(CNN) – Despite concern among Democratic Party leaders that the drawn-out nomination battle between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may be damaging their party, a majority of Democrats want the race for the nomination to continue, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Tuesday.
Sixty percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters surveyed said the nomination fight should continue while 23 percent said Clinton should drop out, 15 percent favored Obama dropping out and 2 percent had no opinion.
Among Obama supporters, opinion was evenly split – 49 percent to 49 percent - between preferring to have the campaign continue and preferring that Clinton drop out. Sixty-nine percent of Clinton supporters, by contrast, preferred that the nomination battle continue and 28 percent said they would like to see Obama concede the nomination to Clinton.
Democrats and Democratic leaners surveyed also were split in their views of when the Democratic Party’s undecided superdelegates should weigh in and put an end to the race for their party’s nomination. Forty-five percent preferred that undecided superdelegates wait until all of the primaries and caucuses are completed in June while 24 percent said they wanted uncommitted superdelegates to resolve the nomination race after Tuesday’s primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. Slightly more than a quarter – 26 percent – said the superdelegates should wait until the convention in August to pick the Democratic nominee.
The preference for when undecided superdelegates should weigh in appears to be driven by a preference for Obama or Clinton. Supporters of Obama were twice as likely as Clinton supporters to prefer that undecided superdelegates make up their mind this week; supporters of Clinton were twice as likely as Obama’s backers to believe that superdelegates be given until the convention to pick one of the two rivals. Slightly less than half of supporters of both candidates said supderdelegates should make their decision after all primaries and caucuses are over.
The national poll of 1,019 adults was conducted by telephone May 1-3 and has an overall sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The survey included 516 Democrats or Democratic leaners and results based on that sample have a maximum sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.
According to CNN’s latest tally, Obama currently has 1745 total delegates, including 252 superdelegates and Clinton has 1602 total delegates, including 266 superdelegates. A total of 2025 delegates is needed to win the Democratic nomination and many pundits believe that neither candidate can achieve that number based on the results of the remaining primaries and caucuses. Therefore, the Democratic Party’s superdelegates are likely to ultimately decide the party’s nominee.