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. JackoutTheBox

    Alright Clinton supporters, we'll call your bluff. We're betting on Clinton supporters to have an ounce of common sense not to crossover once Obama wins the primary.

    March 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Johny

    Wow!, good for you Hillary, you did a good job again your political party. John Maccain will endorse you later.
    SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. NC Primary MY TURN!

    Yep, it is a disgrace. Democrats line up in a circle and start shooting. You Clinton supporters are something else. Go ahead, follow the lead of your leader. And when it comes time, if Clinton steals the nomination, I will vote for Mccain. I can play that game too if that's the way you want to play!

    March 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Ms. Brown

    I find it interesting how most OBAMA supporterss speak with intellegence and Hillary supporters speak with so much hate and negatively.

    I guess she is leading by example.


    March 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Marc

    Polls have not proven to be all that reliable. I wouldn't trust any poll at this point in time in regard to the general election.

    March 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Yall betta wake up

    It seems to me that a lot of people, including most of the media, are infatuatied with Obama. Well, he has not had that affect on me. He says one thing and does another. He says he's about change, but everyday, he proves he is just a TYPICAL politican. If the democrats don't look at the bigger picture, which is winning the WH in Nov, we will lose. I wonder if all the Rev Wright stuff would have come out before Super Tuesday, would he even have gotten all the votes he did or won the states he has won. Vote Hillary 08!

    March 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Pedro

    If you are Dem and vote McCain, then congrats! You have just fallen right into the Repub trap and you have your own weak mind to blame.

    March 26, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Nick

    Nice reporting CNN the same poll said Obama supporters would not vote for Hillary either! I am one of them. She is a LIAR and a THIEF and I would never ever vote for ANY CLINTON ever again.

    March 26, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. JM, OH

    The fact is that Obama and Clinton are very similar on most issues. Both Obama and Clinton are very different than McCain on most issues. If anyone claims that they will vote for McCain if their candidate does not get the nomination, they are either bluffing or care nothing about the issues that are central to Democrats.

    Personally, I started out as a Hillary supporter and switched over to Obama because of Hillary's Rove-like tactics. Does that mean that I would never vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination? NO! I realize that the issues are the most important factor and personality is secondary. The Democrats that claim they'll vote for McCain should take a hard look at their values, because that should be critical. Would it be OK with those "Democrats" if McCain kept our troops in Iraq for the next 100 years? If they're not OK with it, then swallow your pride and vote for which ever Dem gets the nomination.

    March 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. 1988joey

    as one looking in from the outside (Mccain supporter), in late March that looks to make sense, and am actually surprised that the anti-the other candidate percent among Dems is not pushing 50 percent.... but that is understandable considering the terrible bad blood and enmity that Obama and HRC have raised about each other..... so a large percent of Dems is saying, if this is the way it is, i will go to the other side (mccain).... now imagine how independents and undecided voters are looking at it.... their #s and percentages of going to mccain are probably even higher than among registered Dems....

    March 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Gil - California

    It is no surprise that Hillary lovers will abandon the democratic party and vote for McCain if she loses the primary. It should also be no surprise that the Hillary haters will abandon the democratic party and vote for McCain if she wins the primary by hook or crook or mispeaks or lies.

    March 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Jen B.

    Well, I am still laughing over Hillary's vivid account of dodging sniper fire on her arrival in Bosnia, while actual footage of that event was aired simultaneously, showing a very different picture.
    I don't understand why Hillary supporters continue to be duped by her dishonesty and her distasteful campaign. She has lost my vote for good.

    March 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Lindsay

    Hillary supporters are just grumpy right now because she lost. I find it hard to believe that this sentiment will last all the way to November. People are just mad right now, but after the nominee is chosen, we will all kiss and make up. These two are almost identical on the issues. Why would anyone vote for war monger McCain, over a candidate who shares the same views as their candidate?

    March 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Concerned

    I never realized how many dumb Americans that we have in this country. Reading most of these comments, I have realized that most of you are not voting on the issues, but are voting on popularity. If you are a Democrat then thats on you are suppose to vote for.... Your party. If you feel that you can't vote for Obama or Clinton, then you are not a Democrat but either an Independent or Republican. Stop calling yourself a Democrat because we don't want people in the party that are not loyal.

    March 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Adrian

    Whoever wins better choose the other as running mate.

    March 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Texan for Obama

    Sore losers

    March 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Marsh

    Utter nonsense. If you phrase the poll question right and target the right population sample, you could prove that 90% of Americans believe the world is flat. Several polls already show an Obama-McCain election as a dead heat. Therefore, the 28% of so-called Clinton supporters who would switch to McCain are either non-existent, or have already made their decision to switch regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination.

    March 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. I just want to point out.....

    those who say the Wright controversy changed their minds are LYING to themselves.... Admit it. you were never going to vote for him anyway. you were looking for a reason, and this garbage of a controversy provided it. So now you can feel 'rightous' about not voting for him.

    to thyself be true....

    March 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. LA-Ann Arbor

    I am looking for experience in this election. Clinton or McCain.

    March 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. DJ

    Breaking ranks because one or the other does not get the nomination is the most ignorant and irresponsible perspective I have ever heard. It should be obvious that McCain is not going to be a better option than either of the two Dem candidates. McCain has made it perfectly clear that he will continue the policies tha Bush has in place for another 4 years. Is that good for the USA? I think not!

    I hope that anyone who is making these ludicrous remarks are just responding out of emotion and pride. And, I pray that emotions and pride will be set aside for the greater good of the country when the general election rolls around.

    March 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Dave

    You're missing the point. I'm one of those who would consider voting for McCain, not because of my anger over Clinton not getting the nomination, but because I want an intelligent, experienced moderate in the White House. Barack Obama is smart, but not experience. We've seen what happens when you elect someone not ready to be president.

    March 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. HP Boston

    It is true if HILLARY is not the candidate I will write her in on my ballot.

    So be it if that helps McCain! SO!

    March 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Free Man

    Obama offered a campaign that would have been better for any Democrat nominee. Clinton offered a win-at-all cost campaign.
    The Clinton's win-at-all cost campaign will make it easier to have a Republican president.

    March 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Grif

    And then the Democratic Party, really becomes the smallest.

    Party of Three.. For there is bound to be another "New Born" come on.

    the scene.

    March 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. michael

    People will be voting for the party and what that party represents. The difference between Obama and Hillary are very small when it comes to issues that concern everyone. But it seems people are more inclined to vote on personality. Right now Obama is leading and Democrats of all shades should rally behind their man to ensure that those issues are solved beginning January 2009.

    March 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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