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. Devon, Ft Myers Fl

    LOl nope because the states she is winning Barack will win in the general election, but the states he is winning she cant win.

    Obama 08

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Terry

    Sounds like something Billary would cobble together....

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Cathryn

    Wolf, I am tired of Hillary trying to "do the math." If she's so great with numbers, why is she behind in paying her bills? HRC will say and do whatever necessary to skew the stats in her favor. I am weary of her deceit and nastiness. Cathryn, Petoskey, Michigan.

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Jacob T-Los Angeles

    Winning those states in a democratic primary means nothing in terms of the general election. Most of the people voting in the dem primary will vote for either candidate versus a republican. The real trick will be to beat the republican in those states by collecting the independent vote and the unhappy republicans.

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Todd

    I fully believe Clinton can win the "big" states. I do believe it will be a struggle for Obama. I, for one, will vote for McCain if Obama is opposing him. And yes...I live in CA!

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Kristin from New York

    I think this argument is ludicrous. The level of support a candidate receives in an intra-party matchup in which half the electorate may vote is fully different than the level of support that candidate would garner in an inter-party election with all eligible to vote. Logic simply does not support this kind of approach.

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. clb-NY

    Uh Oh....the Clinton News Network (CNN) is at it again. After trying the pledged delegate count & losing; and the polular vote count & losing; soon to be the loss in Super Delegates; 28 to 14 in STATES ...it is CNN to the rescue of the ever popular loser, HRC. It is over ... get used to it, Wolf.

    April 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Debbie

    So the people who think this is a good approach are saying Democrats in these states are on their own. It's likely Obama will win 30+ states.

    Since those 30+ states do not matter to matter to the Democrats, for arguments sake, let's give all Senate, Representative, and Governor seats in those states to the Republicans.

    If you care at all for the Democratic party, you really don't want to see the Republicans control 60+% of the Senate, and Governors, and over half the Representatives.

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. David from Canada

    Do the math; it is too late for Clinton. If she was to win the nomination the only reasonable explanation as to why is RACE and the superdeligates playing it safe rather than listening to the voice of the people. This would have a long term and very negative impact on the Democratic Party and race relations in general.

    Also, somebody please get an explanation as to what exactly was entailed in the $15million (Dubai) business arrangement Bill had. As well as how many speaking engagements were performed by Bill, payment per, etc., etc. How many favors are the Clintons going to owe and will these favors also are owed to interests outside of the US?

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Frank

    Here's another question or two. If, (and it's a Big IF) Sen. Obama wins in PA will Mrs. Clinton finally get out? My guess is no, she'll just say it's only PA and it's only one state. What do you think?

    How many of you think that if the Super Delegates go to Obama giving him the 2025 votes that Mrs. Clinton will sue the DNC?

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. J. McCaskill, MS

    Great point. It's ashamed that too many have been persuaded by Obama. She has won the states that Democrats carry and she can win Florida. Obama has won states that Democrats would have to pray and fast to win. States like Montana, Idaho, Mississippi, Alabama, and even Geogia. They are all Republican states in the general election.

    Hillary/McCain '08'

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Christian, Tampa FL

    Except that recent polling shows that Barack Obama does way better in California against John McCain than Hillary Clinton does.

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Back56

    This guy has lost credibility!

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. FormerHillarySupporter

    Even though she won those "large" states. If obama makes it to november, he will not only get the votes of all his original supporters but will also receive the votes of many of her former supporters as well. Even if 25% of her supporters stay at home that day (in protest cuz they are mad she didn't win) but the other %75 of her former supporters vote for obama for the sake of the democratic party, then he will not only have the votes of all his original supporters but many of hers as well! So I would argue that he WOULD be able in the general election to win even the "big" states that hillary has won in the primaries. Plus, as you know Rush Limbaugh's "Operaration Chaos" has caused many republicans to falsely vote for Hillary in an attempt to keep the tension within the democratic party raging. Obama would be better in the general election because the republicans that crossed over to vote for hillary and participate in "operation chaos" will cross back over in november!!! Hillary is a great woman and I supported her at first, but now I am 100% behind Obama. I'm an african american young adult and am not for obama just because of that. I WAS for Hillary at first until I heard some of her husbands remarks and even a statement she made to church on Martin Luther King day comparing the Republicans in the White House running the country to a PLANTATION. She said this to a black crowd and it seemed a bit insensitive. Yes, she was just trying to relate and meant no harm in the comments, but I think she could have used a better/different example. She then followed with a comment to the degree of "you know what i'm saying". It seemed like she was trying too hard. I was a hillary supporter at first, but it seems like she is more concerned about gaining the presidency than helping America now.

    OBAMA 08!!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Chuck

    There difference between the Clinton strategy and the Obama strategy is that Obama already has real solid numbers behind him in pledged delegates, popular vote and most states won, whereas Hillary is claiming she will have numbers that are non-existent and that cannot be validated until a general election actually takes place. Hillary forgets some other numbers that like Obamas are real and already validated – Hillary's negatives.

    A report on this issue Mr. Blitzer (what might be) is a waste of your time and our time, and is obviously pro- Hillary , or at least a pro-keep this race going for the media's interest. The sky may fall in tomorrow too.

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. KG

    Wolf, you are so pro-Hillary it makes me think they have paid you good money to support her on CNN. I can't watch CNN anymore because you are so biased!

    April 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Tim K

    The main issue here isn't that she is ahead in electoral college count, it is that we still have an Electoral College. The only reason we have such an institution is, when our country was founded the founding fahters were afraid that not all citizens could be informed properly of the candidates for the presidency. In the digital era in which we live, people of the other side of the globe are informed on our candidates. Its an outdated system, and I think that there should be an amedment drafted to fix the problem. What type of system says, "Sorry will of the people, this might be your choice, but because of number allotments to states in the Electoral College, you really elected the other guy, (or girl?" It defeats the entire point of voting for the candidate who could best do the job, be they white, black, brown, purple or male or female!

    April 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Eileen from Portland, Maine

    Yes, I agree with the Clinton Camp. The rules need to be changed now and in a way that favors her. I like that stategy, if you can't win with the existing rules, fight to get them changed. Who cares if it is unfair. As she said at one of her rallies "winning, winning, winning, that is my measurement of success, winning." There are some who measure their worth and success in other ways, but I don't think those particular values will occur to her.

    April 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. gerry

    Pathetic journalism

    With all the negative news out of the Clinton campaign over the weekend, this is a serious "reach" at trying to make her look better.

    Come on Wolf, be a real journalist and quite playing the Clinton tune.

    April 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Ross

    Preposterous! She'd still lose the general election with this strategy!

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. LucieLee

    Gee, why don't we just make up the rules as we go along~~!! And just what would the "magic" number be if this were to happen??

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Patrick

    Well, if that is the way Senator Clinton and her supporters feel then they should try to revise the Democratic primary rules for 2012 accordingly.

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. hello

    That is very true.
    white voter of states which Obama won will never vote for him.
    and his pastor controversy will hurt him in general election then Hillary's Bosnia's story.
    also don't forget about rezko deal which will be going on at the time of general election.

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. rachel

    it's also more of the "will do anything to win" strategy that americans can see right through. she is done. period.

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Kay

    Why is CNN afaid to post my comments? I thought your news platform was fair and unbaised.

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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