April 14th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Dem elders starting to worry

 Democratic elders are starting to worry about the increasingly bitter presidential race.

Democratic elders are starting to worry about the increasingly bitter presidential race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A lot of Democrats are increasingly worried about the tough back-and-forth that is now part of the tense Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama race for the party’s presidential nomination.

There are some very passionate Clinton supporters who clearly don’t like Obama. And there are some very passionate Obama supporters who clearly don’t like Clinton. That is very evident. Just talk to both sides.

In fact, a poll in the current issue of Time magazine has alarmed many Democrats. The poll asked Obama voters if the presidential election were between Clinton and John McCain, whom would they vote for. In the poll, 16 percent said McCain and 16 percent said they don’t know. That’s 32 percent who refused to say flatly they would support Clinton – the other Democrat.

When Clinton supporters were asked whom they would support if the presidential race were between Obama and McCain, 26 percent said McCain and 18 percent said they don’t know. That’s 44 percent who refused to say flatly they would vote for Obama.

Thus, Clinton voters were more likely than Obama voters – at least in this poll – to actually pick McCain if their respective Democratic candidate lost the nomination.

Those of us who cover politics like to caution that all these polls are only snapshots. Once the political dust on the Democratic race settles, and there is an eventual nominee – whether Clinton or Obama – a different snapshot might emerge. Democrats, in the end, might still come together against the Republican candidate.

But right now, I can assure you, a lot of party elders are deeply worried that all this nastiness could wind up helping McCain.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. midwestforObama

    Has anyone noticed that there is a "World Wants Obama" website?

    He has already improved attitudes toward American; where it had deteriorated under the Bush administration.

    He is better for America and for our relationships globally.

    Obama 2008!

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    Debra, you're ignorant. Listen to the entirety of his comments and backdrop them against what he says on a daily basis. Go to Huffingtonpost and read what one of the people who was actually there thought of his comments in context. And then listen to the real people in small towns in Pennsylvania and across the country who are awakening to the realization that Obama actually understands us and is willing to fight for us.

    Instead of casting Obama as a bigot, educate yourself.

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Kel from AL

    This is totally right. McCain's huge fundraising disadvantage almost doesn' t matter because the dems are blasting each other for him.

    Note how McCain never criticizes Clinton, only Obama. Why? Because he knows if he can help take Obama out now, then he'll have an easier time beating the snot out of Hillary in the fall.

    Get real folks. Choose our only choice. Obama 08!

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Fendley

    Thats fine for McCain. I certainly i ntend to vote for him if Obama is the Dem. winner. We dont need him. Be afraid, be very afraid. He needs to go to his beloved Kenya where they need him.

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Nick

    The number of voters for McCain will be higher.
    I was a democrat. Not any more. They have become a party of trivial issues, and by choosing Kerry last time and Obama this time their only consideration is just to get the power ( moveon.org party,..)

    Go McCain 08...

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Noah

    Why can't Obama just take credit for what he said. He is trying hard to make us believe he was talking about people being bitter and turned to faith and hunting. Thats not what he said. He said people are bitter and cling to religion and guns, and become bigots. This behind closed doors to a laughing crowd. Its disgusting how his supporters and his campaign have spun this to make this Clinton or McCain's problem. Obama does come across as arrogant and condesending. His attacks on Hillary today are sad, as he has also taken photo ops in bars and bowling alley's.

    I am tired of the Obama campaign and his supporters destroying the democratic party with their false message of hope and change, when its obvious that there is a lot a hate from this camp.

    How dare he attack Hillary and distort he stances on trade. She has been forthwright on this subject and people should not be stupid.

    The media is doing us a disjustice by not focusing on the fact that Obama called millions of americans bigots. This is typical of the Obama campaign and the media to try and pin this on Clinton. Also, the Annie Oakley comment is sexist and wrong.

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Susan MO

    We feel the majority of America is upset over Obama's critical & rude remark to the people of Pennsylvania.......and we should be. We DO NOT need a president who slams the people. This is NOT good for a president.

    Think about this America


    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Now for Obama

    That poll is truly distorted, I believe that there are more than 32 percent that wouldn't vote for Hillary, just based on the Anti-Hillary groups out here in Dallas. We feel betrayed by her and want our votes back. Even is she is merely offered the janitor position in the White House, then I wont be voting Dem in Nov. She is not to be trusted at all! I will never vote for Hillary!!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |


    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. honkey white guy from cali

    Debra you keep spewing hateful lies almost as well as Sen Clinton! perhaps you should go work for her campaign and stay off the boards stick to issues and relevant things and stop spreading more lies!!! It is just sick that she has supporters out there who like here lie when the truth would do better!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can!!

    American will unite and become the land of hope and opportunity again!

    April 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. v.ananthan

    The democrats should blame themselves for this situation.
    The leading democrats and the media prematurely took sides and forced the decision on the voters and this made the voters "bitter" for the other candidate.....

    April 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Edgardo of LA

    Simple! Let Obama drop out of the race!

    HILLARY/Edwards 2008!

    April 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Fernandez

    The Dem. elders should go back to sleep and let the democratic porcess work. I cannot imagine anyone exiting the race until clear winner is chosen. I think it is time to vote these Dem. elders out of office

    April 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. vince - phoenix

    Scorched Earth campaigns tedn to do this...

    THIS is what they were worried about... that after 10 more contests.. the only thing that would happen is that the party would be more divided, while zero gain or loss in the actual competiton...


    I always believed you would take the party down with you rather than exit gracefully.

    April 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Peter

    If the party elders are so deeply worried, then so many of them should not be supporting the inexperienced, unqualified Senator Obama.

    He is a first term Senator and he has spent almost all of his time in the Senate running for President.

    He has no executive experience and has failed to use his subcommittee chairmanship in any worthwhile way.

    He has no military background and has made little effort to learn about the military or the true situation in Iraq or the situation in Afghanistan.

    When it has been convenient for him, he has said that words matter, but he has often ignored or made excuses for the words of his spouse and the words of his spiritual adviser.

    Yes, the party elders should be worried.

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. McCain supporter


    I used to be Hillary Supporter...Now I am supporting McCain

    cant take this fight forever...

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    I guess it's a good thing there are fewer Clinton supporters out there!

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. nancy

    I am very worried as well sure don't want more of the same with another Republican and don't want to be in Iraq for 100 yrs but if Clinton doesnt get the nomination I will not vote for Obama I will vote Independent.

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Eric-PA

    Wolf, I think you realize why this is. Us Hillary fans feel like we have been deserted. To us there is a clear bias against Hillary by the media. For me and other Clinton fans I talk to, this is one of the main reasons we're very much against Obama. We don't feel he has been challenged enough and we feel he has been getting a free ride. There are plenty of negatives about Obama that your network has not touched upon. The more and more the media continues this bias against Hillary the more and more likely we will vote for McCain. This is coming from someone who despises the Bush Adminstration, voted for Gore and Kerry.

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Garry, Little Rock

    If Obama gets the nomination..I refuse to vote..liar, racist on his staff whom he bows down to and condescending. Hasn't 7 years of that been enough already??

    I simply will not vote for this man...America made some stupid choices electing Bush, and it is beginning to look like they just haven't learned their lesson yet. Go ahead put a novice in who has NO experience doing anything but making pretty feel good speeches..which won't help in getting our men and women out of Iraq and this god awful war!

    April 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Jim from Seattle

    on April 23rd the Supers need to come together and drive a stake through this evil, delusional, mentally-ill, and megalomaniacal witch's heart........end this madness puh-leez and let's get back to reclaiming the United States.

    si se puede!

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    they should be worried. the clintons have made a pact with themselves and possibly the republicans, that if she is not the nominee, Hillary will do everything she can to destroy the party that she thinks "owes" her loyalty. Why do you think all the republicans are so nice too her, voting for her in primaries?

    But at the end of the day if these so-called Hillary democrats votes for McCain, they too are quilty of bloodstained hands. Our sons and daughters will continue to sacrificed. Obviously, Hillary doesn't mind that since she voted for the war anyhow.
    As for myself, I only trust Sen Obama with getting our troops out of harm's way.

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Nancy from PA

    We can only thank Hillary for destroying the democratic party. She'll do or say anything to win. She even said that herself. Good luck 08.

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Jen

    I wonder how accurate these polls are and if it is the right time to ask people. I personally think that the Democrats will pull together, regardless of which candidate wins. I support Hillary Clinton, but I will vote to Obama if he gets the nomination. Both

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Steve

    My wife's dad lost his job to NAFTA. He was one of the lucky ones. He got a low-paying job with the town, driving heavy equipment. He's not particularly religious, but he did go hunting to put food on the table for years. He's retired now, and to this day, he is unbelievably bitter. He tried to follow the American Dream. All he wanted to do was work hard and provide a comfortable (not elegant) life for his family. One thing you do not do in his house is mention the name Clinton. He is incredibly bitter about Bill and his NAFTA program. Most of the town is like that. Sorry to use such strong language in your presence, Hillary, but people are bitter. And they believe in their hearts that they have your husband to thank for that. You may be riding on his coat tails in an attempt to get to the White House, but his coat tails are tattered. They may wind up tripping you.

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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