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. R. Menendez, Albany, CA

    This sounds like Bill Clinton logic – a desperate and fallible argument.

    Look Bill, it's time to face some facts and redirect your mental prowess towards some sound reasoning. The only way you're going to get to frolic around the White House again is to convince your wife to cut a deal and go for the VP slot soon, before the window of opportunity closes. Surely you can see the sensibility behind this approach.

    Sooooooon Bill! Before it is too late.

    April 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Stan

    I have been making this point with my friends since February. Obama won Utah Primary but Dems have no chance there in November. He also won some Southern States that will go to McCain in November. Therefore, the state count does not really matter. Hillary has a chance to win Ohio, Penn and Florida in the general election, states that will really matter. She is the better candidate anyway.

    April 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Fonzi

    The so called "big" states New York,California,Florida (until recently) have always voted democratic and will vote for any democrat running against a republican in November with or without Hillary. Hillary won these states in these primaries simply because of name recognition.Come November they will still vote democratic with or without Hillary. In contrast, Obama has won states that often go republican. If Hillary could not win these states in the primaries it is remotely likely she will win them against a republican come November.Putting all these together Obama stands an exceedingly better chance to beat McCain come November than Hillary does.Q.E.D..

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Ryan P.

    Wow. Aren't those Senators supposed to work on something productive instead of trying to find an edge that is nonexistent. Look, HRC had the all kinds of advantages before the race started and I honestly thought that Obama had no chance before Super Tuesday. It is not that HRC fumbled so much but Obama campaign beat hers sound and fair. Why does HRC continuously try to distort the system to her advantages?

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. kim portland, oregon

    hey bayh and rendell--there's this group of americans, you may have heard of them before, they're called THE PEOPLE!!! political choices are SUPPOSED TO BE made by them, not politicians!

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Saad from NJ

    Eventually, Yes. But this nomination has gotten so turn off-i-shee that common sense rules don't apply anymore.

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. teresa c

    Hilary will win and you good old boys in the media will find yourself lost??? don't kid yourselves here of course she will win.

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. grant

    If hillary had all the votes, she would want that to count. She is the one who signed on with the two states and then ran in both. while the other guys didn't.

    Tell the demoRATS t stop blaming the govern of Floriday for pushing the schedule vote up, why don't they say something about the michigan vote. who has a demoRAT governer

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. NathanK

    The notion that Hillary supporters in states like New York and California will take a Republican over Obama in the general election is ludicrous.

    April 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Nick

    One thing is evident. Clinton supporters are not going to vote for Obama, and African-Americans are not going to vote for Clinton.
    Most of voters are not going to vote for Obama because of his church and his affiliation with his pastor.
    Frankly I don't see any patriotic American voting for Obama.
    McCain is going to be a new president....

    April 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. John in San Diego

    Forget about which states have been "swing states" in the past. Obama has demonstrated that he can attract enthusiastic voters in droves – at the polls where it counts. He is going to re-draw the red/blue map in November.

    April 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Steve

    Will you please just be honest Wolf and declare yourself a Hillary supporter. If there is a way to turn anything around for her you will do it. If Obama wins the nomination on the first ballot I expect you will have a story about why this is actually a win for Hillary. I can't imagine how you will do it but I have faith that in your imaginative little way you will spin it like that. You should start prefacing everything .. " the best political team for Clinton around". By the way, if you do just come out and say you are for Clinton – the viewers will respond .."duh".

    April 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Eric

    That's ridiculous. Do you honestly believe NY and CA would flip because Hillary didn't get the nomination? There only controversy is deciding just how asinine the argument is.

    April 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Enrique

    It's all spin. Hillary is desperate.

    April 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. JohnJlws

    Oh, please. Is Clinton trying to redefine the spelling of the word "desperate" or what? The winner is the one with the most votes, Bush Jr. Go away with a little dignity already, Britney; oops, I mean Paris; oops, I mean Bill and Hill.

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. K.C

    We have heard all sorts of arguments from the Clinton's camp why she should be the nominee.

    In January they couldn't wait to have this nomination wrapped up been the frontrunner back then.

    Today, everyday they come up with why she should be the nominee and still they say the want every vote to count, Still she was ready from day one.

    Please, let this election goes it cause and Wolf try and be objective and stop following blind people writing stupid articules like this.

    She can can not beat little know Obama in a primary decisively and all we hear is aguments. rPlease, let everyone know that there will be not argument against MaCain in November. You either win and loss. Period. She is not a Winner

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Jack




    CLINTON – 202
    OBAMA – 219

    PA – 21
    IN – 11
    KY – 8
    WV – 5

    THE TOTAL FOR CLINTON IS 202 + 45 = 247

    NC – 15
    OR – 7
    MT – 3
    SD – 3

    THE TOTAL FOR OBAMA IS 219 + 28 = 247


    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Adam

    She is 100% correct. Obama will not beat John Mcain unless he is a Vice Presidential Candidate on Hillary's team! Go Hillary

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. United democrats

    Then why not we do the primary in large states only?
    You can't change the rules in the middle of the game. There is no reason for Obama not to win NY or California

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Adam from Chicago

    Another twist? I think so.

    When will we realize that our Democratic nomination system is HORRIBLE? Only our twisted system would allow Hillary to twist the rules EVERY time in her favor.

    As far as swing states go...

    Here is an example of this logic... Hillary won by 3 percent... that means Obama has no chance in the general election.

    She could win these states against Obama, and loose them HORRIBLY in the general election to McCain.

    **This logic holds NO MERIT**

    Most Democrats will go with the democratic nominee. END OF STORY!

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. DemocraticBaron

    I don't understand the argument that the Clinton campaign keeps making. They won in these states AMONG DEMOCRATS. Since Clinton does not get many of the republicans who cross over to vote democrat, the other demographic she has won among is DEMOCRATS. Most, a very large percentage, of these democrats in these "crucially important" states will vote democrat in the general, irrelevant of the nominee because of 2 reasons:

    1) many polls indicate that many democrats are satisfied with both candidates
    2)It seems that this election season, the country is swinging more to liberal side.

    So when presented with the option between a Candidate with little economic policy knowledge (Mccain) and one who does (Clinton OR obama) most of these voters will vote for the democrat.

    The argument, then is USELESS.

    April 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Clintonfighter08!!

    To be honest,

    Hillary Clinton has the best chance to win this presidential election.

    McCain is going to swiftboat OBAMA with Rev. Wright..

    Obama has won the most redest of all states..
    States in the general election he cannot win..

    Hillary 08!!

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Not_Fooled

    Well of course she's going to make that argument. She's cherry-picking the one catagory she leads in and is trying to say that one area alone should decide the candidacy. It's also a fancy way of saying the guys in the little states don't matter.

    If the tables were turned and she was ahead in the popular vote but had lost the big states, would she be making the same argument?

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. tb

    Obama could win some of the states he lost initially if there were re-votes now, so the argument doesn't completely add up. Everyone gets another chance to vote on the war and economy and when one is selected it will be Dems against the GOP. The Dems will rally together to get rid of the right.

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. DM Arlington, TX

    Hold off all you Clinton haters, HIllary Clinton never said she would be honest, she never said she would tell you the truth, nor did she say she only hires honest people.

    For free trade she have Mark Penn.

    For housing for closure she have Maggie Williams

    Neither of the two are honest or trustworthy so they fit well in the Clinton Campaign.

    So Again Hold Off. Peter Paul Vs Hillary Clinton.

    April 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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