April 3rd, 2008
04:32 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton backers: She must win popular vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/03/art.corzmurth.gi.jpg caption=" Corzine and Murtha are supporters of Clinton."]
(CNN) - Two prominent supporters of Hillary Clinton suggested Thursday the New York senator needs to best rival Barack Obama in the total popular vote to have any chance at winning her party's presidential nomination.

In separate media interviews, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha both indicated they believed Clinton will be unable to convince enough superdelegates to support her if she finishes second to Obama in both the pledged delegate count and the popular vote.

Speaking on CNBC, Corzine suggested it won't be enough for Clinton to argue she deserves the nomination because she has won more crucial swing states than Obama - a talking point the senator's campaign has long argued.

"I think it would be a very hard argument to make," Corzine said of that position. "I'm a very aggressive supporter of Senator Clinton, but I think you need at least a popular vote."

Corzine also suggested he himself may cast his superdelegate vote for Obama should Clinton fail to win the popular vote, though the New Jersey governor insisted he thought Clinton would come out on top in that count if the Florida and Michigan contests were counted.

Murtha echoed Corzine's sentiments in an interview later Thursday, saying, "Clinton has to win Pennsylvania…She has to be ahead in the popular vote to have any chance at all of getting this nomination."

Clinton is heavily favored to win in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, though recent polls suggest Obama may be narrowing the gap there.

Most estimates currently have Obama leading Clinton by approximately 700,000 votes in the popular vote. If the results of Michigan and Florida — the two states that were penalized for moving up its primary — are factored in, the gap is approximately half that.

Re-vote efforts in both states failed last month and it appears highly unlikely the results of either of the earlier contests will stand, meaning Clinton will need to achieve decisive wins in several of the 10 remaining primary contest to have a chance at overtaking Obama in the popular vote count.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (390 Responses)
  1. Texas Sue

    Hillary reminds me of a child that needs some attention. Her stories of Bosnia and others is laughable. Theres one thing she does have , a long time in politics . That also has a downside, she will say anything to get elected but doing it has been completely another story.

    April 3, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Hillary supporter who understands the rules of the game

    April 3rd, 2008 3:13 pm ET

    If Clinton wins Pennsylvania by 11% she would get an 89-69 split in the delegates and that would give Clinton 1162 and Obama 1158 delegates "elected" by the public vote in PRIMARY elections.

    If people don't like superdelegates, they ought to hate caucus delegates because as we saw in Texas to don't represent the will of the voters in the election. In Texas those caucus delegate voted against how the public voted and stole that election.

    Chuck, did you pull those numbers out of thin air.. you need to lay off the gin. Obama has a 150 pledged delegate lead. Her netting 20 delegates in PA won't do a darn thing.

    April 3, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Trudge

    Unlike the Democratic Primaries, delegates are not awarded proportionally in the November election. It is winner take all! This makes the popular vote almost irrelevant; ask Al Gore. The name of our country is still the United States and NOT the United People or the United Delegates. The states elect the president at the advice of their citizens. The reason for this, of course, is to prevent individual state or regional interests from trumping the interests of the nation as a whole. I.e. New York vs. say, Montana.

    April 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Isaac

    Funny thing is, Clintonites:

    if the Florida and Michigan votes were counted, it would only help OBAMA to win the nomination, not Hillary!

    April 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. james, newport, KY

    how many more angles can the democratic establishment take on this election?
    Get over it, Shrillary, you lost!

    Quit dividing the party along racial lines and make way for the new generation of Democrat politics–hopefully better than the last.

    April 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Thank you, Corzine and Murtha. At last some sanity.

    The Clintons have both done great things for the Democratic party. She would be an excellent President. However, she doesn't have the delegate votes to win the nomination.

    Barack is going to be the nominee. She needs to come to terms with this fact and gracefully get out of the race so the party can move on.

    April 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Walt, Belton,TX

    With Corzine and Murtha stompin the sidelines, picking up the popular vote should be a snap. Hell, Ted Kennedy reeks more than they do and he outweighs the two of them combined, politically and physically. Maybe she can pick up New York's present and previous governor just in time for the last rites or a good cartoon..................

    April 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. ATL - Atlanta

    Hey Shirley, you know what a disgrace is? That's what will happen to this country under the losership of Barack. That's a DISGRACE! After 46 years of voting Democratic I will vote Republican., even if it means voting for McCain. Tens of Thousands of Americans will do the same!

    April 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. BMR

    Factual problem with the post: Jon Corzine is the Governor of New Jersey, not a Senator.

    This isn't that surprising. Clinton superdelegates are starting to echo this refrain. Maria Cantwell was just the first to do it publicly. Emmanuel Cleaver even predicts Clinton won't win the primary.

    Notice these superdelegates (Cantwell, Cleaver, Murtha, Corzine) are all elected officials. They have to think not only about their Presidential candidate of choice (Clinton, in all cases), they also have to think about down-ticket effects – especially on them.

    Murtha's a good example – even though he's an 18-term Congressman, he could use a boost this year because he's facing a decorated soldier and successful businessman who moved to Murtha's district just to oppose him.

    April 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Unite the Democratic party

    Dems really have to end this nomination fight and focus on Mcain. He is going around the country introducing himself to the american ppl. We are losing an opportunity to let everyone know that mcain is running on President Bush's platform.

    April 3, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Debra Austin, Texas

    These two 'wimps' are so afraid of the Clintons that they have to put out in the public sphere, the rationale for her to argue a winning candidacy which they know she can't achieve. They were too chicken to tell her they couldn't commit to her. And it's shameful since Murtha just threw his support to her but is already trying to 'back out'. They know the writing's on the wall and they hate to be on the losing side. I guess they're more afraid of the red face and wagging finger of Bill and the screeching voice of Hillary. What fools.

    April 3, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Herman LA, CA

    The only way that she can gain the popular vote is that if we are hit with a meteorite.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 3, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Anonymous


    April 3, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Bill, Covington

    OOPS!! Neglectedto mention, I vote Republican, EVERY TIME>

    April 3, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. eddie n. powellnye

    I hope that the Clintons realized that our country is tired of them. This
    country young voters are our children and they are trying to tell us again, like the young of the Viet-Nam era, we need change. It is time for the Clintons and the McCains to be carried into the sunset. I pray to the Lord that for once for a politican to win named Obama.

    April 3, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Nina Bathy

    The Inevitable nominee is suddenly not so Inevitable! It's about time Dems start pulling together behind the real Rocky (Obama the underdog). SuperDs are starting to get it: Richardson, Carter, and even Pelosi all on the Obama train. The only thing that's inevitable for Hillary is defeat. Don't cry, take it like the tough and mature woman that you are and go home! 2016 is not that far away. Look at McCain, still doing it. 70 is the new 60!

    April 3, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Sharon Minnesota

    I can only say ........... If Obama is president and his supporters have anything to do with our government, we can all say goodby to civility. What in the world is eating up the souls of his supporters? Why is there such venom among them?

    Both of the Clintons have brought most of the peace and prosperity that we have had in the last 20 years. And the malcontents of this country repay them with slander and hatred. I am getting the impression that they are sounding a lot like some of the Rev. Wright's tapes.

    What are the Obamaites going to do when Hillary wins the nomination?

    I am praying that she will win by having the majority of the popular vote which will include the votes of Floridians and Michiganites. Then we will have a decent and mature woman to bring us back to civility.

    April 3, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Stephy, Groton Connecticut

    I am as feminist as you can get, yet I will not cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. To me it is an issue of integrity. I DON'T trust her, feminist or not, I don't want her to be my president! Yes I want to see a woman in the White House: a woman with honesty, integrity, capability, and a nice clothes and shoes at leat. Hillary Clinton, with all my admiration and respect, do not fit any of my categories.

    April 3, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. tell the truth

    That is her only shot and that might not be enough. She still will be losing the pleged delegates count. But rember vote for Hilliary or Obama not McCain

    April 3, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. dee, tx

    Quit trying to change the election rules. The person that has the most pledge delegates wins. Even if he wins by1 he has the most Pledge delegates.

    April 3, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |

    Hillary is losing big. Murtha and Corzine chose the wrong candidate.
    No, we won't go back to the same old government. We deserve someone who tells the truth to Americans..Can you sit and watch
    Hillary lie to us for 8 long years? Telling the truth to Americans is
    VITAL to our Country. What if another Country chose a liar.! We would
    not respect them. American need to gain it values and "scruples" back. and we will never be able to do that with Billary. Obama is
    our last chance for Honest in this world. Americans crave honesty
    NOW!!!! Wonder Why????????????????????????????????????

    Retired Professional White Woman for Obama from Day 1.l

    April 3, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Nasty Nasty

    I'm afraid there is nothing that the republicans can do that will be any nastier than what has been done by the democrats in this primary.

    It makes me ashamed to be a democrat honestly..........

    April 3, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Azar

    It is the delegates that count and not popular votes. Also, how are they going to count the popular votes in caucus states mostly won by Senator Obama?

    April 3, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Jim (TX)

    "I'm a very aggressive supporter of Senator Clinton, but I think you need at least a popular vote."

    Ya THINK!

    How quaint...letting the people decide their nominee! that's very gracious of you, Gov!

    April 3, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Cesar

    To Obama advisers:
    There will be plenty of "very experienced" leaders at the situation room in the White house. What Obama will bring to the table is: good judgement, credibility and honesty.

    April 3, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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