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. Marilyn, Kansas

    Hilary CLinton only wants all voices heard if they are shouting Hilary. There is no scenario that her camp will support that is fair. And even by all reasonable estimates (including all primaries & caucuses and not giving Barack Obama any of Michigan's votes which is ridiculous) SHE STILL LOSES!

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. mike

    spin till you fall over

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. ltd1974

    To :Nick in Las Vegas– do you understand the process? The Clintons played a huge role in this agreement. The fact is that the Clintons didn't prepare or do there homework, like the Obama camp. Obama camp played by the rules, now all of a sudden the Clintons want to break the rules to count votes. The super's D are not playing that game. I understand your a Hillary supporters, but common sense is in writing on how this election will proceed. Please! Please! Please! read.

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Kwad


    For anyone insane enough to still be buying into this- you are laughable.

    As far as saying its not just a matter of racking up delegates.... Thats exactly what needs to happen in the general election.

    she will run the country like she ran her campaign- Deceit, Debt and other words that start with D- delusional comes to mind.

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Bob

    Twisted Math....

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

    Do the math Nick!

    May 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Don in Florida

    To Nick in Las Vegas; Then why go through all this primary mess why don't we just let the superdelagates choose our nominee? Get over it, Obama won fair and square. You guys need to stop trying to change the rules, the metrics and the goal posts in the middle of the contest. Every contest has a winner and a loser. Clinton gave it a valiant try and she came up short. It's time to move on to other pursuits. The Clinton campaign should be ashamed of themselves for messing up what should have been her nomination. They made tactical errors of judgements. It's no one's fault but theirs. If Clinton was my choice i'd say he beat her fair and square and i'd vote for him in the fall. It's time to fall in behind Obama our nominee.

    May 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. sophia nyc

    Hillary have some dignity.

    One America!

    May 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. linda from South Dakota

    well, hillary ?? when was the last time you looked at the popular votes? because,, you are behind and its time to hang it all up,,, you and bill can think up some other tatics or "lies" BUt you have lost hillary,, face the facts,, kiddo,, stop with the"wahhh wahhh wahhh" bacuse americans are now smart enuff to know that you would not and neva would be good enuff for president,,, bil and you need to realize lies dont always work ,, (hahahaha),,, grow up,,

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. rw

    Wow. Keep fighting the boys club.
    Why would Edwards wait until now...
    He must want VP and was worried that Hillary might get it.

    Can you say McCain/Powell?
    Good luck Democrats, you blew it.

    If Edwards can't carry white people for himself, why in the world would you think he could do it for Obama.

    Well, men women are 55% of registered voters, and for all you women who have not be railroaded by a guy who wasn't more qualified than you yet, well there are at least 2-3 women voters that have.

    Obama will not win these women, no respect.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Don't change the Rules

    I think the 2000 election court ruling in favor of Bush should have made it clear to Dems that American election is won by higher delegates and not popular votes

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Popular Vote should override everything since the DNC cannot conduct business correctly. We must include the votes in Florida.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Emiel

    Just as I am listening live to John Edwards telling what a great candidate HRC is, this fool McAuliffe keeps on trying to prove the opposite.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    Count all the votes. The votes in MI that were for OBAMA. Count those votes. The uncommitted votes were mostly for Obama and some for Edwards. Count those votes too.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Fred Atlanta, GA

    To NICK in Vegas if the MATH didn't matter then we wouldn't have PLEDGED delegates to begin with. So the MATH does MATTER you and the rest of hillary supporters need to realize that.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. fred

    If democrats delegates choice Obama as their candidate in Nov., They will be sorry for the rest of their life because Mccain will beat
    Obama by a mile. Only Hillary can beat Mccain easily with the white ,
    hispanic and asian american votes

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga



    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Proud West Virginian

    So Edwards comes out for Obama after CLINTON SMASHES Obama in West Virginia...what timing....I guess Obama needed something to pick him back up.

    Who cares if Edwards backs Obama....I personally do not believe that anyone's endorsement (OTHER THAN GOD) has much of an influence on the voters. The simple fact remains that if Obama does win the nomination...HE WILL DEFINITELY LOSE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION....HE SIMPLY CANNOT AND WILL NOT WIN WITHOUT HILLARY. Read it and weep.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Dee Okla.

    Do we want a president that can’t count, doesn’t know when we to quit, and will change the rules when things aren’t going way?

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Dr. J

    I think Hillary needs to take a serious look at stepping down. John Edawrds is now in Michigan endosring Barack Obama. All of his delegates are going to Obama. She is not leading in the popular votes. She is running out of money. Do the party a favor and leave on a high note.

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Robert

    Oh yeh, and don't forget all the electoral votes she has. And wasn't she just endorsed by Elvis?

    May 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. Sara from Arizona

    Obama 08', NO MORE CLINTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. sacto joe


    A lot of Repubs posing as Democrats are posting hate mail. They're trying to drive a wedge between us!


    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Eugene, Oregon

    Well in terms of votes cast by real people, the fifth scenario, i.e. all primaries is the only meaningful measure of popular vote. Caucuses do not count. Clinton's lead in the popular vote clearly shows that Obama is the sweetheart of the media and the Democratic establishment but not the American people. Beware November, with Obama at the Democratic helm, we will likely be doomed to another 8 years of Republican rule. The media will hold primary responsibility. Hope they can live with it.

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |


    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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