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

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/13/art.carville1.gi.jpg
caption="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. Mimi Soltysik

    I think the media's biased coverage of the campaign is nearly as big a story as the campaign itself. Is there anyone who's not been heavily influenced by the rhetoric of the Obama campaign? It's really disappointing.

    February 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. John


    February 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Randy - Denver

    Ummm Mike that has been covered by CNN and several other networks sorry no one sent the specific articles, I suppose that you also believe that Mr. Obama has no details because no one has read you his website.

    Phyllis If there are only two people in a race and one leads the other by more than twice the word only is appropriate lets you and I split $100 i will talk 65% and you will get the rest.. want to bet you ask why you got ONLY $35?

    Karen I see oyu missed the big picture, it is NOT about just party it is about America! the two parties ahve destroyed us we NEED someone who can see both parties.

    February 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. darleneintexas

    Hillary you will loose Texas get ready to tear up!

    February 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |


    I AM STILL WITH HER 100%!!!!!!!!









    GO HILLARY 2008!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. stella felix

    Nobody listened to me when I told them not to vote for Bush seven years ago and then four years later. Now they are all complaining what a terrible president he is.

    Now, there is this big flock of people (which the media has created) following Obama.

    I hope you can live with another four years of a mistake. How can you idolize someone you don't even know?

    Thanks alot, Pundits and Media, just don't complain when your glorified candidate has to stop preaching and actually start working.

    February 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Amy, Kazoo

    CNN has become the Simon Cowell of this election. They CALLED the VA primary between 7pm and 7:05pm, with 0% of precincts reporting when the polls closed at 7pm.

    I dare anyone to tell me that is unbiased, ethical, integrity driven journalistic reporting. I double dog dare you. And I dare CNN to post this.

    February 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. John

    Mike, I beg to differ. CNN did in fact mention John Glenn's endorsement of Clinton. I read it here.

    February 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Goodheart

    Obama's name was on the ballet in Florida, but lost big. He's lost Florida, California, and New York. If he loses other big electoral states like Texas and Ohio, Carville is right.
    The President is elected by the electoral college folks, not by the thousands of voters in the small states Obama is winning. If Hillary wins Texas and Ohio, then she's proved she can win the electoral states that matter in the general election.
    If Obama can't beat Hillary in these big states, how is he going to stand a chance against McCain?

    February 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Hellen

    Has Obama done ANYTHING but talk well? I don't get it-he sounds like a crackpot to me. Yes he has hope and aspiration-who doesn't? He is NOT John Kennedy folks-sorry to disappoint you-NOT EVEN CLOSE. And Obama apparently doesn't care about the hispanic vote. He's been coddling the blacks and folks who will vote for one just because he is. It's sad that it's come to this. Fact is, Hillary has more experience than Obama and I like her ideas better. Obama..keep dreaming.

    February 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Daniel

    C'mon people, let's rally behind proven leadership, superior experience, and an actual plan instead of "feel-good" speeches. GO HILLARY!

    February 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    That'll be a great idea Karen. That way only people who are more concerned with party politics than actually doing something to help typical Americans get to vote. I'm not a big Obama fan (although I do think he's probably the best one still standing), but I do not understand why him bringing people from other parties is considered a bad thing by some Hillary supporters. They're really fighting for who can be the president of the United States, not the president of one party.

    February 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Jesus Morales

    As a Latino voter in Texas, I despise the fact that Clinton is trying to do everything in her power to get the votes. While I am still undecided, I see Obama actually meeting people, holding rallies and trying to get his message across. He does not concentrate on a state with the most delegates but rather takes it one primary/caucus at a time. Hillary's campaign has taken a turn for the worse and its showing.

    February 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    O Hillary,

    Remember a guy named Giuliani, waiting on his big win in Florida.
    You know what happened to him.
    He gave a "end of my capmaign" speech with his huge forehead sweating, and him looking like a stunned bat.

    O Hillary, if you wait till Texas and Ohio you'll be giving the same speech.


    I have never seen a disciplined campaign fall appart so fast. They are so stunned they don't know what to do, all they have is the tricks of the 90's and they are not working any more.

    It's like attacking a bunker protected by a machine gun with a saber...

    ...and some people still don't believe there is evolution and surival of the fitest.

    Go Obama, heck McCain will be a cake walk compared to Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. blkjazz

    John Glenn, a enough good man as far as I know, has a right to endorse anyone he likes. The problem is he, like the majority of her endorsements, represents the old style political arena. I doubt that it will prove to be of any signficant help.

    Ohio, like the rest of the country, needs economic help. Clinton has had, by her count, 35 years to do something. If she is so "experienced" why are we in the mess we are in? Electing the same folks over and over and getting the same results seems a bit crazy to me.

    February 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Trading Wine for Beer

    Hulk Hogan took his endorsement back. He no longer supports Obama. He didn't say why, but he took it back. Where's the headline CNN???

    February 13, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Tony

    I think that the more competitive the process, the more we learn about the candidates and their views. I can only hope that we in NC will actually have a deciding vote in the matter come May. As far as getting mad or upset, what does that accomplish? Obama may have youth and charisma but Hillary does have experience and political clout. In the real world of every day politics, you can't count that out. Besides, after 8 years of Bush/Cheny, I'd vote for the donkey if it won the nomination.

    February 13, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Shaunte

    Am I the only one who is nervous that everyone keeps referring to this campaign as "the Clintons"? Regardless of who takes the nomination on the Democratic side, Bill is NOT going to take office. Constitutionally, he cannot have another turn. It is important for people to realize that voting for Hillary is not electing Bill Clinton for a third term and their polices are different.

    February 13, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Cindy

    This Texan will be voting for Hillary, and I am proud to do so.

    I'm very disappointed in CNN's coverage, as well. I really did believe that you were the fair news network, but this primary season has proven me wrong.

    February 13, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Sasha

    I like Hilary, but I like Barack also. In addition, I'm a bit uneasy about a Clinton dynasty thing going on (have had enough with the Bushes), and not too sure about Bill being back in the White House as First Man (I loved him as Pres., though not his immoral behavior!). Just too many possible worms to come out of the can.
    Barack is fresh, young, bright and maybe it's time for a change.
    Either of them can surely beat McCain in November!

    February 13, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Nick

    Lets point out the obvious...

    Republicans will not cross over and vote for Clinton

    Independents will not vote for Clinton

    Half of democrats will not vote for Clinton.

    The ONLY reason she is still around is because of Mexicans in California, New York, etc and now shes counting on them for Texas and Ohio.

    In the general election even the Mexicans will bail and vote for McAmnesty over Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Wallace, Sacramento, CA

    Actually Mike, CNN did mention the endorsement. You need to did a little deeper on the site. And, it's John Glenn.

    John Glenn man. Give me a break.
    I heard Barney Rubble endorsed Hillary and Fred endorsed Barack.

    John Glenn is a good guy, but that's not really news.

    February 13, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Charlotte

    All you OPhamanics, Michelle said in her interview she would not vote for Hillary in the general election. Now your guy is suppose to be a democrat, right? What kind of democrat would say that? I guess I will follow her lead and vote for McCain at least he is the best qualified between the two. McCain is right, we have had troops in other countries forever

    February 13, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. seg

    James, this family NEEDS you again. Why aren't they calling you?

    February 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Obamanator

    Uh oh sorry to scare the Hillaryland residents! Democrats should support GOOD DEMOCRATS not just ANY dems!

    She has so much scandals under her name why should we vote for Hillary? Because she was the presidents wife? Because of Watergate and Filegate?

    February 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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