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. spencer

    All these superdelegates and John Edwards needed to have waited..They are trying to not let the people have there chance to vote.. Bad move Edwards...You are a hypocrite...Losers Backing a loser.

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Joe

    Pathetic on all counts. Why do you think Politicians get reputations as inauthentic, or, to speak more plainly– as Liars (?)

    Hillary should run as VP with McCain. Each are trying their best to damage the Democratic Party.

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Rich

    Thanks for the insightful analysis CNN! It's great that you're giving us the facts and letting us decide which argument we think holds the most water.

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Enough

    Maybe we can use her math to balance the budget!
    Also, how is she the best if 1) she can't obtain enough financial support to support her own campaign 2) her experience is based upon being first lady of Arkansas and the US 3) she can't win over independants who will flock to McCain rather than support her?

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Demecrat08


    Hillary's campaign is becoming almost laughable. Again, more half-truths. Nick, I'm sad to say, but it appears Hillary's campaign is discounting your voice (and vote) in the Caucus state of Nevada to make her numbers "appear" better than they actually are.

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Adam, Los Angeles

    Is Sen. Clinton dizzy, yet?
    Because she's been doing a whole lot of spinning!

    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. wood burns


    May 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. MP


    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Tony

    Disingenous at best...

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Sallie Mae, ExXXXXXX-Hillary Supporter

    More LIES LIES LIES from Hillary!?? How surprising! NOT!

    OBAMA – EDWARDS '08 & '12

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. vic nashville,Tn

    Why Edwards and Richardson endorsing Obama after their states primary finish
    If they endorsed before the primary it may help
    Edwards is not a supper delegate

    I check the popular vote today morning She is leading now
    my vote for Hillary or Mc Cain

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Michael Nordine


    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Gebeorge Napalotino

    It is really amazing how delusional the Clinton campaign folks have become. It is an insult to our intelligence to believe that any such white lies would have any traction!!! Trash!

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. keith, NV


    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Blake, San Diego

    It's too late to use that pitch to sway voters, and the superdelegates aren't that stupid.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. eddie

    Hillary has the hightest popular vote with michigan and florida, even with obamas illegal caucus votes. I doubt cnn will post this.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. I guess...

    I guess calling herself ahead in the popular vote is just a medium-sized fib opposed to a small NAFTA fib or a big Bosnia sniper-sized fib.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Now I don't like Edwards. He could have waited until after every last American has voted including Florida and Michigan to endorse Obama. He is just as dumb as the DNC, Barack and his supporters. BARACK CANNOT BEAT MCCAIN!!!!

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. A.

    Democrats, we need to come together. Stop bashing each other.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Katina From Connecticut

    she is a joke,... if she is president we will look like fools

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Carol, WI

    Just when I was about ready to make a donation to the joint Dem fund to help Hiillary repay her debts this same old tired argument comes out again. The Hillary campaign blames Obama for disenfranchising the FL/MI voters (even though that is not true) yet they disenfranchise all caucus voters. Don't people see the irony in that?

    On a separate note, if I start to see Hillary supporters back off the 'I'm going to vote McCain if Hillary does not get the nomination' rhetoric I will gladly contribute to the joint fund that will repay her campaign debt.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Obamanian

    Oh wow! She's really trying. "I'm ahead by my own(biased) counts"...she is too desperate, I don't know how her supporters are NOT seeing this. It's ok Hill. Obama will STILL win anyway...she needs to leave

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Okay, she's leading by what? If Michigan and Florida's flubbed primaries were counted? I live in Florida, most of the Democrats stayed home. I keep hoping she'll just accept defeat and help the Democrats win, but she is so selfish she cant just let go.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Misty

    Fuzzy and Corrupt Math: I am so glad she and her advisers will not be goin gto the White house.

    May 14, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. JJ

    I'm sorry but this is why Senator Clinton gets so much negative talk about her. This is exactly the reason why because of statements like this. So you want to count the votes in Florida and Michigan and leave out the thousands of voters in Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Washington etc etc. She continues to mock the Democratic party and their voters. The campaign either thinks people are stupid or are just downright delusional.

    May 14, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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