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. Steven in Charleston, SC


    You ask "Why Not Huckabee?" Well, I'll tell you:

    We don't need a "Pastor-in-Chief." Nor do we need someone who will attempt to give lighweight answers to heavyweight problems, which is exactly what the current occupant of the Oval Office has been doing for the past seven years - and look where it has gotten us.

    We need a Leader who has the diplomatic skill to regain the goodwill we have lost in the world, one who has a true understanding of the complexity of our economy and the world market (no one with so much as the ability to read a spreadsheet would objectively think the "Fair Tax" is a good idea) and one who understands that our nation has become great because of, not despite of, its amazing diversity.

    Mike Huckabee is most definitely NOT that person.

    January 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Justin, Houston, TX

    I know one thing for sure, if Obama wins this nomination, I would definitely go Republican and vote for McCain. The Democratic party seems to have turned into a bunch of children..."I hate Hillary" and "Obama promises." I have never seen so much immaturity in my life.

    I've watched rallies for both and I don't see how you can even listen to the two of them and even begin to come away with the argument that Obama is qualified to be President. Obama speaks in these grand generalities promising to cure the world while not offering one plan of how to do it, while Hillary lays out concrete policies.

    While Obama runs through the flowers in Hopeland, I'll be voting for somebody who can get the job done. I don't have time to hope for a higher standing of living or hope this war goes away or hope I can afford to put gas in my car.

    January 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. Jen, New York, NY

    Obama/Bloomberg '08

    January 12, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Christiaan, Norman OK

    I just wanted to echo an earlier comment from Jacksonville. There really is a total lack of understanding on the part of the Coast Liberals of just how incredibly despised Hillary Clinton is in this part of the country. I know far too many, otherwise intelligent and good-hearted people, who would vote Republican just to vote against Hillary. At the end of the day it all comes down to the fact that while she was First Lady she was not a model housewife, and for whatever ignorant, backwoods values that make that a bad thing, it has created in people's minds her an unaccountable hatred for her. I've lived in Oklahoma my entire life and I'm telling you if it's Hillary for Democrat, then John McCain will carry the entire Southwest by a larger margin than Bush did.

    At the end of the day, McCain can generate the kind of bipartisan support that will carry this election. The only candidate who can compete with that is Obama.

    January 12, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Walt, TX

    John McCain has already given more for his country than any other living soul. I trust him to do the right things to both keep us as safe as possibleand to keep our freedoms to every extent possible with the threats we face. Face it folks, he's as close to an ideal kin and one could hope for in the President.

    January 12, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. Uwe Faber

    German writing from Geneva: The most impressive candidates to me seem Romney and Obama. Being European it is easier to believe in a Democrate, though. Romney is the man I would vote for, was it my country. Altogether, the set of candidates is impressive if compaared to the past...

    January 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. steve, albuquerque NM

    for the life of me, I can't figure out why McCain is so popular

    I think it is because for the past 4-6 weeks he has gottne nothing but good press without any real negative scrutiny – which will happen if he wins the nomination

    Doesn't anyone remember about 7 months ago when McCain was singing "Bomb Iran" to the tune of "Barbra Ann" ?

    Do we really want this guy in charge? he seems very out of touch

    January 12, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. JoDeeJo1983

    If it's down to McCain and Obama, my vote goes to McCain. If it's Hillary and McCain I won't be sure until the time to vote came. I'm Independent and under 30 but can see right through Obama's "time for hope time for change" slogan, the holes are so big I could drive a mac truck through it! Yes, we ALL know it's time for change but how about telling us WHAT CHANGE that would be a real change!!

    January 12, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. clapou

    I already gave you an european point of you. Now I'll give you mine.
    I woiuld have vote Obama for four reason:
    – He is democrat.
    – He speaks directly to people's ambitions. He is talking about the american dream. Iowa speech was closed to Kennedy's one.
    – He speaks directly to people's heart. Iowa speech was closed to Martin Luther King's one.
    – He was against the stupid war, angainst the liers, against the .
    – He knows that US are very very late about ecology.
    – He is black. Having somebody that comes from the south of the world as the leader of the biggest country of the occident is something that brings everybody to "universality".

    January 12, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. T

    I am voting for John Mccain, but I like Barack Obama the most out of all of the candidates. It is not about liking someone though, you have to vote for who is best for our nation, and I truly believe that McCain is that person.

    January 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Michael

    I just love how we hear of the Republicans to the 5th contender, but only 2 Democrats. You fellas might want to take a look and see there's another guy running, his name is Edwards.

    January 12, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Steven in Charleston, SC

    I respect a person's right to prefer Obama over Clinton.

    What completely boggles my mind, however, are those who say "I support Obama, but if Clinton gets the nomination, I'm voting for McCain."

    Are you kidding me?!?

    McCain is completely at odds with Barack Obama (AND Hillary Clinton) on virtually every issue:

    Obama (and Clinton and Edwards) wants to bring our troops home, McCain wants to keep them there.

    Obama (and Clinton and Edwards) wants to roll back George Bush's tax cuts, McCain wants to make them permanant.

    Obama (and Clinton and Edwards) support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," McCain thinks its ok to ask people to fight and die for our country, yet demand they live a lie while doing so; and

    Obama (and Clinton and Edwards) support a woman's right to choose, while McCain wants to repeal Roe v. Wade.

    The list goes on and on.

    Vote for whoever you want in the primaries. But come November, think long and hard about the implications of your vote before pulling that lever. Anyone who thinks McCain is a reasonable substitute for Obama just isn't paying attention.

    January 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Porter

    Let's see... government handouts for illegal immigrants, banning of free speech in the name of "campaign finance reform"... McCain's not a threat to the democrats, he is a democrat!

    January 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Jake, California

    Though an adamant, none wavering supporter of our gifted Obama, McCain is the only person I like on the Republican side but I cannot come to vote for him since i'm a dead committed Dem.

    He seems decent and generally a bit likeable. But with a head to head against Obama, he'll lose miserably.

    1. He leads is nationally at 48, whilst Obama is at 49. This means despite his well recognized name, Obama is still a favorite over him. By the time Obama's done with Nevada and South Carolina, his national rating will soar past these figures...It is only a matter of Obama being known nationally.

    2. McCain is for the war in Iraq and wants to keep the troops there...this is a no no for most Americans. One of Obama's strongest stand is to get the troops out of Iraq. McCain loses here cuz he wont get enough folks behind him for that.

    As for Hillary's 50% national approval, that's a hype, it won't last very long.

    January 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. David

    I vote for Obama or Hillary. I would probably vote for McCain over Edwards.

    January 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. joe

    I like Mike because he wants to dismantle the IRS. I lean toward John McCain because I to am a vet. I'm a registered Democrat but whoever Ted Nugent says vote for gets my ballot. I think a Mccain/Huckabee ticket would be unbeatable. Three things true Americans should fear Osama, Obama, and chelsies Momma

    January 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. mike

    first of all: mccain has an 'R' after his name. if he changed to independent then he would probably win. secondly, he is tooooo old and stubborn, as his hawkish pro-war stance since the beginning( of course our military will eventually get it together), and thirdly, his stance on imigration is a death blow from a consevative point of view...

    January 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Adam Smith

    Wait a minute I thought McCain was a democrat, certainly all his veiws are.

    January 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    >>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".<<

    Thank you for clarifying your overly simplistic political philosophies. The truth is that no one party has a monopoly on all the best candidates. People who don't realize this are uniformed at best and should try to educate themselves before spouting their silly opinions.

    My advice to you is to stick to your own country's issues (endless strikes, anti-semitism, sky-high unemployment, and an economy wrecked by left-wing policies) before attempting to tackle ours.

    January 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Jessica, IA

    Edwards is the only Democrat I'd vote for in the GE. Otherwise, I'm for McCain. Both are candidates of character, courage, and change.

    January 12, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. Wisty

    McCain and Huckabee are the only ones of the Republican pack that aren't lying snakes, and it's true that McCain puts principles over politics, BUT just because you can trust someone to do what they say isn't a good reason to vote for them if you believe that what they say they will do would be the wrong thing to do. In fact, feeling assured that they will do that wrong thing is a big reason to not vote for them. So how you feel about the war and the economy should be the driver for whether you would vote for McCain over Clinton. If you think that the war is bleeding this country to death financially and decreases security here and in the world, how could you vote for McCain who is the biggest hawk running for President – who thinks that Bush did the right thing in attacking Iraq? And if you think that the direction of the economy is turning us into one of those countries where there is a small extraordinary wealthy class (that got there by political connections or inheritance) and the rest of the population is dirt poor, then how can you vote for McCain over Clinton given that McCain wants to make the Bush tax laws permanent and thinks the economy is fine? Yes Obama is fabulous, but before you decide to vote for a Republican think about what it will mean to your life on a day-to-day basis.

    January 12, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Azar

    I am an independent voter. My friends and I have decided not to vote for Hillary. We will either vote for an independent or not vote at all.

    January 12, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Steven SF

    You "McCain Democrats" (and McCain supporters and Republicans in general) make me want to vomit. What is it about John McCain vs. Hillary Clinton or ANY OTHER DEMOCRAT that makes you want to vote for him? The fact that his voting record in the Senate ratified endless failed/inept Bush policies hook line and sinker (e.g. the Iraq war, radical right Supreme Court nominees, tax cuts for bazillionaires, and corporate welfare (esp. for energy companies))? Ha, and now he's supposed to be the new champion against global warming, which most of you didn't even believe in until Al Gore's movie popularized the term. Oh yeah, and our economy is going down the toilet after 8 yrs. of wise "Republican stewardship". Oops, I forgot, that must be Bill Clinton's fault too. (You'll find some way to lay our sad lot on him, and not the Bush/Cheney perpetrators, won't you?)

    January 12, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. JB

    Polls are worthless.. just like Obama/Oprah was going to win by 10 percent in NH... the margin of error there was only 14 percent.
    Dems will never cross over and vote for the pro war McCain, who is the media trying to fool.
    McCain is just like Bob Dole (Sr Senator war vet) in 1996 that Clinton beat with no problem.

    January 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    After the past 7 years of Republican rule it must be hard for anyone to vote for a republican. When will we realize that we cannot have our cake and eat it too?
    Some of the questions in my mind are:
    "who will be in office when we can no longer borrow any money?"
    "who will be in office when we have to implement the draft to fight the wars in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea?"
    "who will be in office when we have to raise taxes to begin to pay off the $45 trillion debt?"
    Something to think about when you stand in that voting booth.

    January 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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