25% of Hillary Supporters Would Vote for McCain if Obama is Nominee?

From Salon.com’s War Room:

 Interesting result from a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: If their favored candidate is not the Democratic nominee, a quarter of Hillary Clinton‘s primary supporters would defect and vote for John McCain in November, while only 10 percent of Barack Obama‘s supporters would do the same.

It’s funny to read this after all the blustering that Obama voters were disloyal Democrats who would bolt the party if Clinton were the nominee. As I recall, Dean supporters were accused of the same such rubbish four years ago and ended up becoming some of Kerry’s most fierce and active supporters.

What I suspect the polling indicates is sour grapes more than anything. Hillary is behind now, and many of her supporters are bitter about it, so they’re saying there’s no way that they will vote for Obama if he’s the nominee. In a few months when the emotions are calmer, and if Obama is the nominee, chances are the vast majority of that 25% will end up voting for Obama.

More from the Salon piece:

Here’s another interesting thing — the Clinton campaign is promoting this stat, both in an e-mail from spokesman Phil Singer and in an item on its “Delegate Hub” Web site.

Yes, the Clinton campaign is using that data as a reason that Democrats should support Hillary. The funny thing about that is that the Pew poll they cite has Obama beating McCain by a margin that is 2 points greater than Clinton’s margin over McCain.

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22 responses to “25% of Hillary Supporters Would Vote for McCain if Obama is Nominee?

  1. I think this poll is absolutely correct. Every Democrat I’ve talked to has told me the same thing; if Obama is the nominee, they will be voting for McCain, but not as a result of “sour grapes.” Many of us know too much about Obama to ever vote for him. He is deceptive, and an unknown quantity. We have too may problems right now to “hope” he can do the job.

  2. So which is it? Do you know too much about Obama to vote for him, or is the problem that he’s an unknown quantity?

    And what evidence do you have that Clinton will be able to govern, much less get elected?

  3. It is both. I have researched his background, and he definitely does not represent the “new” kind of politics which he implies is one of his strong points. Just a few examples: The way the he obtained his first elective office by stabbing Alice Palmer, his friend and mentor in the back; his connections to Rezko and his unwillingness to provide full disclosure; his deception regarding the recent contacts between his chief economic advisor and the Canadian embassy, etc. He has been deceptive in the debates and in his characterization of himself and Hillary Clinton. He has misled the country regarding his alleged “continual opposition” to the Iraq war. I am also concerned about his unbridled ambition which led to his failure to have even one hearing in 14 months regarding Afghanistan or Pakistan on the committee which he chairs, because he was too busy campaigning. Regarding my statement that he is an unknown quantity, I was referring to his lack of experience and the vagueness with which he sets forth his positions. In addition, until just recently, he has receive a free pass from the press, and has not had to field the kinds of attacks that the Democratic nominee will most certainly face. Regarding Hillary’s ability to govern, as opposed to Obama, who has only held national elective office for approximately 3 year (much of which has been consumed by his quest for the presidency), Hillary has held almost two terms in the Senate. Senators on both sides of the aisle have grown to respect her ability to reach across the aisle to get things done. In the debates, I believe she showed a much more mature and intelligent command of all of the issues presented to her. And, I do believe that it is counterintuitive to think that someone as intelligent as Hillary who was a witness to history for 8 years in the White House, would not have learned valuable lessons from both the successes and failures of the Clinton administration, which will help her integrate into the job of President much more quickly.

  4. Correction: Hillary has been in the Senate from 2001, not almost two terms.

  5. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    On the Obama “scandals,” I’m just not seeing any “there”; the Rezco thing reminds me of Whitewater, and that Canadian story turned out to be BS.

    There was a time when I respected Hillary but was afraid that he would be ineffective as president bc she has been such a divisive figure. People like Michelle Malkin talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome, but they were the ones who invented a derangement syndrome caused by a president during the Clinton years. The hatred that many people have for her is beyond rational, and many Democrats in ‘red states’ lived through years of attending family functions in which they had to hear how Hillary was the worst person since Mao Tse Tung.

    I don’t think she can get past that, especially now after seeing how she has run her campaign and how she hopes to gain the nomination — by going around the democratic process and to somehow convince superdelegates that the only states that matter are the ones that she wins.

    I agree that she has done well in the debates while Obama has been merely adequate. But, Obama has demonstrated a strong command of the issues and will make solid judgments as president.

    And as much as Clinton partisans like to dismiss Obama supporters as “cult-like,” I do think it is important for a president to be able to inspire Americans to be better than they are and to believe in the country again. Obama clearly has that ability – Clinton has yet to show that she does.

  6. I have to strongly disagree with you. I have said since the beginning, that if Obama wins the nomination, I will be voting for McCain. Long Before all the “bitterness” as you put it, started. Unlike some, I don’t need to wait and see whether a candidate (or their supporters) leave a sour taste in my mouth. I can do the research and look at the facts myself. The only people Obama inspires, are leftist, young/new voters who don’t know politics or the issues, and people who listen to hype. I have spoken with more Obama supporters that are in need of some good old education, then any other candidate supporter. They sound like broken records. Mimicking what other people say on cue. Might I add, blacks are voting for him simply because he’s black. Don’t believe that? do a Google search about it. If that is how were going to pick a candidate, why don’t we just flip a coin?

    Let’s do a simple “ruff” break down in terms of the country’s two major political party’s and their division:
    McCain 50%
    Clinton 25%
    Obama 25%

    How is he inspiring Americans if your only talking about 25% of the population who feel inspired by him?

    I would rather have an independent in power then a leftist or a full blown conservative.

    I’m 25, a registered independent in the state of California and I will be voting for McCain if Obama wins the nomination. Otherwise, Hillary gets my vote.

    “be a leader, not a follower…”

  7. Nebu -right on!

    raford – “And what evidence do you have that Clinton will be able to govern, much less get elected?”

    Look who she rolls with. That’s one hell of a team if you ask me.

  8. Brandon, with all respect, I don’t see a lot of facts in what you posit, and your logic is, umm, tortured at best.

    You assert that the only individuals whom Obama inspires are leftists who don’t understand politics or the issues and are in need of education. Yet you offer no support for this sweeping generalization. Perhaps because there isn’t any. Indeed, polling data demonstrates the direct opposite – that Obama pulls far more strongly from the educated and higher income segments of the population than does Senator Clinton, who has polled more strongly among blue collar workers and people having less education generally. See http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/19/dem.polls/ as well as Marc Ambinder’s piece on his Atlantic blog yesterday regarding electability.

    I expect African Americans are drawn to an African American candidate. Just as old white women are voting for Senator Clinton. As with African Americans supporting Obama, they are her core constituency. So I’m unsure what point you’re attempting to make there.

    As to your “ruff” (sic) breakdown, I’m totally uncertain as to what point you are attempting to forward. These numbers appear simply made up. From where are you gleaning them?

    As for Senator Clinton’s “one hell of a team”, color me unimpressed. Mark Penn has turned out to be an ass clown of nearly epic proportions and as recently as last week was trying to distance himself from this “one hell of a team.” Patti Solis Doyle managed their effort into electoral mediocrity and near financial collapse, all the while keeping the candidate in the dark as to their pending insolvency – candidates don’t make their campaigns loans when things are going well. Her legal and strategy teams confessed one week prior to the Texas contest that they were uncertain as to how the Texas primary and caucus rules worked. So much for being ready on day one there. I could go on.

    Bottom line: sweeping generalizations and baseless assertions do little to encourage meaningful dialogue.

  9. Wow, GB. Here I was ready to respond to Brandon’s response and you did it for me, only much more eloquently than I would have.

    Thanks!

    Just one more point in response to Brandon, do you remember the legacy of the Clinton years in regard to the Democratic party?

    As I recall, Bill Clinton’s missteps led to to the loss of the Democratic House in 1994 that they weren’t able to recover until 2006.

    Bill Clinton’s adventures with Monica led to Gore’s ‘defeat’ in 2000.

    The Clinton team (w/Terry Mc at the helm of the DNC) didn’t believe in a 50 state strategy for the Democratic party, so they ignored ‘red states’ for years which has led to state Democratic parties in red states that are demoralized and just now seeing that they might have the ability to win in certain congressional districts, even if they can’t carry the state for the Democratic presidential candidates.

    Oh, and another point…how in the world can you consider Hillary Clinton to be an independent? On what non-triangulating issue has she acted independently of her party?

  10. I’m a life long Democrat who is voting for Hillary. That being said, if Obama gets the nomination, I will be voting for McCain. I’m pretty fed up with both parties though. The one thing I am tired of hearing is that Obama is pulling the well educated and affluent vote. That simply isn’t true. I have 3 degrees, including an MBA, and I make great money. Many of my friends that are voting for Hillary are the same. Please stop also thinking that I will change my mind come November. It’s either McCain or I will sit this one out. Unless Al Gore decided to throw his name into the game……I’d be all over that!

  11. For Clinton supporters who say they will vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination, I have three words for you: Supreme Court Judges.

  12. I can’t in a trillion years figure out how you would vote for one Democratic candidate but refuse to vote if the other is the nominee. If you liked the last eight years and want to solidify Bush’s legacy with at least a couple of SCOTUS nominations, then you’d vote for McCain anyway. If you’re among the 78% of the population who disapproves of the Bush presidency then how do you not vote for the Democrat regardless of who you prefer now? It’s like some kind of cognitive dissonance.

  13. Jenny, certainly there are affluent, well educated professionals supporting both candidates, but the numbers show they fall more to Obama than Senator Clinton. Just as the vast majority of older, white women are supporting Senator Clinton, but my 88 year old grandmother says she’s voting for Obama.

    Mark and Zen are precisely right in my opinion. I’m behind Obama, but if he fails to get the nomination (far-fetched, but you never know….) I will bite down hard and support Senator Clinton. And the biggest reason is judicial nominations. George Bush & Co. have had eight years to mold the federal judiciary in a way that I find not to my liking. Four more years under John McCain – whom I think we must assume would make nominations that would closely resemble Bush’s – would bring about a change in the judiciary that could take a generation to undo. These are, after all, lifetime appointments.

    Looking only at the Supreme Court, I think we must assume that in the next four years there will be an opening. Justice Stevens is – I believe – 88. Justice Ginsberg has had some health problems. One more conservative justice, and it would mark a sea change in American jurisprudence.

  14. This doesn’t even come close to rational thinking. Support Hillary one moment, then flip to a GOP candidate that opposes virtually everything she stands for the next as opposed to supporting the next Democrat in line? Where do people like that stand, exactly? What are their possible convictions? Today you support Universal Health Care, but without your favorite candidate, you’re dead against it? Today, you support withdrawal from Iraq, but if you don’t get the blond, you want to stay for 100 more years and colonize the Middle East? It goes to show, sadly, that large swaths of the electorate are politically comatose and basically cast their votes on a random impulse, as if they were flipping channels on the boob-tube looking for something more interesting to watch for the next half-hour. We’re in trouble if these polls are true. We’re a society of morons if these polls are true.

  15. Solid points, Todd. I really think that these polls must be taken with a huge grain of salt. Emotions are running high on both sides of this contest, and I’m sure a lot of Clinton supporters are frustrated that her supposed sure thing has turned out to be a bust.

    In past elections, polls showed a similar reluctance on the part of McCain supporters and Dean supporters to fall in line behind Bush and Kerry, respectively. And I think statistics show that given the benefit of time, each came around to the eventual nominee.

  16. Republicans, Independents and Democrats will rise up against the elites and defeat Obama and his most egregious friends. Patriots put America BEFORE party.

    Anybody but Obama is in full swing.

    No Obama Nation and Operation Turn Down are gaining steam.

    No Obama!

  17. Elites?

    Elite people like African Americans and students?

    Nice try, GOP troll.

  18. Todd, great question.

    Today, I spoke w/a friend of mine who is very pro-Hillary. He doesn’t like Obama, yet seems to not know why.

    It’s our job to make sure that people like my friend to at least keep their minds open about Obama.

  19. I am with denny i would never vote for obama. I live in illinois and i will never vote for a politician from chicago.Most if not all are crooks

  20. Dean, if you’re a Democrat, I’m sorry that you will choose not to vote for your own interest due to some prejudice you have against Chicago politicians.

  21. Let these right wing bimbos go. The Democratic party can do without right wing vermin anyway!

  22. Head Games Coming Your Way

    Three things the Obama-media will do:

    (1) Calls for McCain to just give up and quit, because the race is over.

    (2) Wild claims of Obama winning states that shock and surprise you

    (3) Repeated insistance that blacks and young people will decide this election,

    and they are all going to vote in record numbers for Obama.

    Brett Says:
    October 31, 2008 at 3:15 am There is one concern I have about election night… if anyone remembers 2000… media outlets were calling states early for certain candidates while the polls were still open… as a result some people didn’t vote. Also, it’s a fact that Democrats are more likely to take the time to take part in an exit poll than a Republican… I suspect the MSM… will pump this up…and may try and sway the election.

    http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/three-things-the-obamedia-will-do-to-depress-republican-turnout-and-help-obama/

    Don’t Count Yourself Out . . . Whatever the issue is, please don’t count yourself out because you think you don’t matter or because you don’t think it will affect you. Your vote does matter. http://auguriesofinnocence.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/dont-count-yourself-out/

    http://joeschmoepolitico.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=607

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