April 7th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Is Clinton ahead in the only count that matters?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/04/art.blitzer.cnn.jpg caption="The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - In recent days, Hillary Clinton supporters have been pushing this notion that the Democratic presidential candidate who has won the states with the most Electoral College votes should get the party’s super delegates and the party’s eventual nomination. We’ve heard it from Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Democratic Governor Ed Rendell - among many others.

They make this argument because Barack Obama remains the leader so far in pledged delegates, the popular vote and the most states won.

Clinton’s supporters note that Obama may have won more states - 27 to 14, excluding both Michigan and Florida whose delegates so far are not being counted because those states moved up their primaries against Democratic party rules. But they argue that her 14 states have a total of 219 Electoral College votes and his 27 states have 202 - and insist that makes her more likely to win the general election in November.

Among the big states she has won are New York and California.

Obama supporters argue that any Democrat likely will capture those states if recent presidential elections are a model. That may be true but John McCain and his supporters are arguing that he might actually have a chance in California given his supposed “maverick” reputation and the strong support of the state’s popular Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Clinton supporters also argue that she has a better chance of beating McCain in swing states like Florida and Ohio - which they say Democrats would need to win in November. They say it’s all about the Electoral College - not the popular vote - as was made clear in 2000, when Al Gore won hundreds of thousands of more votes than winner George Bush.

It’s a controversial point that the Clinton camp makes.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. fred

    Hell yes she is!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Helene

    O.K. another try and another spin. Then what ? She has lost the nomination and she should concede as soon as possible. Enough is enough.

    April 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. bob




    April 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. CB in Florida

    Electoral College votes aren't part of the party nomination race equation. The Clinton Team knows this and is only prolonging the agony of the matter. If Clinton still doesn’t have a significant win by April 22, then she must take a hit for the team and step down so that the fight for the general election can finally get underway. She’s a good candidate and she made a terrific effort; there’s no shame in withdrawing under those conditions. However, being forced out of the race after months of stubbornness reflects badly on her as a person and a statesman, and it reflects badly on the entire Democratic Party.

    April 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. KR

    Do Obama supporters believe that the popular vote matters? I think we ALL know better than that by now.

    April 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Frank in Missouri

    How about:

    The candidate who won the most election on

    a) Saturdays
    b) Tuesdays
    c) even days
    d) uneven days

    will win the nomination. Is Clinton ahead on any of those criteria ?

    If so then that will be the next measure of her success.

    April 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Judy

    This is an argument born of desperation. Primary votes are not related to electoral votes, unless you look at the TOTAL NUMBER of registered Democrats vs. the total number of registered Republicans, and somehow it looks like there will be just as many Republicans as Democrats who voted in the primaries. Even excluding the newly minted Dems who may be to some extent attributed to Rush Limbaugh's "Chaos" project, there will be a huge plurality of Democrats going to the polls this year. Barack Obama has shown more promise than Hillary has of getting Independents and Republicans to vote for him.

    April 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Bit, Alabama

    Crying FOUL again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Jot

    Blitzer, I like watching your shows but I'm disappointed that you CNN keep putting people on your shows who are so negative about McCmain and Clinton. That pathetic Schultz called McCmain a war monger the next morning is on your show! That B... tch hates the Clintons,is it because you are all pro Obama?

    April 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Joe Green

    The Clinton camp would argue that Clinton should be nominated on the basis of who has more frequent flyer miles, if Hillary had more than Obama.

    They are grasping at straws, now.

    As Both Hillary and Obama said, let the process move forward and let's see who has the most delegates at the end of the day.

    Or has Hillary changed her mind and wants to end the contest early?

    If Hillary is nominated in spite of the popular vote AND the most number of elected delegates, the Democratic Party will be no better than Bush and Rove were in the 2000 election.

    It will be a stolen nomination, period.

    It will take them decades to recover from this. All credibilty (and they don't have a lot to begin with) will be lost.

    And yes, Hillary will still lose. People despise her, for reasons both real and imagined.

    April 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. gary


    April 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Sean

    This is a ridiculous thought process. That's like saying that Team B, who won less games than Team A, should be ruled Champion because Team B wom in stadiums with bigger television markets.

    April 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Dem

    The primary does not reflect the general whatsoever.

    April 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Adam in Indy

    Makes total sence to me.
    and IF obama were to win the nomination... how likley do you think it would be that he would carry Michigan and Florida given he campaign's stance on their primary votes.

    April 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Aaron in Virginia

    Is Wolf Blitzer straining to maintain the illusion that there's still a race going on for the Democratic nomination?

    Of course Clinton is trying to find a way to make it look like she's doing anything but losing big. If he wanted to, Jonathan Edwards could make the case that he's leading in the one category that corelates most directly with a successful Presidential campaign: being a white guy. But ... so what? There's exactly one way of keeping score in the Democratic primary, and you can find that score on CNN.com. It says what it says, and it's not going to say anything else, no matter how badly Hillary wants it to.

    April 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Mr. B.

    Lie..., steal...., cheat, whatever it takes.

    She did learn from the best !

    April 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. vince - phoenix

    Wow Wolf... (you are REALLY reaching today in advancing this...)

    So, for the record... you don't count electoral college votes until the genereal election. But I am SURE you are fully aware of that... So, this "argument",really isn't an argument.

    The fact is... you can't play in the superbowl until you have won the playoffs.

    No amount of "spin" can change that. Case closed.

    April 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Scott Mayhew

    why don't you just post a banner below the story that reads, "I approve this message...Hillary Clinton for President"

    April 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. jim

    This is how the Clinton camp wants everyone's vote to count?

    April 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. John

    Give me a break, Wolf. First it was delegates, now this!? Since when is the Electoral college votes the "only count that matters"? How about we look at the real count that matters: the popular vote. The fact remains the same- more people have voted for Obama than Clinton. Get over it. Until Hillary leads in the popular vote or delegate count (both highly unlikely), she can stop claiming she's ahead.

    April 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Linda

    It shouldn't. Through this long process so far, maybe many voters voted before now are starting regret. Understanding shrewd politicians always require time to obseve and analyzing As a result things always change but follow some rules and harmany.

    April 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    That is such a garbage argument!!! The states that Hillary won are Democratic strongholds!!! Does she honestly believe that New York or California will all of a sudden turn pro-Republican if she is not the candidate?!

    April 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Huh?

    I think it would be very interesting to see what happened if the primaries were held again. One of the more squishy things in this campaign is the concept of momentum. It can't be measured, and no one knows exactly how it is acquired or lost. Obama had a great deal of momentum at one time, and then was stopped by Ohio and Texas (even though he actually won by delegate count in Texas).

    Now that there has been a long time-out, who has the most momentum? Who is pulling to the front? One would think Hillary might make the best of this, but with the sniper fire, pregnant woman's "death" and her chief strategist having to quit, it would seem that her lead and her momentum in the remaining states is eroding.

    I think someone said it best on one of these blogs when they said, "As you get to know more about Clinton, the less of her there is to like. As you get to know more about Obama, the more you understand the truly great things he has to offer." I'm paraphrasing, not mis-speaking, by the way.

    I do not believe Hillary's campaign can be salvaged at this point. Her finances, her management, and her public image are all in shambles.
    We're just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    April 7, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. cathy

    So we have a Dem saying the popular vote does not count? Little states don't matter? Hillary Clinto is lower than dirt.

    April 7, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I personally don't care what the Clinton camp says, let them try it.

    April 7, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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