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. Enjoy It While It Lasts - Nov is Coming

    Glad you're all happy, Obama fans. Too bad you won't feel that way in November when we Florida voters send disenfranchising flappy-eared Barack's butt back to Chicago where he belongs. He can seek consolation in his racist church.

    May 9, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Say no to the monarchy

    Hillary supporter, you act as if Colin Powells endorsement means Obama supported the war. Hillary voted for the WAR. Obama spoke out against it.

    As for the Florida and Michigan mess, Hillary had her chance to seat the delegates earlier if she would have not signed off on the rules. Why did she not speak out about this injustice when the rules were being formulated or signed off on? The fact is she is a sore loser and you are just a loser if you would rather have McCain. So stay home and be bitter or vote for McCain because he will get smashed for his stance on Iraq, Health Care, and the Bush tax cuts for the Rich.

    May 9, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. jp/michigan

    If, Obama was an honorable man and believed in what he has been stating that he would be the President of all the United States, he would count the votes in Michigan and Florida. After all there are 50 not 48 states in the United States. But again that would rise the number of pledge delegates needed for nomination. Obama didn't play fair in Illinois 1996, why should he now!

    May 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Tyrone Nelson

    I don't know why this is not getting reported but Del. Jennifer McClellan, D-VA, has also switched her support from Clint to Obama. It was reported locally in Richmond on Wednesday. I have not heard in nationally yet.

    May 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Mike

    When will it sink into Hillary's thick head that she has lost ? The Democratic party should force her to withdraw.

    Obama 08 YES

    May 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. MM/ FL

    Hillary Supporter
    If you have to blame someone, it would be your and my state officials who made the decision to move the primaries up and disenfranchise millions of voters. Hillary would not have been concerned about our vote to be counted had she been in the lead. If she was concerned enough she would have fought for it before she got behind. She agreed to all terms before, now that she is really behind, it's a different rhetoric. She wants the voices to be heard.
    FYI, I am a Floridian, none of people I know voted in the primaries because we knew our vote would not make a difference because our state officials already decided we won't make a difference. I am a female, and I would love to see a female president, I just want to right female. Get real and look at the issues with an objective eye, not a biased one!

    May 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. GDC

    On another note. The name calling and derogatory comments toward anyone that doesn't support your candidate does absolutely nothing to help the process or country. It only makes it worse.

    End the bitterness.

    May 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. voter

    Hey Joyce–I'm afraid you DO need the Hillary supporters. She has the support of almost half the people in this country–democrats and independents alike.

    Obama has no chance in winning the general without her supporters. So I suggest you start being a little friendlier on these boards.

    That goes for JB, too.

    Kevin's post is a nice start.

    May 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. Gina - Lancaster, PA


    Obviously you are a Clinton supporter. If these endorsement articles were for her, I am sure you wouldn't be complaining.

    I know it's not easy. I would feel the same if my candidate was about to lose the nomination. But please try to keep an open mind and let's unite as democrats.

    May 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. Independent

    Welcome to the winner's circle gentlemen! It is the beginning of a new day in our country, with Barack Obama leading the way! Anyone see the news this morning? Clinton now wants to debate Obama in Oregon! She will just not go away. It really is sad, because she continues to destroy her own legacy. It is time to unite this party and roll over McCain. The Obama Express is heading the the Presidency!

    May 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. James, Jefferson City MO

    hmmmm i think it is funny that Hillary supporters are always yelling "trator" when a delegate switches from her to Obama, but yet you the so called Hillary supporters are saying that if Obama is the nominee..... you won't vote for him, now isn't it the true meaning of being a "trator" voting against your own party......Please someone explain this one to me??


    May 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Jean

    Obama has permanently split the Dem party and it will never be one until he is gone. I never planned to support Hillary, but Obama is an abomination and would bring the country to ruin within a few months. If he does not pull out of the race and take his Weathermen friends with him, the party will remain split and the Presidency will go to McCain by default. We will never unite under Obama.

    May 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Sharon Minnesota

    To all the people still crying over FL and MI, all of the candidates agreed to the rules in the beginning. Now that Hillary is in a tight spot, she wants to change the rules. Sounds alot like Larry Craig here. All of you who claim media bias against Hillary is also delusional. Remember when she was the inevitable candidate from the beginning?

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. melikeyhill

    a flood of new voters who want change will make obama president in 08, 80% of respondents say the country is headed in the wrong direction, sounds like plenty of votes for obama to pick up there....hillary supporters keep threatning.....its very clear you are not true democrats and selfish just like your candidate....who cares nothing about the party!!!

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Belvie Douglas

    What a sad and tragic day for the Democratic Party if they choose this route.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The 08 election would be lost and the party will slide into oblivion.

    This man is a total loser and the far left Dems who have hijacked the party will be its Waterloo.

    He will lose!!!!!!!!!!Any superdelegate who votes for him – especially the ones who have backed Clinton because they know better – should know in advance that they are responsible for the Republican's victory in November.

    Shame on all of you placing your personal ambitions ahead of America.

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. media man

    Do you know that the Clinton campaign rejected the Michigan plan that would have given her a 10 delegate advantage because she wants ALL of the delegates she 'earned' in a contests where OBAMA didn't campaign and wasn't on the ballot...

    Yes, the same contest that SHE SAID would not count because they BROKE THE RULES...

    I guess the Clintons make the rules, and break them when it suits them...

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. George

    clinton is one of the leaders of democratic party. she will continue to play important role but she has to give up her I can win attitude. she should drop and do something for unitiing the democratic party. we will not allow Bush stay in the white house for the third term.

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    The Chambers Brothers said it best 40 years ago: "Time Has Come Today!"

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. shelly in IL

    It doesn't matter anymore. Those of us who support Hillary will never vote for Obama because of the way the DNC executed their penalty to the states of Michigan and Florida. By not demanding that there be a revote, they took away her critical momentum, hence, her ability to raise the funds she needed to win.
    To Hillary Supporter:

    You are willing to jerpardize this election and have 4 more years of high gas prices and the loss of jobs because of your bigotry? I bet you don't even know why you are bias against Senator O! People like you are just that simple-minded.

    You are a liar and need to stop whinning, you are beginning to sound like her!

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. Amanda

    I am really impressed by Sen. Obama, this has been one of the best run campaigns I've ever terms of fianance and overall strategy, I've never been happier to see someone work their way to the top....I'm very proud of the way hes fought the good fight...I'm with you all the way Obama...

    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. SBAMA

    Hillary Supporter – why blame the DNC, blame Michigana anf Florida... They thought it was a lcok that Hill would win easy and that there primary date wouldn't matter. They thought wrong and now are paying for it. Hill didn't care until she realized she needed them.

    It's over, lets move on. We can't let McCain in the office. The guy is Bush III


    May 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    They are working on FL and MI voters/delegates. Decision will be made May 31.

    Let's be patient until then. The main thing is to stop all the foolish policies of the last administration.

    May 9, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  23. LTW

    Difficult to understand why *some* (not all) Hillary supporters are so sharp in their feelings about Obama. He has been, by all accounts, a respectful politician in running his campaign. Now this is politics, so no ones hands are completely clean. But if you compare the two and the MANY opportunites he has had stick it to her, he has not. Yet *some* of her supporter are so.................I don't know what to call it......fixed that they feel they can't support a person who has run his campaign honorably and is a very good representative of the Democratic Party.

    Trying to be objective and simply judging the candidates based on their words and actions (including how they've run their campaign), it is clear that Senator Obama has EARNED this nomination. It was in no way given to him. He wasn't even on the map. It was Hillary's to lose. Poor campaign management, poor choice of key advisors, and an inability to manage her finances responsibly are all demonstrations that she alone was responsible for her current position. It's over. Depart with honor.

    If you are a TRUE Democrat, do the right thing. This is not about an individual, it's about our country. If you can't see that, there must be something else behind your position. Remember, I'm just talking about *some* of Hillary's supports.

    Democrats '08

    May 9, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. For the love of this independent

    Clinton should and probably will finish the campaign. It matters not what the superdelegates do. Just like when McCain clinched the nomination Paul stayed. I know many folks are upset because they feel Obama should have waited his turn and really fear there may not be a woman candidate with this great a chance at winning for some time. However there are no turns in the presidential race and Obama's message of change may not have worked later on. I hope Clinton supporters take a moment and appreciate the fact we saw the greatest primary in american history. A virtual unknown took on a juggernaut and come out on top. Every little person in America should be able to relate to that no matter the color, gender, or age. And with all the wonderful professional strong woman trust me when I say it won't be long.

    May 9, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. General Question

    I read the comments left on all the Presidentail Canidates blogs. What type of thinking is going on in our society. One too old, one is female and last and seem to be the mosted dread is one is a black male. Discrimiation should not play into who we vote for it is about WHO can do the job. Who has the interest of the people as a whole in mind. I think they all do but we must do our own homework and stop relaying on eerything that is put out in the news.The News is bais and if we can not see that then we must work i=on our critical thing skills. The ability to weed out the facts from opinions, the fictions from one trying to push their own belief on oothers. Who ever wins, and I know who I am voting for, she be the best qualified individual for the position. It should not be based off of the underlying factors that so many is dancing around, throwing the hints out there without actually saying the words. SHould not be based off gender, race or age. As americans we are very much behind the world when it comes to a black man or a woman in office. Look at or history and you read behind the lines on why the three unspoken issues are there.

    May 9, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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