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. Clinton/McCain

    What's wrong with these superdelegates.? Obama predicted he would win Indiana by 7 points. He lost it by 2 points. He won neighboring states of Virginia and South Carolina by nearly 30 points, but could only win North Carolina by 14 points. His support is waning. This unprecedented bias in the media to kick her out has made me even more furious and even less likely to vote for Obama in the general. I voted for Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004 and Casey in 2006. I refuse to vote for an illigetimate nominee who is where he is today because of the media bias.

    May 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Mike in Houston

    Looks like the democrats would rather go with someone with no experience, no policies, no plans and no details than with someone who at least has some experience.

    This is a conscience vote, a feel-good measure that everyone thinks will end any racial divide in the US. What an enormous price to have to pay.

    May 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Relevant

    McCain -WILL- overturn Roe v. Wade.

    In my mind, that is ALL you need to know and consider, when making these ridiculous claims of wanting to vote for him to "punish" your Democratic party.

    May 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Shon

    Based on the comments here, Hillary's supporters are just as dumb as the media reported. I was hoping it wasn't true, but I see otherwise.

    Now we all know that Republicans only look out for the "well off" population, so if Hillary's low income, uneducated supporters are willing to vote for McCain then let them...but I do hope they're not expecting McCain to "reward" them for their support.

    May 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. tbone

    Man, the politicians of the world are definitely proving to be typical politicians - wishy washy, back-stabbling, inconsistent, disloyal liars.

    May 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Sharon - NC

    When is John Edwards going to publicly endorse Obama?

    May 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Adam

    Good bye Obama. And Mccain wins in a landslide. Lost my vote today Obama.

    May 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Anonymous

    I just won't show up to vote if Obama is the Democratic nominee and I do know a few others that agree with me. I think he talks a big talk but doesn't realize what it is going to take to make all these promises of change happen, he's promising to much, he's all talk. I do have a hard time seeing him being elected president if he goes up againts McCain.

    May 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Ugo

    Park more, I'm sure the Obama movement can do without your vote. You are less than a bleep on the radar!!!! Loser!!!

    May 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |

    There is a God, Thank you Jesus!! God knows that this country needs Barack!

    Please fellow American Citizens! Let's put aside our differences and come together with our Party and support Mr. Obama! He needs us and we need him!

    Barack Obama 2008

    May 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Jen

    Thanks for Coming to your senses DeFazio.!!!

    May 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. David, Silver Spring MD

    Sharon Minnesota, you should have listened to your daughter and read the book. Instead, you allow yourself to be influenced by the media you say is slanted.

    May 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. After further review,Texas

    Finally, a slow and agonizing end in sight for all the Republicans and their stolen election,warmongering and outright greed.

    May 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Jason Menz, CA

    The only arrogance I see is that of the states themselves: Ignoring the rules laid down (and which they agreed upon.) I find it incredibly disheartening to see the supposed leaders in a major organization such as the state party chiefs KNOWINGLY break the rules and then try to call themselves 'victims.' I see this as a microcosm of the entire party process: Full of cheats and swindlers.

    May 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Anne Fletcher

    I am sickened by the amount of educated people I have spoken to who say they will vote for Obama because he is Black. The Obama platform "We need a change" was the Kennedy platform. I hope Obama doesn't inherit their legacy.

    May 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Ryan

    Obama supporters are just rude. Go McCain!

    May 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Arnold

    We are not stupid. We want to save our country from you kind of people, that is why we will support McCain. Second, Obama is going to turn this country into a third world. His communist ways are just going to make it all worse. If you think bush economy was bad, just try his communism, your are going to beg to have bush back. And for the war, if you don't want to fight don't join, if you don't care for this country then leave and go support Iraq.

    May 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Texan for Obama

    Well said Kevin. Hopefully commenters listen and take heed. We need to come together to make our candidate, Obama, President. McCain is certainly not the answer.

    May 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Serious Voter

    You Obama supporters can just keep on gloating but you better start practicing saying President McCain. No true American will cast a vote for Barack Huesein Obama.

    Take it to the convention floor, Hillary!

    May 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Mauri

    As one geriatric to another Geriatric, all of you Obama rah-rahs should know that the sooner your knight in shining armor is declared the Democratic Party candidate, that's how soon you will begin to witness to the opposing party attack and destroy him. And to all of you who call us "Clinton disgruntled losers," you should know that we're not voting for McCain because we're disgruntled, it's because we know who is more experienced and qualified. We've learned our lesson: No more rookies in the highest office of the land. And we're not Republicans either; we're independent in thought and decision. That's the beauty of this country; we are free to make a choice, so you make yours, we'll make ours.

    May 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. eddie

    I'm a selfish fool and I rather vote for McCain and see my country descend further into darkness than vote for a candidate that beat my candidate fair and square using less divisive attacks and by managing better his campaign. I love Clinton more than America !

    Clinton 08

    May 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. Jeff H

    CNN, do you have any hint of journalistic integrity left?

    Using words like 'defect' on your front page to describe the motion of a superdelegate away from Hillary Clinton is atrocious. Defect is a word that has connotations to traitorous actions, where in fact no such traitorous actions are apparent. Attaching such words with such connotations makes for a subversive subconscious attack on the character of Barack Obama.

    Plain and simple, Hillary Clinton won the support of this superdelegate. Then, she lost it. Please do not denigrate the character of this superdelegate for changing their mind.

    May 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. ree for experience

    I am sorry I just can't vote for Obama and it is not because Hillary is not the candidate. from what I have been reading, you Obama supporters are not going to vote if she is the candidate. Who is calling the kettle black.

    I am not voting for McCain because Hillary won't be the candidate. I am voting for him because I feel he can unite the country and he has experience.

    Obama supporters are doing more to hurt him then anyone else. Your comments are very hateful. You people are turning us off.

    I vote for whom I think will do the best job. He still has alot to learn and his wife has to learn to be proud to be American no matter who is running. I just can't see her as First Lady.

    May 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Brian

    Maybe not all, but I think the vast majority of Hillary's supporters will vote for Obama in November. All he has to do is focus hard on the issues. The biggest one that I think people are forgetting is:


    It will be illegal if another republican wins the white house. In the next 8 years, two and maybe even 3 supreme court justices will be chosen. And the oldest justices right now are the liberal ones. I don't think any democrat, no matter how angry, wants to risk that.

    May 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. the truth

    The truth is always bitter,honestly Hillary ran a great contest but she suppose to know politics is like sport,where you have h to accept your fate when the game is over.Another day may be your day.For the sake of America and Democratic party call it quit and support Obama.
    OBAMA 08

    May 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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