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. MI Voter

    I am amazed at the majority of these comments...racists, the black vote.

    The founding fathers of this country made Mr. Obama a black man...not the media, not the so-called black vote. History of this country said that one drop of "Black" blood makes you "Black". Mr. Obama's mother is a white American woman . His father is a African from Kenya (I believe). I don't know anything about either of his parents who has to be totally disappointed in this entire process. The only thing they did wrong was love each other long enough to create Barak Obama.

    But Barak is an American, period. Let's stop all of this rhetoric of race. If Barak Obama was not a viable candidate, he would have bottom numbers even if you viewed him as a white man. But are you actually saying that a black man (according to his dad's side of the family) or a white man (according to his mom's side of the family) is not good enough or are you saying that this American is not good enough. Which one? Talk about playing the race card. Mr. Obama is trying hard to keep it out of the election process because he wants to appeal to the PEOPLE. I just don't see many media avenues using the term "The White Vote". So why is there so much emphasis on "The Black Vote." Let's just let it be "The People Have Spoken!"

    January 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. James

    The country is going downhill. I would take my chances with someone who knows politics and who knows what is going wrong and has solutions to fix it. I would not vote for a someone who has the least of experience in this field. Politics is politcs. It's not going to change. So it's important to chose a smart politician who knows how to get things done in this field. Experience is crucial here, I am sorry to say this but this is the fact and not a racist comment. Whether it be a man or woman, black or white, the candidate must have solid experience and come forth with solutions to the problems the country is facing now. Remember politics is politics. Leader of this country will also have to work with policians from other countries too.
    They require relevant experiece of some sort even to be a waiter/waitress at a restraunt!

    January 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Lisa Gross

    I too watched the debate and isn't it amazing that people can watch the same debate and have different opinions about it. I felt Barack looked presidential he stayed above the fray, he explained his differences, he admitted mistakes and he told us what he will do for this country. I liked the fact that they had common ground on alot of issues and they all believe a democratic president is needed to fix the mess that Bush made. The more I hear Obama speak the more I am convinced that we have a great opportunity here to make a big change in this country on so many positive fronts. I am taking all this history in and breathing better these days knowing that YES WE CAN make this a better place for us all!!!

    January 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Truth

    Obama will win 08 presidential race – Trust me! People don't see him coming...

    Never mind him being the only candidate that comes from a totally RACIST church and belief..Never mind him having a past of drugs and NO experience...

    The most powerful position in the world now needs no qualification barriers now...

    As for Hillary.....She has no backbone, she caters to the black people....Neither one should win....This is a race to protect the USA not a fashion, politically correctness game......

    January 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    It looks like Obama's "race riot" has been effective in scaring black voters to his side. It's amazing that this clean cut all american boy that claims race isn't an issue is somehow making it one. It's time people actually read beyond the headlines when making a judgement on a candidate.

    Has Hillary said anything untrue or incorrect? NO.

    Obama's camp and he himself have made political hay out of a non-issue. Distorting the statements Hillary made that we designed to highlight that "Obama is NO Jack Kennedy or Martin Luther King." He is simply a man that is colorful, and idealistic, but has no substance or experience as these great men had. He is only speaking words when what we need is ACTION!


    January 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. ama


    Please give one example of when Obama himself has said anything negative in this campaign or played the race card.

    The minute Sen. Clinton decided to give her analogy of Obama being more King and she being more like LBJ. In many folks minds, she inserted race... and this whole mess began. Now, Obama has to answer for her comments. Obama had one response it was not negative and he did use the word race.

    Not to mentioned Obama was the first call a truce and tell his supporters to stop the negativity. At the very least Obama should get some credit for taking responsibility for his campaigners.

    At this time, we need to focused on the issues. Not the blame.

    January 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. lola

    CNN, go home and do your homework in journalism! You are so biased and doing great disservice to this country. You are one of the big reasons why this country is so divided; is it that hard to get the facts?

    January 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    The most disturbing thing about Michigan for Hillary Clinton is that in an election where she was the only major candidate on the ballot, she still only got 55% of the vote. 40% of the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary said they would rather give their vote to nobody rather than give it to Clinton. That looks really bad for her when it comes to a general election.

    January 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Bruce Taylor

    CNN used to appear pro-Clinton but now as they have become more even-handed and just reporting the facts, it seems this bothers Clinton supporters. I strongly believe that a great majority of African-American voters have seen and heard enough of the Clinton circus and will solidly support Obama by a very wide majority . Shouldn't that be the case for all voters when the choice is one between a candidate telling the truth and not? For instance,Clinton is now trying to say that she supported the Hagel resolution prior to the initiation of the Iraq War when she in fact supported the White House favored resolution and got up before the Senate to say so. This her one major policy decision was contributory indeed to the headlong rush into conflict. I could fill this blog with her misappropriations and shadings of the truth. It is indeed time for the Democratic Party to embrace its true future in the candidacy of Senator Obama and not its past in the candidacy of Senator Clinton.

    January 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. roland manrique

    Hey Hiliary:

    Who adviced you to use the "brown" term. I found this term racist and abrasive and may become a new term in the near future if you have your way. I prayer you will measure your words in the future, cause they reflect your heart and hurt people. I am American and my grandparents and their grandparents are American who stayed on their land and and became American over night . My race is caucasion (54 years old), My ancestory is mexican, My nationality is American, I am not brown, mexican American, latino, or any other divisive term I am American period OK. My prayer is you not get any vote from the "brown".......


    January 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Craig of Salisbury

    Hillary won the Michigan contest by garnering 55% of the votes against–guess who? No one! This isn't what I would call a win. Heck, I guarantee I will win every election I ever attempt if I'm running by myself!

    January 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Pat

    Please. Isn't there any news worth being reported out there? Who cares. CNN you are sinking Obama's campaign by posting all these anti-Hillary stories. Coverage like this is having a negative effect on Obama's campaign and is rallyiong support towards Hillary, which is obvious by the comments posted here. CNN give it up before you sink Obama which is great news for Hillary.

    January 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. Karen

    I find it moronic that people keep writing that they have read a CNN posting of less than 20 sentences and have now decided in no uncertain terms that they are just now changing their vote. Sheep.

    I appreciated that NBC brought up the Obama team memo. Four pages of race baiting was a little over the top. I blogged about the memo and Obama bloggers were very vehement (that is putting it over politely) that it did not happen but of course refused to go to any of the legitimate links that had the memo in it's entirety. At least Obama had the courage to admit it and take accountability for his supporters.

    CNN tries to be unbiased but has to generate news for it's 24 hour cycle. I do not believe they would get the response the do if they covered the issues. If you truly enjoy hating Clinton, try MSNBC.

    Clinton asks for Obama's support on legislation and he agrees. The media gets critical and snarky and calls the ability of the Dems to get along a 'love fest' and MSNBC's Cris Matthews states that he isn't sure that's what we want to see.

    It isn't the candidates that are inappropriate. It isn't the media. It's the bloggers. So keep reading and keep changing your vote. Note: with all of the people changing their vote, I haven't noticed any difference when polling the bloggers preference.

    January 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Fact

    Obama will win 08 presidential race – Trust me! People don't see him coming…

    Never mind him being the only candidate that comes from a totally RACIST church and belief..Never mind him having a past of drugs and NO experience…

    The most powerful position in the world now needs no qualification barriers now…

    As for Hillary…..She has no backbone, she caters to the black people….Neither one should win….This is a race to protect the USA not a fashion, politically correctness game……

    January 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. KAS

    I can't believe the comments I'm reading today. Most of you who say you're democrats are either down right racist, or just nasty sore losers. What we should be concentrating on is getting Bush out of office, getting our troops out of Iraq, and trying to fix this horrible economy. You guys are so superficial with your who's better, Black man, White woman, White man debate. Listen up people:
    If we don't stop all this, a republican will surely get into office. Are democrats that stupid we'll keep the in-fighting going because of racism? First off, if you're racist, or even remotely racist, do everyone a favor and vote republican. As democrats, we ARE the civil rights movement. Senators Clinton and Obama have both moved on (watch the debate). Why don't we do the same? Ask yourself:
    How can I represent my party efficiently if I'm racist?

    January 16, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The African-American community is voting for an African-American candidate, and people are surprised by this?!

    The real shock may come in the New York state primary, where it's rumored that New York City has a few African-Americans.

    Will that be a shock, too?!

    January 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. reality

    Hilary is not winning the election people.. you can't become the president just because you were married to one years ago... sorry kiddies, dont work like that..

    Obama is winning this thing.. DEAL WITH IT

    January 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. From The North

    Reply : Tom Dedham:

    Enjoyed your comments Tom and hope you don't mind me giving you my take on the scenerio.

    I am not a Clinton sheep and as a Canadian, don't even have a vote so I feel quite assured you can classify my views as a mere independent viewer's take on the subject.

    Reading between the lines, I would assert from your comments you are certainly not a Hillary Fan. 🙂 I have no favourtism for any Candidate to date. But, I'll admit I have no admiration for any of the Republican contenders.

    But here's what all this Clinton rhetoric says to me – The Spin Machines are out in full force. And in my humble opinion, for one reason. They want to sway the voters to Obama's Camp. Let's face it, what could be better for the Republicans? And the majority of the Spinners are from the Republican camp. They know Hillary will give a Republican Nominee a Real Run for the White House. And likewise they know Obama won't be hard for one of their, in my view, Bush Clones to beat. Hence, the Hillary attacks by the Republican Henchmen.

    And like I stated previously, I am not for any one Candidate. I'm just looking in.
    But what I am for is putting a Leader in the White House who has the competence to do the Job. As that is a win/win situation for America and the World. I'm afraid the Republicans have left a very sour taste in my mouth thanks to Mr. Incompetence Superior Bush. And on the world stage, I know my disgust for Bush is a feeling shared by many.

    So, if Americans want to trash and bash Hillary off the Presidential Podium go fo it. But, I think it might be wise for them to begin supporting another Democrat Candidate to take her place. Unless, that is, Americans want to live through another disastrous four years of the same deplorable tactics,and incompetent leadership. And to add insult to injury, be part and parcel of another trillion dollar military fiasco in Iran et al, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and lets throw in Russia just as a back up of the afore said mentioned.

    And tthe potential of hat scenerio my friend, will make the present disaster in Iraq/Afghanistan look like a walk in the park with parasoles, and baskets. And has the potential of affecting the Universal Population of which I'm a member. And quite frankly, that view becoming reality, truly disturbs me, to say the least. Neither America nor the World are ready for it, or need it.

    Just my view from here. All The Best.

    January 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. sly

    CNN's obsession with RACE is disturbing. They are going out of their way to keep race near the forefront of this election. It's very harmful. The supposed "race politics" was blown way out of proportion by this and other news networks. It's as if they were waiting patiently for the slightest thing that can be misconstrued as a race issue to strike. It's revolting.

    January 16, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. Eagleheart, Kentucky

    Wow, Ralph. You are a perfect example of a Hillary supporter. Injecting ad hominem instead of responding like an adult to the substantive issues. Also you may claim MSNBC is biased, but look at the chronology I pointed out (I bet you didn't even view the site). If you feel something was left out, please explain. But don't rely on the intellectually easy argument of bias. If you claim bias, back it up with an intelligent example. I backed up my point for why I thought CNN was being biased. Please try your best to do the same.

    Also, look at the debate last night. Given the opportunity to ask the other candidates a substantive question, Clinton opted to grandstand politically by asking Obama if he would support a bill she is sponsoring. If Hillary genuinely wanted Obama to support her legislation she woudn't ask him on national television without sharing the details of her plan beforehand. Ultimately, once again, Clinton's "question" was emblematic of yet another of her obscene political parlor tricks. Obama, however, responded perfectly. No longer should anyone think he can't handle any of the political tricks thrown his way. Its no wonder why people think Clinton is interested only in political calculus, it may be the only thing she understands.

    Also, the reason Clinton said she didn't vote for the energy bill was also telling, and patently untruthful I might add. If you read today's Washington Post fact checking section, you will see that Hillary's claim that the energy bill was a give-away to the oil companies was absolutely false. Although the bill included some tax credits, it included even more tax increases on the industry. Thus, the industry's net tax burden actually increased! So Clinton's remarks are exactly the type of subterfuge and lies propagated by the administration of the past 8 years. They rely on the fact that the public won't know any better, so they have no compunction about spewing whatever lies they desire. Its how we got into Iraq. You actually want more of this nonsense?

    Furthermore, I think this question also provided insight into what would happen in a Clinton administration. Obama voted for the engergy bill because it was the largest investment in alternative sources of energy in u.s. history. Yet, Clinton didn't vote for it because her political adversaries were involved. Again, this is an example of a typical closed-minded washington politician whose self-interested partisan politics prevents them from making substantive progress on important issues. This behavior is completely asanine.

    If politicians in this country continue to vote for bills depending on the basis of the author's party (as was the case here because the bill was NOT a give-away to the oil industry), we are going to continue to fail to make progress on anything of importance. Why do you think congress has the approval rating it has? Because its full of folks, like Clinton, who have loyalties to a party instead of to the American people.

    Its is so abudnantly clear now that Clinton simply does not have the judgment to get anything done in washington. The status quo must change. We can't afford it not to.

    January 16, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. bugsy

    Hilary is an evil doer and everyone knows it. Just go back to Arkansas days when she was up to her ears in scandal. During the Bill presidency she was basically sidelined on the Healthcare issue because there was so much dirt to be raked up that the Repubs silenced her. Everyone on the inside knows that the Dems cant afford to have Hilary get thru with the Repubs holding so many trump cards on her. I

    January 16, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Susan in Texas:

    Barack Obama earned his way into Harvard and performed admirably as based on his academic record.

    Bush was a leagacy at Yale; he was going there even though his high school grades and college board scores were not good enough. He was also a C- student there, mainly because the good ole boy network took over and lobbied for the grades!

    So, there is a HUGE difference between the two of them!!!

    January 16, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. AD, Maryland

    CNN should stop playing the race card. Not the canidates. If Black people vote for Barack why it should be because he is black, I have yet to see any pole about how many whites’ votes for Clinton and state that is a vote against Barack.

    January 16, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Tim

    The thing that bothers me most about this election is that the black community is coming together to support someone just because they have the same skin color as them. The bond they share as black "brothers" and "sisters" outrages me. They need to look at real issues, and who has the most experience-not the darkest skin color. It takes experience to lead, and experience is not a word that can be titled to the rookie Senator Barack Obama from Illinois.

    January 16, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Bob

    I love all the Hillary "supporters" coming out of the woodwork to comment on this piece. So c'mon, guys, fess up: how many of ya'll are plants from the Clinton campaign?

    I don't doubt that half the Hillary support here is from people affiliated with her campaign, who are being paid or prompted to comment in order to try to sway public opinion.

    Nice try, Hillary, but just having a lot of insiders and "people" may not cut it this election.

    P.S. CNN, you still suck. And try giving Edwards some coverage for a change.

    January 16, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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