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. hallihunt

    You can always spin the data to "create" a story. By reading this article, you would think that African Americans make up the majority of Democratic voters in Michigan. Is this true – I don't think so. If you're going to do a story like this, then where are the other numbers – age, gender, independent, other minorities. This is a shameful piece of fluff spun to keep the racial discussion in play even though both Clinton and Obama have said "let it go".

    January 16, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Debra McDonald

    Hillary should bow out now. Mr. Obama will be the next President of the UNITED States of America.

    January 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Perry, Alabama

    Let me get this stright. If the Democratic party wins the election, the national party will decide who's votes count and who's don't based on wheather they like when you vote or not. What happened to every vote counts.

    January 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    John, clearly you cannot count "uncommitted" as representing the full support of Edwards and Obama combined. It is remarkable that 40% came out to vote for the word "uncommitted", knowing that their candidates names were not on the ballot.

    There is no spinning to be done. Hillary was the only major candidate on the ballot. There was talk that 30% or more would've been a strong showing for "uncommitted" considering the circumstances. Instead, it got 40%, which is remarkable.

    If Michigan had a regular primary with all candidates on the ballot, Obama would've won the state handily. I can assure you of that.

    January 16, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. agron

    CNN please "stop the anti-Clinton" campaign....Michigan vot for Clinton...period...

    January 16, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. AZ Dem

    WOW – Susan in Texas. CNN is painting Obama as the second coming? How about all of the over exposure that Clinton is getting across the board. And why? Because she's extremely polarizing and will give the networks something to report on over the next 4 years should she become President.

    America is at a crossroads and we are in need of real (dare I say it?) change. A change that can only come from someone who is fresh, positive, experienced, and most of all – truly hopeful for the future of America. We need to embrace a change that will propel us forward, not take us backward. We need someone in the Oval Office that is NOT a Clinton or Bush.

    I believe Barack Obama to be the candidate who can see where we are now, can see where we should be and has the presence and clarity of mind to get us there.

    January 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Hockeygod

    An exit poll is still something that must be taken seriously. While I agree that one state's exit polls are not to be trusted to accurately predict what will happen in another state, how many polls can really be trusted. You all may love to point out those, and other, points. You neglect to realize that an exit poll, and polls of similar political nature are the best/only way of determining with some degree of accuracy the current tide of the political waters.
    Had Hillary's demographic data come out in her favor would you all have been going at the neck of the Michigan Exit Poll the way you are now that it went somewhat toward Obama?

    January 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Mary, Beaver, PA

    andy k, you are so right. Hillary expected the entire Democratic party to fall at her feet. When it didn't, she and her husband got hateful, and gladly let her supporters do the mud-slinging.

    If Hillary becomes President, she will out-do George Bush in thinking that the rest of the country owes it to her to walk in lock-step behind her.

    She's a hypocrite and a fraud.

    January 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Susan Texas

    CNN, are you reading these comments? Stop with the campaigning for Obama already! You are becoming as one sided as FOX! If this biased reporting doesn't stop, you are going to lose all respect. If it wasn't for Lou Dobbs, I wouldn't ever tune into you.

    January 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. JD

    A few tears from Hillary Clinton and a few stinging words from Bill will change the dynamics of all this numbers

    January 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Greg in OH

    Zagby's latest poll
    Clinton 39%
    Obama 38%
    Other 23%

    4.9% margin of error

    She had 21 point lead not too long ago

    January 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. RT

    Everyone should just QUIT IT! I've heard more racist and sexist drivel coming out of the people on this board than out of any campaign. Perhaps we democrats aren't any better than crabs in a barrel. Frankly, regardless of race, sex , whatever, we should be lucky we have such fantastic candidates... If only we can avoid screwing it up for them... and ourselves.

    They've chosen to move on and asked their supporters to do the same. Let's do that.

    CNN chose to write this meaningless piece (perhaps that was ill-advised and unfortunate), but don't attribute it to an Obama conspiracy - THERE ARE NO CODE WORDS. He - contrary to the belief of many of you - has not played the race card. And I find it impossible to believe that Hillary has anything but the greatest respect for Dr. King or would seek in any way to diminsh his legacy.

    You all need to get over yourselves, listen to the candidates and chose who you believe is the right candidate to clean this country up regardless of race, sex or religion. Otherwise, there will be another four years of American self destruction.

    January 16, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Nathalie

    I live in MI and voted for Hill yesterday, though I felt my vote really didn't count. In case it is relevant, I am also a woman of color.

    I had conversations with several people who just didn't vote because of the position of the Democratic party. I believe this attitude was pervasive outside the black community as well. I still don't understand how the Democratic Party can just discount Michigan votes. The votes are needed to win, so why alienate those of us who want to exercise our right to vote?

    January 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. sam

    thats just stupid. if u dont vote for Obama, then it means that you dont agree with his policies or you dont think that he is capable. however, if u dont vote for obama solely cause he is black then you are a racist.

    January 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Jose Card - Independent

    January 16, 2008
    Potentially troubling news for Clinton in Michigan 'win'
    Posted: 09:45 AM ET

    January 15, 2008
    Potentially troubling news for Clinton in Michigan 'win'
    Posted: 11:00 PM ET

    CNN, thank you for constantly reminding us that Hillary is still in the race.
    But this is boring. I hope Bill will talk again. He has been very entertaining.

    January 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Andy Seattle

    Part of the problem is trusting CNN as a source in general. The government has their hands in the media. They can twist it any way they want to make people believe or disbelieve.

    January 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. bbln

    Here we go the Mainstream media trying to amp up the race card – which neither Clinton nor Obama wants to play.

    January 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. DB

    How many people did not go out and vote because only Hillary was on the ballot? I am guessing quite a few.

    January 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. PW Va

    TO: Susan TX

    And I'll just bet you're one of those weeping willows (more like wimps) who was won over by Hillary's moment: THE TEAR THAT ALMOST WAS!!!

    Get real, girl!!! Our country is in dire straits on so many levels now. We need someone who has the strength of character to withstand and weather whatever comes their way. Someone who has the capacity to be diplomatic when needed and not divisive to suit their own selfish purposes. THAT person ain't Hillary!!! At age 60, she still has a lot of growing up to do!!!

    January 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Tom,Michigan

    Yes, the media is trying to portray this as a race issue so that they can polarize the democrats. CNN is doing that and FOX News is trying very hard to keep the race issue in their coverage as well. They think they can rig our elections and give Republicans a victory. Hillary supporters please be beware.

    I hope we don't fall in that trap

    January 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Susie C

    I am from Michigan, and yes, I voted yesterday for Hillary – why? First of all, I am a democrat, and second of all – the candidates all had a choice of being on the ballet – Obama and John Edwards CHOOSE to take their names off – therefore, Hillary was the only prime candidate on the ballot. I feel she did the right thing and voting for her doesn't show I am racist – it shows that I want change and she seems the strongest of all democratic contenders. She isn't one who takes her name off the ballot because she wants to prove something.

    January 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. TXJim

    I agree with John when he says:
    ""News" reporting is often no better than entertainment, and "analysis" has been replaced by speculation."
    But this is CNN, part of the mainstream liberal media. There is no need for the mainstream media to discuss the issues because Obama and Hillary are the same on the issues and CNN assumes that they are all correct in their views and that everyone agrees with them because them. CNN and the Democrat party don't care about issues, they care about who can beat the republicans. It is clear that some people like Janet S feel that "an Obama win would mean that the next President will be a Republican." Besides, issues won't come out until the general election campaign starts, it's all a personality contest now. Sad but True.

    January 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Jones Clark

    It's hilarious that Clinton supporters always blame someone else for the issues and ill advised statements made by Hilary.

    FYI: To all the uninformed Clinton supporters, it wasn't Obama who started the race controversy, it was your dear beloved Hilary.

    Get your facts straight or it could be you might be getting your info from FOX News – Fair and Balanced!

    I am not against Hilary or for Obama...its just pathetic that people get duped by their dear politicians.

    Voting is a great privilege, atleast use it wisely!!!

    Get to know the person you are voting for, its simple if you want the country to follow a new direction (Not the same old Washington politics), then Obama/Edward is your choice, or for dear Republicans its Ron Paul; or if you want the same old way of politics...then by all means vote for Hilary.

    A leader doesn't need to scare or create fear among people to prove a point or win votes!

    January 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. lou

    The problem is that 40% of the people spent to drive to the pollsto vote AGAINST Hillary. That says alot. People will spend time to vote for a candidate they like, but its rare for that many people to take the effort to vote against some one.

    Those who are trying to calculate the totals based on the results are not taking this into account. If Obama and Edwards were not in the race, there pool of votes would be MUCH bigger than the 40% that voted against Hillary.

    This vote really has little to do with race. Hillary has turned off alot of potential voters with her slimy tactics.

    January 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Raman, Plano TX

    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.

    I have noticed each time there is an opportunity for ambiguity, CNN exit polls or CNN affiliate polls favor a Sen. Clinton opposition candidate. Just as in Michigan case CNN exit polls conclude African americans in Michigan are favoring Obama. I am sure after SC primary, Obama phenomenon is due to loose its luster. Sen. Obama has stooped to use the race rhetoric, which is a confirming indicator of his campaign consultants worries spilling out in the open.

    Unless CNN has stake in Obama campaign, it is best to stay neutral in exit polls. A repeat of NH CNN/WMUR election eve poll debacle could be the last thing CNN may be looking for.

    January 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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