March 26th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Democrats ready to defect to McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new poll suggests many Clinton supporters may back McCain."](CNN) - A sizable number of Hillary Clinton supporters may break ranks to back John McCain in November should Barack Obama capture the Democratic nomination, a new Gallup poll suggests.

According to the just-released poll, 28 percent of Clinton's supporters would back McCain should the New York senator lose her quest for the Democratic nomination.

That compares to the 19 percent of Obama supporters who say they will favor McCain should Clinton be the party’s nominee.

"[The results] suggest that some Clinton supporters are so strongly opposed to Obama (or so loyal to Clinton) that they would go so far as to vote the "other" party's candidate next November if Obama is the Democratic nominee," Frank Newport of Gallup said of the survey's findings.

Newport also noted that the poll's results are likely the result of the heated battle for the nomination, and the number of the party’s defectors to McCain is likely to decrease after Democrats choose a nominee and the focus shifts to defeating the Arizona senator.

The poll was conducted March 7-22 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. Brian

    My candidate of choice didn't get the nomination so now I am going to vote for the one that doesn't represent my views. That's real intelligent. Barack and Hillary are carbon-copies of one another.

    Talk about cutting off one's nose despite their face.

    Democrats Unite!

    March 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Butch

    At least with the Republicans they have a candidate to vote for....the Democrates can't even figure out how to nominate one.

    March 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Illinois

    Obama's character is highly suspect right now and people would rather have McCain in office instead of someone who has close ties to a racist and anti-semetic minister. Hillary is our first choice, but if she's not the nominee, McCain is our guy.

    March 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. dude


    March 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. GARTH

    The poll was conducted March 7-22? When exactly was this poll conducted?

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. charlotte

    Some people are so dumb, yet think they are educated people. The delegates can support whomever they choose, there job is to attempt to insure the open primarys are not controled by cross over voters who will cross back in November. Hillary is no fool, she must be getting encouragement from alot of them to continue to fight on. Remember, Obama has yet to win an all important state. That is not to infer those states don't count, it is a matter of politics. Some states always vote for a republican in the general election. It is a long time pattern, thus they are called red states in the general scheme of things. How many blue states has Obama won? The law of average says, if he is the nominee he will not be the president. The superdelegates want to win in November, as much as we want our specific candidate to be the nominee. Think of the overall picture and you will know why she is still in the race.

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. sigh

    Why am I not surprised. It's simply consistent with what Hillary's view on the election is. If she can;t have it, then no Democrat is deserving of it.

    Horribly short-sighted and self-interested.

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. fred

    The poll sure reflects my views. If Hillary doesn't get the nomination for the Democrats, then I will vote Republican for the first time.

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. bigben

    I will be one of them . In honor of the bias media

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. sky

    Here is the real headline, the real news. CNN exaserbates tensions within the Democratic party. Unconcerned over the emotional turmoil and division they have created within the Democratic party, CNN continued to fan the flames by allowing the public to believe the race for the Democratic presidential nominee is close "neck and neck". Playing sound bites over and over and having their "team of experts" throw gas on already tormented Democratic and Wolf Blitzer jumping in glee, pocket lighter in hand because he is having the "best time of his life"....all for lovely ratings.....lets have a round of applause for CNN....taking advantage of the Democratic process, creating flames where none should exist. Changing history by remaking it.

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. wam

    if someone is a true democrat and is voting on how the candidate stands on the issues, then they would vote for whoever the public and the party choose as the candidate. Comeo on democrats. You are accepting the republican party bait and with that another 4 years of George Bush in Iraq and no money in your pocket or for your kids education and a debt your children and grandchildren are NOW going to drown in. With a Republican, it could only get worse! Quit voting based on race and gender!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Prescott

    Count me among them. I've been a Democrat for 15 years but I cannot support the antics of the DNC and their Great Pretender of a nominee.

    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Maxine

    My only thought to this then they aren't loayal Democrats. I didn't like Kerry all that much, but I was against GW. So I still voted for Kerry, I didn't vote against my party and what it stands for. So my question is are these true Democratic supporters?

    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Grey

    We lost all the real candidates already, we are back to same old politicians lying and cheating their way in. One choice is another four years of dictatorship, one has no experience and is surviving on terrifying charisma, one is in keeping the country under rulership of the same two family empires for a total of over 28+ years!!!

    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. mel

    how could any democrat be so naive not to see that the difference between obama and clinton is not in policy, but in personality and effectiveness. that this is even a topic of discussion speaks volumes about the stupidity and blindness of american voters, apparently democrats included.

    it's POLITICS. vote based on POLICY.

    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. jennym

    Don't you think polls in March about what people might do in Nov are a bit stupid?

    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. V. Sheldon

    This should shock anyone? Hillary Clinton is the single most devisive,polarizing figure in modern American politics. She is playing a very dangerous duel with the rest of the Democratic Party. She and her supporters do not care what happens to the Party, or it's chances in November. The only concern they seem to have is their blind worship of this gravely flawed politician. Hillary has done nothing but divide us. and hurt anyone that does not blindly follow her. Watch the surrogates closely folks. This does not shock me. The answer is clear. It is time for the Party to end this charade. She and her band of Clintonistas nauseate me.

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. andanotherthing

    They will defect because they are looking for experience in the next president. Obama just hasn't got it. He hasn't even been to Europe, Canada or Mexico. What???? Let alone he has no substance to back up his words.

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Greg, NY

    Why would anyone do this? To vote for the opposing party just in spite is simply ridiculous. Think of your country first before your personal feelings please.

    Obama and Hillary are so close on policy compared to McCain that this just doesn't make any sense.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Boye

    I personally think these people HATE the other candidate. If they were just loyal to their candidate, they would simply sit out the election. I was actually surprised that more Clinton supporter will defect, since a victory from Clinton would most likely be through backroom deals and that should piss more Obama supporters off. The unfortunate thing is we are not making this about the candidates and not what they can do for America.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. kyle

    this is simply heart breaking. we're really about to throw away a chance to fix this country and this government becuase our two candidates, who are basically the same as far as policy goes, can't get along. please, supporters on both sides, we need to unite as a party AGAINST john mccain and the corrupt republicans.


    DEMOCRAT '08

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Mad Texan

    It certainly is not high enough on the percentage level. You undoubtedly only took census in small places. Come out in the real world and see what's happening. I can't find a Hillary supporter that would vote for OBAMA if hell frooze over tomorrow. Get a grip and take a national poll. Their supporters have attacked Hillary at every turn and we are disgusted by it. You people call Hillary the attcker. WELL GO BACK TO THE SECOND DEBATE AND SEE WHO OPENED UP THE ATTACK WAR. Shame on you peopl it is you who lie and desire to win at all cost not Hillary. You call her a liar. Well undoubtedly you did not listen to his great speech where he denouced his earliar statements. LIAR HE IS> HILLARY 08

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. kedrick

    i think it is a foregone conclusion that mccain will win in november. clinton supporters will vote for mccain and obama supporters will stay home. i am an independent obama supporter that will only vote if sen. obama is the democratic nominee.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Mike Kaplan

    This is a fairly disgusting statistic. Here's why:

    Hillary and Obama have nearly IDENTICAL positions on almost every issue. John McCain has nearly opposite positions from both of them.

    If someone is a Hillary supporter and votes McCain instead of Obama, we can thus draw only one conclusion: THAT PERSON IS A RACIST.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Shawna

    This comment further shows that clinton's campaign and supporters are the ones living with their minds in the clouds, and waiting for lights to shine down from heaven and make everything better.

    March 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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