May 21st, 2008
07:38 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama still struggles with some Democrats

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Barack Obama has not had the same success with older, white and blue-collar voters as Sen. Hillary Clinton."]LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) - Tuesday may end up a big night for Barack Obama, giving him a majority of all possible pledged delegates in the Democratic race for the White House. But exit polling in Kentucky - where CNN is projecting rival Sen. Hillary Clinton will win by a wide margin - suggests that he still has big problems in states with a large majority of older, white and blue-collar voters.

Nearly half of Democratic voters in Kentucky polled Tuesday said they would either vote for Republican Sen. John McCain or not vote at all in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee. Among 1,278 people polled, 33 percent said they would pick McCain over Obama, and 16 percent said they would not vote at all.

By comparison, 76 percent said they would choose Clinton over McCain, with only 17 percent supporting the Republican and 6 percent not voting.

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soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Hillary Will!

    Doesn't anyone realize that BHO cannot win this thing in the fall?
    Most democrats do not think he can pull this off, and would rather vote Republican, or not at all.

    Is anyone out there awake?

    May 21, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. swalker327

    The bottom line with WVA and KY is that older white blue collar workers find too much psychological discomfort in voting for a black man! Only an educational campaign can help those hicks!

    May 21, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. demwit

    "By comprison, 76 percent said they would choose Clinton over McCain"

    That is a hoot! Like sure.., we'd vote for Hillary, now that we're a shoe in.., and of course, she doesn't STEAL the nomination from US in August!!

    And you call me demwit... HA!!!

    May 21, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. MD in OK

    Well, if Hillary gets the nomination, she too will have a problem with some Democrats

    May 21, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Ed, Fl

    Clinton Supporters are just sour loosers. But i beleive they will get over it as soon as HRC leaves the race and puts the country's interests before her own selfish and little minded ones.

    May 21, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Racism... then Sexism

    There is a common, well documented theme in many of the last few states that voted. It is that 20-25% of those who voted for Clinton voted against Obama's skin and that is unimaginable in this day and age. We have had blacks as chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Secretary of State (2x), Astronauts, Senators, Generals and Governors. Therefore a person of color in high position is nothing new however hard that concept is for some of us to accept. We've also had women serving in all those capacities. So what's the problem? The answer is simple. In some people's mind things have in the following order:
    1. White men.
    2. White women.
    3. Others.
    If the exit polls had gone futher we would have found out that Clinton is merely preserving those voters for John McCain since these people also believe a white woman can lead only when a white is not available. For intance, I watched an interview on CNN with a woman living in a poor rural area of Kentucky and surprise to hear her say that " a woman's place is in the kitchen".
    David Gergen from CNN puts it best when he said that Clinton has a moral duty to come out against this attitude by saying " if your vote for me is against my opponent's race, I don't need your vote".

    May 21, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. MCD

    Yes, we get it. People that will never vote for a black man won't vote for him. Thank God the entire country isn't that way.

    May 21, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Winny

    These people have the right to vote for whomever they choose. But it is widely known that some states still have a problem with racism. And the Clintons didn't cease the opportunity to speak against it, instead they capitalised on it.

    They Clintons are to be celebrated for the contribution they have made to this country. But behaviour in this primary says a lot about their character and might cause some of those contributions to seem dim in comparison to their undercutting, stab in the back, and cut throat manners.

    It is obvious they are more interested in winning at all cost instead of bringing the country together. The Clintons behaviour has really help to divide the Dems. The more she stays in the race the more divided it will be. I hope when all is said and done they won't lose their soul. God have mercy on them.

    I believe that once Obama becomes the nominee or even before he should go to some of these very towns and talk to these folks no matter how difficult it may be. Spend time there and deal with issues that are common to all americans. These people are hungry for change too. I believe we can turn all this division in our country.

    May 21, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. taylor richmond virginia

    Obama still struggles with some democrats? mean racists.

    May 21, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Paul Thomas - Canada

    My father is from Kentucky, my mother from Canada. I and my mother moved to Canada because we could no longer stand the racist attitude of that state (also prevalent in Tenn and WV). Racist will not vote for a black person under any circumstances. In my opinion, I would NOT want such people in my party.
    I wish Americans luck in his struggle to educate such people. Start now and perhaps in a generation it may change. I believe that 4/8 yrs with Obama as your Pres. will go a long way to help you in your struggle. Regardless, our prayers are with you and God Bless America.

    May 21, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Jane L.

    Obama still struggles with MANY democrats, and justifiably so.

    May 21, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Conservative -CA

    Jacksonian Democrats are the most stubborn people on earth. Any well informed Democrat should be willing to vote for Obama. Instead these Jacksonian Democrats whom most have only a high school diploma or less don't have the IQ to vote for the better man.

    You DEMS saying you'd vote for McCain over Obama need to get a grip with reality.

    You guys wanna pay $15 for a gallon of gas, then I say, "GO FOR IT!" Let's vote John McCain "Path to EXTINCTION"

    McCain admits he knows little about the economy.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    This should credit to the Clintons' divisive campaign.

    They say and do anything with mean spirit, They play race, gender and any cards to appeal to the dark lower intelligence of the people just to secure power for themselves! They keep taking the low road on this pointless race!

    Shame on the Clintons!

    May 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. rayofhope

    ...Nearly half of Democratic voters in Kentucky polled Tuesday said they would either vote for Republican Sen. John McCain or not vote at all in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee...

    And why do you think they say that? What is common between Senator McCain and Senator Clinton and what is different about Senator Obama? No rocket science here...its obvious.

    People are comfortable with what they know.. and thats OK. But keep this in mind, even people of the same race make very very bad decisions (i.e. our leader for the as 8 years). It sounds like these voters can't see the forest for the trees.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Dave G

    I think Clinton supporters would have a hard time voting against an Obama/Clinton ticket. Obama has made it known that he would consider her as a running mate. Clinton hasn't said anything, but I think when it comes down to it, she would prefer VP over Senator. In one months time, they will realize that they need each other.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Lydia

    I wish the American people would just be honest with themselves and each other. There are some White Americans who will not vote for an African American candidate. Period. End of story.

    The bottom line, however, is this. Should Obama be the nominee, the differences between the Democrats and Republicans will be very stark. For those people who are willing to vote race instead of what is in their best interest, they deserve what they get. A third Bush term.

    In 2000 Bush stole the election. In 2004 he won overwhelmingly.

    The mess that the United States is in now - an economy that is spiraling downward, high gas prices, a neverending war, the loss of more than 4,000 young men and women for no good reason (not to mention the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people killed), and a price tag in the tens of billions of dollars, is a direct result of people voting against their own interests.

    If people want to do that again, they have that right. They only need to refer to the statistics - more than 80% of the American people feel the country is going in the wrong direction - then vote. It's that simple.

    Additionally, Hillary Clinton and her campaign are delusional. She cries sexism. In reality, sexism and racism have been good to her. If the situation was reversed and Clinton was leading in number of pledged delegates, leading in the number of superdelegates, leading in the number of contests won, leading in the number of states won, leading in the popular vote...Obama would be a distant memory. In fact, he would have been gone after the 11 state winning streak.

    But again, we lie to ourselves and each other and continue to fashion reasons why she should continue and how she can win. She supported the consequences against Florida and Michigan...when she thought she would be the winner and their vote didn't matter. Now that she isn't where she thought she would or should be, she is so concerned about the people in all 50 states being heard. What a hypocrite!

    She says she is in this for the American people...that is poppycock. She is in it for herself. Anyone who believes otherwise is as delusional as she is.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Jeff in Alabama

    Definitely, Obama has a huge task ahead of him to win over the groups of Democrats whom do not accept him as their Presidential nominee. It is a serious problem for the DNC if they expect to win the general election. I myself am a Clinton supporter. A lot of what he does and says in the next few weeks will determine if I support him with my vote should he be the nominee. I like a lot of others out here, want to support him but we still have a nagging sense that we just don't know enough about him to make us feel good. Also, it does not seem to us that he is making enough effort to win over certain groups of voters. He tends to stick to his strong areas and states. He virtually did not campaign in KY. And while I do understand the strategy for doing so early on in the race, I feel like at this point he needs to be taking these opportunities to speak to these groups of folks if he wants their votes in the Fall.

    May 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Denny Sangiovanni

    Any doubts about why he needs her in the ticket? Obama-Clinton is the ticket winner. No Obama-Hillary, Obama-Clinton.... 8 years in power, then Hillary-Whoever next 8 years.

    May 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Amy

    I will be ashamed of our country if Senator Obama does not win in the November election due to the color of his skin. What will this say about us as a nation? If I were Hillary, I would be ashamed that my base was racist, and as a voter I'm ashamed that she has embraced them. I thought she was civil rights pioneer? Oh, that's right, when it gets her votes from blacks she's a pioneer. When it's racist whites, she's one of them.

    May 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Pam

    If Hillary is still a viable candidate, as she claims she is, why isn't anyone asking why she can't win the black vote?

    May 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Billy Ray Sayles

    We'll have a democratic majority in congress and a republican president after the election thanks to MSNBC and CNN. Obama has made this race about race and now it's coming around to bite him. I just don't understand how it's allright for all blacks to blindly vote for Obama and it's okay,but if whites vote for Hillary it's racism. I'm so disappointed with my black brethen, and MSNBC and CNN.

    May 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. John In Georgia

    The democrats that Obama is having trouble with are the types that would never vote for a black candidate regardless. You can call them blue collar workers, whites,etc... but the acurate tag for them is racists.
    If the cap fits, wear it.

    May 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. kathy

    I don't get it. Why the emphasis on Obama's struggle with some Democrats? Clinton struggles with some Democrats too!

    This seems to again be an attempt to show Obama's candidacy and appeal as flawed, while not inspecting the flaws of Hillary Clinton.

    Surley, one must also look at the large White crowd that Mr. Obama drew in Oregon and all across various areas of the U.S. Might I add that without the African American vote, which the Clintons have largely lost, Ms. Clinton has no possibility of winning either.

    CNN your analysis and headlines are much too simplistic and frankly is patronizing to thinking Americans.

    May 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. laura

    Hillary supporters that vote McCain have no true respect for her or her stance on the issues. She admirably fought for her vision of American for nearly two years, a vision that couldn't be more removed from McCain's vision of the US and the world, and by voting for him you'd be essentially giving Hillary and her hard work a slap in the face. I firmly believe that in the end she'd rather want the realization of her vision of America than winning the presidency. So stop thinking about what you want, but start thinking about what she wants. Also, in an Obama cabinet position she can play a more effecive role in realizing her vision of America than when she is pushed to the sidelines by a McCain victory, for which a great many Democrats, rightly or wrongly, will blame her. Hillary supporters, if you truly want to play a heroic role in this historic election, then chose for the path of America that she wanted to take, and not for the destructive status quo we have now. Only you can decide this thing and I hope you'll choose to be on the "right" side of history. Thank you.

    May 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. James, SC

    Well there is a natural understanding of the opinions of the voters in Kentucky. Would you want to support a candidate who did not come to your state? I say this as an Obama supporter.

    The truth is: politically this was a good move for Senator Obama. Knowing that his chances of winning were very low in Kentucky, Obama avoided campaigning in the state where he could validate Senator Clinton's attempt to appear competitive for the Democratic Party Presidential nominee. By doing so, he allows her to campaign without going negative. He will campaign in the state, but after all Democratic Party competition has been cleared from the state.

    May 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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