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. Doc, Montello, Nevada

    Another lie. What else is new?

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Stop Lying, Hillary!

    How hypocritical. So she thinks Michigan and Florida's voters are being disregarded? How about voters in Caucus states? How about the hundreds of thousands of Michigan Obama supporters who didn't vote in the Primary, or voted for "Unaffiliated"? Should they be forgotten instead.

    This is over. Bring on McCain.

    Obama '08

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. TJ in Texas (Dallas)

    They call her pick-and-choose Clinton.

    OBAMA 2008

    Yes, we can.
    Yes, we will.
    Yes, we have!

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. jo.c Texas

    Hillary Clinton will be the best Presidential candidate when it is all said and done. She has made history against all odds, she can deliver without daily endorsement from those who obviously do not count with the voters, otherwise, they would still be in.

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Marilyn, Kansas

    These people have got some nerve. How much more selfish can they be to continue dividing the party for a lost cause? Hilary Clinton needs twice as many delegates as Barack Obama to clinch this. She needs over 70% of the remaining states/superdelgates. It is virtually impossible for her to achieve this. Even in WV where she won 66% she still did not hit 70%. It is hopeless and this is a shame on her and her campaign's behalf.

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

    New math...John Edwards.

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








    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. Lisa in GA

    Let it be guys,,, her tone today shows she is down and out.... don't rub it in...

    May 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Obama Mama

    Soooo.... caucuses don't count, but a state in which Obama wasn't even on the ballot does? The people of Iowa don't count, but MI and FL have been disenfranchised? Do they think supers are too dense to see the hypocrisy?

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. warm up that pantsuit

    you got nick – why should the candidate who gets the most votes be the nominee?

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    Do you think Hillary stay up at night looking for fairies and unicorns?

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. HH


    Terry pack it in.

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Mike

    By Hillary Clinton not dropping out of this race it shows just how selfish she is.

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Belle

    Against Lies....if you REALLY are against lies YOU would know there are 4 States in the PRIMARIES that do NOT count the Popular vote....only the delegate vote. They are: Iowa, Nevada, Maine and WASHINGTON.

    May 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. Sola

    Did Terry McAuliffe take Math in high school?

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. william

    If she believes this, she is frankly delusional.

    If she [her campaign] is saying this without believing it, she is frankly disengenuous.

    As Mark Twain might have said, she doesn't seem to know the difference between a horse and a horse chestnut.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Stacey

    I do have to agree that for someone who is so determined to "make every vote count", disregarding all the caucus states is the most bizarre sense of self vetting yourself ever.

    Michigan and Florida MUST count because they have the appearance of being "for" Clinton (which is HIGHTLY debateable). But oh nono, caucus states don't count.

    Welcome to Hillary-land, where only votes for her count.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Matt


    That is what winning an election is. Math. You get more votes you win. Plain and simple.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. Lisa

    It's funny that Obama is campaigning in Michigan. I wonder why?

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Joshua College Station Texas

    Now I think I'm 'choking up on the trail'. Give me a break!

    None of the scenarios consider the caucus-only states, because there is no widely-accepted metric for converting caucus results to popular vote numbers. If they somehow could, Clinton would be even further behind.

    What a joke! I'm laughing, I really am.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Frankie

    What Obama has failed to do is convince blue-collar workers that he is presidential material. Obama is a wonderful person but can he get us out of this mess??? He sounds convincing but I still don't see him winning in November, Hillary Clinton does lead in the popular votes and so did Al Gore in the 2000 election. Although I supported both Gore and Kerry; what the democrats failed to do in the past 2 presidential elections is choose a strong candidate. I believe Hillary Clinton is the stronger of the two candidates.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. YouAreAMoron

    Yeah, that's right. Let's just ignore the majority of the people. Let's let some delusional minority SELECT Hillary Clinton over Obama. This makes perfect sense.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. R

    I'm really getting worried. Are they going to do anything about Michigan and Florida? Will the voters there vote for Obama? This needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I honestly to think the Obama campaign realize how serious this is in the general election. NOTHING is being done.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    Nick in Las Vegas,

    That's how we elect our officials, popular vote. Majority rules. The nominee is not SELECTED they are ELECTED.

    May 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Sue

    The Clinton machine just zings this out to get the Edwards endorsement off the top of the Political Ticker. I don't know what points it gives them, since CNN effectively explains how convoluted their claim is.

    May 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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