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. Lisa

    For everyone that says that Hilary's numbers show that she would have won, take into account all of the Obama/Edwards supporters that stayed home and didn't vote. Then add all of the votes that she got because people felt that "Uncommitted" was a wasted vote (And a number of the people interviewed who voted for Clinton did so for only that reason), and shut up about how she "clearly won" the election. It was hypocritical of her to stay on the ballot and then refuse to campaign in the state (because she had no other competition really, so why even bother). Just shows how screwed up the Democratic Party is in the state of Michigan. Won't be surprised if the state goes to the Republican candidate in November, followed by a Republican in the next Governor's election (and I vote Democrat). I, for one, am disgusted by the entire party in Michigan.

    January 16, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. Eric

    Only hope we have?!? Listen Hillary is no Obi Wan Kanobi. She is actually much more "Mars Attacks" Ack-Ack-Ack-Ack-Ack!!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. Achamma

    I think knowingly people are twisting the truth. I think Hillary Clinton is an honest and dedicated civil rights' advocate. I also think all she meant with her comment s about Lyndon Johnson was that just like he (Johnson) listened to Martin Luther King and the civil rights' leaders, she expects t o listen to the people's concern and issues and pass the needed legislation to get the country moving in the right direction especially in the issues on equality, privilages for the minority where improperly denied, etc. It is a shame this truth was twisted and the media did not help much either.

    January 16, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Eric you posted: "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."

    I dont think it's a matter of uneasiness to a black candidate. It's uneasiness to a population that will vote for a candidate simply because he is black. Dont kid yourself, much of the support that Obama is now enjoying comes from a certain segment of the white electorate that is voting for him simply due to his race. They see it as progressive and opened minded. Insted of trying to figure out the best candidate for the job, Black voters and some whites are supporting for Obama simply because he is a viable black candidate. But I think it will be really telling if Obama should win the nomination, if there is going to be a white backlash. White voters who will vote Republican or stay home in November. If this happens there will be stomping of feet and tearing hair and everyone will be screamng racist. However where are these screams now when the black community supports someone just because he is black?
    All in all it's going to be an interesting and infuriating election cycle.

    So Eric, I dont care whether you are sick of hearing about the race card. The fact of the matter is, until both sides can stop playing it, its going to be a factor whether you like it or not.

    January 16, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. Jose

    How can you win a state when you weren't supposed to be running in the state anyway? I guess if I hold an election and put myself up as the only candidate, I bet I could win too.

    Come on, news media, get a clue – don't report this as she won because she didn't. That is unless of course you bought, paid for and biased by her campaign.

    January 16, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. Kelvin C. from Maryland

    I am so sick and tired of the media and those persons that have turned this contest into a race/sexist driven frenzy. This is why we (U.S.) are suffering now. Because our principles and decisions are based on immoral values, economics and popularity. Voting has gotten to be really depressing. The only reason why I vote is because my ancestors fought and died for this right. So everytime I vote, I honor them. I don't care if the next President is black, yellow, or white. And I don't care if it is a woman, democrat or republican. I just want that person to do a good job. We better get it right this time because the rest of the world is watching.

    January 16, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  7. Paul

    This race thing was started by the Clinton people and she was not capable holding his stuff accountable for it. I think the Clintons should be ashamed of themselves for being so low. I think the realty is that the Democratic Party is largely constituted of women and blacks. Accusing or slamming the blacks for nothing just to win the democratic nomination may work for Hillary camp for a short time but I guaranteed you that even if she wins the nomination she WON’T be president. She will loose not only black’s votes but also independents. She needs to put a break to this before it’s too late.

    Hillary Clinton should be very worried about these findings….this is just in Michigan…put it in perspective of general election and you will get the big picture!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Robin Kentucky

    ENOUGH NOW!!!! This is ridiculous ( The Race Issue), why are we talking race? We all know that the Clinton's have stood for Civil, Human and Woman's rights. How can anyone not know that! The race issue was not ringing through our television and on our radio's when Iowa was Caucusing where only 2% of that population was African American. Had all this started then, I think the outcome would have been different! In Iowa people looked at Obama as a " Man with a message", he was engaging and inspiring. Though his skin was browner than the people he addressed, the issue were " The Issues" and not the pigment of his skin. I have to wonder " Why" this is coming into play now? Could it just be that 45% of South Carolina is African American?
    The media's roll; I find this to be almost to the point of insulting. I am learning to watch only the live debates and cspan. There I find " The Truth" what was really said and how it was said and what it was meant to say. Undistorted, unanalyzed and no need to elaborate. For instance, in Iowa which is a heavily Methoist Evangilcal state. I watched angerly as Michelle Obama address supporters and delivered a powerful statement " How can we elect a woman to run our country who cannot even run her own household". Why I ask is this not plastered all over the World News? We don't have to ask Michelle, what do you mean by that statement, who were you refering too! I did not put question marks because there is no question about that statement. The media has that archived and will not be using it today. Instead they will pick apart the words of a woman who not only understands this battle but willing to take it on for you and me.

    January 16, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. Anonymous

    jd in the ville January 16, 2008 6:22 am ET

    "Knowinghow how most people are, I would guess that this will rally the whites."

    What does this comment mean?

    If you represent the Clinton vote, I am no longer undecided I am casting my vote for Obama.... Obama-Edwards....

    January 16, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. Jim, Columbus, OH

    The Hillary Clinton supporters are overreacting to this. The article says "potentially troubling." Big deal....

    January 16, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. D in Michigan's Hood

    I voted in the MI primary yesterday and the feeling I got, despite very very low voter turn out was that a lot of people believed they could list Barak Obama as a write-in candidate. At my polls, there was no instruction concerning Edwards and Obama not participating in the primary. I saw two voters that were in complete confusion about the absence of those two candidates.

    I cast the 167 ballot at my polling location and this was after work at about 5:30 pm!!....disappointing.

    January 16, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Anonymous

    this is too funny, as a democrat, and as a intelligent reader you can pretty much see that this ticker and peoples comments in this blog bull in the sense its trying to polarize America.

    Cnn trying to paint the picture as if all uncommitted voters were all black
    that either campaign is trying to play the race or gender card. i watched the debate last night and all candidates did a astounding job.

    It breaks my heart to see everyone being so negative since America as is IS a super power and is yet so divided. Imagine if America was united... it truly is a terrifying thing cause we would be unstoppable.

    The candidates in my view and there policies are too similar so far at this point, but in "my opinion" "im" going to vote obama, since "i" believe he can pull everyone together for 4yrs or more of presidency. First time in a long time i feel good about politics.

    January 16, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    The people I see here commenting that CNN is 'anti-clinton' are inane. The Obama supporters I have seen saying the same thing about them being 'anti-obama' so its really just a matter of perspective and if you like the story. The real people they are anti are all the minor candidates other than the top three, who have been nearly omitted from all media reports because they didn't have enough campaign finances to buy the support of the large corporations of which CNN's parent company is a part.

    January 16, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. John, Tampa

    I am sure the Republican party is eating this up...I mean I am a strong Democratic supporter, but I will not just vote the party line, just because...and If Hillary is the choice I WILL be voting Republican

    January 16, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. Corey

    You people really need to wake up, and stop supporting Hillary. She has absolutely no chance in hell in winning the general election mainly because of just who she is. No Republican in their right mind would ever even think about voting for her so she just lost about half of the vote right there. There are many, many Democrats that have an unfavorable view of her and will NEVER vote for her no matter what including me. In Michigan that percentage was 40%. If Obama gets the nomination like he hopefully will, then there will be no problem winning the white house, and the same goes for Edwards to some extent. But if you people keep voting for Hillary then we will most certainly have 4 more years of another republican, so we will have nothing to do but to blame Hillary Clinton Supporters.

    January 16, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. Tim

    So does anyone know what % of the African-Americans in MI who actually voted or participated in the primary? It sure would be nice if we had a reliable news organization reporting the political news.

    January 16, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  17. andy k

    Hillary expected a coronation–when it didnt happen, she and her husband resorted to the ruthless and calculatd "win at all costs" mentality. She may well win the battle (the Monination) but lose the war (election).

    And these posters need to drop the "blame the messenger" mentality–every major news feed is commenting on the fact that almost 40% of voters lodged a protest vote against Hilary.

    January 16, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. Replace the Establishment

    Seems the only people worried about how well Ron Paul is doing are those big government people and those stealing from the taxpayers!

    We can finally see the Democrats are full of racists in their party and that is only one reason we do not need a dem in the White House!

    January 16, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  19. Greg, NY

    For those that think if Obama or Edwards were on the ballot, they would have only split that 45% of non-committed votes, you are wrong. Think about all the people that didn't even go because they knew that their vote doesn't really count.

    Also, an overwhelming amount of Democrats voted for a Republican. If Obama or Edwards had been on the ballot, many more Democrats would have actually bothered to go vote and many more would have voted for one of them instead of a Republican.

    The fact that 45% voted non-committed is astounding in itself because that many people DID bother to go out and vote against Hillary.

    January 16, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  20. Jim Wade, IA

    I am bathing in the tears of Hillary fanboys/girls. And they taste so sweet as well.

    January 16, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Greg in OH

    Hillary Supporters, why is Fox News' Rupert Murdock fundraising for Hillary?

    Does this bother anyone else?

    January 16, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. Brad, Charleston, SC

    Congrats, Michigan! Excellent thinking. Let's Go, South Carolina and remove the Clinton Dynasty!

    Obama/Edwards '08

    January 16, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  23. Keyshia Jackson

    If Martin Luther King were alive today is there any doubt in anyone's mind that he would enthusiastically be for Barack Obama? What has Hillary Clinton ever done for Black folks? NOTHING. The Clintons think they own the Black vote but not the vote of this young and proud Black female.

    January 16, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. Kat Williams

    OK, this is ridiculous! Are you all so desperate to find SOMETHING to use against Hillary that you stoop so low as to make up "important" statistics? To say this is "bad news" is absurd. This was a primary that did not matter and one where no one even campaigned, yet you cite polls that show who might have voted for a candidate if she/he HAD been on the ballot-that is pretty convoluted. Stop with the anti-clinton campaign and act like an unbiased new network.

    January 16, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  25. Greg in OH

    Those Hillary supporters who say they get their post delete since they are Hillary supporters. I get mine deleted (plus no sexist, racist, or profanity in them) too and I am for Obama. It is two sided, not just stacked against one side.

    January 16, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 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