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. HJ

    Well I have to agree that the electorial votes are what matters.
    I just don't see how many americans are still on the Obama wagon after knowing what his faith stands for. I feel sorry for all if he wins the nomination because McCain will beat him...

    April 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Nancy

    IMO I don't think that just because Obama wins the nomination that he automatically will get the larger states that Hillary won, alot of the states that Obama won are generally Republican and they will more than likely be republican again in November.

    April 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Dave, Milwaukee WI

    Someone is getting desperate. By the way, Barack won Texas so everyone can now officially stop pretending that Hillary did.

    April 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. @americans

    Wolf, if Billary is honest about making every vote count, then let the man/woman with the poular vote win!

    April 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Caryn, Washington, DC

    The only thing that gives me pleasure is the knowledge that that woman will NEVER be president.

    April 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Questionable

    Go Hillary!


    April 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Elana, Melbourne Florida

    she is a joke. Of course Cali and NY will remain "blue" Maybe she should just say that all states that begin with an "A" don't matter, or if the number of Obama's votes in any particular state was an odd number, it shouldn't count, etc... desperation is an ugly place and the American public is smarter than she gives us credit for. That is the true insult of her campaign, her sheer belief that voters are no-brained lemmings that will just follow her right into the white house. Sorry, not gonna happen.

    April 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Sue

    This is the most specious argument they've made so far. You can't make predictions about the general from the primaries. Obama will obviously take most, if not all the blue states. He'll also be competitive in a lot of purple states and open up the west for the democrats. The Clinton campaigns smacks of desperation and it is very tiresome!

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Fred TN

    The bottom line is, she's not ahead in the popular votes and that's what determines the nominee. I think it's high time for Hillary to face up to some interesting music; the writing is on the wall!

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Jim Saxon

    Well, let’s see:
    We started with the rule that whoever gets the most delegates wins
    We moved on to most states
    Then there was popular vote
    Then only the states that Clinton had won actually matter
    Now, it’s the electoral college.

    What is next? Number of women in USA? Number of poor Whites?
    How about whoever the last Democratic President supports?
    Or why not actually take a poll of the lobbyists in Washington – that would really decide this once for all!

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Tom

    The rules indicate that the only thing that matters is who has more delegate. Based on my counting Obama will have more delegates when it is all over.

    The nomination process is over. Lets focus on McCain. not each other.

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Jack in NH

    contoversial? The primary is decided by delegates. The Clinton camp repeatedly moves the goalposts. The competitors don't determine the goalposts. You start the event with a set of rules.

    She shows her colors by how she "reasons" in the primary. It isn't pretty. Now she has us thinking she respects the Democratic Party rules the same way GHB respects the Constitution.

    Delegates – win the delegates! If you want to change the rules, there was a time for that. There will be another. It isn't in the middle of the contest. It isn't when you are losing.

    I was a fan of the Clintons...before this campaign.

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Louis

    Earth to Clinton supporters: Your candidate will come up with any rationale to justify superdelegate support. If Obama now wins more big states, Clinton will then say she should be nominated because her hair is longer.

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Go Hillary

    I hope this will get posted because most of mine never do. I guess all you want to hear is Hillary-bashing.....Anyway, I'm surprised this article was published here. This is very true and democrats need to begin realizing it.

    P.S. I'm so glad the Obama supporters can finally shut up about the taxes...Are you all happy, she released them? and the Clintons have paid their fair share of taxes.

    Go Pennsylvanians, do the right thing! Vote for the candidate that can beat McCain – that's Hillary!

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. White, Female Boomer for Obama

    Again trying to change the rules...PLEDGED DELEGATES!! She won against a democrat!!

    What credibility does she have either at home or on the world stage when she wants the rules changed, lies to look better and can't run a campaign??

    April 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Robb

    Hilary is trying yet another way to try to convince people that she's not losing. She has less pledged delegates, has won less states, and is losing the popular vote. How pathetic, the electoral college means nothing in a primary. John McCain won primaries in states too, it doesn't mean he will win those same states in a general election. What is she going to say next. SAD, SAD, SAD!

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Angel

    This is a joke the Clinton Camp will say anything.

    Obama 08 enough said.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Lucio, from NYC

    what an absurd argument.

    might as well, count up states whose borders have less than 3 right angles

    HELLO, Hillary campaign!!! it's time to drop out, and rally behind our candidate.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Tex

    It's not controversial, Wolf. It just plain stupid! Hillary's campaign is melting down.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Miguelito

    First its the delegates, then its the popular vote (with MI and FL of course), then its the superdelegates, now its only the big swing states!!!

    Hillary can't make up her mind about whats the most important metric so she keeps making up new ones where she could get ahead.

    The people are tired of this and the polls in PA are representative of it.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Gerardo in Los Angeles

    This new argument by the Clinton camp is hollow, as the rest of their campaign. Any Democrat candidate stands a big chance of wining California and New York. This primary has become annoying and absurd, the Clinton argument boils down to this: I should be the nominee because no matter how many states, pledge delegates, or votes Barack Obama actually gets, I am just better. Please, grow up and accept the fact that you ran a poor camp gain and are simply paying the price for your incompetence.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. margry

    Hillary is our only hope. No way can Obama win the general election. They will tear him to pieces. Vote Hillary all the way!

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Kodiak

    That is just about the most ridiculous thing I've heard since the notion that caucuses shouldn't really count. My question is, when Sen. Obama moves ahead in 'electoral' votes, where does her argument go from there? I've seen her surrogate's peddling this lately, and it seems just as stupid every time I hear it. Do they really think that if they say it enough, it will magically come true?

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Gav

    If they were to do cali over again Obama would win hands down.

    April 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Deb


    Obama is no longer a viable candidate-he can't win in the General Election and if we had known, what we know now, he wouldn't have made it this far-he would have been knocked out after Super Tuesday.

    April 7, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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