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May 6th, 2008
05:01 PM ET

Why can’t Democrats make up their minds?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's something that might surprise you: After a 16-month, often bruising fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, most Democrats aren't eager for either candidate to drop out of the race. After all the contests and debates, speeches and TV commercials, fliers and phone calls, the Democrats want the suffering to continue.

A new USA Today-Gallup poll finds 60% of Democrats say Clinton and Obama should keep campaigning. Of those who want a speedier resolution, 23% say Clinton should give it up and only 15% say Obama should drop out.

There had been calls for Clinton to get out of the race a while back, but they've quieted down some since her strong performances in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's looking increasingly unlikely the party will have a nominee until the uncommitted superdelegates weigh in.

This poll also shows most Democrats think the superdelegates should commit to a candidate by the end of June, which is what the party chairman Howard Dean is calling for. Only about a quarter say the superdelegates should be able to decide at the party's convention in August.

All this seems to suggest Democrats aren't too worried about the Clinton-Obama contest tearing the party apart. Instead, there seems to be a willingness to allow the rest of the voters to have their say.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the Democrats make up their minds?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Democratic Race • Hillary Clinton
April 9th, 2008
05:14 PM ET

Why have so many Democrats changed their minds?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You have to give the Democrats credit: when they put on a show, it's not boring. Chaotic, self-destructive at times and fraught with melodrama… but not boring.

In the beginning, it was the inevitability and coronation-as-formality for Hillary Clinton. Then Iowa happened. 94% white, the only place whiter is the North Pole, and a black guy kicked Clinton's butt. Suddenly Barack Obama was a player and nothing was inevitable. But Clinton bounced right back in New Hampshire, and it was on to South Carolina, where it could be argued Bill Clinton cost his wife every African-American vote in the state. Again Obama was cruising, right into the Reverend Jeremiah Wright explosion. But Hillary Clinton rode to Obama's rescue with tales from the tarmac in Bosnia.

Along the way a lot of Democrats have changed their minds about whom to support. Actually more than a lot. A new Gallup poll shows about 1 in 4 Democrats have switched candidates. And at the end of the day, it's Barack Obama who has been changing the most minds in his favor.

19% say they've switched their support away from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, while only 7% have gone the other way – away from Obama and to Clinton.

The mind-changers come in all ages and both sexes, but consist of more non-whites than whites. And most of the switching among non-whites has also benefited Obama. Once African-Americans saw that Obama could win in an all-white state like Iowa, the floodgates opened.

Here’s my question to you: Why have so many Democrats changed their minds about whom to vote for in the primaries?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Democratic Race
April 8th, 2008
02:25 PM ET

Who benefits from Pa.’s record Democratic voter registration?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It looks like voter turnout in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd could follow record-breaking trends set around the country this year.

Statewide, there are more than 8.3 million registered voters. That's only 50,000 fewer than the record set in the 2004 presidential election. And we're only talking about the primaries here. Officials say the numbers will go even higher as they continue to process applications that were due March 24th.

Chalk the huge numbers up to the excitement that seems to be bubbling over especially when it comes to the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And the implications are not good for Republicans. 4.2 million Democrats have registered in Pennsylvania so far this year... that's an increase of almost 14% from the 2004 Democratic presidential primary, while Republican registration has remained virtually unchanged at 3.2 million. This means Democrats now outnumber Republicans in some counties outside Philadelphia that have long been bastions for the GOP.

It will be interesting to see what an increased voter turnout could mean in the match-up between Obama and Clinton. Pennsylvania delivers 158 delegates, more than any of the remaining states. The polls continue to suggest that Obama is closing fast on Clinton's one time lead of more than 30 points. The most recent CNN poll of polls shows Clinton ahead now by only 6 points, 49% to 43%.

Here’s my question to you: Who benefits most from record Democratic voter registration in Pennsylvania?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Democratic Race
April 4th, 2008
02:18 PM ET

Should superdelegates make up their minds early?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Another day closer to the slow, painful, but inevitable end that seems more and more to be staring Hillary Clinton square in the face. Barack Obama has now drawn almost even with Clinton among the superdelegates.

Three months ago, Clinton led Obama by more than one hundred superdelegates. Now her lead is down to 28. Since March 4th, 17 superdelegates have publicly announced for Obama while Senator Clinton has actually lost one. They include New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, who had been appointed the state's U-S attorney by Bill Clinton. Plus former President Jimmy Carter - who won't disclose who he's backing, but strongly hints that it's Obama.

Some Clinton supporters are now suggesting that she needs to top Obama in the popular vote in order to have any chance of winning. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine says he may cast his superdelegate vote for Obama if Clinton doesn't win the popular vote. And Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha insists Clinton must win Pennsylvania and the popular vote. Polls there show Obama narrowing Clinton's one-time lead of more than 30 points to an average of just 11. Another Clinton superdelegate, Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, says he would "be stunned" if Obama isn't the next president of the United States.

One Democratic pollster told the Los Angeles Times, Obama is winning over superdelegates because "his arguments are more persuasive." Clinton has a whole team of aides who stay in constant touch with superdelegates in an attempt to keep them from deserting, but it's not working.

Meanwhile, DNC chairman Howard Dean is putting the pressure on the remaining undecided superdelegates – saying he wants them to make up their minds shortly after the voting ends in June.

Here’s my question to you: Should the DNC ask superdelegates to make up their minds early?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democratic Race
March 31st, 2008
01:54 PM ET

Bill Clinton tells Democrats to “chill out”

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Chill out. That's Former President Bill Clinton's advice to Democrats who think the race between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has gone on too long.

He says that letting all of the voters have their say will actually strengthen the party.

This comes on the heels of two senior senators, Patrick Leahy and Chris Dodd, themselves Obama supporters, calling for Hillary Clinton to pull out of the race - something she says she won't do.

Clinton told the Washington Post that she would take her campaign all the way to the convention floor if need be.

Barack Obama says that Clinton has every right to stay in the race as long as she wants to.

Meanwhile - Obama picked up an endorsement today from Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota... he's also expected to get the backing of North Carolina's seven Democratic house members. Party officials say that Klobuchar, like her colleague in the Senate, Bob Casey who endorsed Obama on Friday, had planned to remain neutral. Klobuchar is also a superdelegate whose vote could help decide the fate of the democratic race.

Another good sign for Obama is a new Gallup national tracking poll shows him with an eight point lead over Hillary Clinton, 51 to 43 percent. Over the weekend, Obama topped Clinton by ten points which was the first double digit lead that either candidate has had over the other since February when Clinton was leading Obama by 11 percentage points. A new pew poll out today also has Obama up by ten points.

Here’s my question to you: Bill Clinton says that Democrats need to "chill out" and let the election process play out. Is he right?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • Democratic Race
March 27th, 2008
02:06 PM ET

Clinton receives lowest positive rating since ’01?

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Sen. Hillary Clinton takes the stage with her daughter Chelsea before speaking at a fundraising event in Washington on Wednesday. Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton is taking a hit when it comes to how Americans view her.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton receiving the lowest "positive" rating in this survey since March of 2001.

Only 37% of those surveyed say they have a positive view of Clinton compared to 48% who give her a negative rating. That's an 8 point drop in her positive rating in just the last two weeks.

Also, for the first time, this poll shows there are more women who have negative views of Clinton than positive, 44% to 42%.

As for Barack Obama, he gets a 49% positive rating and a 32% negative rating. One Democratic pollster calls this poll a "myth-buster", because it shows the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy is quote "not the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign."

When asked which candidate can best unite the country, Obama comes out on top with 60% compared to 58% for the Republican John McCain and 46% for Clinton.

Overall, these poll numbers suggest that the negativity of the Democratic battle for the nomination seems to be hurting Clinton more than Obama.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if after all the campaigning Hillary Clinton's positive rating is the lowest it has been since 2001?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Democratic Race • Hillary Clinton
March 25th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Gore-led ticket good compromise for Democrats?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A Florida congressman is suggesting that a brokered convention for the Democrats could lead to some pretty unexpected results. In other words, forget about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Representative Tim Mahoney says he wouldn't be surprised if someone different is at the top of the ticket. He says a compromise candidate could be someone like Al Gore.

In a newspaper interview, Mahoney said if the convention is deadlocked and either Clinton or Obama suggested a Gore-Obama or Gore-Clinton ticket, the party would accept it.

Mahoney is one of the almost 800 superdelegates who would get to cast a vote at the convention. He hasn't endorsed either Clinton or Obama yet, but has been wooed by both.

It's an interesting idea. It's not clear if Democrats really know what they're in for if this nasty battle continues all the way to the Denver convention. The way things are going, there could be enough acrimony by the time it's over that neither Obama nor Clinton would any longer be viewed as electable.

Al Gore has insisted he won't run and that he has "no plans to be a candidate", although he's also said "I see no reason to rule it out entirely." And, it's worth pointing out that the former vice president and Nobel Prize winner has not yet endorsed either Clinton or Obama. So stay tuned.

Here’s my question to you: If a ticket led by Al Gore somehow emerged from a brokered convention, would that be a good thing for the Democrats?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Democratic Race
March 20th, 2008
01:53 PM ET

How likely is it Obama will be the Dems’ nominee?

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Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton at the CNN/LA Times/Politico Democratic presidential candidates debate at the Kodak Theatre in January. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"If there is a road to victory for Hillary Clinton, it is a fairly narrow one."

That's according to a piece in today's New York Times.

It suggests Clinton needs three breaks in order to grab the nomination from Barack Obama. First, she needs a significant victory over Obama in Pennsylvania on April 22nd in order to support her argument that she can deliver big general election states. Then she needs a lead in the popular vote by the end of June. And lastly, Clinton has to convince superdelegates she's the best candidate.

But here's the problem: winning the popular vote seems a nearly impossible task for Clinton if these revotes don't happen in Michigan and Florida. And at this point, it looks very doubtful they will happen in either state.

Also, Clinton's campaign had hoped the uproar over comments made by Obama's pastor would make voters and superdelegates question his candidacy. It might be too early to tell, but it seems like Obama's speech on race was well-received and praised, even by some Clinton supporters.

Meanwhile, President Clinton's former political adviser, Dick Morris, is even less optimistic about Clinton's chances. He writes, "Senator Barack Obama has already won the Democratic nomination. It's over." Morris suggests Clinton can't catch Obama in the pledged delegate count, regardless of what happens during the rest of the primary season. He goes on to say the superdelegates won't override the will of the voters quote "unless Obama is in jail."

Here’s my question to you: How likely is it that Barack Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Democratic Race
March 19th, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Where is Clinton left without revotes?

 Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on Iraq at George Washington University, Monday in Washington DC.

Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on Iraq at George Washington University, Monday in Washington DC.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton is challenging Barack Obama to a rematch in Michigan and Florida.

Clinton made a last-minute trip to Michigan today to emphasize her support for a re-vote there, saying it's "wrong, and frankly un-American" not to have delegates from the two states seated at the convention. She also is suggesting that the outcome of the general election may be at stake if Democrats don't count these delegates. Of course, the DNC penalized both these states for moving up their primaries.

Obama, whose name wasn't on the ballot in Michigan, hasn't yet supported or opposed the plan, but his campaign has raised a number of questions about the proposal. They say that a revote wouldn't make such a big difference in the overall delegate count and that the Clinton campaign is trying to change the rules to suit itself.

As for Florida, plans fell apart over the weekend when the state's Democratic Party said there won't be any revote.

For Clinton, though, many see the revotes in the two states as a necessity. Big victories would help her close the gap with Obama when it comes to pledged delegates as well as the popular vote. Two more victories would also bolster her argument to superdelegates that she can deliver key states.

But the argument to seat Florida and Michigan's delegates based on results from January seems to lose some weight when you consider this: a new study by a Wharton professor suggests that about two million more people would have voted in Michigan and Florida if they thought their votes would have counted.

Here’s my question to you: If neither Florida nor Michigan holds revotes, where does that leave Hillary Clinton?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democratic Race • Florida • Michigan
March 5th, 2008
06:02 PM ET

Should Michigan, Florida be silenced?

 Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Miami for a Univision debate in September 2007, Miami, Florida.

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Miami for a Univision debate in September 2007, Miami, Florida.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Don't silence more than 5.1 million Americans. That's the message coming from Florida and Michigan.

The governors of these two states, Charlie Crist and Jennifer Granholm, have joined together calling on the Democratic and Republican National Committees to seat their delegates. They say it's "intolerable" that the political parties have denied their citizens their votes, especially since Americans have turned out in record numbers to exercise this right.

But Michigan and Florida were penalized for moving up their primaries. Hillary Clinton is claiming victories in both states, despite the fact that Barack Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan and didn't campaign in Florida. She included both states in last night's speech as she rattled off all the "battleground states" she's won so far.

Clinton wants the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be seated at the convention, saying it would be a "mistake for the Democratic Party to punish these two states." Two of Clinton's backers – Terry McAuliffe and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell – are talking about the possibility of a re-vote in Florida and Michigan.

When it comes down to it, these delegates could make a big difference to either Clinton or Barack Obama considering that neither candidate can win enough delegates in the remaining contests without the help of the superdelegates.

Here’s my question to you: What role, if any, should Michigan and Florida play in picking the winner between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Democratic Race
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