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. Rush Goebbels

    Sure they are and we believe them.

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Max

    Its funny how all of Obama supporters on here instead of discussing why that poll shows what it shows just continue to bash HRC. How is she responsible for those poll numbers? That percentage is loyal supporters who want to see her in the White House. One of you said "too bad they didn't poll me", a ridiculous comment because it obviously polled a lot of people like you. Another one says that Hillary is trying to sabotage the Democratic Ticket...how is that poll an indication of sabotage on HRC's part? C'mon people, if you're going to leave blog comments, at least make them about the topic at hand...

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Floridian

    Uh, Wynter (NH), if you actually went to Gallup and looked at the poll, you would know that it was only democrats who were polled, thus it gives no indication of independent or republican support.

    I don't really care who you people want to win, but could you please at least pretend to try to get the facts right?

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Abm Habibullah, Dallas, TX

    Democrates are divided in a way that, if not patched properly, GOP will takeover White House, Senate and house for years to come. It is sad to see dems fighting each other almost like we are in a civil war. This country is not an absolute monarchy when it comes to political system, we all should know. I however belive, that things will change in next six months. People are very emotional now.

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Anna, Florida

    Let's put them both on the ticket !!!

    This is the only way that everyone wins !!!

    (stranger matches have been made)

    i dont think that they hate each other so much that this is not a possiblity...

    Together they would unite the country and make history together...

    let's continue to push for this to happen

    March 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. GO HILL!

    Because Hillary and McCain are both MODERATES with EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!
    This poll has been this way for weeks if not MONTHS!
    HELLO! CNN..Your bias is so blatant now!

    March 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Carmen

    Are the democrats really that stupid? Are we all going to be ready for 4 more years of Bush policies? Surely the people can see that we are not heading in the right direction with McCain. Wake up people.

    March 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Wayne

    If we as voters are stupid enough to elect McCain and continue our money drain in Iraq then we deserve this country to continue to slide and lose its super power status. China will be the next global Super Power.

    It's true..Clinton supporters are less educated than Obama supporters. This explains why they would shoot themselves in the foot, vote against their own interests and defect to McCain.

    March 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. TommyG

    "I can not see progress and change from a man who has supported a church that propagates hatred."

    You're obviously too stupid to understand the issues in a mature and nuanced way, so I would encourage you not to vote at all.

    March 26, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Kevin Pennsylvania

    this just shows how dumb Hillary supporters are polls show that more uneducated people are for Hillary and more educated informed voters are for Obama. any one with common sense knows the difference between a lie and a "mispeak" please Hillary supporters smarten up do your research Hillary is taking advantage of you because she knows your stupid

    March 26, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Melinda Charlotte, NC

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, and I will vote for John McCain if she is not the nominee. Anyone who sits in the pews as a patron of a chuch that has such horrible things to say about the US Government and America is undeserving of the presidency. If you cannot stand up for your country in your own church, how can you possibly stand up as a representative of our country to the world abroad?

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Isaac

    That's what they say now... but come on! Realistically? If both Obama and Hillary supporters honestly believed in their respective candidates and what they stand for, then they would NEVER vote Republican. Stay home and not vote at all? Possibly... I can see that. But to switch camps and vote for someone who is totally counter to your principles? Simply because your choice lost? That's just plain childish.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Len in Washington

    These comments are not what we should be considering. We should be considering four more years of war, declining economy and nearly irrepairable damage to the image and history of this nation.
    Keep the goal in mind people.
    John McCain is simply not the appropriate choice for this nation. Democrats need to support whichever candidate wins the nomination.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Bella

    When it comes to solving the problems we all have in this country I don't think Obama is aggresive enough to solve them. You need to be tough and Hillary is. She is a fighter and she can get things done.It think he would be a good preacher or pastor ,but not a good President.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. leon

    These Clinton supporters are completely fanatical if they do such a thing. Go ahead and vote against your interests. Vote to continue the unjust Iraq war which is draining our economy. Go ahead and vote for less or no government regulations of our food and medicine. Go ahead and vote for a very conservative supreme court. Go ahead and vote for continual tax breaks for the wealthy. Go ahead and vote for the government illegal wiretapping of American citizens. I just don't want to hear these people moaning and groaning about these next four years of Mc Cain continuing the disastrous Bush policies that have made this former great nation the worldwide laughinstock it has become under Neo-Con rule.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Manuel TX

    I would expect the number to be much higher...given how nasty the Obamabots are.

    You can also add the MI and FL voters to that total.

    And let's not even get started on how his relationship with Wright will inspire an incredible negative reaction in the general.

    Obama may win the Democratic primary, but he's unelectable.

    Hillary 2012!!! :)

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Slick

    let the Billary fans leave. We obviously don't need them..All these record turnouts are for OBAMA anyway. When he wins the GE and does great things for the country, they'll have to say..."I voted for the wrong guy:(" Losers...

    OBAMA for 8 years....you'll see

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. betagreg

    based on the highlighted results, it sounds like more Clinton supporters would vote McCain than Obama's people would, but it would be interesting to see the percentage of respondents that said 'wouldn't bother to vote'. I suspect that a lot of Obama supporters would just fall back to non-participation rather than vote against their interests. There is a lot of time between now and November, if a candidate can be settled upon soon, there is always time for healing and these polarizing positions ('my candidate or no one, my candidate or I will vote against my interests') can be bridged.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Hill Yes

    ...and what if McCain or Hillary made a comment like 'typical black person'? Do you think for one minute that people would not take offense? Do you think for one minute that you would be inclined as a black person to vote for them? No, you wouldn't. Obama gets away with it though because the media has been so used to kissing his butt for so long that that they don't know how to do anything different. But Hillary and McCain would never live something like that down.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. True dat

    I would not vote for Obama in the general election.
    I am a conservative democrat. and obama is just too young, liberal, and inexperiened...I think John McCain is a good candidate but I dont agree with him on the war....so I voted for Hillary...

    If Hillary was not a woman I would not vote for her either but I think she is moderate enough and I really want a woman to lead our nation.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Debbie, NJ

    These people who are going to McCain if Obama wins are either independents or prejudice. What fool would harm themselves by voting for a President or party for that matter that don't have their interest in mind. This is just a bluff. I don't like Hillary but if she wins the nomination I'm not voting Rep. to spite her. I'll be only hurting myself or my family. People are stupid and immature.

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. MELMARIE

    So CNN are you trying to scare voters to go with Hillary? These voters are not loyal to their party and would rather destroy the country than to welcome change... Now thats sad.

    Obama '08

    March 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Ken

    They didnt ask me. I will vote for McCain, never Hillary. I think there are more people like myself than the poll realizes.

    March 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Obama Pelosi

    Got to give it to the Republicans. They are smart.

    Republicans know they can't win so they nominate a liberal in John McCain who appeals to some Democrats.

    Democrats who vote for John McCain are in for a shock. The Republicans are owned by the Bushs. John McCain is just going to be a figure head.

    Oh, it's 3am and the phone is ringing ... It's Karl Rove ... He wants Hillary to give back his playbook because she is disgracing him.

    March 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Democrats should defect to Nader rather than McCain, and not if Obama wins, but if Clinton does.

    March 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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