January 12th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: McCain poses greatest threat to Democrats

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican presidential field will face a tough general election fight from the Democrats, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Saturday.

According to the survey, either of the Democratic frontrunners, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York or Barack Obama of Illinois, hold mostly double-digit – and statistically identical - advantages over Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee, drawing more than 50 percent support in each hypothetical matchup.

The Republican candidate who gives Clinton and Obama the closest race in the new poll is Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is essentially tied with both: he draws the support of 48 percent of those surveyed to both Clinton's 50 percent and Obama's 49 percent.

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soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Joe from NC

    I am a Democrat, but I agree that John McCain has a very good chance of winning if he is nominated. He will probably be able to distance himself from Bush due to their rivalry 8 years ago and his maverick reputation, and aside from his role in the Keating 5 scandal, he has a pretty clean ethics record.

    One reason for his performance in these polls could be the fact that his campaign has been all but ignored for the last 6 months. Now that the spotlight will be on him, there is a good chance that his unfavorability will increase.

    January 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Jack, Greenville, SC

    jaz –

    Clinton admits that she has no way to fund any of what she proposes. Actually, it sounds like pizzazz over sound policy.

    January 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Anthony

    The headline, "Poll: McCain gives Dems run for their money" makes absolutely no sense once you read the article. Try: "Poll: Dems give Republicans a run for their money, McCain only to narrow the gap,"

    January 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. kris

    jaz ..she did not win the new hamsphire..re-count will be underway soon and you will be suprised.

    January 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Sid

    If it is OBAMA v/s McCain, I would vote for McCain
    and Hillary V/s McCain, I would vote for Hillary.

    I have been a lifelong democrat, but I could not vote for Obama, who has no experience, and only thing he has to offer are good flowery words.

    Actions speak louder than words, and for Hillary it clearly shows. She has delivered in her 2 terms a NY senator, and as the White House lady.

    I am surprised at the rhetoric, as to how can Hillary can claim , White house experience, when she was not the president.

    But I want to help everyone's memory that 10 years back it was the same media and Clinton haters that basically claimed that White house was being run by Hillary and not by Bill.

    Why so double standards?

    Also, am upset, with democrats. If you look at Republicans, you like them or not, they are more disciplined than democrats. They will project the candidate, who can win elections for them and will rule the White house for the next 8 years, even after the 8 years of republican blunder.

    I also see, that republicans want OBAMA to win the democratic primary, so that would gaurantee Republican win in 08. Wake up fellow democrats, vote for HIllary, and have the candidate who has delivered and not a neophyte who has no understanding of anything.

    We have seen 8 years of republican neophyte rule, and let us not bring this country down.

    When Bush took over, the US dollar was strong against the Euro, and look at its worth, it is now down more than 20%. Let us be honest, did we get 20% raise to equal up that. Defintely NOT.

    In the financial circles, it is stated that with OBAMA, the dollar would be down another 60% against Euro.

    Please wake up, we don't want to hear good speeches, but want someone who really cares about us, and makes our life better.

    January 12, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Parick

    We don't need a 70 billion dollar spending package that Hiliary Clinton is proposing we need LESS spending by our government. A dramatic reduction in spending across the board. I like what Ron Paul says about a totally different idea of monetary policy but I don't like his stance on much else. I will be voting for McCain b/c while he isn't as extreme as Paul about changing our government he at least realizes that we shouldn't be spending one more dollar than we have.

    Many state governments are bound by law to balance their budget, why doesn't our federal government work this way? I literally don't know can someone fill me in please?

    January 12, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Jr

    If Obama wins.. all of the moderate democrats and independents will vote for Mc Cain.

    January 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Denis, NJ

    I think we're all forgetting the "running mate factor". If McCain picks smartly he may well win. But if he picks a warmonger like Lieberman, his general election campaign may just crash and burn. I think this country is bleeding from the war spending, and I'd like that to end soon. In fact, that's my worry that McCain may be in no hurry to get the troops out of Iraq.

    Everybody's so critical of the Clintons, but while you may not like them as people, the economy was in excellent shape when Bill Clinton was in office, and nobody was complaining about the strength of the dollar.

    Come on... Reason over feelings is what we need in this election.

    January 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Tom Davie


    The housing sector and AMERICAN people need some help here. This is what the government is for.

    Yes, 70bil is adding more to the debt, but the LONG term affects of doing nothing will COST american far far MORE.

    Americans in general dont have much of a CLUE on what is economically happening in the united states. Its FAR WORSE than the media is letting you know. They have STALLED about admitting the country is in recession for about 3 months now , until they just cant STALL it anymore.

    January 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. George, Billerica, Mass.

    CNN, can we hold you to these numbers come November? Did you estimate turnout in each of the 50 States, seeing as a Presidential election is 50 separate elections for slates of Electors? (As an example, if a Democratic candidate polls better than another in major metro areas, but poorer in swing States, that candidate is not more electable, even if their overall number is higher.) And don't you think just maybe these pre-election polls can be biased towards candidates in the headlines more recently or often? Do you really believe that a poll in January, before the two nominees are known and campaign against each other, will even resemble an actual result in November?

    I respectfully ask that you quit distracting voters with simplistic polls and devote more resources to covering the primaries, especially about the candidates' records and positions on all the issues. We can decide on our own who we think is more electable or personable.

    January 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Ike

    does anyone say why they won't vote for Romney? or just that they won't? What issues, please give legitimate examples, do people dislike. He is by far the most qualified.

    January 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |

    If it comes down to those three, I'll make sure to vote for dog catcher or anybody but. If Ron Paul runs on the Constitution Party ticket I'd vote for him.

    I'm tired of fishing around in the toilet and having to select the best looking turd.

    January 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Daniel

    I think Jr is wrong. From the way I see it, the only chance the Republicans have is if Hillary wins. I am an independent and my wife is a republican and Obama will probably have both of our votes come November. Most of the other Republicans I've talked to would consider voting for Obama if Romney doesn't get the Repulican nomination (I live in Utah where a lot of people like Romney). Lots of people like Obama because he could potentially unify the country. No Republican I've talked to would even consider voting for Hillary. She's too decisive.

    January 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Daniel

    PS. I meant to write devisive, not decisive.

    January 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Kris

    Why not Huckabee for president ? I mean seriously , he has gotten alot of votes compared to the money he has. He is the only candidate of the "frontrunners" that doesn't attract the "big" money. Doesn't that tell you something ??

    Do you want another president supported by the large multinationals ? Cause it doesn't matter whether you vote Mccain, Hillary, Obama, Romney ..... they are all supported by the same large corporations. They won't do a thing for you.

    Huckabee on the other hand has almost no money and atleast he makes a stand on issues and doesn't care whether or not his views are popular. Isn't it that what you want ? A president who will do what's right instead of change his opinion every 5 minutes .... ?

    Obama has 0 experience and Hillary hasn't done a thing as senator. Mccain has been senator for a long time, but he doesn't always do what he says and votes for or against although he says something else in the media.
    Huckabee on the other hand has been governor for 13 years !!!!! Do you really think people vote for you if your policy doesn't work ?? Think about it ..... .

    Also Huckabee is a social republican and you can check his trackrecord as governor. I think he deserves a chance !

    January 12, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Anthony M

    I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR HILLARY, I've voted democrat ever since I was old enough to vote, but if Hillary is the choice I will vote Republican

    January 12, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. James

    Just another poll with the media trying to influence the people to vote for a candidate of the medias choice.

    I mean realy, if you are still an undecided voter at this point you have got to be a complete moron.

    Americans deserve all of the greedy and corrupt politicians that we get in Washington. People let the media decide who they should vote for because they are too lazy/stupid to research it on their own.

    January 12, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. A2

    CNN won't print my comment about their polls being biased. Well, I bet they are biased. Everyone knows polls can be manipulated, including my grandmother, who used to make her living taking them for companies. I remember before Shwarzenegger ran for re-election I saw a poll in a liberal paper that had him losing; he ended up winning in a landslide. The point is that if CNN says McCain is even with Obama or Clinton, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will come out ahead in the general election.

    Liberals have co-opted the media, with the exception of Fox and talk radio, but the one thing they have failed to manipulate is the will of the American people.

    Mark my words, after all the smoke has cleared, after you've read hundreds of articles and watched thousands of news segments declaring the Democratic candidate the likely victor, Obama or Clinton, whichever one is nominated, will be trounced in the general election.

    January 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Tom Wittmann

    I agree totally with the bloggers saying that the national polls showing figures regarding the presidential elections tell nothing, between other because of the
    electoral system which do no count votes, but electors. Therefore a candidate polling 60% thanks to large majorities in NY, California, Illinois etc can easily loose and then complain !!

    But if I "poll" the opinions of the people on this blog (and not only here) , one issue seems to emerge:

    – the Democratic party is so much divided regarding the easily attackable candidates Clinton and Obama that many would vote a moderate republican
    as McCain if their candidate doesn't win. And if this persists, they will loose the

    – as the aversion against Hillary is the largest and growing, her chances would be nil, her only left being that the Republicans do not chose McCain but somebody like Huckabee (or Ron Paul !!)

    January 12, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Alex Schultheis

    All I have to say is Real Clear Politics. I mean Mitt Romney losing to Edwards is really bad, by double digits is worse. McCain just has great charisma, and his experience is top notch. I am actually scared of Obama because he does unite the deomcratic base and would put up a fight against McCain for independents. But Hillary would not unite the democratic base as much as people may say, and The independents vote for McCain, as well as the conservatives. Case Closed

    January 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Proud Free Independant Texan

    This is absolutely priceless 🙂 ...right after the well known radical left-wing jihai loving Communist Party sponsored DAILY KOS extols to it's sheeple that they should vote for Romney in the MIchigan. primary (as Dems in MI can't vote in their OWN primary) as he's the easiest to beat (but as they blew it up and bugled it all around so as to ensure that every Republican KNEW their "plan" , made it obvious to anyone with half a brain that it' was a childish attempt at a REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY ploy 🙂 ...lol...). Yup, The commie Kommie Kos Klub Fears ROMNEY most of all so tried a "psych" move which would only work on the extremely uneducated members of the Republican Party.

    Now we have..guess what? Once again another far-leftist propganda outlet/communist/jihadi cheerleader, CNN (Communist News Network?) coming out with all these "polls" and "news reports" that Huckabee, and now MCCAIN is the Republicans best bet to win in 2008, and ALL the good Republican folks MUST vote for him if they want to have even the REMOTEST chance of winning against the Obamarama/Clintonista ticket. ANd of course portray MITT ROMNEY AS OUR WORST POSSIBLE CHOICE!!! Ask yourselves my fellow Republican Americans...WHY would these various LEFTIST ELITIST PROPAGANDIST groups do this? Duh....

    VOTE ROMNEY/THOMPSON in 2008!!! At least Romney/Thompson are financed/backed by themselves and AMERICAN donors...as opposed to the others who have foreign money and the foreign owned media backing them (NBC/ABC/CNN/FOX) on both the left AND the right ends of the political spectrum. Our ONLY truly American media/money/voter backed candidates are ROMNEY/THOMPSON!!! And of course we have the Democrat in Martian's clothing as a 3rd option if you care for that sort of thing in Ron Paul...umm..you know...how could it be put *politely*?

    Show CNN/DAILY KOS/NEWSCORP/NCB/ABC/VIVENDI UNIVERSAL/BERTELSMANN AG they DON'T control the minds of the American people...no matter HOW much French/Canadian/German/Russian/Chinese/Iranian/Australian money they spend to do so!

    January 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. clapou

    Hi all...
    I am french and I will give you french's choice !
    Sorry for that, but a french will definitely vote for a democrat. In France, being a republican is considered as a very bad political choice...something between "mafia" and "politic".

    Between Clinton and Obama, I think Obama is prefered because he represents something really new and he is really looking for the future. But Clinton is somehow linked to his husband who was a really good president (from an european point of view)..So, if Clinton and Clinton are politically the same...then it become not easy to choose between Obama and Clinton.

    Please forgive my English, I am French

    January 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. chevy

    This doesn't after G.W.B ran this country no one wants a republican president except those lunatics that call themselves through republicans, The real question is, will Obama defeat Hillary for the nomination and if he does will she be his vice president? All Americans know that Obama has their hearts and best interests at mind that is why Obama is going to win this Race.

    January 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Steven in Charleston, SC


    Thank you for sharing a Eurpopean's perpsective. As our world gets "smaller" I think it is important to consider how the rest of the world perceives us.

    And please don't apologize for your language skills - your English is a lot better than my French! 🙂

    January 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Tom Wittmann

    If Lieberman is a warmonger, then there must be a lot of such in his state, voting him to the senate against the opposition of democrats and republicans.

    Objectively for the country, a ticket McCain – Lieberman would be ideal

    January 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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