November 5th, 2007
06:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Republicans in early states change parties to support Obama

Sen. Obama participated in the annual Steak Fry hosted by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Illinois, presidential campaign announced today that more than 300 former Republican voters from New Hampshire and Iowa are switching their party affiliation to actively support Obama, D-Illinois, in those crucial first two contests.

“I’ve been a Republican all my life, but the challenges we face are too great to choose a candidate based on his party—we need to the choose the candidate who can bring fundamental change to Washington and start getting things done again,” Jerry Spivak said. “Barack Obama is the only candidate who will be able to break the partisan logjam and inspire Americans to come together around real solutions.”

Obama's campaign sent out a list of 268 Iowa Republicans and 68 New Hampshire Republicans who changed their party registration and promised to vote for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • New Hampshire
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Ca Native

    As an independent in California (normally votes Republican) I will be be changing to support Obama.

    Anyone but Hillary!

    November 5, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Anonymous, VA

    As a Republican, I would promise to vote for Obama in the general election with the assurance Hillary would not get the Democrat nomination. I very much believe her election to the WH is just too dangerous and would be an extension, no, an escalation of the partisan bickering we have experienced the last 15 years, or so.

    November 5, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Ga Voter

    I too will be switching this year to vote for Obama..., anyone but Hillary!!

    November 5, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Carol, MD

    This is awesome! They're crossing party lines. That's right! Go to the light, baby, go to the light! Hee, hee.

    November 5, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Who knows if this is true or not. Thought I'd share this article on Obama published in the Chicago Sun Times:

    Living in a glass house

    POLITICS | Obama's push for Clinton to disclose her first lady papers raises questions about his own transparency

    November 5, 2007
    BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Columnist
    WASHINGTON - White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is making government transparency a centerpiece of the latest phase of his campaign, does not always practice what he preaches when it comes to his own business.

    Obama is accusing chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) of being secretive and slowing down the release of her official first lady papers in the Clinton Library, documents that could help buttress - or erode - her claim of presidential experience.

    Since last Tuesday's Democratic debate in Philadelphia, Obama has been stepping up his criticism of Clinton on the matter of transparency, which makes it timely to look at his own record.

    Obama deserves credit for pushing for a law, signed last year, creating a searchable database containing federal contracts. He also has been a champion of new Senate ethics rules to force more disclosure about bundlers who help raise campaign cash. He has pushed for the creation of a Congressional Ethics Enforcement Commission, to make it easier for the public to pursue ethics complaints.

    Sometimes Obama has come late to the game. He did not stop taking rides on subsidized corporate jets until the week he was tapped to be the Democrats' chief spokesman on ethics in January 2006. In 2005, Obama took 23 such private aircraft flights, some to attend fund-raisers he headlined. In 2006, Obama led the fight to ban lawmakers from taking cut-rate private air travel.

    On other fronts, the Obama transparency record is lacking.

    • • An Obama spokesman, Ben Labolt, last week declined to say where Obama's records from his years in the Illinois State Senate are located. There is no law mandating the state to archive the records. The records from Obama's office - if he kept them - would potentially show appointments with lobbyists, policy memos, meetings, etc.

    • • Obama has supported more earmark disclosure to bolster government transparency. Last June, Obama disclosed the earmarks he requested for Illinois and national interests. However, his office, after repeated requests since June, has yet to disclose earmarks Obama sought in 2006, before he was running for president.

    • • Obama does list the names of hundreds of bundlers - people committed to raising at least $50,000 for the campaign - on his Web site. He brags about the disclosure on the stump.

    But that's literally all Obama does, list a name. No cities or states, information that is available to his campaign. Some names are well known because the bundlers are celebrities or longtime activists. But it's a big country, and there are more than one Bob Clark and Lou Cohen. Just listing a name does lip service to meaningful disclosure.

    Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, in a memo sent last week after the debate, said Obama is "setting a new standard of openness in campaign fund-raising." That's because the bar is very low.

    • • Obama's campaign has refused to identify the biggest bundlers, people who are raising at least $200,000 for him and are given membership in his National Finance Council. Obama, as all major candidates, declines most of the time to disclose details about most fund-raising events.

    • • During a town hall meeting last month in Dover, N.H., Obama pledged that he would post all meetings he would hold as president on the Internet. As a senator, Obama has never done that.

    • • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) routinely releases a detailed schedule of his Washington, D.C., meetings - with international leaders, Illinois state and local officials, constituents and lobbyists.

    November 5, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. David, Los Angeles, CA a committed Democrat, I have to be suspicious of any candidate who appeals so strongly to Republicans. I have always believe that your character is shown as much by your enemies as your friends. It's easy to please everyone when you're an empty suit who speaks in empty platitudes about "hope" and "unity." I prefer a fighter who is willing to be unpopular.

    I have my reservations about Hillary, but since the party who elected George W. Bush seems to hate her so much, I know she must be doing something right!

    November 5, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Ken Consaul, Yucaipa, Ca 92399

    Does CNN really thing the change in party affiliation of 300 voters is worthy of a front page link?
    Are we supposed to believe this is the iceberg tip of a trend?
    Perhaps these 300 will send him over the top to victory.
    This wasn't even blog worthy much less news worthy.

    November 5, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Kendall, Memphis, TN

    Go Obama! Woohoo! Looks like Hillary's "lock" on the nomination isn't so secure after all! This is great news for an avid Obama supporter.

    November 5, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I wonder how many Republicans would switch to vote for Hillary...I'm guessing not too many. Yet another reason why nominating Hillary will likely bring more gridlock in Washington.

    November 5, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. RD

    I agree with anyone but Hillary but still leaning toward John Edwards. Stands for real american values but willing to be fair to everyone and admit when he is wrong. The only canidate I know that has said they were wrong. make me respect him.
    John Edwards 08'

    November 5, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Gitahi, Dallas TX

    Now this is when you know that the country is moving away from partisan politics. Obama is the only politician who is capable of healing the divide that exists in this country. He has a secret weapon that the media is not picking up. Wait while he picks up the conservatives/evangelical vote in IA and NH. Boy..oh boy. People do not want to accept it but Obama is the only one in the democratic race that can win the general elctions comfortably. I am waiting for Obama haters like Theinsider, Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky, Jeff Spangler, Monte Brown, New York, NY, Daniel, NY, sevens7777 Frisco, Tx and the other uninformed to spill bile over this. Get over it guys. Hillary invincibility is an illusion created by the media. Do I hear Howard Dean all over again? I am telling you.

    November 5, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Gee, a politician that can bring together people from different backgrounds (Obama), or one that will continue to tear this country apart (Clinton).

    November 5, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Dwayne Mesa AZ


    November 5, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Jason, Silver Spring, MD

    I can't think of a better reason to pick Sen. Obama over Sen Hillary Clinton. He's the only candidate to really get republican crossover votes.

    November 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Chip Celina OH

    Ca Native,

    I'm along your lines. Been a Repub forever and am really liking what I hear from Obama. He's definitely on the short list!

    This is a stark contrast to the number of Dems that say they won't vote for Hillary no matter what.

    He brings the Republicans in, she runs the Democrats off. Both are agents of change, one positively charged, one negatively.

    Sort of like basic chemistry!

    November 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Banko

    As a Republican, I'm voting for Obama.
    We need real change. Republicans and Democrats must come together to confront our major challenges. This is the only way to break the current gridlock.

    November 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Rodak - Sacremento, CA

    Wow, 300 new former Republican supporters. That is huge, great news story.

    I wonder though how many former democratic supporters will switch to the dark side when they realize that Hillary may actually be the next President? I would imagine it would be quite larger than 300. But I don't think you will see that story covered on Commie News Network

    November 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |

    The connivance and tricks of the GOP have no bounds. I theorize that the republican party would want Sen. Obama to win the nomination, knowing that many white voters in the general election would not vote for a black man for president, particularly in the southern states. This stinks like the chicanery of Rovean machination.

    November 5, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Andrew, Decatur IL

    I would disagree with Mr. Spivak guy.

    Ron Paul will bring a fundamental change and he is already uniting Americans.

    November 5, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Karen,ny

    Well, I don't care for Obama and I will not vote for him. As a Democrat I think that this is ridiculous. I can't believe that this is happening. Obama is an evil man! They already had one of those Harkin's Annual Steak Fry. How many of those are they going to have.

    November 5, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. Former Republican

    I changed my party in CA from Republican to Democrat to support Obama as well.

    November 5, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. JT in TN

    What's the point of switching parties in New Hampshire? They have open primaries. Also, how many of these people are long time Republicans and didn't switch to Republican just to switch back? These numbers are hardly meaningful at all whatsoever.

    November 5, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Pam, Long Beach, California

    As an independent in California...I say, ANYONE but a republican! This administration has ensured that I will NEVER and I mean NEVER vote for another republican. I've learned my lesson! Hilary, Barack, John Edwards...anyone but a repub!

    November 5, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks CA

    What about all the Democratic voters who have switched parties to vote for Ron Paul?

    There are far more "Dems 4 Ron Paul" type groups than there are "Repubs 4 Obama" groups out there.

    November 5, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Patricia Wilson-Smith

    This is precisely why I support Senator Obama. His message resonates with AMERICANS, not just Democrats or Republicans. Senator Obama will be the next President of the United States.

    November 5, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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