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. Jeff Radun

    It is an argument.
    I do not know if it will hold up, but add in Florida and Michigan and she has even more than 219 Electoral College votes

    There is another problem, and a strong argument. It seems that more of Hillary's supporters will vote for McCain or not vote at all if Obama gets the nomination.

    Then there is the states Obama won that many republicans were allowed to vote in and they voted only for Obama to stop Hillary. These republicans will vote for McCain in the general

    April 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Towhappy

    Just more spin but I am glad to know that America is not buying that one.

    April 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. glhf

    No because it's a democrat race. When you include republicans and independants...many of those blue states go red if Clinton is the nominee. Obama, on the other hand, turns many red states blue. It should be obvious who the nominee should be.

    April 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. KLM

    No and please quit trying to make it look close, Wolfe. If Clinton was ahead in pledged delegates, popular vote and most states won then all of you would've written him off.

    April 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. NW Independent

    I have to admit, the arguement holds some merits. Especially in light of the FL & MI votes. Both of these are key swings for the Dems. and not looking very good for Obama in the general.

    April 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Kevin

    What's wrong Wolf? All the negative news about Hillary this weekend wasn't to your liking, so you decided to comment on THIS non-issue?

    You are so transparent.

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

    No! How dos Hillary say every vote should count and in the same breath say that the “pledged delegated” can do whatever they want and small people/state don’t matter and not one reporter have call her on it?

    April 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. l. hawks

    Not controversial, just common sense.

    April 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Lucas Dahlin

    Then by that reasoning why have the smaller states vote at all? I'm pretty sure it's the Clinton campaign that advocates every vote counting so that nobody is disenfranchised.

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

    I came to this country during Peter Jennings on television and I miss those day everyday!

    April 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Steve from New Jersey

    I am a Clinton supporter, despite my young age, which makes many think I like Obama, which I do, but my support lies more with her. While I despise the Electoral College system and think it should be based on the popular vote, the President will be decided by the EC. Be that as it may, I think Hillary has a strong case. She needs to be careful though not to sound as if she wants to drown out the cries of the popular vote. If Democrats want to win in November, they need to win the big states such as Ohio, Texas, Florida, California, New York, New Jersey, etc. She can definitely carry those states, with the exception of Texas. Obama will have more of a struggle in Texas, California, Ohio, and Florida. I think we need to be smart about this without disenfranchising people. I will support whatever candidate wins the Democratic nomination, but we do need to be smart about this.

    April 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Zoltan

    What's your point Wolf? It's very easy to make numbers work for you if you can spin it the right way. You show a few numbers that favored Clinton and suggest that those numbers show she's winning in what really matters?!? Too bad for her, the numbers that REALLY count strongly favor Obama. Those numbers are the number of delegates, and i don't think you are going to convince the DNC to change their selection process at this point in the game, so just cut it out with your stupid biased commentary.

    April 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. boom

    Obama is unelectable in November.

    TYhat's a fact – no matter how many states, pledged CAUCUS delegates, votes or promises of "change" he invokes – the fact remains, he stands virtually no chance in November.

    And it's unfortunate that neither his supporters nor superdelegates who are siding with him can see that.

    April 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Shawn

    This is all getting old...Everyone's trying to find a way to keep Barack out...Hillary is sadistic...she's a liar...she's flip flopped so many times during her campaign...but if they don't follow the popular vote and the super delegates give her the nod...it will truly show...just how much we're still in the times of old...and I know you guys know what I mean...I'm just saying it in a nice way...

    April 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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