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. Bob Johnson

    This is just pitiful. She is trying to bend every single rule just to win. If Obama was in he LOSING position, she would be calling him out every day for him to drop out. The primaries/caucuses are NOT about Electoral College votes, so stop trying to turn it into that just so she can be ahead in something. She is losing, and will lose, so deal with it.

    April 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Tyler J.B.

    The last great pillar of the aristocrats: The Electoral College. It needs to be abolished. It gave us Bush. Do we really need more of an argument against it?

    April 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. joe

    this pretty much proves that the people paying for this government are not being represented but are just being robbed. Our Reps" are making millions on the war.... but that doesn't affect their vote!? remember the bastille day!!

    April 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Matthew

    Honestly, we all know that If Clinton was up in popular vote and not electoral college, her campaign and base would say THAT's the only vote that matters. I can see the reasoning, but it's apparent they will say anything to get the nomination.

    April 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. No Obama

    Clinton Can beat McCain. If Obama is the nominee Democrats will loose for McCain. In reality clinton is ahead in popular if FI and MI are counted. They need to be counted.

    April 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Robert Randall

    This comment is silly but typical. The result this year should be decided by the rules now in effect. Obama is currently leading in delegates and if he remains ahead he should be the Democratic nominee. If there are flaws in the rules and procedures, we should start working after the election to improve things for 2012. We should not change the 2008 rules now just because Hillary is losing.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Leroy Janecek

    The Supreme Court handed Bush his victory, not the electoral college. Let the voters decide who they want as president. It should go to the person who has received the majority of the popular vote.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Danman

    What a bunch of crap. How are the primary and the general even close to the same thing. Obama leads popular vote, pledged delegates and number of states won. And somehow he is supposed to be losing?

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Impartial Jury

    So I take it that they cannot use their influence to swing those key states if Hillary isn't the nominee? Sorry, but this sounds like "fuzzy" electoral college math to me and didn't Bayn and Hillary say the electoral college was an outdated system back in 2000 when it didn't favor the Dems? Now its the keys to the kingdom that it favors her campaign. Just another in a long list of double-speak moments for a doomed campaign.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    it is funny. They alwasy want to change the bar. They want to come up with a new rule that serves them. This is a delegate race. It ends there.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Obamamama

    If all she is winning are states that typically vote democratic anyway, what is the big deal. If I were a Superdelegate I would want the nominee to be someone that can win over republican's and independents. That sounds like Barack Obama would be the better choice....

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Mike

    Wolf... just ask Gore that question... he won the popular vote but lost the election because of the electoral college...

    The media and Obama keep talking about the delegates and popular vote... Neither candidate is going to get enough votes... it should not count since MI and FL do not count... the talk over the weekend was that MI and FL will be seated but in a way that it will not decide the winner... How is that fair???

    You award each candidate delegates and the popular vote does not count... if you were to add in the popular vote I believe Clinton would win the popular vote... Obama would win the delegate count... Which one would determine the "will of the people" ???

    I would throw the whole thing out and use the electoral college to determine the stronger candidate... I know that both have won several states that usually go Republican... seems the ony fair way to me!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Jeremy in Colorado

    I've got to admit to being a bit confused. I really can't understand why news outlets haven't been calling the Clinton camp on how one minute, they're talking about going all the way to let the people have their say in the primaries and how it's a tragedy if the voters in FL and MI aren't represented at the convention, while the next they're putting forward the argument that, despite not having the votes, they should still be the ones nominated. (Don't even get me started on the "we're not advocating it, but did you know that elected delegates don't really have to support the candidate they were elected to vote for" hypocrisy.)
    Can someone explain?

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. No

    This is the dumbest argument ever. Even if she's ahead in the "states that count", that doesn't take into account the fact that when you compare McCain v. her in those states. She will lose miserably if that's the match up in those states.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Tim from Buffalo


    Didn't you hear? This isn't a contest about delegates anymore. The only metrics that matter are the ones that Hillary is leading in.

    Who's the idiot who came up with the fantasy idea that electoral votes determine the primary? One thing and one thing only determines who wins primaries, whoever gets 2025 delegates first wins. It's not the popular vote nor the number of states won. It's not even whatever Bill Clinton suggests.

    The superdelegates can base their decision on possible electoral performance, but who's stupid enough to believe that the polls right now are representative of what will happen in November enough to try to overturn the will of the people? Oh yeah, Ed Rendel is.

    April 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Pollyann

    And that's how it should be. No fuss about it! Hello!!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Will the big states like CA and NY suddenly go Republican if Hillary isn't the nominee? Where's the logic here?

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Bryan from Michigan

    It's starting to make Clinton look really, really bad now...it's not a pretty site to see her grasping at straws and trying to bend only the rules that sway in her favor. I think the majority of Americans are starting to see this side of Hillary....and it's not pleasant.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Tim Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I REALLY know that Hillary had a much better chance than Obama does. She knows what she is doing!!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Chris

    This is just one more "creative" way to try to rewrite the rules during the game since Mrs. Clinton is losing based on traditional metrics. If the current standings were reversed, the Clinton camp would dismiss this argument with a swift and forceful rebuttal. Additionally, the Clinton seems to infer that somehow she is the only Democrat that can win a traditionally Democratic state like NY or a battleground state like Ohio. Talk about the hubris. Obama might have an even better chance to prevail in California.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. omar

    I think Hillary is trying all the tricks in the book. It doesn´t matter how you rationalize it or twist it any other way, the fact still remains that Obama has one more states and is ahead in terms of the popular vote.

    Just because Hillary has won certain key states does not exclude the fact that Obama can also win it in the general election. After all, we all "hope" that the democratic party will reunite against the nominee in a general election and if this is the case it should not matter whether one or the other won certain states in the primaries.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Abbey

    Are you serious?

    Let's follow the rules people-this is a primary-we follow the proportional allocation of delegates, not the electoral college map. This is yet another example of the Clintons changing the rules as they go. Is this the type of president you want running the country? I want someone who plays by the rules and understands that the ends don't justify the means.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Saleem Banatwala

    One way to fix all of this is to do away with the electoral college. Base all elections on the popular vote.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Jordan Fitzpatrick

    It's not a compelling argument by any standard– it's yet another attempt by the Clinton camp to change the metric in her favor, (and they are running out of options on this score). If she were truly the stronger candidate, Obama would not be ahead by so many measures. I am a fan of the rules, and I believe that they should be argued before a contest begins, or adhered to– not changed the moment your candidacy stops being an inevitability.

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. MS Gal

    A bunch of crock. Will these people ever accept the reality that Hillary is out of this???? Man, talk about trying to get blood out of a turnip! Come on...many of Hillary's supporters WILL get out and vote for Barack in the general election...they will!!!!!!! So, just because she may have "slightly" won a state over Barack in a primary CANNOT be a predictor for the general election! You are comparing apples and oranges! Come on people! The Democrats will be in the White House...and we will be thankful for the next President, Barack Obama!

    Obama 08!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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