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. Bridget

    Just proving once again that hard-core Clintonistas are not true democrats and favor petty destructive divisiveness over unity and common goals.

    No democrat in their right mind would vote for four more years of Bush's policies under McCain. Think, people! Is your anger worth more years of what we've had to endure as a nation for the past eight?

    March 26, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Desire - Michigan

    I live in Michigan and my vote from primary doesn't count . How can Howard Dean, Jennifer Granholm and the rest of famous officials from democratic party even expect me to vote. I am not going to vote for McCain either but I am sure that democrats are going to come up short with votes in blue states Michigan and Florida.

    March 26, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. teresa from Canada

    Makes perfect sense to me – Obama is no where near ready to lead this country. MCcain would be better than Obama.
    Hillary is the best!

    March 26, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Pablo

    If Hillary does not get the nomination, then the best candidate to lead this country would be the Republican guy.

    Su much for Obama judgement and loyalty, for 20 years to a preacher of hate.

    March 26, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Ali

    Are you for seriousness? How many Obama supporters will jump ship and vote for the white olde man vs. the unaffectionate woman??

    March 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Yoo

    I'm a long time centrist democrat and I'll vote for McCain if Obama becomes the nominee. And, I'm so sick and tired of the biased liberal media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and NY Times favoring Obama.
    Shame on you!

    March 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Kathy, Andover

    Clinton supporters think like Clinton . . . just another devious way, to try and influence the superdelegates, I'm sure.

    March 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Audrey, San Francisco

    I imagine that these people think this now, but will change their minds come fall.

    March 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. dennie

    will cnn and fox now give free air time to the others runing for prz?

    March 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Anna, SW Missouri

    So the women that say they want Hillary for President are going to vote for John McCain that is pledging to appoint judges to the Supreme Court that will most likely overturn Roe vs. Wade? This really is the silly season!

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Debra Austin, Texas


    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Christian, Tampa FL

    This is ridiculous. Way to go, Democrats. Let's just sacrifice the war, sacrifice the economy, sacrifice everything we've been waiting for for years just because of our selfish emotions. Shame on you. Let's just have a third Bush term, at least then we won't have to stop complaining.

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Katy

    I hope that 28% is going to be the first in line to go fight in the Iran war.

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Graeme

    Hillary is toast, Obama will be your next president, end of story.

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. John

    Look, if Barack Obama was behind in the popular vote, pledged delegates and the states won he would have been asked to drop out period! End of story.

    The leadership of the DNC act like they are afraid of Clinton.

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Marcus

    I am now suffering from DEM burn out... I will be checking these blogs now and then but for now I am taking a long break.....It is so heart breaking to see the big DIVSION within the DEM party. And from what I can see the DEM party is now broken... With all this bitterness (Thanks to Billary Clinton) after the nomination I do not see any chance of healing...Time for a new viable Third Party in U.S. politics??

    March 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Jgian


    March 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Jay

    I don't buy this poll at all. At first it was a tough decision to decide for Obama or Clinton. However, now that I am sure that I made the right decision on supporting Obama. I have been extremely disappointed with Clintons deceptive behavior and if by chance she wins the nomination I do not think that she will win because regardless of what this poll says, Obama supporters are strong and will be OUTRAGED!

    March 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Karen

    I am so glad some poll captured many of our sentimnets. that should come as a bitter bill to BO, who so arrogantly declard that Hillary's supporters would vote for him but not the other way around. Seems to me he is the one dividing the party. The reason that many of us feel that way is really coz of our perception that the MSM has not been fair to Hillary. too late now.

    March 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. linus

    Polls are inherently unreliable, and polls about what people "will do if..." are even moreso. There is a lot of animosity between Clinton and Obama supporters right now, but it will cool off after the convention. The only way these voters won't end up supporting the Democratic nominee on election day is if the loser runs as an independent.

    March 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. The Perpetual Student

    I think its an insult to both Hillary and Obama if their supporters don't vote for the other if nominated. I support Obama but I will support Hillary if she wins the nomination. To say that you will never vote for the other is not being a loyal democrat and disrespecting the party.

    March 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Stand Strong America!

    Hillary... because she is the democrat I want to see nominated for her policy/approach/smarts/endorsees/etc

    McCain... because I think his focus on military is better than a goofy "change" platform.

    obama... stay in the crib until you can come out being ORIGINAL.

    March 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Jgian


    March 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. billy


    Democrats have no chance they're too stalinist on how to choose a candidate.

    March 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Paul

    Hillary- President of the Unites States of America

    We will support you all the way!!

    Hillary- the nomination will be yours, otherwise you should run independent

    March 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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