March 26th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 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. One More Typical White Woman

    I hope if Obama wins the nomination, the DNC is able to win an election without women. A vote for McCain instead of Obama is not based on race guys. It's based on the importance of having someone with experience and judgement in the White House.

    March 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Micah

    This proves just how uneducated some Hillary voters are.
    The differences between the two candidates are PERSONALITY differences, not POLICY differences.

    Come together to defeat four more years of McBush, for the sake of America's future.

    March 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. 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 |

    instead of being selfish you have eyes, it also good if this selfishness can return to you by voting somebody from republican because you cannot support the shock that your candidate is a looser. this is 15 months candidates are running for campaign. really and no matter what Hillary is not at the level to win OBAMA. look she is making a lot of mistake,she is lying...

    March 26, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Tom Swift

    Hillary probably sponsered this poll...

    I can't wait 'till the final convention showdown... Oh! It's gonna be a hot summer!

    Gore/Obama '08

    March 26, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Marilyn

    If you are voting for a government that represents the people, not just the people who can afford to buy the governement, then why would you even consider voting republican. I want Barack Obama as our next president, but should the nomination go to Hillary I will back her as our next best choice

    March 26, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Kevin, fl

    I have a strong feeling that that poll is probably much higher than 30%. Smart Americans realize that McCain will be better for this country than someone with so many judgement questions surrounding them. I fear we have just reached the tip of the iceberg with Obama. We want a President who loves and respects are country. Hillary and McCain do.

    March 26, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Michi Lowe

    How strange?
    If Hillary gets the nomination, they will vote for McCain.
    If Barack gets the nomination, they will vote for Mccain.
    Sounds like McCain is going to be the next President no matter what.
    Don't we want the Democrates to win in November? Hillary and Barack are the same on almost all the issues. Either one would make a great president. I prefer Obama, but would vote for Hillary.

    Obama 08

    March 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Jerry

    Either very few Democrats remain, or Democratic logic is declining. I do not know if the Clinton or Obama supporters that say they will support McCain know this, but he is a Republican and has been for years. He may be more liberal than George W. Bush, but not much more liberal, especially in regards to the ECONOMY and FOREIGN POLICY.

    So what if McCain is a little more liberal regarding social policies, such as supporting gay marriage or opposing a complete ban on abortion? The president can do very little to directly implement these policies. Let's focus on issues that the president can do something about and support the candidate that can most affect these issues.

    Furthermore, McCain appears to be abandoning whatever liberal leanings he had in favor of courting the more conservative base. Therefore, whatever hope Democrats had in a potentially liberal Republican White House is fading.

    March 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. ZELL

    If Hillary dont win I want vote for obama too! You people have trash her so bad its a shame

    March 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Edgar

    I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR AN AMATEUR!!!! Too much is at stake to entrust the future of this nation to a Junior Senator which will always be haunted by issues on racism!!!!!

    STILL HILLARY is the qualified candidate & she will win this election!

    March 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Open your eyes

    Either way it goes, we can thank Hillary for the Republicans getting another 4 years.

    Oh and CNN don’t think the percentage is only 19 percent for Obama, you will have to ask more than the few people at the CNN headquarters. I personally will put a McCain sticker on my car and send money to his campaign fund just so Hillary doesn’t win.

    March 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. J.L.

    Wait, isn't this what Rush Limbaugh had suggested folks on the Republican side to do before McCain became the presumptive nominee? When he said he'd rather have a Clinton in the White House than McCain? Congrats to the 28 percent of the Clinton supporters and 19 percent of the Obama supporters that go by the Limbaugh playbook.

    March 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Jon in Texas

    The Democratic Party is ripping apart at the seams!!!!

    March 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Shane, NY

    If you defect and not vote for who ever the democrat nominee is your a childish individual. You shouldn't call yourself an adult. I think it also very pity. I guess you want to see the failed policy of Iraq continue.

    March 26, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. AJ

    Perhaps we just believe that Obama will be a disastrous president and we'd rathr have a republican disaster than a democratic one. I have never voted for a republican in my life but will not be an Obama sheep. I believe Obama to be without vision, without scruples and without character. John McCain may be a republican, but at least he is a true patriot and cannot be accused of lacking in character. I believe McCain to be misguided, but I also believe him to be a man of honor. I have never supported a republican in my life but if Obama wins the democratic nomination, I will support McCain.

    March 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Jake11

    I am registered democrat.
    The decision has been made. I will vote for Hillary in Nov.08. If She is not nominee, then I will vote for McCain.
    I will never vote for Obama even if Clinton asks me to support him.
    My decision will never change.

    BTW, I am YOUNG, very well EDUCATED and have fantastic career (may be that does not fit media hyped stereotyped for Hillary)

    March 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Stephanie, PA

    Uh, excuse me....not this democrat.

    I'm all for Obama! If, and please let this not become so, Sen. Clinton should be the nominee, I'd still vote Dem. As much as I've come to dislike her politically and personally, I'd still vote for her over McCain.

    Obama '08

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Garry

    Democrats... think about this we are doing exactly what CNN and the Republicans want us to do and that is to be divided. I am an Obama supporter and if Hilary fairly comes back and win the nomination then I will vote for her. Why would you want another four years of Bush and vote contrary out of spite, that's just immature and silly.

    Let's stop feeding into that Wright controversary and Hilary's misstatements and encourage our candidates to challenge McCain on the issues. We owe it to our kids, grand kids and future generation to vote in their best interest and help unite the Democratic Party. Let's do the right thing before the Republicans continue to create Wars and bankrupt the country.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Glenn

    Hillary is running only to remove the stain from the both her and Bill's reputation. She will be known as the Destroyer of the Democratic Party , win or lose.

    Every Obama supporter I know will vote for McCain should she (shudder) win the nomination.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Dave

    I am a loyal American first. I want what is best for my country, even if it not best for my party. I left the Republican party due to the shameful way GW and his Republican cronies dance around the law. Remember integrity? But I would absolute give my vote to Hillary, given the opportunity, due to her ideas AND experience. In a solid second place would be the integrity and experience of McCain. Sorry Obama, the White House is no place for beginners.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Natasha from VA

    "Kevin Pennsylvania" you beat me to it. This just shows that dumb people make up a higher percentage of Hillary's supporters than Obama's. But we already knew that from exist polls.

    Anyways, this is really bad, another month or two of this clawn show and McCain will be the president and we will be at war in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and possibly Cuba and Venezuela for the next 100 years.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Once again the Democratic party prepares to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Any other candidate that LOST TEN PRIMARIES IN A ROW would have had the sense to bow out gracefully, but Hillary feels that the Oval Office is 'owed' to her for standing by Bill. McCain will be as bad as Bush.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. TEO

    Wake up Hillary lovers. Are you that ignorant. Read the CNN Article today title "Truth ot consequences"
    Perfect, all you Americans who haven't decided who to vote for as well as those who have need to read this article.
    What a breath of fresh air finally someone has the nerve to look into Hillary's past and perform an autopsy on her years in public life.
    I haven't decided who I'll vote for in November but i know for sure it won't be a pathological liar.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Phil

    Hillary is still in the race because she'd rather have a 71-year-old Republican win in 2008 than Obama. That way, she can still run in 2012. If Obama wins this year, he will be re-elected in 2012 and Hillary will have lost any chance of ever being president.

    March 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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