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. Tex

    Hillary's campaign is melt down mold.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. fred

    Obama is the one destroying the party!!!!

    Go Hillary!!

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Chris

    Been a democrat for more the 40 years. If Hillary isn't in the general election I go with McCain to ensure Obama loses. Obama is dangerous to this country and our well being.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. AB

    Well, if Hillary somehow became the nominee, I would certainly NOT be able to vote for her after all her nasty and divisive campaigning. However, I couldn't vote for McCain either. I guess I'd be writing in Obama.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. jess

    Thanks to Mrs. Clinton's devisive techniques and all her praise for McCain!

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Get over it people..

    I was insulted by some of the things Hillary has said, and even said that I wouldn't vote for her, but guess what, I will if she is the nominee, I just think there are more important then loyalty to Hillary or Obama.

    McCain will never, ever ever ever get my vote, ever.

    March 26, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Edgar - Orlando, Florida

    This would not have been if Barak would have disown and reject Rev. Wright comments like he did of Louis Farrakhan. Do I need to say more!

    Democrats we need to put America – first!

    March 26, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. matchu

    Sad sad sad...they are basically the same on issues but just because people are bitter their candidate wont win...they'll go against their party and vote for another four years of disaster. With numbers like this, we deserve to lose in November.

    So shameful.

    March 26, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Luke

    I will be switching, and voting Republican for the first time if Hillary doesnt win the Democratic Nomination.

    I simply cant stand Barack obama and his ignorance.

    DL : )

    March 26, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. O.A.

    I've decided I could not support Clinton because she could only now win by overturning the will of the electorate thus cheating. But as for those who refuse to support Obama, why is that? He has run an honest campaign, and will win fair and square. I guess those of you who refuse to vote Obama demonstrate racism is alive and well in America.

    March 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Vince - Phoenix

    What's even more depressing are the so-called REASONS

    March 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Les

    These people will defect because Hillary has done such a good job of throwing mud in her campaign that she is willing to take her party down with her. She will be the reason the democratic party loses the general election whether she is the nominee or not.

    March 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. wiser

    It is because I care about our country first and foremost, above any political party. That is why if the democrats choose the least experienced candidate, which is Senator Obama, I will vote for Senator McCain.

    We are suffering now because last time our country elected inexperience and personality with George Bush over competency.

    Grow up America and vote for the most competent to lead our country during these difficult times. That leader is only Hillary Clinton!

    March 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. NittanyLion4Bama

    It doesn't matter, wait for the real news to show up on how there were so many republicans voting for hillary in Pa because of the push from Limbaugh. Then we'll see what the superdelegates were really made for and made of.

    March 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Jenn

    forget McCain... i am thinking a good strong third party is exactly what these spoiled rotten republicrats need...

    I will vote for Nader.

    March 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. joe c.

    I have the opposite feeling. If Hillary gets the nomination I will vote republican for the first time in my life. Hillary continues to show how small of a person she is. Maybe many people identify with that kind of pettiness.

    March 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. she LIES, Baltimore

    These people are idiots

    "the people get the government they deserve"

    March 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. joe c.

    I have the opposite feeling. If Hillary gets the nomination I will vote republican for the first time in my life. Hillary continues to show how small of a person she is. Maybe many people identify with that kind of pettiness.

    March 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. LNAB

    as much as I think Obama is the lessor choice for the Dem. nomination.... there is NOTHING that would make me pull a lever for McCain.

    It makes me wonder what kind of people are being attracted to participate in these elections if they were willing to vote McCain. and Obama supporters are as guilty of these threats as Clinton's.

    I think when that day arrives, that anyone who was supporting either of these Dem candidates will vote for the Dem. If you look at McCains policy proposals...well, how can America possible afford 4 more years of George Bush incompetent economic/domestic and foreign policy.

    March 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Mike in Houston

    I might suppose that if the nomination is stolen from Obama, I would expect that the african-american community will defect from the democratic party for the next 10 – 15 years.

    March 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    This is nonsense. After the nomination fight is over, Hillary's supporters will come back. Right now, feelings are raw.

    March 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. David

    Look, a tiny percentage from both will defect. But this is nonsense... When they realize they are voting for a third Bush term v. a potential Obama or Clinton ticket, they'll realize they're missing the boat. Four more years of war, four more years of no jobs, bad economy, high gas prices. I don't think so. Most will get behind the nominee.

    March 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Jeremie

    Percentages are misleading. If one were to take this percentage and apply it to the popular vote, Obama's sheer numbers would probably be comparable to Clinton's...So that means a deeper dive into the poll numbers are necessary. What are the demographic breakdowns and physical locations of the people polled? Can't figure that out from the headline.

    Until Americans can analyze the headlines, we're controlled and sunk by the fascist system we have controlling our lives which includes the medical, military, education, and media industrial complexes. Corporate fascism has arrived in America.

    March 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. GL

    Is Blitzer now moonlighting in the evenings taking polls? Enough already CNN- no news today, better create some. Pathetic.

    March 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. D Williams

    Carol in Canada. You are not American so keep your racial comments to yourself.

    March 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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