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.