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. Jeff

    As I recall it was the Clinton's who tacitly brought up the issue of race in this campaign. When they got behind they thought it necessary to pull out every trick in their bag. I'm glad to see Obama and Edwards have not stooped to their level. All too often when candidates need an advantage whether its in a campaign or in the corporate world they tacitly use race and gender as a self-promoting wedge.

    January 16, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  2. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Hillary deserves all the negative press, spun and otherwise, that comes of the Michigan vote. She kept her name on the ballot although all others removed theirs when Michigan tried to upstage the system. The poll numbers are exceedingly ominous for her campaign. Imagine so many people taking the trouble to go to the polls just to vote "uncommitted" !

    January 16, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  3. Jim C.

    Write in candidates must register with the state of Michigan as such, Obama and Edwards did not. A write in vote would not be counted here.

    January 16, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  4. Clinton

    Because the Michigan Primary was essentially meaningless we are forced to try and infer some type of value add. The African American vote is it people. If the media always seems to come negative on HRC, its probably because she has given them reason to. This candidate brings it on herself, period.

    How'bout that debate last night. Hillary went so far off topic on just about everything she was even cut off once. And the look on her face! We dont need another president who feels entitled to force their opinion on others in the room....

    I will vote republican before HRC

    January 16, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. Jim T

    Why didn't the DNC and News media "criticize" Hilary after she left her name on the ballot in Michigan,while others honored their pledge not to campaign.

    January 16, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  6. SaM

    People you guys need to stop all this nonsense about racist. Really, the fact is that no matter the race or gender Obama will be the next president. We all just need to come together here and face the facts. Bickering at each other won't change what is to be and will be. Obama is the best candidate for president, i know as well as you know. He is the one who will unite us. He is the best candidate for change. People wake up!!!! Vote Obama 08.

    January 16, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    This meaningless election tends to confirm Hillary's unelectability among any block of voters in the general, leaving us to question whether Obama can do any better. Bloomie's looking better every day if the Dems don't wake up to Edwards' ability to consistently defeat all GOP opponents.

    January 16, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |


    Do you really think people are that stupid? Hillary Clinton won the vote in Michigan by 55%. That's 15% over the 40% of the uncommitted vote. OF the 40% of uncommitted voters, only 73% would have gone to Obama. That's just over 30% of the total vote to Hillary's 55%!!!!

    CNN your bias reporting coompletely discredits your worth! People are dropping like flies when it comes to watching political news from you!



    While you are at it...google Obama's church and see what you come up with. He may be a Christian, but read the about us page of his church and see what type of Christian he is...Use any search engine to research his tucc . org church and be sure to view the about us page..CNN won't report on that. WILL THEY?

    January 16, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  9. Donna, Saratoga Springs, NY

    This is feeling very racist. Am I living in the past?

    January 16, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  10. Corey, Bloomington IN

    Ok, does anyone understand the bigger picture here: over 236,000 people in Michigan went out to cast ballots for Anyone But Clinton. How can you still support her? With the names that were actually on the ballot, Clinton should have had at least 80%, but she got a pathetic 55.

    January 16, 2008 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  11. Don, Colorado Springs

    What ever happened to everyone just being an American? Charlize Theron was born in South Africa and you don't hear her saying she's an African-American.

    January 16, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  12. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    It's pretty clear today that Hillary voters will unite behind whomever the nominee is,but Obama supporters will not. Even if Edwards was to be picked,I doubt they'd support him in the general. So could all of you Obama dividers please just pledge to stay home or vote non-republican? Voting against Clinton's,Obama's, and Edwards' platform for the sake of depriving our nation of it's peace and prosperity for spite, being sore losers, is deserving of a depression. The rest of the country shouldn't be punished for your bad deeds. So please take a pledge to not vote republican so that the whole ship isn't sunk because of your poor sportsmanship.

    January 16, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  13. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    I do not understand why this is troubling. The media makes it appear as if only blacks and young people are voting. There is far greater diversity than that in the Democratic party. Women, older voters, middle-aged voters, men whites, latinos, etc.

    Please stop making this seem as if only blacks and young people matter. All of us matter in the process.

    January 16, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  14. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Is this a surprise? This election will be very sharply divided along racial lines. Is it a surprise that the black community overwhelmingly support Obama? Look at the city of Detroit. The black voters continue to vote in elected officials not because they are doing a good job of running the city, the city is in dismal shape, but because of their race.
    It's really going to be interesting to see if this causes a white backlash. When white voters beging to see that he is being voted for simply because he is black, will they put the brakes on?

    January 16, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  15. Matt

    I live in Detroit .. and I gotta tell you , for the past 2 weeks the demacratic party leaders here were urging everyone here to vote "uncommited" to spare some of the delegates by lunching emails , talking in the media , writing the Detroit news and Free Press , Oakland Press .
    This "uncomitted" vote is not against Clinton (or to support Obama) as the CNN wants you to beleive ..
    of course Obama's supporters were knocking on the doors trying to push the "uncomitted" vote even further .
    Despite all that Clinton got 57% of the votes without even campaigning in Michigan ..

    January 16, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  16. writer28

    Mike in Kentucky- You are wrong about the write-in vote in the Michigan primary. I live in Michigan. Because of the Democratic party in Michigan pushing up the primary date, the National Party sanctioned the State Party. As such, any write-in vote for anyone other than Clinton was thrown away. The only way to vote for Obama or Edwards was to vote 'uncommitted' and then hope that Michigan's delegates will be reinstated by the National Party before the Convention, so they can vote for Obama or Edwards.

    Sen. Carl Levin, who was one of the people behind the date change, says he doesn't believe the National Democratic Party will actually hurt itself by not allowing the Michigan delegates to be seated. He believes the Party will change its mind about the delegates. We'll see.

    January 16, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  17. On to you

    So Obama played the race card and succeeded. Real classy. NOT getting my vote. I also have faith that blacks will not be so easily played.

    January 16, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  18. jdc

    CNN looks like they want to project the winner..."why bother voting at all" type strategy.

    Reminds of the SNL Skit. It was around election night and the new caster (I think it was Parnel impersonating Tom Brokaw) announcing projected winners. Then he started reading off sports scores:
    "The Lakers are Leading the Pistons 34-28 in the beginning of the 2nd Quarter. NBC Has projected the Detroit Pistons winner of the game"

    January 16, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  19. Andy Ortiz

    Can someone explain to me how they see trouble here. If Obama's name was in the ticket and he won the percentage of the uncommitted vote they say the the final result would have been:

    Clinton 380,000
    Obama 184,000

    That still a substantial lead in my eyes!

    January 16, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  20. anonymous

    Did I miss something here? Hillary got something like 63% of the vote in Michigan, and there was something like 40-44% UNCOMMITTED??? HILLARY STILL WON! Hillary and Obama have called a truce. Why can't the so-called media and press do the same...PLEASE! I'm sick of this. Give WE THE PEOPLE some credit, why don't ya... geez...

    January 16, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  21. Matt

    Carl Levin himself was pushing the :"Uncommited" vote despite not endorsing any candidate

    January 16, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  22. PJ, New York

    SaM, you poor thing, you have no idea what you're talking about. It's obvious that you, like most of the Obama supporters have no clue as to what is going on in this country. Our country is dealing with some major issues right now. We needd strong leadership, not a 'nice guy' who can read a script. This isn't American Idol we're talking about, it's the future of our country! Even if Obama somehow manages to win the DEM nomination, he will never win in the general election. ALL of the past Democratic debates have proven that without his pre-written speech, he's clueless on the issues! Any one of the more seasoned Republican's who are running will eat him alive in a debate. They won't be as nice to him as Hillary has been in past debates. Once again, last night Hillary owned the stage at the debate on MSNBC. So SaM- You're the one who needs to wake up! A vote for Obama is just sealing the deal with the Republican's to win the White House in November.

    January 16, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  23. anonymous

    My apologies... I had heard Clinton got 63%. Now I see it was somewhere in the 50s. STILL...she got the majority of the vote! (And I'm not even a Hillary supporter. I still consider myself UNDECIDED).

    January 16, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  24. Bimmer

    Yet another dramaticized headline from CNN. The good news for Hillary is she won handily in Michigan.

    What's more troubling was not in the Michiganv primary, but happened in the debate in Nevada. In the debate, Obama admits that his greatest weakness is lack of organization and losing important paper.

    This along with his glorifying drug and alcohol use in the past in his book makes one wonder:

    Does he have the discipline to be the most powerful leader in the world?

    January 16, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  25. Annie

    I like both Obama and Hillary. Anyone but another Republican. (Did you see the latest quote from Huckabee? He wants to rewrite the constitution to reflect "God's Law". My questions is "Whose God?")

    The hidden subtext of the 2008 presidential election is race and gender. People who say they are tired of hearing about race and gender, and that we should "stick to the issues" don't understand that gender and race ARE the issues.

    We are making history with this election. Just a few years ago, there was no hope that anyone other then a white male could ever be elected president. of the USA. Too many barriers existed.

    Then the "perfect storm" came along...George Bush, who has an approval rating of 38% this week. Suddenly ANY democrat looked better, even a woman or a black man. Now something that was only a dream for many of us might really come true.

    I did not think I would ever see a black, hispanic, asian or woman have a REAL chance to be elected president in my lifetime. (I am 51) But now it looks like it might really happen, and I still can hardly believe it. Here is why......

    In 1868, after the Civil War, black men (only) become “citizens” (defined very specifically in the American constitution at that time as “male”).

    At the same time, black men (only) were allowed to vote in national elections.

    Woman (our great grandmothers) were beaten, attacked, arrested and jailed for the next 50 years in their efforts to become legal citizens.

    The woman who fought for this right, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth, died before they ever were allowed to cast a vote

    During this period, woman who tried to vote in national elections were arrested and their votes discarded.

    Woman were banned from attending the dedication ceremony of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. Please note that the Statue is a female representing freedom for all people in the USA. She is the ultimate example of woman as object! (We like the IDEA of woman, we just don’t want them to have any power.)

    In 1920, woman were given rights as legal citizens of the USA and allowed to vote in national elections for the first time.

    Why does this matter?

    It has been 87 years since woman have been “citizens” of the US, but we still haven’t had a woman president or vice president.

    Woman are 51% of the population of the USA but still haven’t broken the highest and hardest glass ceiling.

    We have not had a black president. Blacks are around 13% of the population of the USA.

    The “woman card” is not a “card”. Sexism is real. Full civil rights for woman don’t yet exist.

    The “race card” is not a “card”. Racism is real. Full civil rights for racial minorities of all types don’t yet exist.

    Are we allowed to talk about this, or should we pretend it doesn’t matter? This campaign IS about race and gender. Especially gender.

    We have seen two historic events already in 2008, a woman AND a black man winning presidential primaries. Congratuations to both of them for getting this far, only 87 and 130 years late, respectively.

    I believe that sexism is more insidious and hostile then racism. Can a woman ever be president?

    If not, how will we as a country ever become truly democratic?

    — Posted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton Fan

    January 16, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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