May 14th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton campaign: We're ahead in the popular vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Is Clinton ahead in the popular vote?"](CNN) - Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday Hillary Clinton has overcome Barack Obama in the total popular vote.

“Senator Clinton took the lead in the popular vote last night because voters believe she is the candidate best able to beat John McCain and lead our country," McAuliffe said.

Is he right? That depends on which measure of the popular vote is used.

Four different scenarios of the total popular vote have been kicked around: (1) only counting primary contests without factoring in Florida and Michigan, whose contests were not sanctioned by the national party, (2) counting primary and caucus contests without Florida and Michigan, (3) counting primaries and contests and Florida but not Michigan, and (4) counting all primaries and caucuses including Florida and Michigan.

Clinton trails in all four counts, but by significantly different margins. In the first scenario she trails by by about 397,000, in the second she's behind 699,000, in the third she has a 405,000 vote deficit, and in the fourth scenario she trails by 77,000 votes.

The fourth scenario does not give Obama any votes out of Michigan, where he did not appear on the ballot.

The only scenario in which Clinton would appear to have the lead is a fifth scenario that only counts primary states – including both Florida and Michigan – and excludes any votes cast in the party’s caucuses. In that count, Clinton currently holds a lead of about 225,000 votes.

soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Shannon

    I can't wait for Obama to lose in the general, all the hate filled Obama supporters, you know the ones for hope and change, will be in for a huge surprise when he doesn't win. Just read the posts about Clinton being proud of her daughter and choking up about her. Have you ever read such nasty remarks in your life. These people aren't democrats, these people are nasty hate filled women haters. Millions of Americans have voted for Clinton, and millions won't vote for Obama, good luck in the general, Obama supporters are losing the Democratic base with all their hate, and I for one am going do my best to show people just how mean spirited the campaign of hope and change is.

    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. MA


    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Sharon Minnesota

    Barack Obama is the best politician I have ever seen in my 67 years but he's the worst choice for president.

    I am so not voting for him!

    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. fred

    Go Hillary...another loser endorses Obama.


    LOL, Hillary supporters will not vote for the Anti-America, Anti-White racist Obama

    IF not Hillary....then McCain!!!

    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. mary nagata

    please cut this BS!

    why would you preferentially pick and choose voters?

    why the millions of americans in hawaii, washing, nebraska, wyoming, alaska, idaho, kansas, north dakota, maine, nevada, colorado and iowa who voted in the primary will not count? even though they have not violated any rules at all whatsoever?

    what a hyporite!

    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. bigben

    Obama and the dnc . It is time for war. We Clinton supporters will not vote for Obama

    May 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. T.O

    How ridiculous. She's behind in all metrics....Of course McAuliffe is the master spinner

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. EDW

    not for long baby, Edwards backs Obama!!!!

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. Wayne

    I think this amounts to a bold faced lie. She only leads if you DONT count about 7 states that went for Obama and count two states that dont count at all.

    If Clinton ever wondered why people dont trust her and her negatives are so high, and why uneducated people support her this is another reason why.

    28 cents savings per day is NOT a gas tax holiday.

    She does NOT lead in the popular vote.

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Jody


    All losers.

    Wake up, Democrats!! Only Hillary can win!

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. jim


    sorry, but that is my initial response. my next emotion is pity.

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Marilyn, Kansas

    OMG!! Why is she doing this? Even those who think she is a strong candidate know that this race is over. She looks like a desperate teenager hoping she still might get asked to prom. I really wish the DNC would say that there is a nominee and ask her to step down. It is time for the party to come together and support the candidate who ran the better race and is more likely to win in November.

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Drew, Central FL

    Sickening. Looks like they won't be satisfied until everyone is doing the same drugs and destroying the Democratic Party while they are at it.

    Bah. McAuliffe should've stopped talking after that blunder over "Big Russ". What an ignoramus! What an imbecile! What an ultra-maroon!

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. Phd in Mathmatics

    I have a Phd in Mathmatics..but I just cannot count these numbers. Sorry, but this is not what I was tought in school.

    Someone one help me.

    May 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Sluggo

    Obama has no chance at being elected president.

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. Paul

    Hillary is ahead and CNN is again being biased, they want to support the GOP by helping the weakest candidate win the nomination(Obama) but this is not your desicion, but our desicion.

    Florida and Michigan are part of the Union,. please do not try to mislead voters

    West Virginia sent a clear message to the DNC, we want our votes counted.

    Hillary 08- Yes she will!

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    Spining much?

    God, you'd think that it was Dana Perino talking.

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. KD

    How can you even say you have the lead when you count states that shouldn't be counted, and ignore others... she is still behind. Sorry Clinton supporters. It's only lies that they are throwing your way.

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Jane in DC

    Terry McAuliffe is an idiot-–who cares about West Virginia???
    He spins so hard, he should be a DJ.

    Hillary needs to RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN just about now.

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. mike g

    Funny math?? Wow, talk about reaching.

    May 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Walt

    Nick, if you do not believe in any numerical standard for becoming the nominee, then what on earth do you suggest? He leads in pledge delegates. He leads in super delegates. He leads in popular vote, and he has won the most states. I meand wow, what else does he have to do to appease you?

    Or is it that you have set the standard higher for him for reasons having nothing to do with his opponent or the primaries...

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. fred

    Count FL and MI

    We will NOT unite behind Obama!!!

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Timothy

    Nick, you obviously don't live in America. How can you say that. The number of voters who count are for him. The ones who don't count, well they don't count. Look at a map and see who has won the most primaries, Obama. Who has one more states, Obama. Who has less CLINTON. I know you trust the name but I smell more lies and deception, her campaign reeks of it.

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. JR

    Ummm, Mr. McAuliffe, you are on crack. Sorry dude. This argument is so flawed you should be ashamed to put it forward.

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. A fomer Hillary supporter

    If she's truly basing this on the fifth scenario then her math is a complete joke! So it's OK to include Florida and Michigan who defied the party rules but not caucus states that voted within the rules set by the party. I used to really admire her but now she's become breathakingly pathetic.

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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