May 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama closes in on Clinton superdelegate total


Watch Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley report on the latest superdelegates totals.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama closed in Friday on Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead among supedelegates, the Democratic party officials who hold the balance of power in determining which one will be the party's nominee for president in November.

The Obama campaign announced the support of two new superdelegates early Friday morning - including one who had been backing Clinton. Clinton also announced a new supporter, maintaining her lead over the Illinois senator, but only by a handful of delegates. (Related: Another Clinton superdelegate jumps ship to Obama)

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon announced his support for Obama to his local newspaper, the Oregonian. Oregon voters are currently in the middle of primary voting, which takes place through the mail.

Rep. Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat and an early Clinton supporter, told the Newark Star-Ledger he was switching to Obama. He is the third person to leave Clinton for Obama in the past 72 hours. Former Sen. George McGovern, D-South Dakota, announced Wednesday he had decided to switch, as did a Virginia superdelegate.

Rep. Christopher Carney of Pennsylvania said he was backing Clinton, the Clinton campaign told CNN.

Obama's huge victory over Clinton in North Carolina's Democratic primary Tuesday, coupled with a narrow loss in Indiana, put him within striking distance of the number of delegates he needs to cement the nomination.

A flood of endorsements from superdelegates could virtually end the race.

Obama paid an unusual half-hour visit to the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, where he was greeted enthusiastically.

He denied that he was campaigning, claiming he was "just saying hello" to members of the House. But he said he "let them know we'd love to have their support. There are some undecideds" in the House, Obama said as he was leaving.

"If they have questions for me, then I'm certainly happy to respond to them."

There are more than 70 undeclared Democrats in the House.

There are now more superdelegates than pledged delegates among those who remain undecided. Clinton's lead over Obama among superdelegates is now the narrowest it has been to date.

soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. Susan, PA

    This is not right!!!!

    Now its turn for CLINTON again. White House is owned by Clinton-Bush.
    Superdelegates please vote for CLINTON. Its her turn now.

    May 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Iris

    All you Dems voting for McCain, I don't want to hear a word or see one sad eye when there is a draft for this stupid war, and your child, husband, brother, or uncle is sent to Iraq..
    Don't let your anger skew your judgement! Lets all be smart for a change and unite.. is that so foreign to us?? Hilary even said do not vote for McCain.. if you support her, support her views!
    Please drink some happy juice and rid yourself from this spiteful spirit brewing within.

    Obama 08

    May 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Jennifer Ohara

    Obama will not win the election. It doesn't matter who flip flops over to his side.

    Rezko, the Reverend Wright connection, his wife's remarks, his lack of experience and his poor debate skills are going to destroy him.

    McCain is an old pro who knows exactly what he's talking about, AND he's pretty consistent. He will nail Obama to the ground. Hilary is a great debater and she's not afraid of McCain. She could have won this. But once again, Dems are shooting themselves in the foot, which is just fine with me.

    May 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. North Carolina Gal

    To the Hillary Supporter that stated that the Clinton supporters will never vote for Obama, it is a sad day when people forget the many reason for us to put a nominee Democrat into the Whitehouse.

    Rules are Rules. It’s not like HRC and the voters in these two states didn’t know before they made this decision.

    I’m sure you know like the rest of us and understand, rules are put into place for a legit reason, thank God someone knew one day someone whom proclaim to love our Country and is a true Democrat would try to change them to benefit his or her own needs.

    You have shown me you mean what you say and say what you mean, you have me and my family vote Obama…………..

    May 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. English Teacher


    We need the support of ALL democrats to defeat McCain. Don't add to the problem by insulting other democrats. You don't speak for me when you say "we" !!

    May 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Flem


    Buh Bye, Heinous Lady...Buh Bye.

    May 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Jen B.

    I do not understand the logic of those Clinton supporters who say they will vote Republican should she fail to win the nomination.
    Where is their loyalty to the Democratic party and all it represents?

    May 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. MD

    Once Obama overtakes Hillary's superdelegate count, she is psychologically finished. Of Course, like her cat, Socks, Hillary also has nine lives.

    May 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Uncle Sam

    For those, including Sen. Obama, who persist in the notion that, by electing Sen. McCain, we are maintaining the status quo by continuing the Bush legacy, I must strongly disagree. His entire life, John McCain has exhibited the character traits of independence and nonconformity. Such attributes have not always been appreciated by those around him. Exemplified by his trials by fire as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he came to the realization that his life should be dedicated to a cause greater than himself – that of serving the country he loves – and to do so regardless of the personal risk. As a consequence, his political career has been unconventional and unorthodox, which again has upset many, including those within his own party. Sen. McCain has his share of flaws, but even his critics begrudgingly admit that being his own man is not one of them.

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Mika- NC

    It's only a matter of time before he is the nominee! It's obvious that Clinton is in it to work down her debt total at this point! I seriously hope that Obama does not have to pay her debt total. If he has to pay it would be unfair b/c she should've quit months ago..........

    May 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Paul

    You really can't say Obama is stealing this from Hillary. It wasn't hers in the first place. Besides, what happened in MI and FL is based on rules that Hillary voted for.

    May 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. English Teacher


    We need the support of ALL democrats to defeat McCain. Don't add to the problem by insulting other democrats. You don't speak for me when you say "we" !!

    May 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Phong Nguyen

    Nothing is over until a nominee is called! Politics is not for faint-hearted ones! Black voters, young voters, and independent voters will not be enough to carry S. Obama in November! The disenfranchised voters in Florida and Michigan will make their voices heard in November thanks to the stupid DNC!!!

    May 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Tonya Juanise

    And for the people who keep saying Obama can't win the states that he didn't win against Hillary (NY, CA, OH, PA..just to name a few) which would be his downfall if he does get the nomination in November, let me say this- If we all COME TOGETHER, HE COULD BEAT MCCAIN! It's just as simple as that. Stop being so divided!!! Let's put all our differences aside and think about not only how most of us are struggling to get by due to the outrageous gas and food prices but let's think of OUR CHILDREN! Every decision made now will affect them later on down in life.

    As for the FL & MI matter....

    I believe there should be NO revote for FL and MI. Follow the rules and you won't have to deal with the suffering consequences. NOBODY forced them to push their primary dates ahead. I'm still tripping off that ish, how can you break the rules but cry when you're punished for it? That's insane.

    May 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Midwest

    It's a sad day when this is all our country has to offer....a power hungry female trying to make history and an African American, who together with his wife, dislike the country they wish to lead. Wake up people.......neither of these are worth the Presidency of the USA. And for all of you students who have taken this country to its knees with liberal ideas, wait until you get a job (if you are able) and have to pay taxes under either of these two candidates ! You'll certainly want CHANGE then !

    May 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Michael

    Definitely time to wind this thing up so the Dems can focus on McBush.

    May 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Scotty

    This is good for the party and the country. Her plan to get to the convention and try and steal the nomination is falling apart. Let's kick some McCain butt!!!

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Chris, Denver CO

    Come on superdelegates, let the flood commence.

    Yes We Can!

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Judy Malandrucca

    Look, Obama is a uniter, not a divider. With all that Hillary tried to crush his campaign and make herself look good, she didn't win with her old political tactics, which is why we need Obama. He stood with many chances to really get down and dirty. The sniper fire. An outright lie and she said it was because she was exhuasted, but if she's that exhausted, who will answer that 3am phone call? Why did Obama wait so long to denounce Rev. Wright? Because he is a uniter and wanted to give the Rev. the benefit of the doubt and because he has been going to that church for 20 yrs. (Married there, children baptized, etc. I'm sure Obama tried to talk w/the Rev. and then when Rev. Wright came out again, Obama had no choice but to denounce him. Obama's judgement is a lot to be desired. He won without playing dirty politics, with having racial slams like Hamas thrown at him to inexperience to Rev. Wright. Hillary, we know that your true reason for wanting to win is for fame and power and you will do anything to get nominated. If Obama had the clout, speaking of (Bill Clinton) and daughter to travel around the country to support him, I'm sure Hillary would have said over and over again, well of course I didn't have that support, just like she speaks of the money that Obama outspends her 3 – 1 and exagerates the numbers of everything brought up as her supporters do. As far as Hillary's voters, not voting for Obama in the fall, they show poor sportsmanship and are as bad as Hillary is. How are we to be united when you have voters saying they would rather vote for McCain if Hillary is not nominated. It's totally childish. I am very disappointed in the people of America. Obama rocks! He sticks to the rules. He will make a GREAT AND HISTORICAL PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Chooch

    I cant believe how stupid Barrack Obummers supporters are. Do you idiots not realize he will never win a general election? Why support someone for the Presidency that cant win it. At least Clinton had a chance against McCain. Obummer has no chance to be elected, he may well win the democratic nomination, but he will never become president. All the ranting and raving by you fools is all for naught.

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Living in the USA

    The party at Oprah's house is gonna be off the chain.

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Tonya Juanise

    The Democrats NEED TO COME TOGETHER! God how many times must we say this? If we stop being so BLIND we would realize we need a democrat in the office or we will see McCain running Bush's third term. I understand that we may want our candidate to win but if push comes to shove and it doesn't happen, don't give up and cry about it. Vote in November whether it's for Obama or Hillary. I am a Obama supporter but if he doesn't clinch the nomination I will be behind Hillary. We need to stop all of the bickering and look at the issues here at hand. As someone stated above, are the gas prices not high enough? Food prices not high enough? I mean our economy is in the worst shape ever since I've been on this earth thanks to Bush.

    I can't understand how ANYONE could support McCain but then again the Americans did vote Bush in for a second term. Stupidity at it's finest.

    Please don't be stupid again.

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. RM

    What is up with these switches? Can't these people make up their minds?

    This is so SAD!!!


    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Obama Supporter

    I'm a Republican, but very impressed with Sen. Obama. I will be voting for switching camps and voting for him in November. Thank God it's not Hillary up against McCain, then I wouldn't have anyone to vote for! Is McCain the best the Republicans can do? Sad...

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Shawn D Turner


    The DNC did not punish the people of Michigan and Florida. Their local govt did by moving up their primary. Which is against the rules. All the other state played by the rules so should they.

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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