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. Arthur. Orlando (expat)

    As a republican I am cheering for Clinton. I just can't see her beating anyone in a straightoff national election.

    If there were someone who could abolish the bipartisan politics-game it would be McCain. Obama might be a good man but I just can't see him making any friends from the rightwing republicans.

    November 6, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  2. Anonymous, VA

    Pam of Long Beach,

    "This administration has ensured that I will NEVER and I mean NEVER vote for another republican".

    That's just BRILLIANT Pam! Let me get this straight. Every candidate, no matter if they're Dem or Rep, has the same leadership skills and character asof other member of their party? Get real!! If that's the case why would anyone vote Democrat after Jimmy Carter? For those old enough to remember, the Carter years were truly very painful. How does an 18% fixed, 30 year home loan sound, Pam?

    November 6, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  3. Vermont

    I am an advid supporter of Barack Obama, however, if Hillary is the nominee I will vote Republican.

    November 6, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  4. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    We don't need to "start getting things done again," Jerry Spivak. We need to restore our Republic.

    November 6, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    I usually don’t comment on what things should be taken off of here. But this two-week-old joke is about one day short of a FortNight (two weeks) worth of REDICULASNESS. There by fully deserve to be taken off forever. Its REDICULAS and I have less respect for Colbert

    November 6, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  6. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Oh please, what a pack of liars. Its obvious that the reason they a switching parties is to try and push Sen. Clinton off of her mark. These people would vote in Democratic primaries and then turn around and vote Republican in the general election. Has Karl Rove been sturring th pot again. What an incredibly dishonest way to try and interfere with an election. Typical Republicans, corruption and prevarication (in other words liars and cheaters.)

    November 6, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Moz, Oville, PA

    I hope Hillary wins the nomination because I truly believe she is the agent for change we need. If you look at the years she and Bill were in the White House they fixed social security, got national health care, secured our country against terrorism, and set new standards for ethics in an administration. (Pardon me while I gag). Go Obama!!

    November 6, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Sure Republican cross overs will vote for Obama, hes their best bet at having a Republican victory in the election out of the top three Democratic canidates.

    November 6, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Michael, Carbondale, KS

    Obama will make a good president, someday. Clinton-Obama ticket. Landslide victory for the dems.

    November 6, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Ryan Indianapolis

    Straight hard cash will make anyone change parties. These people obvoiusly were not die hard republicans , cause no TRUE republican would vote for a Socialist.....Not buying it.

    November 6, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Dean, Pittsburgh, PA

    David from Los Angeles, you have reinforced my belief in the change we need. You have stated the bull-headed foolishness that has left our country in the dire need for change. Obama does not appeal to Republicans. He appeals to intelligent people. This country needs someone willing to think and respond in earnest, not play to party politics.

    Further, how would a "fighter who is willing to be unpopular" be any different than Bush? It would be the same song with a different tune.

    Finally, I am registered as an Independent, and plan to register as a Democrat to vote for Senator Obama. I think people underestimate how strong Obama's multi-partisan support has become.

    November 6, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. b-rocks New York, NY

    Wow, Karen from NY- I've heard Hillary supporters say some pretty hateful things about the man who could deny Hillary the nomination- but you're the first person to call him "evil."

    What next, Hillaryland? Are you going to accuse him of murder? We'll just wait and see...

    November 6, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Troy, LV, NV

    Why change the party, Vote for Ron Paul. All the canidates do is attack one another and make promises that are basically the same as everyone else. Ron Paul is the only one that has clear and direct ways to bring change to the country. Too bad the MSM is too afraid to give the guy a chance.

    November 6, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I disagreed with the importance of this article and did so in a non-abrasive manner and my comment was deleted. That is truly pathetic. Lauren, are opposing views not OK on your thread?

    November 6, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Jay, Kenosha, WI

    Once you get beyond Obama saying he's new and different you find that he looks very much like the other Democrat candidates. The last person to say he was something new was George W. Bush in 2000. Just what "issue" has resonated with Repubilcans that would cause a switch?

    Perhaps these "Republicans" are the kind of folks who shop and buy based on pretty packaging and not the contents. I expect them to switch back once they see Mitt Romney's hair.

    November 6, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Salita

    For all of you who think these republicans are serious about voting for Obama in the general is a thought....which do you think will be the easier win for the republicans....taking on Hillary on the issues(shades of Bill Clinton whipping republican back side in the debates) or using the "Southern strategy" on Obama? Maybe we should ask Henry Ford? Try to keep your eyes on the ball.

    November 6, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Kate, Aurora CO

    Its sad because the Republicans in power today do not represent a true Republican. They are evangelical extremists who have placed their own personal faiths above the laws of our country. They see fit to completely dimiss our constitution to fit their own personal faith based agenda and its sick. A true Republican believes in little government interference as possible but this administration with its wire tapping and outing of CIA agents is nothing like a true Republican.

    November 6, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. Doug, New Jersey

    Obama is just another lib that wants to rob hard working Americans and give their money to the paid to vote democrat entitlement class. Anyone who would support this form of socialism that is the Democratic party of today is not a good person anyway. One can only hope that fairness, kindness, and self responsibility will win again, otherwise those of us who work hard will be robbed under Obama, and probably put into "re-education" camps under Hillary.

    Since most Americans know what Hillary is all about (we are going to take things from you for the common good), I hope she gets the Dem nomination so that we can be saved from socialism by the republicans once again. Obama could win, Hillary cannot.

    November 6, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. summus

    they are switching to try and keep Clinton from getting the nomination. Republicans are afraid of Clinton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Ike. Woodbridge, VA 22193.

    I am an Afican American, a life long and card carrying democrat, but I will not vote for Obama. I live in the south and I know that there is no way Obama could possibly win in any state south of the Mason Dixon line. Thus, I believe very strongly that a vote for Obama is a wasted voted. Therefore, I will vote for Hillary because Republicans are afraid of her and they know that of all the Democrats seeking nomination, she is the only one with the organization, funds and capabilities of winning, and this is the reason why they are now doing whatever it takes, from smear tactics to scare mongering, to defeat her in the primaries. Put it this way, if Hillary Clinton's nomination is a sure defeat for democrats in 08, why are the Republicans so worried and afraid of her getting the Democratic nomination. Republicans know they could beat Obama in the general election and this is why they want him to win the Democratic nomination. GO HILLARY.

    November 6, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. brandie ragin tampa, fl

    there were some comments about republicans saying they'll vote for Obama just so they won't have to face Hillary–then changing back to republican in the final election. It disgusts me that anyone would SERIOUSLY consider doing such a vile thing. I am ashamed to even HEAR such a thing. Hasn't our country suffered enough? It would be a tyranny. Further teaching our children that trickery is what makes the world go round. It would prove other countries views of our lack of morality. Obama deserves to be president. THIS COUNTRY deserves Obama as our president. It's just that many Americans can't fathem having an open & HONEST person leading our country.
    He's not a normal, shady, dark suit. The reason he IS believable is because he is straight-forward & really believes in what he is saying.

    November 6, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. pam Eugene, OR

    Please remember you folks that are saying 300 people mean nothing. That is roughly the number of people CNN uses to gather poll information. The last 2 polls were 300 and 307 and you are lapping up the data. I think it is the tip of the iceberg. Hillary is a divider and will tear this country apart. IF HRC gets the nomination I will find a tolorable Republican to vote for.
    Anyone but Hillary
    Obama/Edwards DREAM TICKET

    November 6, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. brandie r. tampa, fl

    If Republicans change their party registration to support Obama, simply to get him on the Ballot & then change back in the final just exemplifies Republican dishonesty & breaking promises. Actions such as that, only show fear that they are unable to win fairly. But what has happened to pride? Morality? It seems that our country has MUCH more going on behind the scenes than the general public knows. Being forced to collect money via campaigning only leads to bribery & "personal" debts owed. SOCIETY created this. DON'T YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE RESPECT EACH OTHER? WHERE PRODUCT PRICES DON'T INCREASE SO EXCESSIVELY THAT WAGES CAN never CATCH UP? What REALLY matters? Do we want a president that has to buy his or her way into the presidency? I want someone who cares about the general public...& in reality...EVERY American is a part of the general public–no matter how rich or poor they are.

    Are we being forced into debt? If loan companies were responsible, would people be approved for mortgages that they cannot afford? Would there be places like "the projects" if there was a balance between wages and costs of goods & living? I've witnessed so many bad things being slung about ALL of the candidates. The big question is...does anyone ever look in the mirror & truly look at themselves before judging & tearing others apart? Things aren't even peaceful here...let alone in the Middle East.

    It would be nice if comments that bring up important issues be posted, not just ones that sling mud at candidates who aren't available to defend themselves.

    November 6, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    All I will say is Joe Liberman...and we know how that turned out!

    November 6, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. David, Los Angeles, CA

    "But, I don't think that all this fighting back and forth between the parties is what our country needs. We need to change politics, to work together."

    And then we should buy everybody in China a teddy bear. Please.

    The American people respect strength. Hillary is strong, and she will be the next President of this country. All the limp-wristed, mushy "can't we all just get along" might as well get used to it.

    This is a democracy. America's strength is in it's divisions, diversity, and differences. For there to be progress, there must be a vigorous and contentious debate, with strong forceful advocates on each side. We're talking about people's lives and welfare here, not rainbows and candy corn.

    November 6, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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