March 26th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Democrats ready to defect to McCain

A new poll suggests many Clinton supporters may back McCain.
A new poll suggests many Clinton supporters may back McCain.

(CNN) - A sizable number of Hillary Clinton supporters may break ranks to back John McCain in November should Barack Obama capture the Democratic nomination, a new Gallup poll suggests.

According to the just-released poll, 28 percent of Clinton's supporters would back McCain should the New York senator lose her quest for the Democratic nomination.

That compares to the 19 percent of Obama supporters who say they will favor McCain should Clinton be the party’s nominee.

"[The results] suggest that some Clinton supporters are so strongly opposed to Obama (or so loyal to Clinton) that they would go so far as to vote the "other" party's candidate next November if Obama is the Democratic nominee," Frank Newport of Gallup said of the survey's findings.

Newport also noted that the poll's results are likely the result of the heated battle for the nomination, and the number of the party’s defectors to McCain is likely to decrease after Democrats choose a nominee and the focus shifts to defeating the Arizona senator.

The poll was conducted March 7-22 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. cjc

    My husband would love to see Obama get the nomination as he knows I will then be voting with him for McCain. We are both independents and usually vote for our own canidates but it seems I may be joining him this election. I hope not, but I can't support a canidate whom to me appears as just another glib politician. This is not sour grapes over not seeing my canidate receive the nomination. Rather the decision to not support someone who spent twenty years with a minister who spouts hate and in doing so allowed his children to grow up in that environment. No thanks.

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Mark in Nashville

    This just goes to show the terrible effect that high levels of mercury in our drinking water are having on our decision making abilities.

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. gary

    This blog proves yet again how blind people really are and how that America has lost it's way. We're so ego-centric and blind to the rest of the world and this election will prove our fate moreso than Bush II.

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Sean McM

    When oh when will the cable news networks, pollsters and others STOP interfering with OUR election? They all crossed not only boundaries between reporting and making the news, they are now agents for candidates.

    What an abysmal failure after all these years of our supporting freedom of the Press.

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Independent for Obama from Texas

    That is not surprising. Those Democrats don't care who is the best president or who America wants as president. They are just paving the way for Hillary with her 2012 election.

    I doubt that when that time comes there will be that many of them who jump ship.

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. b olesen

    We Belong To NO ORGANIZED PARTY. We are Democrats!
    It's a poll that is put out by the media to attract the novice readers into believing the media can sway the vice-presidential position by thwarting these numbers. Deep Breaths everyone. Hillary hasn't left the podium yet. If you can name one Clinton who has given up a good fight, please – please let me know.

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. rita

    If any Clinton supporters vote for McCain, then truly they all deserved George Bush! And they'll deserve John McCain. Are Americans so selfish and shortsighted that they'd vote a Republican into office? Well, the rest of the world seems to think so, so why am I surprised.

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. mayahh

    so much hatred, and hostility, May the best candidate win, we need a united country not a divided one. One that has all americans interest at heart. We are one nation under God, Indivisible , with liberty and justice for ALL. We fight the enemies not become enemies among our selves..

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Lucas, Nashville TN

    They have not polled ME...

    And I won't support her unless Obama is her VP, should her lies somehow pay off and get her the nomination.

    Am I already in the 19%? Or are there more of me than have been asked? Hmmmm?

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. two cents

    and what about the 19 percent of obama supporters ready to jump to mccain if clinton is the nominee? before you label clinton supporters who would jump to mccain, look at yourself–maybe that's why you see spite as the reason.

    March 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Ken H

    Fine..if the stupid Hillary supporters want it this way, we can play ball as well, we will vote for McCain if she manages some how to steal it. And if she runs in 2012 all of us Obama supporters will not forget your and her betrayal and will vote against her then as well. Either way you spin it..she's toast and the Democratic party probably is too.

    March 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Nate in Mpls

    I am sorry that my comments have not been measuring up.

    March 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Mary Jo in Illinois

    Count me in! I am a Hillary supporter that will vote for McCain if Hillary does not earn the Democratic nomination. This is because I care about our country.

    March 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Mary

    Thank you Dave and James Nelson. I am a proud supporter of Obama. However, if Hillary wins the nomination, I will vote for her. Why? because I cannot stand another 4-8 years of the same junk we have had with Bush. It is about time we unite as democrats and just with our party. Are all of you people that are claiming to vote McCain just because your candidate didn't get the nomination really that silly to believe this is the better way to go? Lets unite instead of fighting!

    March 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Remocrat

    Will some one do the last rites on the Democratic Party. The left wing finally killed it. They have been doing this since the late 60's.
    Now most of us are Republicans or Independents. The party of our father's is Gone. Out of touch with reality and the American People.
    RIP Democratic Party of my Fathers.

    March 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Mike in Houston

    These Hillary "voters" were never Hillary voters, but Republicans voting in democratic primaries to ensure that she gets the nomination. A wounded animal is easy prey.

    March 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Ephy

    OK. Please listen: The current time wherein we are is highly volatile due particularly to the animosity the Clinton camp brought to the compaign trail. The statistics of democrats defecting to McCain are therefore highly undependable.

    March 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Char

    duh! do you really need a poll to tell you that? HIllary and Mccain are candidates that have operated in the middle where most americans are. Obama is an ultra liberal at the core ....not with his salespitch but with past records and positions. Which by the way is now causing an issue for him because his message just does not jive with his past records and it makes people uneasy to trust his message. Any candidate who can sell the middle stand will win at the end of the day.

    March 26, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Right Wing

    Woohoo, music to my ears... LOL all too funny!

    Republicans for Hillary Clinton! We can only hope we get to run agains her! McCain will be a shoe in... Keep it up Hill!

    McCain 08... LOL

    March 26, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Why is Hillary always being called the divider? Obama is a divider as well. I am a democrat and I will vote for who I think is the best to get the job done. From my point of view Obama is last on that list.

    I did not support the war in Iraq from day one and never will. But leaving now is wrong, leaving the Iraqi people with the mess we created. And as I recall the majority of American people were FOR the war when it started. I was very lonely with my opinion against the war 5 years ago. Only now when the death tolls and the cost rises is when everyone wants to pull out. McCain won't. That puts him on top of my list.

    March 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. RD

    As great as my dislike for Hillary may be, its 10 times more for the course this country has been taken for the last 8 years.

    Anyone stating they will not support the Democratic nominee simply because their candidate of choice isn't selected needs to take a step back and understand the implications of your actions. We have to take a common sense approach to this topic and realize electing McCain will continue to set this country back in all phases for another 4yr.

    I'm a Democrat and Obama supporter. I'm concerned with the economy, healthcare, and all major topics directly affecting my family.

    If Hillary Clinton somehow attains the Democratic nomination, I will vote for her. As much as I'd prefer Barack, this election is more about setting this country in the right direction and less about preference at the end of the day.

    March 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. fifi

    As I have stated many times...Obama is an interloper, butting in line before his time, if he wins the Democratic nomination I will vote for the older gent.

    March 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    You're not a loyal Democrat if you won't vote for Senator Obama? What is a "loyal Democrat?" Someone who votes for whomever the party left wing has chosen even though that person is a fake and could never win the election and the one person that could win the election is trashed every day by every left leaning member of the party not to mention the press? Well, if that's a loyal Democrat, then I'm not one. I'll not support the likes of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, etc. for what they've done to destroy our party. I will vote for Ralph Nader. So call me a traitor. It's my vote and I'll do what I want with it and it certainly will not go to Senator Obama and his hoard of marketing handlers.

    March 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Bennett

    How can one party have so many stupid, selfish people in it? It's now wonder the Democrats can never get anything done. These two cnadidates are almost identical. Any Democrat who would vote for John McBush is a complete and utter embarrasment to the party. I fear for the future of our country, but I guess we get what we deserve. So shortsighted.

    March 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Edgar - Orlando, Florida

    Amen – the party has taken steps backward with to much liberalism. We are either for America or not we can't have it both ways.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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