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. Helene

    I am not surprised that many of Clinton supporters will end up supporting McCain. After all she does the dirty work for him ...

    April 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Debbie

    If the Democrats fail to win the presidency, I think the person who loses the Democratic nomination will forever be known as the person who caused the party to lose when it was considered impossible to lose.

    Democrats everywhere will be very angry with the person losing the nomination. I think their national appeal will be lost forever because many will think that individual put themselves ahead of the party.

    April 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Joe St Louis, MO

    Lilarose– that is the kind of thinking that has this country were it is. REAL SMART

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

    If Obama wins, I will vote for McCain.

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Harriet Michel

    The party elders are just starting to worry? After several months of Clinton providing anti-Obama fodder for the republicans they've finally figured out this is damaging? What happened to the line of the spineless party leaders that the sniping was making them stronger candidates? The belief that Democrats always manage to defeat themselves is not incorrect. So who's got the proverbial b-s to put an end to it?

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. California Viewer

    Wolf, Really, asking Rep. Clyburn for his objective analysis on Clinton/Obama? This is the same gentleman who went ignored his promise of neutrality to the Dem. Party before the South Carolina primary and called both Clintons racists. Of all the people you can get to come on your show, how you do always manage to find the most partisan anti-Clinton operatives?

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. joe

    You should change from cnn to dnn .Democratic news network. Thats all you ever show. You even make it so obvious. It's a shame the voters don't get unbiased news from you people. If both sides of the issues were ever told– the poor liberals would never win another election.

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Savvy

    Alrighty then...what's the purpose of writing an article tand pointing out the "worries" of "Dem elders" without actually 1) identifying the worries, and 2) identifying the Dem elders who are worried?

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. FEDUP

    It is not the word bitter, it is his remarks about them clinging to guns, religion, racism. He was inferring they only do that because they are bitter. It showed his true feelings about how he perceives the blue collar workers, as bible thumping, gun toting, racists.

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. George, Los Angeles

    If Obama wins – I will either not vote – or vote for McCain.

    April 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Kay, Charleston, WV

    The Democrats doomed whomever their eventual nominee is when they decided the voters of Florida and Michigan could be ignored. Rather than punish the Super Delegates (some of whom had a say in moving the primary) they chose to disenfranchise millions. So I find it highly amusing that the "elders" are only now becoming worried.

    April 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Allan

    No Wolf, this is the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Leadership Council overlords are being purged from the party one after another. Billary is about to join Lieberman as "leaders without followers."

    I am calling on the voters of New York to launch a Hillary recall so she can be replaced with a Democrat.

    Meanwhile, Obama is bringing in a new generation of young voters and millions of previously discouraged bitter non-voters who will comprise a new progressive Democratic Party.

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


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

    and this from the party that will unite America? How can any one beleive that Senator Clinton or Senator Obama will unite America when neither can unite the Democratic party. Look at the majority of these comments and find two things in common – Hatred or plain ignorance. I mean some people actually still beleive President Bush "stole" the election in 2000 and keep posting as such. Come on America – WAKE UP, we are ALL Americans and should conduct ourselves as such. Try rational thought for a change, instead of hatred

    April 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Brown

    It is not just ok to not go to the polls in November. Send a message to Clinton and vote for McCain! If Hillary had any self respect or dignity she would have gracefuly conceeded a long time ago. When she and the superdelegates cheat Obama, they are going to lose in the end.


    April 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Buzz

    If Hillary wins, I am voting for no one. It will just prove to me that my reasons for being disenchanted with the politics of our country have been justified all along, and that big money, special interests and dirty politics will always triumph over the voice of the people.

    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. sara

    they should be worried. how long does this have to go on?

    we can all thank the democratic leadership for handing the election to the republicans on a silver platter.


    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. nowlin w.wells

    Hillary does not seem to sound or act presidential and this
    could translate that she needs to lead people through negative responses. The fact that after reading, the bad stuff she is not very likeable . Barack is not perfect, he is willing tobuild the type of America
    where All people a hope . This goes against general Idea of Afflency,
    So Many people who Identify with Hillary have a problem with Barack
    followers.But In two weeks the storm will cease.

    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. jd

    Bitter Bickering is getting old! The Billary Dynasty should just accept that they are not going to win. Thank you Billary for such a gift. Obama will win after all. Obama/08

    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. H


    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. John Smith

    Just listen to someone, like Janie, in NC. She is "bitter" as Obama has clearly stated, and blinded by all the Hillary/Bill lies to this nation. Why/ because Janie is a woman, and is "clining" to gender; she wants a "woman" president even though she ahs her husband have tanished the "good names of women. The truth hurts Janie, Obama does not need your vote!

    I will say a decade of the Rosary to Perpetual Help for people like Janie who need some real emotional growth!!

    April 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Jack in ND

    Well, I'm an independent, and I was always planning on voting for McCain if Obama didn't get the nomination...even back when Obama and Clinton were still warm and fuzzy and "honored to be sharing the stage" with each other and whatnot.

    And I'll still be voting for McCain if Obama doesn't get the nomination even after the people in this poll unite behind whichever one wins the nod because they are the Democrat.

    I don't remotely think that McCain will be Bush's third term...I like McCain (although his willingness to jump on this Obama elite thing is disappointing).

    All that matters to me is no more Bush White Houses and no more Clinton White Houses.

    That is Priority One.

    April 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. KM

    Everyone is saying that the longer this goes on, the better it is for the Democratic Party and the winning candidate will be tried and tested. I'm not buying that argument, the Democratic party have three sides as I see it; those for Hillary, those for Barack and those that don't like either and have yet to choose. Whoever gets the nomination, I feel that the losing side will do everything in their power to show that the other people picked the wrong candidate.

    Bush and his way of thinking has brain washed up so much that we don't even know it. His whole political philosophy has been about if you're not for me then you're against me and that is the road that I see this party headed down.

    April 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Alice

    I honestly FEEL, right now, that if Hillary were the nominee I would vote for McCain

    but I also realize that, by November, I am likely to change my mind and vote Democrat no matter who the nominee is – holding my nose if I have to

    April 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. female grad student NYC

    Charlotte Whitton once said: "A woman has to work twice as hard as a man to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not too difficult."

    That said, I hope Hillary does not cave into this kind of mounting pressure to quit...we women in male-dominated industries understand that this is just the process of advancement.

    April 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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