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. Mariann Pepitone

    I watched the debate last night and both Edwards and Obama could never explain the issues like Hillary Clinton and she had a right to keep her name on the ballot. The took their names off because of the date but they did not have to do that. She explains everything in detail and believe me Edwards and Obama are no great speakers. The only reason for the unions backing Obama is that they don't want Bill Clinton in the white house. In the Michigan primary Hillary got 55% of the vote and 40% uncommitted. 40% would be split between Edwards and Obama so Hillary would have won anyway. She did the smart thing they were the dummies.Edwards is going nowhere and Obama will not win the nomination. There are too many states to cover yet and remember one thing there are many blacks that will vote for Clinton. Some of Obama's previous speeches were copied from JFK because he cannot make speeches on this own. Obama might give Hillary a good fight but he will not win. And Hillary will give a republican a good fight for the presidency. Richards cannot make up his mind to endorse but he did work in the Clinton administration. Of course there is extreme jealousy regarding Hillary running for president not only because she is a woman but she accomplished her goals in life and many people that tried failed. Bill Clinton did the same, he became president twice so the people had to like him. I believe Hillary will win the nomination and possibly the presidency but that will be a tougher fight.

    January 16, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Greg in OH

    The point CNN was trying to make was that even with NO OTHER CHOICE on the ballot, 45% of Democrats would not vote for Hillary. People don't bring up that over 65,000 Democrats crossed over and voted for a Republican.

    Question: What was the exit poll for those who voted for Hillary would vote if Obama and Edwards were on the ballot? They showed the poll for the uncommitted breakdown.

    Plus any absentee votes with write-in for Edwards or Obama were thrown out, this was on the news( plus this was MI law). How many votes there?

    How many didn't go vote since Obama and Edwards were not on the ballot? How many votesthere?

    No one knows what it would have been if Edwards and Obama were on the ballot so guessing doesn't really matter. Either way it doesn't count and shouldn't count as a win for anyone.

    January 16, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I get such a kick out of the Michigan Democratic race. It is so totally meaningless. I have a background in statistical analysis....Just think about it....if you were in favor of either Obama or Edwards, you most likely stayed home knowing that there was no real point of voting as there were no delegates to earn. The Democats that did get out last night 1...understood the uncommitted vote (some of these bloggers didn't even get it-you can't write in a candidates name). 2..... wanted to show support for Clinton. 3......couldn't care less knowing it was a meaningless poll. 4...or many Democrats voted for McCain. Also, the Independents didn't show up knowing that their typical support of Obama didn't mean anything at all either. So, the data that they got last night could not really hold much water. Now, what they are trying to find from who did show up is random polling results and statistical analysis. When those who did show up from the black community were overwhelmingly not for Clinton, it does have meaning.

    January 16, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  4. Dana Tipton

    Can someone explain what happens to the delegates that were taken away from Michigan and other states who decided to have early primaries? Do they go to another state or does the total number of delegates needed to secure the nomination go down? And why did they even bother to have democrats vote in Michigan when there were no delegates to be given out. It sounds like a waste of time to me.

    January 16, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  5. Crane

    Don't you think it would have been more accurate of CNN to say "The Michigan primary vote was essentially meaningless" and of the 70% of Michigan African-Americans who chose to vote in this "essentially meaningless primary" they chose Obama? Let's try not to slant things the way you want them and let the American voters chose the candidate they like based on their stance on major issues. If you can't do that, why not just come right out and join the campaign trail – say for Obama – and not subject us to your "reports" on any the elections until after November?

    January 16, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  6. JR

    Is Ted Turner a Obama supporter?

    January 16, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  7. Eric

    I have been reading these "ticker" blogs for months... Everyday there are accusations that one or another candidate is CNN's preffered candidate. I have heard "CNN = Clinton News Network" many times and it got really tired. The fact of the matter is that there are things that happen on the campaign trail that are positive or negative for a particular candidate, and it is not bias to report on these events, either side. The fact that the black vote in Michigan has quickly fallen behind Barack is a story and has huge implications for South Carolina.

    On another note. I find it a little wierd that so many democrats seem to be bothered by blacks supporting Obama. The black vote has always been a huge constituency of the Democratic party, and their vote was always sought as an important block. It is not playing the "race card" (if I hear this stupid cliche again I am going to get sick) to go after this vote. The obvious uneasiness of democratic voters to a black candidate is surprising to me... Guess I was naive.

    January 16, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Tom,Boston- I belong to the top .01 % of the population in terms of IQ and I have no problem with the moderators. Your posts are either abusive or insulting and that's why they're not here. I think you must be in the lesser category.

    January 16, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. Evie the evil Evelyn

    I agree with Barbara ... January 16, 2008 6:50 am ET
    Wait a minute. It's 'acceptable' for Obama and his campaign strategists to look to 'rallying' the black and young female vote, but racist or sexist for Clinton and her campaign strategists to rally 'rally' the non-black and female vote?

    I agree with Nick, "stop the anti-Clinton" campaign. It could be seen as 'sexist' by some women. Of course, so far we've yet to hear any feminists get on the 'anti' bandwagon. I wish I could say the same for those who favour Obama and jump at every opportunity to cry foul whenever anyone says anything that even remotely smacks of a challange to Obama on anything.

    Double standards here folks.

    It's time we vote for who is best suited to get us out of the mess created by our current criminal in chief ... AND, I just heard Mr. Obama said Florida votes? are worthless.

    Nice ...

    January 16, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Sherry in Kentucky

    I've just skimmed the responses, but it seems to me folks are not realizing that most democratic voters did not vote in MI because they knew their vote was not going to count. If my candidate was not on the ballot, I would likely not bother going to the polls either. Don't automatically see this as a Clinton win.

    January 16, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. John, Wahington DC

    It would be interested to know what percentage of the Detroit AA vote she received, compared to the state average. I'm guessing it would be much less than 25%. In all my travels throughout this beautiful land of ours the worst bigotry I have experienced was in Detroit. Made Richmond look like "It's a Small World".

    January 16, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  12. King NC

    I don't see the problem. She is the only hope we have. Black or White should be
    able to see that.

    January 16, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  13. rheider

    have suggestions about putting the money , which has been taken out of Social Security, replaced by our pork barrel politicians. We are not getting any answers from our potential leaders.

    January 16, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Anonymous

    I cannot bear to read articles from CNN or listen to their broadcasts.

    You are so anti-Clinton, it is pathetic - it bears no resemblance to news or reporting.

    And Obama played the race card -- not the Clintons - and he continues to play it and play it. His strategists need to rein in this "black" thing that is taking on a mammoth, scary life of its own.

    January 16, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. Jimmy

    CNN can support whosoever they please....Obama is going to win anyway

    January 16, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  16. carlo

    I think that some of you are missing the point. Hillary did not win. Think of it this way-if that many people, who knew that their votes wouldn't be counted, went out in the snow to vote "uncommiitted", that does not ring well for the Clinton campaign. Obama called for a "truce", and it is not his fault that CNN continues to print what they do. Last time I checked, Obama is not on CNN's board of directors. Does Clinton have her campaigners going on every website alleging conspiracy? Remember the laughable "right wing conspiracy" theory? It seemed ridiculous when she said it, and it was proven ridiculous after her husband's presidency, when he and Bush became best buds and golfing partners.

    January 16, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. King NC

    Black or White, she is the only hope we have. Give me a break. Maybe Obama
    could be her vp and all would be happy

    January 16, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  18. Susan

    I think the key to reason here is a good old fashioned ...."Time will tell..." and "We will have just wait and see" Sometimes all the Media Spin can actually hurt all candidates and the presidential process..... I am a loyal Obama Supporter for his calm and thoughtful reasoning skills as well as his ability to inspire the citizens of this nation....We shouldn't be voting for the next president of the United States on the basis of Gender or Race, but unfortunately it has come up and I agree that the Media is largely to blame for fueling the furor over race and/or gender....In all the the Media's excitement and enthusiasm over the upcoming presidential election, I feel they must be mindful of the potential harm they may be doing by jumping on "every little thing" and blowing things out of proportion.....but that being said, I am still glad we are finally having some enthusiasm in our country (media included) regarding the potential for...... (I refuse to use the word change...I dont want to overkill a good thing LOL)
    .....a new tomorrow full of potential for the things we can become and to heal the past and make amends with other nations we have offended due to our own "fear based actions". I believe that Obama stands for that with Calm and Thoughtful reason and an open mind.. which is the exact opposite of Old School Washington...We have had the Bush Dynasty ...We have had the Clinton Dynasty we need new leadership in Washington....Obama is the person to get that job done...

    January 16, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. Amy, Kazoo

    CNN, you're getting worse with each passing day. I voted in the primary yesterday. You can't say with any degree of certainty who those "uncommitted" votes would go to. There weren't people standing outside every polling station asking questions either. You probably asked 100 people and called it a realistic survey. It's not. Didn't you learn anything from the NH primary? Stop throwing your numbers around to spin your Pro-Obama campaign and stop being so biased against Hillary Clinton. You're starting to lose alot of respect as a media outlet.

    January 16, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. Voter who reads

    CNN you are so bias! Hillary would have won anyway and this is your big news?
    Talk about bias and racism? You have to be kidding me???

    I was going to vote for Obama, thee unifier.
    But, i did my research and not a chance! Research for yourseles, people.

    Please take the suggestion and search for Barack Obama's church and see if you still think he is a unifier. The tucc. org / about. htm church is the biggest racist church I have ever seen. It is totally for Blacks and Africa and very anti-white in its philosophy. Try replacing the word "black" on the website with "white" and it would be called a cult or a clan church! I cannot believe he calls himself a uniter and for a President of the USA, I don't think Africa sould come first!

    OMG. please do it. Read the about us page and think about this country and your vote.

    CNN what else are you hiding about your media darling????

    January 16, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  21. J. McKinney SW MO

    HILLARY '08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. John in Detroit

    As a Detroit voter, the third choice was to vote only for local initiatives on a non-partisan ballot. I haven't seen how many voters took this option, which seemed like the most sensible one to me. By participating in the partisan ballot voters gave the parties exclusive rights to data while sending zero delegates to the Democratic, and half the usual delegates to the Republican conventions. At the same time it reinforces the stranglehold the two parties have on our electoral system, ensuring continued rule by the one, true, Theocratic party.

    There is little substantive difference among the leading candidates, regardless of declared party. They all hold fast that they believe in the supernatural, which means they are all liars or fools.

    Congratulations to Captain Magic Underpants on his Republican primary win. Congratulations to the junior senator from New York on crossing the "picket line" for a big win worth ZERO delegates.

    Congratulations to Michigan on keeping unknown amounts of money being spent here campaigning and covering campaigning in the dead of winter.

    January 16, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. Michelle, AL

    First of all, this story is posted TWICE on the same page. Why don't you post a story about the debate last night that tells how Hillary OWNED Edwards and Obama on that stage. She answered questions in such a presidential manner. She showed she had a true knowledge of the issues, instead of just reiterating the same points that she's been talking about over the last year. This woman KNOWS the ins and outs of politics. Obama looked like he was half asleep, and Edwards appeared to try to squeeze in the "middle class dilemma" in every answer he gave.

    Hillary talked about the IMF and the World Bank, about windfall profits, about a specific plan to help the environment. She knows her stuff.

    This is coming from a conservative voter who has no intention of voting Democrat, but Hillary may make me change my mind. While I disagree with her on many social issues, I really believe that she can get things done and turn this country back in the right direction. She even called George Bush's begging the Saudis for more oil "pathetic"!

    She also used her one question that she was allotted to ask one of the other candidates to ask Obama to co-sponsor legislation with her to stop Bush from committing our troops to another 10 years (at least) to a prescence in Iraq. I think that was political GENIUS.

    So COME ON, CNN.. write this story about Clinton, not how she's bound to fail because in some hypothetical situation some people might not maybe possibly vote for her if this and that happen and Mars is aligned with Jupiter in the 3rd quarter and the Giants win the Super Bowl.

    January 16, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  24. Alex

    I agree, I want numbers not percents. 70 percent of how many people. It is nice people want to make a point, but to me it's a protest vote and should be discussed as such. Really CNN, I watch you and read you everyday, I am not dumb (others may disagree on that notion). I am tired of numbers and percentages being selectively used.

    January 16, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Jonimaree

    Polls? Puleeeeze. As has been proven, they're of no value due to news organization bias.

    January 16, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30