Michigan in the national race because their delegates don't count. So this is s big victory for Hillary.

    January 16, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. JJ Jax, FL

    Wow (and I really mean that), all of the Hillary-lovers came out in a truly furious assault on this article...The POINT of the article was NOT to say 'Obama would have won had he been on the ballot', but it was to point out that Hillary's support in the Black community, though strong, IS NOT AS CEMENTED AS THE POPULACE BELIEVES IT TO BE...

    I suppose to Hillary-lovers CNN is only 'unbiased' when they make Hillary look like the Messiah...

    I'm no big fan of the media but this 'hatred for the media' is getting out of control....

    OBAMA '08!!!

    January 16, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. what is happening to people

    Is this a race run, not people's? Why do we hear all the time the african-american voters? Why not then white-american, asian-american, indian-american?
    It is SO disturbing as of now! Hillary is being hit the hardest. Why? Because she is a woman, white woman?
    what is happening?
    what will happen if Obama wins? Will white peole be persecuted? Hated? I thought he wants change to better, not to go back to those dark ages everyone should learn from and not to do it anymore... someone has to TAME the hate between races! Obama is not doing it, he is making it worse!
    this should stop to be fair. O. wants to win no matter what, but what really is he offering to everyone, to every race? SO ffar -to me -it looks like he is against white women...scary

    the whole situation is scary, disturbing.

    Hillary , or anyone else, but not Mr.O.

    January 16, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Lisa Gross

    I am african-american and people aren't choosing Barack Obama because he is black, we like him as a candidate and feel proud that there is a viable black candidate in the race and want to cast our vote for him the same way we did for Bill Clinton when he ran for president. I don't owe my vote to the democratic establishment, I can choose to vote for the candidate that I feel can unite this country (no matter the race or gender of the candidate)and make America the country that it can be. In my opinion that candidate is no question:Barack Obama!

    January 16, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Microtek

    Obama is the person who start and inject the "RACE" issue in to the 2008 election. Obama is also the one who called off the "RACE" battle. Obama is the same kind of politician with any one else in the race. Obama is no better in any thing. Obama is a "VERY GOOD SPEAKER", and a "VERY BAD DOER".

    People STOP WATCHING CNN all together since this network is SO SO SO BIAS.

    January 16, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Jessica, Rolling Meadows, IL

    You know I do believe in free speech and freedom of the press. But I also believe and I am not a lone in my observation, that CNN is losing it's edge for reporting.

    CNN is lobbying through it's reporting.

    But just remember CNN it's your reputation that you are building and I hope you like what you see, if you can see.

    Please those lively humans around the world who are privy of the CNN editorials, by no means does CNN represents America and the diverse culture of America

    On another note. I am an Eurpean Africian American. Interesting hum? I am in Hilary's corner because I share her passion for having facilities that will educate women who fine themselves with an unwanted pregnancy and ETC. Save the woman save the baby. Have to save both. I am a Christian, I truly believe that Jesus would never be in the picket lines outside of an abortion clinic. You would fine Jesus in side of the clinic attending to women in need of answers and hope. Just changing laws will not solve any thing, it will take a more direct approach.

    Just because Hilary is a woman is not a reason alone to vote for her. Some say America is not ready for a woman leader. Rubbish. If there was a man to vote for who I share their passions for why they were running for office, I would be on their ban wagon too.

    I will never vote for a republican for the next term.

    January 16, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. JJ

    This reporter is pathetic. He has removed all the postings from last night to minimise the damage for this dumb report. I'm glad he realized it himself.

    January 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Citizen


    You are corret. I am proud of you. Last night's debate confirmed my doubts about Obama.

    Hillary is the next president.

    January 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. FACTS


    You are right on....
    This is a double standard...Obama will win in the end whites will recieve paybacks..Because – we keep them from jobs, we make them sell drugs, we make them shoot each other and all other races and we make them have NOTHING but excuses for why the black race (FACT – GOOGLE THIS) is the most violent race...Excuses for this are coming, but hummm... How did so many others make it? Look at Kenya and all those years of saying they needed to get rid of the white man in power, well look at them now?

    January 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. aasw

    Seems to me that the last time polling experts cast their opinions, they had it majorly wrong.

    Barak Hussien Obama did not run the Michigan race. And Hillary Clinton did....and she won.

    It is pointless to guess what would have happened if circumstances were different.

    January 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Susan Texas

    Calvin Marion,

    I am sorry to say but Obama graduating from Harvard just doesn't mean that much when you consider Bush graduated from Yale, and look what that brought. We are in the fix we are in now becasue people voted for him on personality, and not experience. I hope you will think above who you like, and think about who is qualified. Bush has proven qualifications do matter.

    January 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. candice

    Cnn whats the deal after a great debate last night this is want you think is new worthy?

    January 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Susan

    Obama 08 .....The wave has just begun....The media has no clue as to how big a wave it will become....just wait and watch...there is no stopping the power of the people when they want a voice..........

    January 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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