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. Susan Goldbeck

    McCain is a loose canon. He is forgetful, uninformed on issues he is not interested in, like the economy.This along with his overpowering history as an unrelenting hawk is out of touch with what Americans want in a president.
    From the Democratic perspective I believe this primary fight has strenghthened both candidates and particlular Barack Obama, the likely nominee. He is a far better candidate than he was just a few short months ago.The fight has been a good boot camp for the general election in the fall.
    Despite these pollsnow, the two sides in this Democratic primary will undoubtedly make nice as much as they say otherwise now, against a common foe: the prospect of a Bush III adminstration. Who would have predicted the recent McCain -Mitt love fest was possible?There is simply too much at stake here.

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. debra

    Clinton has just as much right as an American to run for President as that bigot obama! Only an obama fan would ever suggest that millions of people should not get to vote for who is to be their next president. You didn't hear them saying this dribble when obama was behind in the polls early on. I think you would have to be an idiot to vote for someone who had the balls to run for president after only one year as a senator. If he didn't know he wasn't qualified for the job- the public should have. Clinton supporters know it! This is why washington is such a mess. Hillary you are the only intellegent choice for president. We all love you!

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Ridgeway

    I have a different problem. I can decide which one I like less. There is absolutely nothing solid about either. I guess Obama would have a slight edge as he reminds me of one of my favorite literary characters.
    Alfred E. Neumann of MAD magazine fame.
    "What? Me worry?" – Obama E. Neumann

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Jenny, TX

    How come we vote for a guy who we not trust??? The presidential job is not for Mr rhetoric with emptied promises.

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Stupid Democrats...it's not enough to polarize all negotiations on capital hill between the DEM and GOP,.

    Now they've managed to polarize their own party!!!

    Between the DLC and DNC's constant "mispeaks, trips, fumbles, and flat out ignorance–and the throat slitting of the two leading candidates-too bad all we have is McCain to go up against them–because it should be a cake walk.

    We really need a third option!! I cannot believe this is really all the talent we can muster for the 2008 Presidential race?

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Stewart from North Carolina

    This has hardened so many supporters against the other candidate. If the Democratic elders think this will go away after a nominee is chosen, they are blind. At this point, the only viable solution left will be to have both candidates on the ticket together, regardless of who is on top of the ticket. That will be the only way the white voters who will not vote for Obama because of his race AND the large numbers of new voters (especially the youth vote) and the most reliable Democratic voting block (the African American vote) will join together to elect a Democratic President. If this does not happen, one side of supporters will be very bitter (our term of the day) and we stand the chance of a lot of revenge voting ,or no voting at all. THIS IS THE REALITY FOLKS! I am an Obama supporter, but I also have to look at the reality of the situtaion. These candidates will be so bloodied going int othe Fall, there is no other way.

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. AJ

    The democratic leaders have plenty to worry about. I'm on of the percents who will not support Obama if he should win the nomination. I have not voted for any republican in 30 years but will happily do so if Obama is the nominee. And those of you who believe that things will be pulled together by the GE, you are dreamers. The hatred on both sides of the Clinton/Obama fence wont go away.

    April 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Stephanie

    I my self am ready for a change in the White House. And that change is for Obama. Come on America Do you want 8 years of Clinton and then back to Jed Brush and then we can do another 8 years of Clinton because Chelsea Clinton will be of age. is that what you people want ? Come on Ombama speaks the truth and you Crucify him , And then there Is Hillary who can llie to the people and you think thats good . If that what you want then by all means put the Clintons and the Brushes back in the
    white House and dont be Bitter about it and Stay the on the same road has is now. I myself want to see some change hear so I am Obama all the way to the White House.

    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. JOANN


    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. No Kidding

    It seems perfectly logical to me that such a high percentage of Clinton's supporters say they will back McCain rather than Obama, if Clinton does not get the nomination. She has consistently maintained that McCain is the only viable alternative to her. Between her relentless attacks and her claims of victimization, it is no wonder that her supporters are so put off on Obama. Her campaign is truly, unfortunately, the campaign to end all campaigns. Read the Carl Bernstein blog on MSNBC's website. It really hits the nail on the head.

    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Zach

    I'm truly starting to believe that people's biggest problems with the other democratic canidate don't stem directly from the canidate but rather from their supporters. I for one am an Obama supporter. However, I would most likely vote for Clinton if that's what it came down to.

    It's the Hillary supporters that I find so disgusting, including those who work for her. They don't seem to open their minds to anything that doesn't come from her mouth. I don't know if that's how they percieve Obama supporters, but I've heard some pretty nasty stuff said about us and vice versa. I'm sure once we have a common enemy, things will cool down. Just, as of now, I hate the thought of being a part of the Hillary crowd. They come off so ignorant and fearful sometimes.

    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Reality

    Is this what the world has come to? I guess there are no true Democratics anymore!!!!!!!!! The fact that people can switch party lines so easily is troublesome!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Steve

    Maybe once Obama has a plan for solving any real issue, I'd consider voting for him. Right now he's just got a lot of ideas but no way to realize them. I'm a lifelong Democrat but refuse to vote for someone who I think has no ability to get anything done.

    Alas, I support Clinton only by default. I originally supported the best Democratic candidate – John Edwards.

    April 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. No Hillary

    I think the Dems elders start worrying too late. They should have starred worrying sooner and acted sooner before this COMPETITION turned to FEUDF that Hillary started. I see that still many SUPERDELEGATES ARE UNDECIDED. WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR?? this exactly is the core issue. Dems elders need to convience these Superdelegates to ACT NOW!!!. be free to give whomever you want to give your vote...but act now..

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. John



    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. LR

    If Hillary is the nominee – I will give up and completely turn off politics. I will NOT vote for her. I was so disappointed in 2000 and 2004, if she steals this nomination, I can not let myself care anymore.

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Many


    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Tom in Oregon

    While Hillary clings to her illusion of being Prez, the democrat party officials are looking like whimps. Meanwhile McCain runs basically unopposed until .....well..... July or August?

    Hillary won't give up. She is totally willing and able to destroy Obama's chances in November. She has made Carl Rove look like a lamb while Her Lioness rages to anyone who shows up to listen. Time to tell her to go home and get some therapy to get over her obsession.

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Rae

    Well, CNN, you did it again. Why not print some of the Obama negatives? Is it right that you do not give people unbiased information regarding our presidential candidates? Obama, his wife, his pastor are all racists.

    You know what? I have always been proud of my country. I worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lithuania; I taught English in China for eight months, I volunteer my time to help others. I am not rich, I came from a very poor family. However, I'm happy and proud that I am an American.

    Shame on those people who grew up in a family that could educate them in the best schools, etc.

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Dana, Pittsburgh PA

    The Democratic Leadership is just plain awful. No wonder we have a tought time winning against the Republicans that advocate for a costly war for no reason. They should sit down with both candidates and force them to be on the same ticket. Hillary has to attack hard because she is behind and of course she will do anything to win. And some times Obama is the one to start it but Hillary hits him back hard and that is what the media focuses on. ALL POLITICIANS WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIN! If they didnt they would never be elected. Both are polling considerable amts of votes and that is why they both need to be on the ticket to win.

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Wolf, the democratic party is ill advisedly making McCain a very viable option. At the rate Hillary is going, I think it is not out of place to question if she is running for the democratic nomination or McCains vice presidential candidate, because the tones appear to similar. Obama on the other hand appears to be fasly becoming more of Hillry with his shame on you out bursts. The democrats had better check where they are headed because they appear headed for a hunting trip with Dick Cheney, and it can hurt big time. Only two months ago, I wouldn't have had any problems about voting for any of the two candidates, but today I will sit it out than vote for Hillary and I am getting fairly tired of Obama but McCain certainly will never be an option. I still want to vote but that is if the democrats permit me to.

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. R

    If Obama gets the nomination I'm not voting for McCain, but I'm not voting for Obama either

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Tennessee

    Obama will when the nomination but will loose the general. He offers nothing but an empty suit full of worhtless, elitist rhetoric. The far left is so desparate to counter the Bush years that they are out of touch with reality. Can you say McGovern?

    April 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Dave. Boston, MA

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the difference in the number of Clinton voters who would support McCain is approximately equal to the difference in the amount of women who support her over Obama. Because... you know, women aren't vindictive at all, and they certainly don't hold grudges, do they? What's that saying again, hell hath no fury?

    Quite frankly I'm shocked. If you'd rather not vote, that's one thing. But to vote for the candidate whose positions are completely opposite to yours instead of the candidate whose positions are relatively the same is so ridiculously childish and petty. People would rather have 4 more years of Bush, 4 more years of our soldiers dying, just for what? Spite? Un-f**cking-believable.

    April 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Repsonse to Janie, Raleigh, N.C.

    Oh Hillary is an angel. yea right. GET REAL!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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