Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

You knew this was coming -- fractured Dem base could cross over in the general

As Hillary and Obama keep tearing into each other, their supporters are being asked the "what if" question regarding their preferred candidate. What if Hillary gets the nod over Obama and vice versa. The Washington Times reports that the divide in the party could help John McCain:

Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have each said they would support the other should they lose the Democratic nomination themselves, but two new polls suggest their devotees don't feel the same way.

A Gallup poll showed a staggering 28 percent of Clinton supporters would back Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the general election should the former first lady end her own bid.

“This suggests that some Clinton supporters are so strongly opposed to Obama (or so loyal to Clinton) that they would go so far as to vote for the "other" party's candidate next November if Obama is the Democratic nominee,” Gallup wrote in its analysis. “The data suggest that the continuing and sometimes fractious Democratic nomination fight could have a negative impact for the Democratic Party in next November's election.”

Among Obama supporters, 19 percent would vote for Mr. McCain should Mrs. Clinton be the nominee.

Gallup interviewed 6,657 Democratic voters via telephone from March 7 through March 22 and has a margin of error is plus or minus 2 points.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released this morning showed 22 percent of Democrats said Mrs. Clinton, of New York, should drop out of the race. The survey also found an identical percentage of Democratic voters think Mr. Obama of Illinois should drop out. The Rasmussen poll showed 62 percent want both candidates to remain in the race, a sentiment echoed by voters in states such as Montana and Oregon, who have not been seriously courted for their presidential vote in many years.

As these two keep throwing hammers at each other, their supporters are becoming equally polarized. We saw this coming. the animosity between the two camps, and their supporters, could bring bad tidings to the nominee to be chosen. Should the Denver convention give the party Hillary as a nominee, the prospects of her winning are even less that Obama's chances. Obama's demographics int he primaries show that he commands the black vote, the youth vote, and is making inroads with white voters, as well. And while we can basically rule out a high youth turnout (historically they don't turn out in the general in the numbers that candidates rely on), if Hillary gets the nomination many blacks are saying they'll stay home, or simply not vote for a candidate for the presidency.

This report from the Times shows that the other option for disgruntled Democrats maybe in crossing over. A vote for McCain is one less that either of them would have in their columns. Could the boost be big enough for McCain? That's tough to say. It does depend on how many disgruntled Democrats are willing to cross the line. It's obvious that if Obama's the nominee, Hillary supporters won't turn out in the numbers that McCain would need to help his bid. But if Hillary were the nominee, Obama supporters could bring McCain a very robust boost in the general as the animosity they have towards Hillary is quite visible and highly visceral.

Either way, Democrats voting for the GOP candidate would show party leaders just how dissatisfied they really are. Many in the Democrat party aren't happy with the way this primary is going. The GOP side is all sewn up as John McCain has the required amount of delegates to be the nominee. The Democrats, however, do not have a solid nominee yet. Obama is closer than Hillary is, however if either sweeps the remaining contests there won't be a brokered convention come August. And we do so hope for a brokered convention.

But if this continues to be a slog, and neither is the "heir apparent," then the fighting in Denver will be nothing compared to the fight between supporters in the general election in November.

Publius II


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