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. bakersfield


    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. ryan

    hey debra, that was probably one of the dumbest comments I have ever read. At no point did Barack say anything about racism. The problem you have is you believe media spin and campaign rhetoric rather than the truth. You have just proven why nothing ever gets done in washington.

    April 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    The party elders should be deeply worried – the Democratic party will be in deep cow manure if this doesn't hurry and end. Senator Clinton is not only throwing the kitchen sink but the outhouse as well at him. Most Obama supporters will be hard-pressed to vote for her if the super delegates give it to her for any reason other than the fact that she wins in popular vote, pledged delegates and superdelegates.

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

    Michelle Obama to the rescue!

    "We live in isolation, and because of that isolation we fear one another.

    Because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.

    Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed."

    Interesting comeback for her about his mistake about rural America!

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

    I truly believe that because Hillary has been more negative than Obama, she will lose more votes if the time came and she was nominated. I also believe that Obama has the abilityto bring people together and he will get the democrats the white house. No doubt! i think the longer we see him, get toknow him and see the kind of work he has done and he plans to do, we will come together and support him. We will rally around someone who makes mistakes, silly ones, like using the wrong word, much quicker than we would around someone who lies! Besides, we are not a dictatorship, enough Bush/ clinton/bush no need to use the white house as a revolving door. No thanks! I would personallystay home and not vote for Hillary! I don't believe her enough to vote for her. I also do not agree with Mccain enough to vote for him. I guess I won't vote in Nov if Hillary is the democratic nominee.

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

    Everyone relax, take a deep breath, and smile.

    April 14, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Yves larochelle

    The Clintons look only for themselves. Their humility is wrong and their " anti-racism" is fake. Deeply they think that Obama should not bee president alone because he is black. Deeply they don't care about the poor. They only care about their agenda and their personal career plans. They think they are entitled to govern again. They are fake and hypocrites. This includes their daughter. They should be stopped from destroying the democratic chances to restore faith in America as a great Nation.
    The Clinton don't really care if the Republicans win in November.
    Stop Hillary and Bill!
    Go Obama!

    April 14, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Brendan D, Niles, IL

    I'd like to modestly suggest that all those offended by Mr. Obama's comments explain what exactly they found offensive. Obama simply stated something that many people, both rural and urban, have noticed: that small-town America is bitter, and when they are bitter, all they've got left are their traditions, their guns, their religion - so they cling to it with all they've got because all the change happening around them is happening at their expense.

    I know Mrs. Clinton is intelligent enough to understand the nuance contained therein. I also know that she is exploiting this supposed misstatement for political gain. Those of you who are either foolish or ill-informed enough to buy into the political rhetoric without first examining, then dissecting, everything Obama said in-context would do well not to vote; the last time the voters of the United States voted with their guts rather than their hearts, they voted for George W. Bush.

    April 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Billy4130

    they are going to keep killing each other and pave the way for McCain to cruise to the White House

    April 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Dave

    What's sad is, Hillary is still in this fight because she believes that Obama has certain problems that would render him unelectable... but Hillary is not and never has been even remotely electable herself. Even if what she said was true (and who knows, it may be), she's still not a viable alternative or a solution to the problem. The Republicans have YEARS of dirt stored up on Clinton, and she's incredibly unpopular in many states in the country. The Republicans aren't terribly excited about John McCain as a candidate, so he wouldn't do much to get them to the polls... but they'd show up in a HUGE way just to vote against Hillary.

    So Hillary is dragging down our own candidate who even has any chance against McCain. Instead of spending his time and campaign cash going after McCain, Obama has to spend it fighting off her attacks instead... all because she has an ambition that was dead-born from the start.

    April 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Nancy from PA

    Republican bloggers are posing as democrat saying they won't for the other dem. candidate if theirs don't win the nomination. Only a fool will fall for that. Watch out democrats, the republican machine is out to get you.

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

    If you read between the lines one can tell Carter, Gore, Pelosi and Dean will choose for Obama! If Clinton goes on dividing the party they will do it verry soon in an attempt to end the nomination in Obama's favor!

    April 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Erik

    Senator McCain is to old, too cranky and too hidebound to be a good President. His day came and went after the Bush money machine stole the nomination from him years ago.

    April 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. New Yorker

    McCain is a Republican moderate who will win many Democrats over. I can see Obam winning over some frustrated Republicans. I can't see Clinton winning over anyone from across the aisle. She is really the Republicans favorite candidate because she creates a great deal of antipathy from her opposition.

    April 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. typical whte male

    The numbers say it all... Hillary can at least have a chance to beat McCain where Obama won't. Read the numbers... more of Hillary's supporters like McCain over Obama.

    Including this independant. If not Hillary, McCain.
    No Obama.

    April 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Whatever

    Janie – Seriously??? If Obama was half as arrogant as HRC, it would be a stretch. She has shown her true side, which is "it's all about me and my right to be president". But, most who support her can't see that, they line up right behind her for their entitlements. I will probably vote Dem either way, since I think McBush will finish W's job of ending our country as we know it. But I would like to vote for the best of the Dems, and right now HRC doesn't even qualify as a Dem, nevermind a good one.

    April 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Greg

    I am an Independent who will be voting for Barack Obama when he wins the Democratic nomination.

    If there were some crazy scenario that unfolded that allowed Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination, not only would I support John McCain, I would probably join the McCain campaign and contribute my time to helping him win.

    Doesn't really matter though, because if Hillary were to prevail for the Democratic nomination McCain would run away with the election. There is absolutely no way the Democratic party could contend under such circumstances.

    April 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. harry

    if hillary wins,i will vote for mccain

    April 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. RAJ

    Here is the major problem with this election cycle. If Senator Clinton is successful in destroying Senator Obama it will set voter participation back 20 or 30 years. Right now the youth of the nation are excited and starting to participate as they have not since JFK. If the cynical politics of Senator Clinton work, the youth and many other new voters will withdraw from political participation once again. That is the threat here.

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Obama Supporter

    I can't vote for HRC.

    She lies all the time, and she has shown she is willing to stoop to anything to win the nomination. Her brand of politics sickens me.

    I don't know that I would be able to pull the lever for McCain, but as an independent it is certainly an option. Either way – staying home or voting McCain – the dems are looking to be very divided come November unless this race resolves itself soon. If it drags on until the convention, you can guarantee a Republican win.

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. HC

    They are worried, but won't speak out their prefference for one of the two. Why don't they just pledge and end the whole problem? Maybe they don't want to take the risk of pledging the candidate that will eventually loose. Elders you have the sollution but just don't want to execute. So in the end the whole party will be hurt. Show some courage and speak out!

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. trmasonic


    Go ahead, voter for McCain people and watch America go further down the tubes. You're the same idiots that put W in charge for 8 years. Thanks a lot for that.

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Jacob

    I will not and cannot vote for that woman

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. female grad student NYC

    This race has gotten negative, and both candidates are guilty of it. I was happier when it was a love-fest like at the LA debate, too bad we can't go back to that now, Democrats.

    April 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. David Davidson

    If the media would stick to covering the issues and refused to repeat "junk news" over and over again 24/7 , the whole of the American public would benefit. "Just say no" to media feeding frenzies!

    David Davidson
    Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13