May 14th, 2008
12:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Poll shows both Clinton and Obama beating McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain trails both Democrats in a new poll."] (CNN) - While exit polls from the West Virginia primary seemed to suggest the party is deeply divided between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a new poll out Wednesday suggests either candidate would easily beat Republican John McCain in the fall.

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, both Democratic candidates beat McCain by a gap well outside the margin of error. Obama beats McCain by 7 points in the poll, 47 percent to 40 percent, while Hillary Clinton bests the Arizona senator by 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent.

The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 points and was conducted from May 8-12.

Clinton and Obama's relatively strong standing against McCain in the poll appear to dispel notions that Democratic party may be unable to come together around one candidate in the fall, even as West Virginia exit polls reported majorities of both candidates' supporters would not support the other candidate in the general election.

soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Debbie,NJ

    People don't forget Obama's wins. CNN or no other news channel talked about them or posted them like they are doing WV. Don't let 1 state, where my husband comes from and he can tell you how prejudice they are determine the election. Obama has won 32 of the 50 contests so far, including 5 of 12 primaries where blacks made up less than 10% of the voters. He also won in caucus states that are overwhelmingly white – places like Iowa, Idaho and Wyoming.
    He won by these margins.
    75% – DC
    67% – Georgia
    65% – Illinois
    64% – Virginia
    61% – Mississippi
    60% – Maryland
    59% – Vermont
    58% – Wisconsin
    57% – Louisiana
    57% – Utah
    56% – North Carolina
    56% – Alabama

    May 14, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Jack , Texas

    Wow, I have so much to look forward to, more abortions, gay marriages, higher taxes, socialized healthcare, loss of gun rights......

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Josh

    I think most people saying they wouldn't vote for the other candidate are lying to make their candidate look better.

    If you're an Obama supporter and you tell a pollster you would NOT vote for Hillary, it makes Obama look stronger for the general, and vice versa. And since it's just a poll, it doesn't count for anything. So I think a lot of people are lying to make their candidate look stronger for the general, even though they actually would vote for the other in November.

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Jamaal Kansas

    Obama is the Better Canidate that will win in November/ Yes we can Yes we can Yes we can Obama 08

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Rosemary Storaska

    Democrat first??? Only fools follow stupidity. The democratic party no longer represents us and we can take our party back and will. Voting is power and it does not need money or a caucus to work.

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Uncle Sam

    On the one hand we have a naive presidential hopeful with a promise of change, while on the other we have an experienced heroic statesman with a proven record of change. Am I missing something?

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Dave in Atlanta

    It's a choice between the candidate who can win in the way democrats have been accustomed to winning (well not really winning, more like trying to win) using the 50 + 1 state strategy, and a the candidate who would win with the much more risky strategy of putting states which are not normally in play into play and forcing the already underfinanced republicans to stretch their resources. The former strategy is the safer strategy, the latter one is riskier but with much greater rewards. Obama puts states into play that haven't voted democrat in years. Bringing those states back into the fold could have some serious long term benefits for the democrats.

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Tony

    May 20th is the magic day folks!

    After Obama trounces Hillary for the 20th time in Oregon, it will be official!

    Hopefully, Hillary supporters will get it by then. Her only supporters are old and poor white folks who only watch cable news and most of the time do not understand. Hillary preys on the stupidity and ignorance of this demographic. But Hillary is like salesman who once he gets your money is out of town the next day! Shameful!

    If Hillary wasn't in LAST place and such OLD news, she be getting vetted worst then Obama! The republicans have just completed their dossier on Hillary and it contains new and damaging facts about Hillary!

    Say no to Hillary as VP!

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. roy throop

    the campaign has not even started and your saying obama can easily beat mccain? just wait till this gets started and the republicans rip the face off the empty suit obama! he will be political toast in no time.

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |


    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. World Angel

    I know without a shadow of a doubt that Obama will win the nomination because he has the most votes. But I am still a little confused as to how that happen. I listen to his campaign speeches and all I hear him saying is what McCain said and what McCain's plans are or Sen. Clinton said this and her plan is to do this. I'm really struggling trying to pin-point what his plans are and what he's going to do to bring about change. ALL HE DOES IS CRITICIZE THE OTHER CANDIDATES PLANS, without presenting his plans. I really like the Guy, but I need to hear what his supporters hear so that I can become a committed supporter as well. PLEASE HELP ME!!! Please don't tell me to go to his Website, I did that already.

    May 14, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. norm

    The WV results prove to me that there are still a ton of backward, ignorant racists in this country. We deserve everything we get with our hate for those that are not like us. Kentucky will turn out the same. Then we should get our sanity back with the rest of the primaries.

    By the way, the turn out was light yesterday (300k votes?) Bill Clinton was hoping for over 500k. Too bad. It did little to change the math required. All of the Billary Hillbillies efforts where for not.

    Obama 08

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Where's McCain's medical records which he is to release this month.

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. todd randall

    People think that Republicans have thier act together because they have already chosen a nominee. Guess what? Early GOP primaries are winner take all, that is why it is easy to build up a lead early and keep it. On the Democratic side, Republicans are voting for Hillary in the primaries so her support is skewed towards people who won't vote Democratic in November anyway.

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Nikki, Florida

    As a stauch supporter for Barack Obama, I would like to say that this is good news. Of the 3, McCain SHOULD be in last place.

    On the other hand, I don't see why CNN is so bent on keeping Hillary in this race. Can we all unite and get behind the nominee? The numbers don't lie and it is not possible at this point for Hillary to get the nomination.

    I'm not being a jerk, it's just the way the numbers are. Can we please unite against McCain? It's what Hillary would want...

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Katrina

    This is a No-brainer election this year! If anyone votes for McCain they are dumb, racest or just plain stupid.

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Kiah

    Punisher haven't you noticed. If Obama wins a red state is matters not in November b/c it's a red state, duh. But if HRC wins a red state, then it's OMG we change that red state blue and no one has won the White House w/o THIS Purple state that I alone has created.

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. Truth

    The truth which the media is ignoring is that still there is certain people in this country who are frank racists. This is a problem I'm not sure how to solve but basically the media should strongly fight this the way they fought people like pastor Wright who's a victim of racism. Trying to call it other names such as hard working white voters will not help. The issue needs to be addressed head on by the media to help this country heals chronic wounds of segregation...

    May 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Where

    do they get these poll results from? Wasn't it about a week ago where the polls had Hillary as the best person to beat McCain? Now it's Obama. Well if this is ture, then Hillary can no longer make the claim that she is the stronger canididate to beat McCain this fall.

    These polls are wishy washy at best.

    May 14, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Bob in Idaho

    Seriously people: All three candidates are so much to the middle; there is no distinction between The Republicans and the Democrats. You might as well call all 3 populists. The Democrats have won only 14 elections since 1860. They will not win in 08 no matter who the candidate is

    May 14, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Brend, FL

    Hillary, don’t give up. You have worked so hard and long for the nomination. Your determination and willingness to put yourself through all this shows the strong person that you are. I know you are the most experienced, knowledgeable candidate. HILLARY 2008!

    May 14, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. MillionMan, Washington, DC

    I am confused by Hillary supporters who indicate they will vote for McCain if Obama gets the Dem. nomination! Are you folks not Democrats!!?? Would you really prefer to cut off your nose just to spite your face?

    McCain is not an independent! He is a Bush Republican! He has sold out any "maverick inclinations" in him to pander to the right-wing conservative base of the Republicans. His reversal on the tax cuts, his speech on appointing conservative judges, his denial of not having voted for Bush, etc. all speak to this pandering.

    Obama is a black man running for president. He has received Secret Service protection earlier than any other candidate in history. His life, his wife's life and the lives of their two daughters are being threatened every day. Would not only a patriot go through this!?

    Don’t Obama and Hillary agree on most major issues!?

    Thus, the questions become: Are you more racist than Democrat!?
    Are you more racist than pro choice!? Are you more racist than anti-tax cuts for the rich!?

    May 14, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. joyce


    do you know barack personally?

    if not save your judgment and let god judge him. you are hurting yourself

    May 14, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Kiah

    The sad thing about HRC supporters is that someone HAS to lose and the fact that you aren't willing to accept that and rally behind the winner shows alot about you are "americans" Vote for McCain in November and whatever comes of it, you deserve it...

    This is why we are viewed around the world as the dumbest group of people.

    May 14, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Jill in Chicago

    Natasha, I am not a republican operative and I have voted as a democrat since 1992. If Hillary is not the nominee, than my ears will listen to both sides. I feel deep down that issues are bigger than personalities. Obama does not impress me and he has not proven that he has the experience or the tenacity to run this country. McCain is the pioneer of crossing both sides of the aisle and there were many democrats that respected and admired him when he ran against Bush in 1996 to become the republican nominee. That would have been the year I would have considered voting republican. Maybe you were too young to remember? Young votes are great, but there are many of us who have mortgages to pay and remember the prosperous Clinton years during the 90's.

    Hillary '08 – Don't Give up on Us!

    May 14, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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