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. HSimon Palm Bay, Florida

    I'm an Obama supporter... while McCain may not get my vote, Clinton surely won't.

    March 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Mary

    Maybe the name calling and the all out hatred that the Obama supporters have spewed all over has something to do with it ?

    March 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Lisa- NC

    I can understand why Hillary supporters would turn to McCain.
    I can envision Obama turning foreign and domestic affairs over to Jerimiah Wright. No thanks.


    March 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Mike

    Yes we can--vote for Mc Cain. We would never vote for Obama. It's either Hillary or John.

    March 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Tess

    Yes, republicans are smart! As to Pelosi's comment that the republicans are owned by the Bushes, just plain wrong. They Bushes are rather oddball outsiders of the republican party; although republican nonetheless.

    March 26, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Tony

    So what!! Look at how many Republicans and Independents are going to vote for Obama as they will not support McCain, his war and a Bush third term.

    March 26, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Amazing, simply amazing.

    So, Hillary gets the Democratic Leadership Council's wish after all... nominated or not, she's going to destroy the party.

    March 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Sean Smith

    If I was a Hillary supporter, I too would vote for McCain. They share a vision of a top-down, bureaucratic, and professionalized government that Obama does not. Obama's political vision is a maximization of citizen participation within our government, thus increasing political democracy. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. It just comes down to what model of government you want for you our country. Therefore, I don't think that it is such a leap for Hillary people to vote for McCain. I do believe that if Obama does not become the democratic candidate, Obama supporters will not all. I personally will not vote for either McCain or Hillary because my vision of government coincides with Obama.

    March 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Sharon

    If Hillary is the Democratic choice, I will vote for McCain.

    I don't trust Hillary with all of her lies.

    March 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Midwest Chuck

    Bill Clinton was right. In the general election there will be two candidates who will talk about issues, and the American people will decide who they like the best.

    Their names are Barack and John.

    March 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Understandable, considering Hillary is closer to a "good old boy" politician than Obama. I'm sure the Hillary supporters that would defect are ones similar to Ferraro, who grew up through America when racism was extremely widespread, and still believe that racism is ok.

    This is more of a threat than a reality. Both Republicans and old white Democrats are really scared of Obama; for he stands for unity, diversity, and integrity. He seems to be more sincere and open about his politics, while the "good old boy" politician lives more of a secretive life, covering their tracks with several layers of lies and deceit.

    So go ahead, defect to McCain....and we can have 4 more years of Bush.

    March 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. ben

    Those who would vote for McCain if Hillary loses the nomination are either stupid or were never going to vote for Obama in the first place.
    Doesn't anybody realise what McCain would do to this country. He said he did not believe the government should interfere with people who bought new homes they could not afford in the first place. Well I have news for him. Those people bought homes before gasoline went to around four dollars a gallen. Before the large corp. laid off thousands of emplyees and shipped the manufacturin to foreign countries. before the cost of living went up due the cost of delivering merchandise to the markets. Do those switch voters want an endless war. Do they want social security to go into private ccorperations like Enron, for example?
    Go ahead and vote any way you want. Rush Limbaugh will be proud of you. But do not call yourselves democrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. gurarro

    Again, a headline that favors Clintion. The headline should have read "76% of Clinton Supports Would Support Obama When he Gets the Democratic Nomination !!!"

    March 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Matthew

    Enough people, and rightfully so, believe Obama is too young and too inexperienced to be president at this point in time. This of course is going to push enough conservative and moderate Democrats into McCain's corner. I consider myself a moderate Democrat and will have no problem voting for McCain in November, if Hillary is not ultimately the nominee.

    The face that McCain has a good record on the environment, supports stem cell research, has taken a common sense and fair minded approach on immigration, doesn't wear his faith on his sleeve, etc. will all serve him well in November with enough moderate Dems and independents.

    The thing is, I like Obama but he really should have waited, finished his first term in the Senate, run for reelection, built up his foreign policy portfolio, and then given it a go in 2016. Hope, change and feel good sentiments are just not enough to cut it in the world we live in.

    March 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Dinesh

    This is disgraceful, and I know why this has happened. Both candidates are attacking the other one on things that have nothing to do with politics... some more than others (cough... Hillary... cough). But as democrats, we have to be ready to vote for our "policies" and our "values" and not the specific candidate, even if they sound exactly like a republican sometimes. (cough... Hillary... cough)

    March 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. darron

    Quite obviously this poll was only for the old-school, traditional Democrats and did not include the independents that Obama brought to the campaign.

    Read between the lines people!

    March 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. HillaryLieHillaryLieHillaryLie

    Never trust Hillary and her supporters. Her supporters are so ignorant and not educated enough to see through her. No worry Obama has engaged a lot of young voters That has never seen in
    United States history. He has enough people supporting him to beat the old man John McBush.

    March 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Vote Hillary

    I would definitely consider switching parties if Hillary doesn't win. I am not a fan of Obama and he will not get my vote.

    March 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Aaron

    Sounds an awful lot like playing sour grapes to me.

    March 26, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. brandon

    i wonder what the superdelegates think.....

    March 26, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. joseph

    who cares which one of these clowns wins. they are all bought and paid for by the same people. nothing will change the borders will be erased, the dollar will continue to collapse, the housing crunch will continue to get worse, and gas prices will rise. everything has been preplanned by the global elite, and the global elite all own any clown running for president..

    March 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Claire

    I would vote for McCain and never Hillary. Of course, Gallup never asks me anything.

    Would this count the high number of Republicans who are crossing over to vote Obama because they like him over McCain? Because I can tell you 100% for sure that they would never vote Hillary over McCain. My entire family fits that mold.

    Also, my diehard Democrat coworker told me this morning he would vote McCain over Hillary because she has made a mockery of his party.

    So, I think this is a bit skewed.

    March 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. deb

    This just shows how much we need to get away from all the infighting between Obama and Clinton. The media plays a bigger part in all of this back and forth mudslinging than the candidates! We need to get back to the issues!! Other countries must think we are a bunch of immature idiots! I will vote for whomever wins the democratic nomination. Come on, people! Hillary and Barrack are very similar in their ideas and we need to get behind them and quit all of this hateful fighting. McCain is an old man who can't remember anything and wants to "stay the course". Who needs that!

    March 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Bob Stephens

    This is pretty much what the Clinton folks and their supporters are determined to do, if Hillary loses the nomination,. they would rather see McCain in the White House than a Democrat, despite the harm that would be done by McCain to the country. This is the same attitude that Hillary projects in her campaign of smear and hate...... " It's my way or the highway" selfishness. No wonder they call her the Hildabeast.....

    March 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. two cents

    this is not an issue of voting out of spite. it's an honest, deep-felt belief that obama is not ready or equipped to be president. to suggest a lifelong democrat would vote for mccain out of spite is naive–just like obama's foreign policy.

    March 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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