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. John, Texas

    I wouldn’t say I’m a Republican, but I’m pushing 50 years old and have never voted Democrat for President, Governor, or Senator. But, If Obama gets the nod for the Democrats, I’ll jump on that bandwagon

    November 5, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. enock kebati, Rosemount, Minnessota

    Republicans are sure for a landslide victory if Obama is the Demo candidate. No experience, ties with Muslims, no substance massage in campain trail. Obama will loss big time

    November 5, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Joe, DC

    Three hundred voters. Guess how many people voted in the 2004 Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary: 100,000 in Iowa and 218,000 in New Hampshire. Three hundred voters out of 318,000. And this is news? What a ridiculous joke. Yeah, this will really swing the tide to Obama. Can you say DESPERATION?

    November 5, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. David, Dallas Tx

    And the Republicans were hoping Giuliani would be the candidate who would have cross-party/independent appeal to win swing states....

    He probably will be, if Dems put Clinton in the race.

    November 5, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    David from L.A.,

    By thinking that way, YOU are a part of the problem. Just because the independents fell for Bush and the Republicans let him do what they want, does not mean that we as Democrats should be revengeful. It is time for reconciliation and we can be the better party about this. By including Republicans who are sick of the antics of their own party, we are opening ourselves up for others to realize what Democratic values truly are.

    November 5, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    And democrats are changing parties to vote for Ron Paul, so many in fact inquired about it that it when registration was still open they had links describing how to go about doing this right on the top of his main page, but that apparently that doesn't warrant mention. Neither does the fact that Ron Paul's supporters have raised about 3 million dollars and counting just today. Oh well, I'd rather they help push Obama than any other democrat. Obama vs Paul would be a dream race.

    November 5, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Chris B. Greenville, SC

    Is this really newsworthy or just more pro-Democrat propaganda from CNN? 268 Iowa Republicans changing their party registration out of how many registered? 574,000 from what I can find. That's a whopping .047%! Certainly more newsworthy than the improving economy, low unemployment and progress in Iraq.

    November 5, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    No surprise here. Some Republicans are plain haters and they think that supporting another hater (Obama) will knock off Hillary, the sure fire winner. They need to stop the hating. Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate, the most experienced candidate and she's READY TO LEAD.

    November 5, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. andy, Seattle, WA

    Can these Republicans change back the party after, lets assume, they push Obama as the Democratic Party candidate? why not? he would be an easier target in the final presidential election when the debate will be (hopefully) more on issues than 'character' as everybody tries to suggest now.

    Sorry Obama, your talk is good! it reminds us of communist ideals, sharing the pizza, hoping for better life.. but it will finally make us all poor. I thought America was the land of opportunities for hardworking people with great spirits, who are taking risks to reach goals. What risks do you take to tell us something debatable? All you do is catch Hillary's words .. maybe, maybe its something to trash there. Is this the American spirit? I will not vote for you!

    November 5, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. James Claremont, CA

    Doesn't Ron Paul get 300 Dems to switch everyday? He's the only wanting to end our military entanglements.

    November 5, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Dan, NJ

    I put myself in the opposite category. I prefer Obama but would vote for Edwards, Biden, Richardson, etc. if nominated. However, I could not vote for Clinton because I see her as a left leaning Bush when it comes to divisiveness.

    November 5, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Becky, Arcadia, CA

    As a Democrat, I'm going to switch to vote for Ron Paul.

    November 5, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Armando, Los Angeles, CA

    As a former registered Republican for seven years before my switch to the Democratic side in 1994, this makes perfect sense. A lot of GOP folk who felt that their principles were compromised by GWB are looking at Obama, but for more than just being the anti-Hillary option. I hope that this trend continues in the early states, as it will mean that Barack will score some serious momentum. GOBAMA!

    November 5, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. JJ Lovithal, Dallas, TX

    Same story here - was a diehard Republican. The last 8 years have left a bad taste in my mouth. At this point, I just think that we're at a place where this country needs fundamental change. The only truly transformative figure I see out there is Obama. He seems to aspire to greatness, which I believe is the same quality this country should aspire to as well.

    November 5, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Pete, NY

    I have also switched parties from Republican to Democrat to support Obama in the primaries. I think he can be a great consensus candidate, and will bring people together.

    November 5, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Todd, Hermosa Beach

    There you have it. The same people who support George Bush support Barak Obama. guess some voters just like inexperience!

    November 5, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Karen from NY, you say you are a Democrat and consider Obama an evil person?!?! Let me tell you, you are NOT a Democrat in my book!

    November 5, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    As a democrat, I will continue to listen to all candidates regardless of the party each represent. Change is not an option for this great country. I pray we get it right this time.

    November 5, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Ca Native

    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!

    Posted By Pam, Long Beach, California : November 5, 2007 6:18 pm


    Pam, interesting you have such a staunch opposition to Republicans. Locally speaking, Arnold's doing a pretty good job. Gray Davis couldn't carry Arnold's political water.

    Just curious – are you a teacher?

    November 5, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. jw, canadian,ok

    Holy Liberal, I feel a landslide!

    November 5, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. Mike, Lansing, MI

    The Republicans might vote for Barack to throw off the possibilty of having to face Clinton. In the Main Election they would simply vote Republican again if Barack won. This old political trick never gets enough people to do it to make it work though, but it does fool the press for while 🙂

    November 5, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    As an Illinois native and longtime tracker of Obama, I'm shocked at the idiocy of all you people jumping on the bandwagon of this media-made myth that is Obama. HOW CAN YOU SAY HE BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER? Because he says so? Because liberal outlets like CNN report ridiculous stories like this? Based on his voting record, the only objective measure, he's the most extreme candidate of either party. That means he never finds a way to find common ground with the other party. Please open up your eyes. No experience, no substance, empty rhetoric, trying to hide his extremist voting record. Obama is a sham.

    November 5, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. ..::Eddie::.. Atlanta, GA

    While some are not impressed with 300 Republicans switching sides, the dynamic of these early-voting states should be taken in account.

    The Iowa Caucus operates as an evening discussion of candidate supporters. If there are hundreds of Republicans in the Democratic Caucus arguing on behalf of the uniting power of Obama, the impact will be huge. Supporters for second-tier candidates will take notice and increase Obama's numbers throughout the evening. This could be noted as a deciding factor come Jan 3.

    Now, if the NH Primary follows the Iowa "Bi-Partisan" victory for Obama, his support will have grown amongst both parties for another vital win.

    Alas, this race is very fluid, and anything can happen. I advise every caring voter to engage in research on the candidates' policies and platforms. If our decisions are based on media rhetoric, we'll do a disservice to ourselves and our nation as a whole.

    November 5, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. David S., Chicago, IL

    Go Obama! As an independent (that means I don't fully affiliate myself with the Democrat or Republican parties), Obama represents real change – I'd really prefer a Gore/Obama ticket but that is just dreaming. Hillary is going to be a mistake – I have respect for her and for women who seek the office of President but do not feel she is going to unite the Country – and she represents the status quo. We all have the same needs!


    1. Stop Funding the War – Invest in OUR COUNTRY!
    2. Spend money on Universal Preventative Healthcare
    3. Invest INVEST in Public Primary/Secondary Education and Higher Education!
    4. REAL NATIONAL SECURITY: Invest and Innovate in alternative energies! Protect the environment!
    5. Improve our standing in the world!
    6. Reform immigration! Make citizenship a privledge – contribute to the well-being of our country!

    November 5, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. Russ Schultz, Springfield MO

    I'm 47 and have voted Republican my entire life. I am supporting Barack Obama in this year's elections as well.

    November 5, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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