Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two More Polls Find Dems Have A Deserter Problem

Two More polls find a significant number of Democrats will abandon the party's nominee in November to vote for Senator McCain:

A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll:
There are some ominous signs that the party will not easily unify after a long and contentious primary fight. Fully 30% of Clinton supporters in North Carolina said they would switch to McCain if Obama was the nominee (only 14% of Obama backers would defect if Clinton was the nominee).

A Washington Post /ABC News poll:
Just 61 percent of Obama supporters say they'd definitely or probably vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination; 38 percent say they definitely or probably would not. It's very similar among Clinton supporters: Sixty-one percent say they'd be inclined to vote for Obama, 35 percent definitely or probably not.

Among core Democrats -- excluding Democratic-leaning independents -- about a third on each side say they're disinclined to kiss and make up.

That would be a highly unusual -- perhaps unprecedented -- level of party defections. From 1992-2004 just 10 or 11 percent of Democrats have voted Republican. In 1988 Mike Dukakis yielded 17 percent of Democrats; in 1980 and 1984, Ronald Reagan attracted a quarter of Democrats.

There are now at least seven recent polls that show, regardless of which Democrat wins the nomination, a significant number of Democrats deserters will vote for John McCain:

The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday:
26 percent of Clinton supporters would switch to Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican, in November if Obama were the Democratic nominee. Nineteen percent of Obama backers would switch to McCain if Clinton were the Democratic nominee.
Gallup :
But only 59% of Democratic voters who support Clinton say they would vote for Obama against McCain, while 28% say they would vote for the Republican McCain.

[. . .]

Seventy-two percent of those who support Obama for the party's nomination would vote for Clinton against McCain, while 19% would desert and vote for the Republican.
About a quarter of Obama supporters say they'll vote for McCain if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. About a third of Clinton supporters say they would vote for McCain if it's Obama.
Rasmussen Reports:
Only 61% of Hillary supporters say they are likely to vote for Obama against John McCain. On the other hand, if Hillary is nominated, only 67% of Obama supporters are likely to vote for her.
American Research Group:
10% of all likely Democratic primary voters say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary and 24% of likely Democratic primary voters say they would never vote for Barack Obama in the primary.
To be fair, as ABC reported, polling about the Democrats' deserter problem is "one that will be more meaningfully measured after the Democrats pick their candidate and lick their wounds." In addition, ABC points out there is also the possibility of GOP crossover:
Fourteen percent of Republicans say they'd vote for Obama if he's the nominee; fewer, 7 percent, say they'd cross over for Clinton.

The longer Hillary and Obama fight it out, the more damage they do to each other. Nevertheless, according to the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, the Democrats remain willing to let the bruising battle between Hillary and Obama continue. They report the new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds "little public pressure to bring the long and increasingly heated contest to an end."

No comments: