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. JS

    This is the only numbers argument is the left in favor of Hillary. Of course, she is making it. Also, it indicates that despite what she may say now, she has no intention of supporting Barack if he wins the nomination. Rather, she will be busy fund raising for her 2012 campaign.

    April 7, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |


    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |

    If you only want to win in August, it doesn't matter nearly so much.

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Brian

    Here you go again Wolff, trying to muddy the democratic process.
    Even if you count FL and MI that held faulty elections she is still behind Obama. It's as simple as that but then again actually covering the news and not your personal wants would be such a change for you....but you could still redeem yourself, there's time for you where with Clinton? Time ran out a long time ago.

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. aware

    Yes, Hillary is ahead in the only count that matters. But, it is much more than her 219 Electoral College votes to Obama's 202.

    Obama cannot win the general election in November. The under the radar Jeremiah Wright issue will explode in the general, and Obama's racial divisiveness will become more evident.

    It is already obvious that he is an arrogant down and dirty politician who has no qualms about using personal attacks and obfuscation against the other candidates. Obama is a sham – a wolf in sheep's clothing! 🙁

    Hillary Clinton and John McCain would both make excellent presidents! Hillary the HOPE of 08 or McCain! 🙂

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Go PSU

    This may true, but Obama has been in the U.S. Senate for only 3 years. If he didn't come out of no where, he would have beaten Clinton in all those states. In addition Clinton has the advantage of being the wife of a former President.

    The fact is Clinton lies too much and is much more despised by some voters than Obama is.

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Way OFF!

    This is preposterous logic! It does not matter who a state voted for in the primaries when talking about General Elections. States like New York and California will vote Democrat NO MATTER who is the nominee. This is a desperate attempt to steal the nomination from Obama.


    Wolf, why are you giving the "HillBillies" silly ideas to foam at the mouth over?

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Michael

    That's a stupid argument. Obama leads in the one category that really matters: Delegates. Only the losing side would try to counter that fact with bs. Face the facts. Obama will win and Clinton will lose.

    April 7, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. therealist

    Obama will not win FL or PN. Two must win states for the dems in the general elections.

    April 7, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Obama support in Iowa

    It's not the first controversial thing that's come out of the Clinton camp. Does Hillary really want to make millions of Obama supporters angry? How does that translate to a win? Another example of her poor judgment.

    April 7, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. moderate dem

    Florida, Texas, Ohio? We'll hold our breath for PA

    April 7, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Barb

    Another reason Obama is ahead is a flawed Caucus system! Any time you have a Caucus that differs greatly from that of the popular vote more than once something just isn't right!

    April 7, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Veterans for Obama

    Its an illogical point...is anyone actually trying to sell this dribble?

    April 7, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. marty from Indiana

    Once again she wants to move the goalposts. Now she want to disenfranchise the votes of dozens of states and thousands who voted for Obama. How pathetic

    and yet she screams about the votes in Michigan and Florida as if those votes are really the most important. She will do and say anthing to get elected. She reminds me of a spoilrd child who wants to have her way or else!

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Dave in Orange County

    Wolf, who says Schwarzanegger is popular in California?!

    He's calling for HUGE budget cuts to education and admits he has screwed up on the state budget.

    Schmuckengger can't help McCain here.....

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Realistic

    After she barely wins Pennsylvania, the goalposts will change again - this time the Clinton camp will argue that the candidate with the LOWEST count should win the primary.

    Get ready for it.

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Julia in Eugene, Oregon

    OF COURSE! Because we all know that if you win a state in a PRIMARY, you are guaranteed to win that state in the GENERAL election.

    It's about Iowa...
    It's about New Hampshire...
    It's about Super Tuesday...
    It's about the delegates...
    It's about the superdelegates...
    It's about the popular vote...
    It's about Michigan and Florida...
    It's about Ohio and Texas...
    It's about Pennsylvania...
    It's about hearing all the states...
    and now it's about the Electoral College...

    And we wonder why the American people are tired of the same old Washington B.S.???

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. OlvrWhit

    Clinton makes a good point. I am not sure Obama can win those large states that Hillary has won. I also see an Obama backlash in Michigan and Florida that will cost him those states. Sure he holds the leads in delegates, but some of those wins have to be questioned as caucus elections are not very representative of a state. Many of those elections have scandal of some sort tied to them and no one seems to care.
    I think Clinton will be the strongest candidate and I fear a lot of her base will sit out in protest over the treatment of the media. Without Clinton supporters, Obama can not win.

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. bhoho

    what a bunch of BS. Next Clinton is going to be counting the cars that go through the McDonald's Drive Thru

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Katie from Boston

    Last time I checked, wasn't the United States a democracy?

    ... and honestly, Hillary, you cannot say that the POPULAR vote doesn't matter, especially if you plan on representing the PEOPLE.

    April 7, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Jim

    She disgusts me.

    April 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Bosnian Sniper

    Hillary should befriend General Petreas and attempt a Military Coup....that seems about as likely and logical as this suggestion.

    April 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Dane

    Quite honeslty, no matter which canidate wins the democratic nomination will take the majority of the democratic votes in november. No democrat is going to have McCain in office.

    April 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Red Dog from ND but now in Floida

    Clinton is just grasping at anything to make people think she is winning. She needs to give it up she is a loser and a liar.

    April 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. dave

    the clinton argument in effect boils down to: which candidate can carry the most states in Nov 08? it does not necessarily translate that if a primary candidate carries a State in the spring, that the party nominee will carry the same state in Nov..... and, actually, this would require a good degree of historic research on what candidates won which states in their respective primaries, going back, let's say, 20 or 30 yrs.... right now, for example, the clinton people are saying that there is no way that Dems can carry MT or WY or Miss or Neb in November, so who won or wins the primaries in those same states in the spring does not carry a lot lot of water.... while, so the argument goes, the Dems will carry NY and IL and CA anyway in the fall, so who cares... oh wait, that is the obama argument.... the point being that how a state goes for any primary candidate in the spring probably does not matter a big deal when rating a nominees strength come November...the truth of the matter is that both mccain and obama have much greater strength amond indie voters than HRC, and that will upend the process to some unknown degree... those states which the dems considered as solidly theirs (such as NJ, WA State, OR, CA, maybe NY and IL) are now good territory for mccain... while other states that the Repubs considered to be solid in their camp (MISS, VA, CO, IN) could be brought into play by obama..... for the simple reason that both mccain and obama can pull indies and the other party into their camp (coalition)..... that is the really big story of this election, but whether one can read the tea leaves on who won the state primary elections, that is another more difficult matter, because a guy like obama should not be doing well in MT, WY, NB, etc....

    April 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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