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. Will not vote if this happens!

    I will not vote if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination by having the pledged delegates overturn the vote of the people and change their vote to Hillary Clinton.

    So many people have come out to vote with pride in voting for either the first woman or the first African-American. If the pledged delegates change their votes, then this is a broken system that I will not be a part of.

    March 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Jim W. California

    Right on, who wants Obama and Rev. Wrong.

    March 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Dyinglikeflies, NYC

    "Clinton Supporters Will Vote McCain If She Is Denied The Nomination" is a story that should appear in "DUH ?" magazine. This Obama nomination is being forced on the party by its hard-left leadership by disenfranchising Florida, bullying the superdelegates, and skewing the entire delegate selection process to the benefit of the winner of the very undemocratic "caucus" process. I would much rather vote for the relatively moderate McCain than for Obama.

    March 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. Denise Obrien

    Not knowing what the questioner's motivation or intention was, Chelsea responded, not like a supporter, but the loyal, loving and protective daughter that she is.
    I think that says more about Hillary's character than anything. She raised an intelligent, unselfish daughter who is more than willing to defend her mother and speak only on those things which she believes are important to her candidacy.

    March 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Thomas Koshy

    Sen.Obama will be great danger to the country and the free world.It is imperative that Sen.Clinton is the nominee.If not everybody should support Sen.McCain,so that this country can still be a democracy as we have come to know.

    March 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Ted in Pittsburgh

    Shame on you Hillary supporters!

    I am an Obama supporter and even though I don't like Hillary Clinton, I would vote for her if she got the nomination. It is a matter of picking the lesser of two evils: Clinton vs. McCain. Of course I would vote Clinton in that situation. Hillary supporters who would vote for McCain over Obama are worse than Benedict Arnold.

    March 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Joy for Obama

    The door swings both ways. An equal amount of Obama supporters, I believe there are more of us) will absolutely not pull the lever for Clinton and I count myself as one. She's divisive and there is nothing in her political character and judgement to suggest she would be nothing other than a mistake in the WH. I do not want her to be the first woman president under any circumstances.

    March 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. charles

    she is so desperate with her supporters that they wl do anything to win.this is a threat any civilised person shouldnt fall for.

    March 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Pat

    I just hope that the "losing" candidate will strongly support the "winning" candidate after the primaries are over and make it clear IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that they want their constituency to go with the winner and NOT McCain in the GE.

    Hopefully, that will cut down on this defection factor. I agree with the people saying this is stupid. I'm an Obama supporter, but I will vote for Hillary, even if I strongly disprove of her tactics and personality. Her stance on issues is definitely closer to mine than McCain's.

    This isn't a schoolyard dodgeball team selection, it's an election for the President of one of the most influential countries in the world, and if we pick wrong, there are no "do-overs". Do we really want to lose that influence?

    March 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. RuthieM

    "Heated battle"? Well it's Clinton doing the battling, hanging on like a dying bat. But the polling doesn't match Obama's people at all because actually it's about 50% total of Obama's backers won't vote for Hillary at all, either they will just stay home or will vote McCain. Obama backers are much stronger against Hillary than Hillary backers are against Obama, in reality. I think this poll was put this way to try and get the public swayed toward Hillary.

    March 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. from Boston

    May I add that I hate CNN – they are the worst manipulators. They are the ones that are going to create this civil war, flamed by Obama playing the poor me race card.

    Hillary or McCain

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Dallas

    Obama is trying to sabotage the Democratic ticket this year so that he can run again in 4 years. It's all about her and not at all about us.

    Jackson, how about that?

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Tired of Idots

    It seems to me that people are only voting for the person they see as the most popular or the most experienced. Why not vote your interest and make your decision based on that. Does John McCain's views fall more in line with Hillary's or does Barack Obama's views fall mor in line with Hillary's? Answer that question and then you'll know whom you support. Stop the nonsense and think about the country instead of bragging rights about your choice of nominee.

    OBAMA '08'

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Mike

    How can the "just words" lead the country?

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. McCain

    I do not know why Obama supporters think Hillary is dividing the party. She is a viable candidate and Obama is no mandate. She has just as much right to play this to the end as he has. He is not the favorite of everyone that is for sure.

    I would vote for McCain if Obama gets in and from the poll numbers stated about so would lot of other people and that number will grow. It will not go away once the nominee is selected – it will increase if anything. Obama supporters will not win either – we feel the same about him as you do Hillary.

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Dallas

    Obama is trying to sabotage the Democratic ticket this year so that he can run again in 4 years. It's all about him and not at all about us.

    Jackson, how about that?

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Cyrus in Philly

    Isnt' the real story here that 72% of Clinton's supporters would support Obama, the candidate with the lead? (Or, that 81% of the leader's supporters would support the runner up?) One more reason the Democrats should unite behind Obama, with Hillary's endorsement to suport him.

    March 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Sunny

    "The results suggest that some Clinton supporters are so strongly opposed to Obama (or so loyal to Clinton)"

    Wrong, the results suggest taht more people are worrying about the country very much.

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. omc

    The deal is that we're so opposed to Obama – and I'm a Republican who was going to vote Democrat this year – not if the candidate is Obama!!!

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Mike

    Hillary supporters, as I am, will vote for Mc Cain. Sorry, I can't imagine someone who had a anti-American pastor , his wife never proud of her country until recently, lead this country.

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. leslie

    Thats just what someone told one poll. She has been beaten in every measurement (delegates and popular vote). She is only hanging around at this time be a spoiler ...she has no real chance to win and the party has no real chance to clean up after the mess she is leaving unless she leaves now. This is all a desperate drum beat to try and keep a dead race going.

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. R

    I support Hillary and will not vote for Obama should he get the nomination. I will however NOT vote for McCain either

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. RM

    This is an EASY switch, that I arrived at early when Clinton and Obama became the obvious frontrunners. I think the switch is much more prevalent than the poll indicates and much more sustainable. Really glad to see A news organization reporting the poll. I think I'll switch to CNN permanently. The other three just make me ill with their bias for obama; the damage to their networks and Obama will be permanent in the fall.

    March 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Daniel in Michigan

    This is rediculous speculation. No polls are accurate!!!
    Just wait until the debates between Mccain and Obama begin. The nation will see who the true leader of this nation should be. Everything will become amazingly clear to the American people when these debates begin. Lets move on, and begin this discussion.

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Ryuken

    I am a strong democrat, having been loyal to the party for years and being a a faithful donar as well. I will be voting for McCain should Obama secure the nomination.

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15