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. Columbus

    America what's all this? I used to feel the US is far ahead of the rest of us in this? It is said that the US democracy is like the higest standard to rest of the world should look up. Does that include the manner in which these candidates are going about their campaign? Is there no way that a candidate can just focus on what they intend to do when they get to the White House, rather than what we in Nigeria call the 'PhD' or 'Pull him/her down' syndrome? The world is watching.

    (Abuja, Nigeria)

    January 16, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. OC

    Let me get this straight …… If I don't vote for Obama …. I'm a Racist???

    Where are you getting this from "Jim", I am confused as to why people are saying this. I live in an African-American household and we are split between Hillary and Obama. My husband and my father prefer Hillary over Obama and they're not "racists".

    However, I am sure there are "some" African-American people who will vote for him just because he's Black and there are "some" White people who will "not" vote for him because of his race. Unfortunately that is just some people's rational. I do believe though, most intelligent voters will make their choice based on other factors.

    January 16, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Roger

    I find it funny that I live in the most liberal state in the union, and I don't know ONE SINGLE Hillary supporter. And yet, she manages to draw at least 35-40% of the vote when she runs in her primaries, and is doing at least that well in the polls here.

    And then we have the "hundreds" of Hillary supporters on this CNN blog, whos posts all exhibit the same hateful slurring, spelling errors, and lack of mastery of the written English language.

    I wonder why that is??

    January 16, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. Curtis

    Remember that this is only the opnion of one individual.
    It is not NEWS any more than my typing these words.
    Political analysis is all in the interpretation.
    It's called Spin. Without Spin, America wouldn't be at war either.
    You have read through one person's interpretation and have made
    up your own minds. Let us hope all of America is as wise
    this November. I do not want a President that I can drink
    a beer with, I want a President that brings the American
    conscience to his job.

    January 16, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Marty, Orlando Fl

    Calm down Hillary Supporters. Take a deep breath and relax.

    Obama's going to win the nomination anyway.

    OBAMA '08

    January 16, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. OverTheRainbow, KS

    Well done, Clintons, wll done. Over the past 2 weeks, they've injected race into the campaign so that the majority of blacks are now moving towards Obama, knowing that most of the white vote, particularly women, will probably vote for Hillary. With blacks in the minority in most states, Hillary will win most of the primaries and the nomination. With that secured, the Clintonistas know that, traditionally, blacks vote for the Duhmocratic candidate, now her, 90% of the time. She gets the black vote back in the general election, regardless of how much she's trashed Obama in the primaries. The Clinton Political machine rolls on. And you want these despicable people back in the WH?

    January 16, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. JR

    Anonymous, you are WRONG! Obama did not start this. I find it funny that there are those who call CNN the CLINTON NEWS NETWORK–now those like yourself are saying CNN is biased AGAINST Clinton. Which is it?


    your right.. Clyburn started it with the help of the main stream media.

    January 16, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Eddie

    The truth is that obama is inexperienced, a basically unproven senator, and is trying to steal the vote from a group that is in desperate poverty and danger.
    If this becomes a black-white political debate and people like al sharpton-jessie jackson get involved, people who are not black will get sick of the race bating.
    Notice in Iowa, where you have to stand in corners, in the open, with your peers, friends, and relatives, to vote for a candidate, oabama won,.
    In new hampshire, where you have normal ballot box private voting, clinton won.
    Clinton is proven that she represents everyone, while obama continues to try to get the "black" vote.
    He will not win in the main election, so why should we vote for him if a republican will win?

    January 16, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Jether J.

    No Jim you're not. And if it will make you feel better, I am Africa-American. I think it is shameful to see how people always seem to set a divide whether it be race, social economics, or education. 'They' say the well educated Black People vote for Barack Obama while the less educated Black people vote for Hillary...NONSENSE!

    People vote for who they vote for because they can identify with the candidate and feel the candidate will follow through on their campaign promises. Barack Obama never implied Hillary did not appreciate Dr. Kings efforts in the Civil Rights Movement, what he did say is her comment was ill-advised, and it was to some people. He never said 'race' was an issue because that would deter White voters from voting for him. C'mon people he's smarter than that...he is trying to WIN.

    I would never tell another Black person who votes for Hillare they are selling out, that's their personal choice to make that's why we have a Democracy. The same goes for a White person, if they don't for Barack I would never say your a racist...the American people are better than that!

    BTW, I hope CNN displays my comment.

    January 16, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. David Arlington, VA

    After the debates in Nevada it has become clear that Clinton is the only one that knows what she's talking about with the details. Having a leader that performs well on a stage is good and all, but running the country requires more that giving speeches and promises; it requires knowing who to call to get this passed through Congress, managing diplomatic relations, making the tough calls to defend our country, and pushing through a lot of red tape. If you don't know the details and are too afraid to be disliked at times, then you aren't a leader.

    I have nothing against Obama or his policies..I think they are relatively all the same, but successfully implementing those policies will require a manipulative and forceful skill that he just doesn't possess. It sounds good to have a leader that is all about unifying our country, but unity comes with compromise and his views are very far away from the views of the republican party and big business. How exactly do you plan on getting them on the same page or are we just talking about unity within the democratic party?

    He reminds me of the parent that says when the bully is beating you up, you should befriend him instead of fighting back. Give me a break, people will step on you until you make a conscious effort to play the game better than them. The rich will always find a way to manipulate the game (tax shelters, investments, lobbyists, etc.) because everyone else in the country is waiting for help. If you want to get your piece of the pie in america, you need someone that will fight for it in the trenches and right now it remains to be seen who that person could be in any of these candidates. Bills don't get passed without each constiuent getting something that's important to them...that's the game.

    January 16, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Diana Block

    I have a comment/question. I notice in the debates that Senator Clinton always politely refers to Senator Obama as Senator Obama. I also notice that he always refers to her as Hilary although she is in fact a Senator as well. I wonder is the fact the she is woman the reason he feels it is okay to be dismissive of her status as a member of the US Congress? This subtle habit tells me a lot about Senator Obama as a man and as a candidate. As an African American woman with an MBA I often find myself in corporate situations with men who want to belittle my achievements because I am "a little lady" even though I have the same distinguished credentials they have. Senator Clinton has remained composed and classy in face of this disrespect from Senator Obama, but believe me, America has noticed it. It is a big conversation topic where I work and everywhere I go.

    January 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. OC

    Everyone please read "Eagelheart" Kentucky's message. Great points.

    If you read for yourself, Obama has NEVER initiated any comments about race during his campaign.

    January 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. David, Birmingham, Alabama

    clinton supporters, just like their candidate, have taken up this republican tactic of when the news doesn't look that great for the candidate, they begin to cry like babies, yelling "media bias!"

    i'm an edwards supporter, and i believe that he would coast to victory over any of the republicans. obama will have to work harder to win, but i think he can. hillary clinton, however, is another dukakis. she's about as electable as dennis kucinich with the platform of joe lieberman. she's a lose-lose candidate and i say that knowing that if she gets the nomination, i'll probably vote for her in november, but not without holding my nose.

    January 16, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Amy, Kazoo

    aportnut- Michigan's gov., Jennifer Granholm put ALL the democratic candidates on the ballot. Edwards and Obama ASKED to be removed.

    January 16, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. EE

    CNN, stop this rubbish reporting.You are doing a disservice to the general public by trying to imply that Blacks have sanctioned Hillary in the Michingan elections.

    The evidence give here are vague and distorted.Im not a Hillary supporter but this article goes further to divide the party.I hope it wasnt written by Neocon

    January 16, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Rick, Maryland

    On MSNBC last night an African American said he saw nothing wrong with
    what Hillery said the other day about Martin Luther KIng and LBJ.
    He also said he believes that Obama used it the pull African American's
    away from Clinton so he could win in the south and an and other's at the
    round table say this might help him in the short run but in the long run
    it could make white supporter's mad and draw them toward Clinton.

    January 16, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. cdw

    The question is why weren't the other Democratic candidates on the ticket for Michigan? This is questionable within itself. If they are going to vote in the primary to determine who will run in the general election it needs to be done RIGHT!!!!!. Every state know that the primary is here and to get prepare and have things done in order. This would help keep conflict down. Also, the media is here to keep us informed and this can be done without being bias and the politicians can campaign without all the fighting. We the public should strictly be concerned with what each candidate stands for and vote according to who we feel have the best interest of our country at hand. If you are republican or democratic then support that candidate, but don't continue to belittle the opposite party. We should be intelligent enough to speak without being ignorant.

    January 16, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. Adam, Pittsburgh, PA

    Race is going to help Obama turnout among blacks. Gender is going to help Clinton turnout among women. SHOCKING!!!

    The questions is, will Obama be better at convincing whites to vote for him than Clinton at convincing men to vote for her? I think yes. Clinton's "men" problem is wayyyy bigger than any "white" problem Obama may have. Racists don't vote Dem anyway.

    January 16, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  19. Tyrese Gail Williams

    This young Black female does not and will not genuflect at the altar of the Clinton's.
    Everytime I ask my friends what have the Clinton's done for Black folks they cannot give me an answer. To vote for Hillary Clinton, who has done absolutely nothing for Black men and women and not for an African American who has been in our community helping Black folks is entire life would be a travesty. The Clinton's use their surrogates to sling mud at Obama every chance they get. Lying, dirty politics, and character assassination is what the Clinton's know best. I am voting for Barack Obama because he best exemplifies hope, reconciliation, and change – three things our community and our nation need the most.

    January 16, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  20. jason smith

    Clinton definitely shows her "experience" with her charades, name-calling, race-baiting, infantile behavior....anybody with any self-esteem and self-respect, male or female, who would truly seek change in this country would never stoop so low as to even consider voting for her "fairy tales".......on the major issues, of course, the democratics toe the party line, on who truly represents change, which apparently now hillary decides to repeat now as her mantra, as well, it is not the hill/bill show....Obama can go point by point and show his distinct, concrete differences from health care to smart growth to having one-on-one discussions with countries whom Bush just sanctions left and right when they don't give us oil...(I don't think anybody in this country would want Bush to be one-on-one with ANYBODY)...it is not a political issue, he is just not intelligent enough to have any discussion with other world leaders, and other fine points that the major news "misses"....

    Hillary herself invites all the scorn she receives with her well-timed teary episodes, devaluing MLK, etc and then instead of apologizing, she just attacks others for defending themselves from her vicious behavior. She does have some bipolar attributes which is not safe for anybody, if she were to be President.

    We would go from the menace that Bush is to being a laughing-stock that Hillary is, and then the pendulum would almost certainly go back to a bully presidency after her....

    January 16, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Alvin

    We all know that CNN polls have never been wrong. RIGHT?

    I for one and sick & tired of polls attempting to persuade the American people of how to cast their votes by picking winners before the first ballot is ever cast.

    January 16, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Hilary

    I think what is more troubling here for Hillary Clinton is that over 100,000 people in Michigan took time out of their day to cast an uncommitted vote. These same people could've stayed home & not gone to vote at all, much easier & probably more convenient. These voters could have said to themselves "I don't support anyone on the ballot, so I won't participate." But they didn't. You can speculate who these would've gone to, but it seems these votes can also be viewed as votes AGAINST her canidacy.

    As far a MI election law, even if you write in a canidate's name that is not on the ballot, that canidate must be "registered" as a write-in canidate for those votes to actually count. Obama & Edwards were not registered & so if someone yesterday did write their names in, they would not have counted.

    I still don't see why so many Dems are so set on nominating such a polarizing figure like Hillary. As one myself, I'd like to see someone nominated that people still have an open mind about, instead of nominating one that a lot of people made their minds up about years ago.

    January 16, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. JS Finley

    CNN is a JOKE. My viewership, both online and TV, stops NOW

    January 16, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. Renee,DC

    I am an African American registered democrat, female and after reading the comments of most here, VERY disappointed. We have allowed strategists & sound bites to divide this nation along racial lines. That breaks my heart..

    I believe that Barack Obama should have listened to his WIFE instead of Oprah, and waitied until he was genuinely experienced enough to lead this country. I agree that unless his statements are prepared in advance, he stumbles and fumbles. NOT impressive or comforting for a US President.

    That said Hillary Clinton is also NOT the answer for America. The Clinton's have art fully hood-winked African Americans, pandering to weaknesses, whining and dumbing down America for those that asked for it, while making back room $$ deals with others, instead of building a stronger nation of ALL cultures.

    All of that said. MY vote this year will be for John McCain!!! He has shown me consistency, honesty, and great ideas for making USEFUL, PRODUCTIVE citizens, that can contribute to re-building AMERICA.

    Let's NOT fight, but THINK, people! I love you ALL!

    January 16, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. Ralph

    Yes Carl L, it is just you, you are a dope. Eaglehart in Kintuck, we all know that Mess NBC is unbiased-Riiiiiiiiiiight. You are also a dope.

    A previous poster was just raving about how well spoken Obama is, among other things. Before the election process even began, wasn't a well known figure in government castigated and labelled as a racist for mentioning the fact that Obama is an articulate man, which he is, probably due to his fantastic education at Harvard University. This was a compliment by any and all definitions.


    Hillary stated a fact, Martin Luther King began the civil rights movement. Congress passed the civil rights act. LBJ signed the bill into law, at which time, MLK's dream was "realized", or became a reality. These are facts well documented in history. It is a fairy tale to suggest that this is a racially charged or demeaning statement. Anyone, black or white, who is offended by her remark , is ignorant of history and way too self absorbed.

    January 16, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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