February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. OBAMA

    the last line says it all..."the Clintons." you aren't voting for Hillary, you are voting for her husband's legacy. its time for a new Washington!!!


    February 13, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. VeryConcerned

    Someone in the press needs to ask Obama what his opinion of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is.

    google L Farrakhan's name yourself and ask yourself if the USA needs a president whose church calls Farrakhan a "great" man, someone we "revere."


    If Obama is elected our nation is in for a revolution. We will all lose.

    February 13, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. bob from ct

    It does seem that Obama will win this race. My guess is that will lead to the dems being wiped out in November, when folks understand how naive he is in foreign affairs.

    Something like 48 states to 2, and the senate goes back to the republicans, disaster.

    February 13, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. SunDawg

    David Wihlem is exactly right. By including the superdelegates (the black bars at the left edge of the bars) in John King’s graphical display, the vote of the people is totally obscured. Let us see the current and projected results for the people’s vote.

    February 13, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Keith865

    It would be amusing, if it were not so sad, to read how CNN (and any number of other "vast conspirators" or Koolaid-drinking Obama fans) are out to get Hillary. She trots out like some triumphant victor after the meaningless Florida results, then she refuses to publicly acknowledge reality when soundly beaten everywhere else. The truth is in the numbers, Ms Clinton, and they're telling you loud and clear that you (and Bill) need to just go away.

    February 13, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. IRC

    1) Looks like the Hillary supporters are the ones filled with frustration and anger here

    2) Obama supporters are not all Democrats. We are also Independents and Republicans. And we look beyond partisan politics towards values like TRUTH and TRANSPARENCY and ETHICS in government.. This is why the Democratic party will lose our support if Hillary is nominated.

    February 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. DemocracyNow2008

    Senator Clinton I beleive as a Democrat will lose one of those three states thats she is banking.
    Its time for a Change in our Democrat Party and our great nation.
    Senator Obama is the Progressive Change we need not 8 years from now but now

    February 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. Adam

    Hillary Clinton is neither a Republican or Democrat.

    She is a CORPORATE PUPPET. She always has been, and always will be.

    That is why I am not voting for her.

    I've had enough of corporate puppets in the White House for the last 20-odd years, and especially the last seven.

    I'm a Democrat, and I'm all for supporting Democrats – but to those of you who support Clinton – you REALLY need to do some reading up.

    Why in the WORLD, after Bush, would you want these people in the White House?

    No offense meant.

    February 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    You're all idiots.

    February 13, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Joe

    Obama is a liar and a fake, he just has empty words.

    February 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  11. G

    I follow all speeches of Obama and Hilary. There is no substance in his speeches, mainly “Yes, we can!” type of slogans, and “when I am the President” repeating million times. Entertaining show and brainwash of people, that’s all. He is the favorite candidate of those who do not get into detail of the candidates’ proposals. Hilary’s speeches are full of plans and “hows” in contrast to Obama’s “whats.” It was extremely disappointing Obama claiming Hilary in racism. If Democrats nominate Obama, I will become a Republican. Also, it looks like most newsmen do not like smart women. Terrible!

    February 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. John

    Hey Chad in Texas... Now, do you HAVE an education ABOVE the 3rd grade? Uh... McCain couldn't beat Pee Wee Herman in a debate. He's the worst candidate to ever run. Since he's the only remaining republican candidate (Huckabee's laughable) it just goes to show you that even the republicans aren't planning on winning. lol.

    February 13, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. GB

    To: Stan Pitts PA

    I'm in Ohio and I support Hillary all the way.

    Hillary 08

    February 13, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. Sylvia

    Obama is not the man you think he is…..
    PLEASE look at him for what he is, not the speeches he makes!!! They are not even his words, yet the words are only words not actions or even plans. Do not wait until he is running against McCain until you see the light, then it is too late and we will either have him in office for 4 years and a deer in the headlights for a president OR we give the White House BACk to the Republicans!!!!
    Look past the media and see for yourself….Obama does NOT know what he is doing, he is a “rock star” the media has fed you so the Rebulicans can keep the WhiteHouse……be smart
    DON’T fall for it

    February 13, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. Clear-headed

    Obama supports, are you guys all in a Drowsy Dreams?

    Obama does not show any leading principle, but only insipid CHANGE, Who knows if it is change towards another nightmare! I guess McCain will beat him if Obama wins the nominee.

    February 13, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. rich

    She wants more debates. She already had 18 and she' still losing..and losing..and losing....Ah.....Ah..Ah...Ah....

    February 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  17. Grif

    Terence. So you give in ?

    Then you have a King!!! Why vote? So that long after you have given up the Ghost! Your kids still have a voice in this crazy world,,,

    February 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. fernando

    seen all of this I hope that each one of these democrats dont come crying foul after we loose november to mc cain and the republican machinery.are you thinking that come november the majority is going for obama?please reality check .this is the usa.experience counts.

    February 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. Go Hilary

    I don't understand why Obama is so stubborn. He should stand by Hilary and help her be the candidate as I can't see him beating McCain but I do think Hilary can beat McCain.

    February 13, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. JeanLivingstone

    James Carville by the way is one of the most intelligent political brains in the the US and I have a lot of respect for him!

    February 13, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  21. Leah DiMarco, TX

    Everyone wants to BE Senator Obama:

    The ‘Change’ slogan – most of the other candidates have used this after Obama

    Obama’s theme song – Clinton is now using his song in her rallies

    The ‘Yes We Can’ slogan – Clinton is using this Obama slogan

    Today in a rally Clinton used Obama’s JFK and the moon reference

    The ‘Fired Up and Ready to Go’ slogan – John McCain used this to end his Potomac speech

    Hillary you are not Obama!

    Obama '08

    February 13, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  22. maureen

    To Allison Zimmerman – There's a huge difference between the Clintons and Obama. Clintons = corruption and more of the same. Obama = a new direction and no more lobbyists.

    February 13, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Jeries

    Everyone should realize who Hillary Clinton is. She is the main person who will actually bring about real change. She is heart-felt and stronger candidate. She doesnt have to win these main states really; she needs to win atleast one. If she wins Texas she has to win Ohio or Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that Wisconsin is not guranteed for Barack. If you look at polls the gap is closing for Barack and popularity has grown for Hillary by 4.2% and decreased by 3% for Barack. She can still win this election. If not it will go to the superdelegates. They are smart and know what to do. They are elected to be superdelegates because they are believed to make the right choice. Hillary seems to be the right choice for America.



    Hillary can get the attention of young people like myself. Many young republicans want to vote for her but cant because of thier party. So, take into consideration polls dont necessarily know what they are saying.

    February 13, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  24. Ed Russell

    A vote for Obama is a vote for stupid!!


    besides he gives a good speech, im looking for an actual reason YOU are voting for him

    February 13, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. BLee

    CNN is not fair play. Let's watch ABC

    February 13, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
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