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. Ron, TX

    Republicans are sick of Bush and his devisiveness. Hillary Clinton is Bush-lite. She is both devisive and an old-style Washington politician. It's no surprise that Republicans ready for change think Barack Obama is the better person for the job.

    And then it's also no surprise that strictly conservative Republicans dislike Hillary Clinton. She's still a socialist in their eyes. This makes perfect sense. She is playing the conservative war hawk card on foreign policy, while playing the liberal card on social policy. Strict conservatives don't want to play games with liberal social policy, and they will simply NEVER back any democrat.

    Republicans willing to switch sides would naturally be more inclined to vote for a uniter, not a divider. After all, Bush was a great divider. And Hillary Clinton promises to continue that trend, and divide the nation. Her negatives are a consistent 45%. That's a very important number, and a very bad number for the Hillary camp come election day.

    November 5, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. matt

    This is very interesting – if it's actually true. Kind of like Hillary's claim that GOP women are eagerly waiting to switch tickets in the general and vote Democratic just because of HRC. Yeah...

    November 5, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Sophia, Oakland, CA

    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.
    Posted By Karen,ny : November 5, 2007 6:15 pm

    Care to explain what make Obama "evil" ? What is with Hilary supporters being so hateful? Please someone, anyone, tell me what makes this women so great?????

    Republicans going to support Obama is a great feat in these days of political divisivness and racial tension.

    I am proud that after a disaster like Bush, the nation has a person like Obama that inspires people on grounds other than partisanship.

    OBAMA 08

    November 5, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Brandie R. Tampa, Fl

    Obama is a great PERSON. Black, white, puerto rican, asian or any other race. The only RACE intelligent people should care about is the presidency. Fools voted Bush in & tore apart this country. It's time to get a humane and sensible person into office & Senator Obama is just that. Someone commented that white guys wouldn't vote him in. Ignorant white guys from the south are pointless in existence & just jealous because they are pale and pathetic. They can't stand that a black man is better than them. Wake up idiots!!! It's almost 2008!!!! It's "threatened" white guys like that who hang nooses-IN 2008- I know. They can't help that they're losers & have to try to put innocent black people down. I have had ENOUGH!!! I am sick of race being an issue in this country!!! We can't get along HERE-& we wonder why terrorists hate us! American's have lost their morals and ethics(a LARGE portion anyway!). Anyone who doesn't vote for Obama because he's a man of color is a moron who shouldn't have the right to vote in the first place. One should have to be intelligent to have the right to vote. How 'bout that one? For one, the man's mom was a sweet white lady...just like the redneck racist white guys in the south. It's pathetic when all you have in life is being white.

    This coming from a white WOMAN!!!!

    Anyone with a brain should know it's not about the party affiliation, it's about the candidate. Any successful human being can also see it's not about color.

    November 5, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Karen, NYC

    We Republicans are united and will select the BEST candidate regardless of party. I am one of those who will switch parties to support Senator Barack Obama. This is a very critical time in our nation’s history and we need to put our differences aside and vote for the best candidate that has the vision and 'can do' attitude to get things done in Washington. Besides, it’s not about what you call yourself but more importantly who has what it takes to turn the page on everyday politics in Washington. Senator Barack Obama is careful with his words but strong on his desire not only to take the lead but to place the right staff in the right place to bring back dignity and respect to our nation.

    November 5, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Maddoxx, NY, NY.

    I don't trust the Republican support. Their votes are for a reason: to vote down the people they hate. Remember how we ended up with Liberman. He won because of Republicans. The question is: if you win by vitues of vengeful republican votes, do you think you are still a genuine and honorable Democrat? Republican will just do a Lieberman on Democrats for the wrong reason: Hatred.

    My vote is firm: For Hillary.

    November 5, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Walt, Belton, TX

    Well, I reckon he'd be a hindsight better than ole Hillarity Clinton!

    November 5, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Colin742

    It is likely that some Black Republicans will vote for Obama and that some female Republicans will vote for Hillary. It also possible that a few disillusioned Republicans of any stripe will vote for a Democrat. None are likely to have a significant affect on Primary results.

    November 5, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. michael s., sacramento ca

    Question for CNN – Where's the story about people who have broken party lines to support Ron Paul?

    November 5, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. Matt, Coral Gables, FL

    If you want real change in Washington, then you need to support Ron Paul, and not Barack Obama.

    For all the Republicans out there who are sick of the current administration's Neo-conservative agenda, you wouldn't even need to change your voter registration for the primaries. Don't confuse the wrong direction we are currently headed in with your party, and realize that it is the Neo-conservatives who have hijacked it.

    Support the real conservative Republican from Texas who is fundamentally different from that other guy from there whom we call our president.

    We need to get Bush and Cheney out of the White House, restore the Constitution and Habeas Corpus, bring our troops home, close Guantanamo, and end Big Government spending!

    November 5, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Lance in Monrovia CA

    I am an Obama volunteer in Monrovia, CA. I have personally met five different Republicans at volunteer meetings here since I started holding meetings. We actually have one tonight at the Coffee Bean in Monrovia at Myrtle and Foothill if anyone would like to attend.

    I've also spoken to a handful of Republicans at the street festival here that support Obama. But the five I mentioned are those that have actually shown up to volunteer on his behalf.

    I hear the same story every time. A few have been veterans who voted for Reagan and can't stomach Bush or any of the Repub candidates. They all feel that Obama has a great head on his shoulders and is the most sincere candidate with the best ideas and ability to end the troublesome gridlock in Washington.

    I know one of the Republican volunteers I met recently was having a tee shirt printed up so that he can be honest when he goes out canvassing. His tee shirt printing was going to read, "Republicans For Obama."

    Its not just Democrats that are fed up and ready for real change, its Republicans too and Obama appeals to them greatly.

    Obama 08. Stop the Hate. Change Our Fate. Don't be Late.

    November 5, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Steve, Campbell, CA

    I look forward to the report on those who registered Republican to support Ron Paul, the numbers are much bigger.

    November 5, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. hillarylover NY NY

    This really should make Obama feel bad. People are not supporting him because they like him and his policies, they are supporting him because he is what is perceived to be the opposite of Hillary. I wouldn't want that vote if I were him.

    November 5, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Eric, Carol Stream, IL

    Such absolute fools these people are. Obama has really pulled the wool over their eyes. If they truly payed attention, they would see he's just as much a part of the partisan establishment and the rest of them. If these people had half a brain, they'd have voted for Ron Paul for change in Washington.
    You want change? Wake up, folks!
    Vote Ron Paul for President in 2008.

    November 5, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Ranger19

    Any Republican who would support Obama is a RINO and good riddance.
    We don't want you in the party anyway.
    Don't come back.

    November 5, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Bonnie Fraire

    I can not vote for someone who will not salute the American Flag. I have never voted by party and I won't now, but for the Leader of our country to not salute my flag is dispicable.

    November 5, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Curtis, Bloomington, Indiana

    Me and my family are all moderate Republicans. We have decided we are still voting red in the next election unless Obama is the nominee, and I know several other Republicans with the same position. If I'm going to vote for a candidate that patronizes and polarizes I mine as well make it my own party. I've been following the campaign very closely and one thing I've noticed is that red or blue, Senator Obama is something very different. In a time of divided government, its the smallness of our politics not the size of our issues that needs attending to.

    November 5, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. Mike, Modesto, CA

    Pam the "Independent" wrote: 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


    November 5, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  19. Gary Goldberg Boca Raton FL

    I also changed my party so that I can support Obama. If anyone is interested, my name is Gary Goldberg from the state of Florida and my email is I hope it helps you!

    November 5, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. Lance in Monrovia CA

    To the person above who touts the article questioning Obama's transparency...

    Obama has BY FAR been the most transparent of all the candidates either Repub or Dem. He has released his single earmark and is the only candidate to voluntarily release his tax returns.

    He's also been single handedly accomplishing ethics reform in Washington, passing the first ethics reform in a generation and not accepting federal lobby money. That's about as transparent as one can get.

    He's known as the go to guy for ethics, and the bill he passed recently will put information about every politician on line for all to see who is voting for what.

    As for Republicans supporting Obama, the ones I've met are not part of some Rove inspired plot. They are genuinely fed up with the partisan divide and politics as usual. They recognize that Hillary is the most divisive figure in politics and that her election will lead to more gridlock.

    Obama is far, far away from being a Republican. His ideas are decidedly liberal compared to Hillary.

    These Republican folks simply want a government that works, instead of the disaster that it has become.

    Just because you're a Republican doesn't mean you're a complete robot. The Republican party has moved so far away from it's original intent that who can blame people for craving something more sane and different.

    Obama 08

    November 5, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. Lindsay, Cottage Grove Oregon

    I've never thought there was a difference between the two parties so never voted. I have, however, registered as a Republican so I can vote for Ron Paul. He's the only one with a voting record that matches what he says plus he's always voted NO on any legislation that is unconstitutional! It's time to vote for the PERSON, and Ron Paul is running for the people of this country, NOT the party or special interests.

    I will DEFINITELY not vote for someone who is a member of the CFR (look up Council on Foreign Relations), and sadly, your Barack Obama is a member.

    November 5, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Jackson, Morongo Valley, CA

    "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. ............ HE'S THE ONLY ONE THAT ADMITTED TO GETTING ONLY 300!!! Be careful about what you read ... it is very seldom the whole story.

    November 5, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Cliff, Philly, PA

    Count another one here in PA. Everyone in my family is a die-hard Republican, and I've just registered Democrat (from being Independent) just so I can vote for Barack in the Primary. Now, to work on my parents and sister to do the same...

    November 5, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Kim, Dallas, TX

    This is just awesome that people are finally seeing the light. Obama is one of the only candidates that could potentially unite parties. I know we have many prejudiced people in our country and others that are just plain ignorant (those that constantly bring up his name and then decide he is Islamic due to a name-ignorant for sure). I hope that ignorance and prejudice do not win out in this election. We have too much at stake. I have always voted Democrat, but I would not vote for Hillary. There is too much controversy behind her and simply no way that she would unite the masses. She is way too polarizing and would only assure corporate America as the ruling party. We need someone that can get us out of the mess this administration has created. Nearly all of the Republican candidates are jumping on the fear bandwagon to win votes again. I am just plain tired of that platform and the need to go to war with every country we have a difference with. I never voted for Bush, never supported his ideology. HE is an evil man, not Obama. I cannot imagine how someone could think Obama is evil. Can you please explain yourself to me Karen in NY?

    Here you have a guy that has been seen internationally as someone that can be a positive changing force for the world as a whole. He has so many success stories behind him. In 2005 a British Journal New Statesman listed Obama as one of ten people who could change the world. Time magazine named him one of the world's most influential people in both 2006 and 2007. It's time the public as a whole wakes up to the potential that lies within this man. He is a born leader.

    November 5, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Vernon Loyd Rockledge, FL

    Hard core Republican Clinton haters will say and do anything to try to defeat the Clintons. Hillary is by far the most qualified person to become President. Beware of anyone who these right wing republican nuts support. GO HILLARY!!

    November 5, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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