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POLL: Gallup Democratic Defectors


New analysis from Gallup's daily tracking data (compiled from 3/7 through 3/22) finds 28% of those who support Clinton in the Democratic primary would vote for McCain if he were pitted against Obama in the general election, while 19% of those who support Obama in the primary would vote for McCain if he were pitted against Clinton (video).

 

Comments

when this kind of polling first emerged right around the ohio primary, i had first hand numbers about this trend. i remember blogging all over that the first blush of data was not revealing the correct trend.

at the time it was polling at the inverse of the present ratio. more defectors to mccain from obama than from clinton.

i would hazard a guess that it is still not revealing the correct percentage, though at least the correct trend.

the reason is something that pollsters do not confront and should. they must begin to worm out the data on how the media has polarized the electorate and to what end this works as an impetus to defect.

what you will find, no doubt, are the seeds of one estate overstepping its bounds and the backlash of the electorate pushing back on them to get back within their bounds.

so i ask you pollsters, are you asking any questions like: to what extent has the media influenced your vote? are you voting as a result of their influence? do you see that as a positive or negative influence on your choice?
how much do you watch and read? are you watching and reading less or more?
do you find the reporting fair or editorializing? how would you characterize the degree to which the press feels it can influence voters. how effectively they have done this? how do you feel about the media in general?
etc.

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Ciccina:

@ lsmakc:

I think measuring media consumption would be great. But from what I've seen from testing of the relative weight of endorsements, its hard to get voters to say they've been influenced by any person or group with which they don't have a personal relationship.

This sounds like something Annenberg or Pew ought to do.

You raise an interesting point about media coverage and its relationship to voter preference. I've been tickled to see Obama and Clinton running even despite the relentlessly hostile treatment of Clinton in the mainstream and liberal media. I wonder if the "opinionators" realize what a rebuke this is to their purported influence.

I imagine a comparison of the audience demographics for, say, the political shows on MSNBC compared to the demographics of those who strongly support one candidate or the other would shed some light on the disconnect. Generally speaking, it would be nice if the networks took a look at the polarization, realized how much of the audience they alienate by focusing so strongly on one political mindset, and elected to bring more ideological diversity into their programming. Do you think that will happen...? ;-)

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camronghia:

This is an interesting poll, but I'm curious about another statistic that has yet to be discussed.

How many Obama supporters will not vote in November if he loses the nomination?

The same question could be asked of Clinton supporters. It seems to me that many voters are turning out to the polls because they are energized by a single candidate. Will this energy evaporate if their desired candidate isn't on the ballot in November?

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RS:

@camronghia:

The Gallup poll says 9% of Obama supporters undecided between/won't vote for Senators Clinton and McCain, while 13% of Clinton backers are undecided between/won't vote for Senators Obama and McCain.
How many of those "undecideds" would simply not vote, not sure...

@Ciccina:
Keep beating the "media is merciless on poor Hillary" drum. One of the reasons Senator Clinton's still in this race is because the media/"the boys" were apparently harsh on her right before New Hampshire... So she almost-teared up and all the women flocked to her side. That's probably why she should give the "we are sisters-in-arms and we are being discriminated against" speech, and watch as (a) Chris Mathews et al. attack her; and (b) women - 55-60% of the Democratic electorate - flock again to her side en masse ensuring she runs the table in the end-stretch.

Have you considered that folks who read the NYT/watch MSNBC may just not be the blue collar, working class voters who are one of Senator Clinton's strongest constituencies? She has the lunch box factor workers, and Senator Obama has the better-educated, MSNBC-watching, NYT-reading liberals. And that's the Democratic Party split, in a nutshell.

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bigwilli68:

The narative that the media has been pushing since super tuesday is that obama supporters were going to crossover to McCain or just stay home if Hillary were to win the nomination through super delegates. It is interesting to see that this poll shows that Hillary's supporters are showing a much higher inclination to profess this attitude.

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Patrick:

RS - the reason Hillary can't give the "we are sisters-in-arms and we are being discriminated against" speech is because sexism (even misogyny) is much more acceptable in our society (even among women)- and in our national media - than racism. The fact that African American men got the right to vote 50 years before white women in this country is no coincidence. As just about everyone agreed after Saturday Night Live lampooned it, Hillary was getting much more negative press and scrutiny than Obama by the national media (which is run by men), some of it very sexist in nature, right up until a few weeks ago. How many presidential candidates have had rally attendees yell "shut up and iron my shirt!" at them - as Hillary did in NH, had another candidate criticize their outfit at a debate (as John Edwards did), or have had to defend their 'likability' in a presidential debate? How about when John McCain laughed and said "good question" when asked "how do we defeat this b*tch?" at a campaign rally? Do you think he would have laughed and said "good question" if he'd been asked "how can we defeat this n*gger" in regard to Obama? I doubt it. It is impressive that Hillary is even with Obama in the polls at this point and it's really not surprising that more of her supporters would vote for McCain than visa versa.

What this poll doesn't take into account is that Clinton has already basically said that if she gets the nomination, she'd invite Obama to be her running mate. Clinton is smart (her husband is the only Democratic president to be re-elected since FDR!) and she knows she'd have to do that to win in Nov. Hopefully the Obama camp knows that too because offering Hillary the VP slot (which she very well may turn down anyway) may be the only way to truly "unite" the Democratic party for the general election if he is the nominee.

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airhawk86:

https://www.dwpolitics.com/Dean_Debacle.html

Folks, this article tells it all. The Democrats should win this election. Everything is in their favor. The ony way they will lose is this infighting. Blame Dean. Get this race over with, or the Dems are not going to win.

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RS:

@Patrick:

And how many Whites have had "articulate and clean" bestowed upon them as a badge of honor? By a US Senator, no less, not a couple of idiotic radio DJs?

If you really want to talk scrutiny, let's examine the fact that only recently has Senator Clinton's record been examined for her participation in foreign policy and administrative achievements. As far as I can tell, till recently the media and (even now) most voters have taken Senator Clinton's word that she has 35 years' experience, and her opinion that Senator Obama has just a speech.

SNL is nothing but a shill for Hill. Senator Obama was nice so long as he was a distant runner-up - they even had him on as a "guest" at a Clinton Halloween ball - but now that he's the front-runner, all he gets is freakin' Fred Armisen in blackface. Pathetic.

You are missing my point about Senator Clinton giving that speech. All the subsequent media and public pile-on will successfully confer on her the mantle of victimhood, and she can clean up at the hustings. And that's all that matters, right?

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Andrew_in_California:

Okay, Fred Armisen is Japanese and Venezuelan. It does look like he gets a bit of makeup but I wouldn't say that its blatantly blackface.

Also, I think you guys should stay clear of the pissing contest of who is marginalized more when it comes to race and gender. No productive comments will come from it.

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Patrick:

RS - With all due respect, many respected independent media watchgroups (not just NOW and other feminist groups) have pointed out that for the entire past year, Clinton has gotten much more negative press than Obama (something like 2 to 1). And they have hundreds of examples. Part of it may be that she's been around so long and he's a "fresh face", but a lot of it is clearly sexism. (Do you think for a minute that if Obama were a woman with 2 years of total federal government experience, anyone would have taken him seriously for a minute??).

As for Clinton's claims of experience, First Ladies have often been informal presidential advisers. Eleanor Roosevelt, Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Clinton are examples of first ladies who were actively involved in their husbands' decisions and appointments. Hillary pushed the limits the First Lady's role more than anyone since Roosevelt. She's never said she was the president, but those 8 years (as well as the other 20+ years she has been in public service of some kind) IS relevant experience to many of us voters. Whether she embellished one visit to Bosnia on purpose or just remembered it differently, it doesn't take that away. All politician lie anyway. Obama certainly does. McCain does. Let's grow up and accept that.

It's historically unprecendented to have a woman (who happens to be a former First Lady) and an African American (who almost no had ever really heard of before) as the 2 front runners for the Democratic party nomination, so the "old rules" don't apply. And because the two candidates' support is more polarized than we've ever seen before (but approximately the same in %), we can't rely on national polls or past elections as much to predict what's going to happen.

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RS:

@Patrick:
When folks say "with all due respect," that usually means "you fool!"

Given that NOW is backing Senator Clinton - and in the NYC chapter's case, hysterically so - what else would you expect? The ClintonS spin, and much of the media/voters drink it up as the Word from Mt Sinai.

The fact is, Senator Obama was not lost in the desert for 20 years, but instead was working to organize downsized mill workers, registering voters, teaching constitutional law, practicing civil rights law, was a state senator... But all that - two decades' life experience - is dismissed as just "a speech," and nobody in the press bats an eyelid.

Senator Clinton says she opposed NAFTA from the start, dodged sniper fire in Bosnia, brought peace to the Irish etc. All either overblown or blatantly false (as she'd say, "actions, not words"). Till recently, all that was given a free pass by the press.

And you call that being unfair to Senator Clinton?

As President Clinton would say - "give me a break!"

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