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. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    It's become fairly apparent that Clinton doesn't want to be President so much as she wants to win the election, and she's apparently willing to do absolutely anything to win. Her motive is obviously ego rather than any desire to do good things for the country.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. joeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Most of these anchors are on Clintons payroll. Does anyone remember this guy Pushing Hillary down our throat last year, till people started calling CNN Clinton News Network? They are afraid of their carreers but change is coming to America. Give it up wolf!

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Rich Marmura, Pittsburgh PA

    Only the Clinton News Network could actually put something like this out as an actual news story. Barack Obama is winning in terms of pledged delegates, states won and the popular vote. Additionally, he is quickly closing in on Superdelegates.

    The Clinton campaign continually changes the win-condition and CNN seems to be more than happy to play along.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Law Chung

    That is a ridiculous argument. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game and twist things around that are purely speculative (Clinton has a better chance of winning in very blue states like NY and CA). Any democrat is likely to take the "big states" that Clinton has won so far, and recent polls in CA indicate that Obama is ahead in CA of Clinton anyways. Her supporters will say anything to twist the story in their favor but the fact remains that Obama has MORE STATES WON, MORE PLEDGED DELEGATES, and MORE POPULAR VOTE. No denying that.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Scott

    clinton or mccain? its up to the dnc.
    bowling green, mo

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Jason

    enough already. I can still win if I only count this, or that, or move the goal post, or what if I lie? Or, what if I fire my campaign manager for the 2nd time, another ridiculous 3am ad might help. I was under sniper fire though does that help? What if I said I was a normal everyday person, oh wait I maid 109million in five years, crap that won't work. Please just stop, I used to respect you.

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Mike

    I can say this being neutral because I am voting for McCain. Who ever has the most should be the nominee. Just because if the one with the lesser wins, it will divide the party. However at the same time. Dems keep this up. I enjoy the side show watching you divide your party is a beautiful thing to me.

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. m

    Wolf please don't be tarnishing you the good reputation you had built up over the years with this sort of norrow unobjective article of question. Wolff your views are too narrow and out of place.

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Reality check #1

    Clinton is the better nominee and the only candidate that will be able to beat McCain. Obama is basically unelectable, he has been caught in too many untruths, alot of which are in print in his book, even going so far as to not tell the truth about his own parents. Also, there is the problem with his pastor that is not going to go away. And then the words of Michelle Obama , both out of her month and in college papers. That will never go away. The Clintons have been accussed of many things but not being patriotic is not one of them, the Clintons dearly love this country. The Obama's feelings for this country have been in question during the entire nomination procedure. That is not the makings of a President. Democrats will vote for McCain in record numbers if Obama gets the nomination, I am one of them.

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    Silly democrats, always trying to change the rules.

    In 2000 everyone screamed for the popular vote to be counted, and now the clintons are lobbying for it to the electoral vote. How about we keep the rules the same, everyone abides by them, and the person with the most electoral votes wins...just like always!!

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Gregory X. Townsend

    Raising the bar again is Clinton, After ever bad golf shot I like to be like Clinton's camp and get a do over not matter where my ball ends up.., that way I can keep hitting it without penalities until it ends up where I need it to be to win.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Tim R in Golden, Colorado

    I think Clinton's high negative ratings, nearly 1/2 the people in the country, are a more important barometer of how things would go in the general election.

    Obama has been taking the high road and not doing negative campaigning (unlike Hillary), but that will not be the case in a general election. All the Clinton laundry will come out again and she wouldn't stand a chance.

    Obama has a very real chance of beating McCain and is likely to capture the large blue states in a general election.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Wang LI

    This is all non-sense...

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. BigdaddyJ Wilmington, DE

    I swear. Only CNN (The Clinton News Network) actually believes Ms. Clinton still has a chance. Bet you all believe sniper stories and non factual medical insurance stories as well.

    It's over. ENOUGH already! I guess she won't stop until she tears apart the entire Democratic party!

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. bakersfield

    i have lived in california my whole life and i'm telling you if it is obama/mccain mccain will win. the only way the dems win california is with hillary. even with richardson as obamas vp he won't win.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Rex in MA

    Dear Wolf,

    The whole argument of the elctoral college primary is specious. In a general election, primaries have already been held, the candidates have fully debated and the nation has voted. You do not speculate on electoral votes in the general election; either you have them or you do not. You cannot speculate that one candidate will win electoral votes in the future, when more than one party is present, because they won a primary in the past when only one party was in play.

    It is also objectionable to categorize MI an FL as "wins" because there were no debates, campaign stump speeches, rallies or kissed babies in MI or FL. This was not a victory by forfeit; the game was called on account of rain. Many Obama supporters thought the vote would not count and the candidates agreed it would not count. If democracy dictates MI and FL be seated, then seat them 50/50 or at half strength like the Republicans did. The point is that MI and FL not be permitted to seat based on votes that did not have an engaged electorate in the first place nor be granted the reward of determining a winner after violating the rules. If this bad behavior is rewarded then every state is going to put the whole system in chaos by doing it too.

    Camp Clinton has made a mockery of this election.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Kelce

    People tend to forget that these are the primaries. The states won and lost are going to change drastically when it comes to the general election.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Ed

    I wonder if this were the other way around for Clinton and her supporters and how Hillary would react if she was ahead. There is no doubt if it were Obama making this argument she would be calling it absurd. As always it's whatever suits Hillary.

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. jack

    This election is clear. Obama is leading and will continue to lead, stop this spin it is not helping!

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Carmen Cameron

    Clinton is behind in the only vote that matters: trust. Half of the electorate distrusts her. She cannot win in November. It's just that simple.

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. SA

    Wolf, can you ask the Obama campaign why they want to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants who are here unlawfully? They seem to be talking a lot about Florida and Michigan breaking the party rules. Was Sen. Obama for breaking the law before he was against it?

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Maria

    Hillary has a good point and should be considered. Everyone has to remember one thing, neither Obama or Hillary will have enough pledged deleagtes to win the nomination, you can't get around that. It then becomes of question of who is better at beating McCain in the general election and there is a lot of data to look when considering that.

    I personally don't consider the popular vote or pledged delegates so much because both Obama and Clintion (at this time) are within 1-5% difference of each other.

    I think there are a lot of traditional democrats like myself who would rather vote for McCaion the voye for Obama. It becomes a choice of protecting this country against a fraid such as Obama.

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. m

    Wolf listen to the voters and the DNC. The only vote that matters is basically that of the electorate. It seems you are listening to the Clintons- which you are free to do.

    April 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Lori from Battle Creek, MI

    No Way! The Electoral College doesn't matter because once she is out the majority of democrats will be behind Obama. I'd like to know one thing, Wolf, why are you going so easy on Hillary? She has had so many missteps lately and you are not hammering her like you did Obama on the Rev. Wright issue. Come on, she is totally screwing up and the media is afraid to acknowledge it.

    April 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Fay (the Texan who voted for Obama)

    No, its not controversial at all. She's behind and desperate and honestly, leaving a foul taste in my mouth. I just wish she would lose Pennsylvania just to see what excuse she'd come up with then!

    April 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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