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

Poll shows both Clinton and Obama beating McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/14/art.mccainpoll.ap.jpg 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. Viktor in North Carolina

    The question is "Can Obama beat a McCain/Clinton ticket?"

    Go Hillary...I'll vote for you no matter what color you are!

    May 14, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Patricia

    McCain needs to pick Ms. Rice as his VP.

    May 14, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Richard (from Puerto Rico)

    I understand it is not easy for all americans the envision a black man in the (white House). Probably, 'cause its been called that, white house and people probably has for centuries thought the the person occupying such estate has to be or is meant to be for white persons only. Nothing further from the truth, that is to be occupied by the person the american people choose to free rent it for a period of four (4) and the longest eight (8) years by the will of its constituents. That been said, just be openminded, reject divisionism, America is the sum of its people all together, ALL TOGETHER. Take a deep look at the Irak war, do Whites fight separated from Blacks, or Hispanics,or
    Asians, or Catholics, or Protestants, or Jewish, or Polacs, or Puerto Ricans, or whom ever different but fighting together for the same cause!!. People step up to the occasion, and begin the transition to togetherness as one people, one Nation, put a side all differences and UNITE as just Americans, and let history that is watching take its toll and rewrite a new United American History. The rest of the World is watching to see who we are and what we have bacome.

    May 14, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Anna

    Last night we learned that WV is still in love with the Clintons and that a large percentage of white people in WV will not vote for a black candidate.

    We also learned that Clinton believes that WV should speak for the rest of the country and keep us in racial divide. That because WV does not want a black president that this will always be ok.

    In four years WV may still not vote for a black president. In 8 years they may still not, in 12 years they may still not, in 16 years they may still not, in 20 years they may still not.

    If we allow people like that to prevail we will discourage participation by the electorate that does not use prejudice to decide their vote.

    WV does not speak for me, or for the three states that I have lived in most of my life. The majority in those states voted for Obama.

    Its time to question the Clintons paradigm about WV. A new paradigm can emerge and the voters of the entire nation can have a voice, not just the ones Hillary says are important.

    May 14, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Shelby M

    May Polls for the General mean little. What I dont understand is how Clinton voters would risk 2 Supreme Court nominees by McCain with their crossover vote. If that happens it could mean the end of Roe VS. Wade. THAT makes no sense to me.

    Obama 08'!!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Proud American

    Thats right Republicans, Democrats are taking the White House anyway you slice it!!

    May 14, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Eddie

    Some say this shows a weakness in Obama,but really it shows a weakness in America and the Democratic party(the party of acceptance).This is sad and many people are trying to justify thier prejudice with,I do not know him,I think he is out of touch,and we liked when bill was president.This is the United States Of America,Not The United Staes Of West Virginia,you all do not speak for the rest of the country.I hope they have fun in thier poor nation considering the candidate they put in office for the last two terms,how could you say they are able to make a rational judgement now,remember they voted for bush.

    May 14, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. MI White Catholic Woman 4 Barack

    If Hillary were the nominee for the GE, life would continue the same as it is now. Clinton / McCain = the same old Washington politics.

    So no – I would not vote for Hillary! I have been a life long Republican and have switched because of Obama....if it's not Obama then my vote goes for McCain.

    And don't throw the Roe vs Wade thing my way....I never agreed with Roe vs Wade so the fact that McCain would try to overturn that is certainly ok with me.

    OBAMA 08 & 12!

    May 14, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Polls are Polls

    The only poll that matters is the one this fall. If Obama is the landslide victor over McCain, then why is Pennsylvannia, Michigan, and even California, Oregon, and Washington in play this fall? Also, this was the same song and dance four years ago, John Kerry was ahead in the polls all along, and yet Bush took over 50% of the vote in the GE. I wouldn't read much into these polls, we have six months until the GE, anything can change. And if another poll came out tomorrow showing McCain winning by 7 points, CNN and the liberal Media would spin that poll, or discount it!

    May 14, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. susan- ohio

    CNN, Russert, MSNBC – should learn to report the news and stop trying to tell the politicians what they should do – their bias is so blantant and quite mean-spirited – nothing like Obama – if they like hm and want him – they should follow his example – after the election, i say we replace all the news commentors for their terrible coverage of this long – drawn out election

    May 14, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Chris

    What is Obama's vision? I don't need this nonsense about the country coming together, change you can believe in, hope this etc., give me some concrete ideas on where you want to take this country, because if your only rhetoric is "healing" this country, go away, this country faces escalating debt, broken social security, energy crisis, poor paying jobs,etc. I haven't heard one concrete idea from this guy or Clinton or McCain that truly address any of these, so come November, it will be business as usual in DC, REGARDLESS OF WHO WINS!

    May 14, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. An Agnostic Democrat

    The picture says it all ... Looks like a corpse walking into his tomb in a mausoleum. If they can't beat the dead man walking, then neither of them deserves to be in politics.

    May 14, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. RyanFlorida

    Say g'night grandpa...

    May 14, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. brian from Boston

    national polls don't matter. popular vote in the general was won by al gore in 00. hillary's up in all the big swing states. it would be dumb to put someone up who after spending lots of money cant win the swing voters in those states.

    May 14, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Mike

    Robert Wiseman wrote:

    "Isn't the more important question which candidate will be able to cobble together the votes to win the electors college? Popular vote, as shown clearly by Bush's first victory, isn't the determining factor. It is winning the right combination of states to carry the electoral college that matters. How do they stack up on that count?"

    That's a fuzzy logic argument for Hillary, because right now those "key states" have just been voting on which Democratic candidate they would rather see, they are not voting or whether they want a Democrat or a Republican in the White House. To say she would carry those states or that Obama wouldn't come November is a pretty liberal interpretation of things.

    It's sort of like saying that since people have shown that they prefer cake over a candy bar, that they will then choose brussels sprouts over the candy bar if given those two choices.

    If the people really want change, then they will vote for the candidate or party that is most likely to deliver it. If not, then they only have themselves to blame while the status quo is maintained.

    May 14, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Steve, Madison WI

    It continues to amaze me the self-centered, "my candidate, or McCain" people. To even suggest you would risk more deaths in Iraq, a super-conservative Supreme Court, more tax cuts for the rich......YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED! I will vote for whichever candidate wins the Democratic nomination (regardless of my personal feelings as to the character of the individual). Any Democrat who does otherwise should carry the guilt and shame of a McBush presidency to their grave. So leave your egos at the door and think for the good of your country !

    DEMOCRATIC in '08!!!

    May 14, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Jim

    Obama picks up superdelegates hours after Clinton win

    May 14, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Linda. Boston, MA

    Wow some of you Clinton supporters have an uncanny ability to make statements that are in complete contradiction to the facts.

    Obama has won twice as many contests.
    Obama has won WAY more delegates.
    Obama has more popular votes.
    Obama has the HIGHEST favorable rating.
    Obama has inspired a RECORD number of individual donors.
    Obama has sent new voter registration through the roof.
    ... and Obama is beating John McCain by a wider margin than Hillary in the polls

    And yet.... despite ALL of that, you claim that "he can't win in the general election"???? In Hillary-Land, 2+2=79, the sky is red, and gravity works in the opposite direction – what goes down must come up. Actually, I think I may have visited Hillary Land one time myself after eating a bunch of strange mushrooms I found growing on the forest floor....

    May 14, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Ryan

    Is the poll biased? Chances are the poll was only looking at one demographic and that was your 40 to 60 year old Democrats. The problem with making statements like the one above by news organizations is they are completely biased in their findings. CNN has an agenda to get either Hilary or Obama elected regardless if they are the best choice. I am not saying McCain is but I don't believe Clinton or Obama are either. Once the media chooses their candidates the others are no longer a viable option. I would not doubt if there is a significant drop in voter turn out this year based on biased news coverage, and the younger voters just do not care anymore. All political parties are corrupt, I would say Clinton is the most corrupt out of all three.

    May 14, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Kirk

    Just to illustrate how "in touch" the voters of West Virginia are with the pulse of America, take a look at the REPUBLICAN caucus they held back in Februrary. West Virginians overwhelmingly chose HUCKABEE as their #1, then ROMNEY as their #2... McCain, who is now recognized as the 'presumptive' nominee, was way way back in a distant THIRD, with about 1% of the votes.

    Boy, West Virginia, you really know how to pick a winner!

    May 14, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. CONGO MAN

    Democrats will fall in line and support Obama this Fall. News media should stop dredging up this distorted news just to keep-up the interest.

    Move on and start positioning for a Obama-McCain match-up. Clearly with McCain's health issues, and his wife's blatant refusal to release her war-chest tax returns - the Republicans have EVERYTHING to fear, and fear itself, as even the Congressional races start falling to the Democrats.

    May 14, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. gracie

    Obama acting like the WV primary didn't even happen is evidence of his outrageous arrogance. Thinking you can win a general election with rich kids and blacks, while ignoring the legitimate concerns of the poor white and elderly voters who anchor the party is despicable.

    The poor, uneducated, and elderly are the people who have the most at stake in this election: they suffer most from a failing economy, they're most likely to be without health insurance, and their children and grandchildren are the ones being killed overseas. Maybe that's why they vote for the candidate they know they can rely on, who's proven through decades of work that she truly cares about helping people.

    May 14, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Ramz, KY

    Funny how CNN always brings up and makes light of the characters in the background of Obama's speeches and ignores the one's behind Clinton. Did anyone see the Lone African American, semi-tooothless supporter behind Clinton that was nodding at all the wrong places of the speech. I think he was drunk and after the speech he leaned in to say something to Sen, Clinton and she made a face of disgust. What was that about?

    May 14, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Christine V from Dallas, TX

    Oh so now you realize that Obam cant win without us ordinary people! But guess what? TOO LATE!! DAMAGE DONE....HILLARY OR MCCAIN..start shaking in your shoes DNC!! you deserve what you and the media dished out.....have fun!

    *******************************************************
    Obama supporters need to stop the bragging and Clinton supporters need to stop the whining and crying. Clinton has run a tough race but she has lost the nomination fair and square. And for her supporters to say they won't vote for Obama is a crying shame. Hillary, you set the tone of your campaign and it is about time you talk straight to your supporters. You can' t win with out tearing the party apart and handing the general to McCain. You know that and it is about time you tell your supporters the truth. You have been a loyal Dem all your life, don't turn your back on us now. We count as much as your supporters.

    May 14, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Lee WV

    That cannot be good for hillary's arguement of being more electable.I researched a coulpe more things this monning.She keeps saying that no democrat since 1916 has won the Whitehouse without wining WV.She is right that WV was won in all of those however none were close enough that the loss of the 5 electoral votes would have mattered.In fact most could have lost PA,Ohio and WV and still won.Anyone can research this.Another thing her 42% win was impressive but Obama won Hawii by 52%,Dist of Columbia 52%,Idaho 63%,Virgin Islands 82%,Alaska50%,and Kansas 48%.You can look these facts up also.

    May 14, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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