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Grumbling Clinton supporters make Democrats nervous

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Doomsday101, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While Sen. Hillary Clinton was endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, some of those weighing in on her campaign Web site were less willing to concede

    As Clinton wrapped up her remarks Saturday in Washington with a plea for supporters to work "as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," many were posting messages saying they would never vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee. A few even called on her backers to visit Sen. John McCain's campaign Web site.

    "I love her and will vote for her in 2012, but it's McCain all the way now," wrote one within moments of the former first lady's address.

    Whether that sort of statement signals a defection to the presumptive Republican nominee, a voter less likely to make it to the polls on Election Day or just a bit of low-grade, post-primary grumbling -- it's the sort of sentiment that makes for a nagging, low-grade anxiety among nervous Democrats and brings a gleam to the eye of McCain.

    As Democratic leaders met last month and decided to seat Florida and Michigan at half strength at the convention, angry Clinton supporters who had backed her plea for the seating of full delegations from both states began to chant, "Let's go, McCain!"

    And as Clinton's presidential bid wound down, some of her loudest supporters began insisting they would consider voting for McCain if she were not the Democratic nominee. Watch Clinton call on voters to support Obama ยป

    A newly released CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that if Obama does not select Clinton as his running mate, 22 percent of her supporters would stay home this fall -- and another 17 percent would vote for McCain.

    "That's just one estimate of the 'Clinton factor,' and it may not be an accurate predictor since it piles several hypotheticals on top of each other and asks people to guess their state of mind five months from now," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.

    "Nonetheless, it does indicate that unmotivated Clinton supporters may be a bigger risk to Obama than defections from the Clinton camp to McCain."

    The numbers haven't gone unnoticed at McCain campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. In the days since Obama effectively claimed the Democratic nomination, the senator from Arizona's campaign has aggressively reached out to Clinton supporters -- women and blue-collar voters who were the strongest supporters of her presidential bid.

    A few hours after her speech -- which was free of attacks on Obama's fall opponent -- McCain aide Michael Goldfarb wrote on the campaign's official blog that "there is a genuine affection for her here at McCain HQ. During her speech there was no small amount of pleading with the TV: 'Don't do it, you can still win!' "

    "Sen. Clinton has really grown on us over here in Crystal City over the past few months," wrote Goldfarb, calling her an "impressive candidate" who "inspired a generation of women" but "fell victim to a vast left-wing conspiracy that resented her generally centrist foreign policy views."

    And one of the first posts on the newly launched blog was a video of Abba's "Take a Chance on Me" under the headline, "Take a Chance on McCain." Wrote Goldfarb: "Attention disaffected Hillary supporters, John McCain is a huge Abba fan. Seriously.''

    McCain's maverick reputation has always translated into significant support from independent voters, but the diminished appeal of the GOP brand this year may translate into a weaker showing. Despite emotions still raw from the bruising Democratic primary, an appeal to Clinton voters could be a tough sell for the Republican.

    But McCain and his campaign have made bold moves in recent weeks to distance the senator from President Bush and the Republican Party, and redirect the focus to his independent image -- essential in his effort to reach disaffected Clinton voters.

    McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin blasted the president's handling of the economy, and campaign manager Rick Davis said the battered image of the national Republican Party made for an uphill climb for its presidential nominee.

    McCain aides see an opportunity in Obama's struggle to connect with white working-class voters.

    The campaign has assembled focus groups in Democratic areas where Obama struggled this spring to gauge McCain's potential appeal among, and best approach to, this demographic -- particularly those most angered by Clinton's loss. A campaign tour directed at these voters also is being planned.

    The day after Obama claimed the nomination, McCain said, "There's a lot of Sen. Clinton supporters who would support me because of their belief that Sen. Obama does not have the experience or the knowledge or the judgment to address this nation's national security challenges."

    McCain was more effusive in his praise of Clinton at a Louisiana campaign event Wednesday as her campaign revealed she would be ending her run in a matter of days. "As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend," he said.

    Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- who has taken on increasingly high profile campaign roles on McCain's behalf -- announced Thursday that he was heading a new grass-roots organization, Citizens for McCain, with a direct appeal to Clinton's disappointed supporters.

    In a message sent to the Arizonan's supporters after news broke that Clinton was suspending her run, the Democrat-turned-independent highlighted McCain's "very good working relationship with Sen. Clinton."

    "The phones at the campaign headquarters have been ringing with disaffected Democrats calling to say they believe Sen. McCain has the experience, judgment, and bipartisanship necessary to lead our country in these difficult times," Lieberman wrote. "Many of these supporters are former supporters of Sen. Clinton."

    He called on supporters to "reach out to Americans who are not currently involved in the campaign. Will you help us by recruiting your friends, family, and co-workers who may not consider themselves members of the Republican Party and ask them to join the Citizens for McCain organization?"

    But can McCain really win over these loyal Democrats? History isn't on his side.

    In the modern era, the pledge of mass defections by disappointed primary voters isn't rare -- but it rarely has a major influence on election results. The number of voters who identify with a given party may shift dramatically over time -- but among that self-selected group, loyalty tends to be remarkably high, with greater than nine in 10 usually supporting their party's presidential nominee, according to exit polling over the past few presidential cycles.

    In 2004, despite similar anger from supporters of unsuccessful presidential candidate Howard Dean, 8 percent of Democrats supported Bush over Sen. John Kerry.

    And on most major issues, McCain's positions are completely at odds with those of the Democratic working class and women voters he's hoping to reach: in favor of the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts, against abortion rights and health care policies favored by many Democrats.

    Obama advisers say they think the passion of the primary season will soon fade, and the party will unite around the senator from Illinois. But they've moved quickly to cement party unity: Last week, a thank you message -- and a plea for visitors to "show your support" for Clinton -- appeared on Obama's Web site.
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Most of those complaining will simmer down after some time and buy into the McCain is evil twin of W and will once again vote Dem.

    Just like most of those conservatives that were all against McCain during the primaries will step up and vote McCain because he is the Republican nominee.

    I am sure there will be a few here and there that might stick to their guns or not vote at all, but for the most part dems will vote Obama and Repubs will vote McCain.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think there will be some with the ideal that by voting for McCain now will allow Hillary to run in 2012 instead of seeing Obama win and being the incumbent in 2012 which would keep Hillary out of the race until 2016. I do think the majority of her supporter will vote Democrat some will not vote and yes I think some will vote McCain for the reason I stated.
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Oh I said a handful may stick to their guns. But I doubt enough to make much of a difference.

    Just like the people who thought this dem primary would last much longer and go onto the convention...I just don't see this stuff being much of a big deal.

    I still remember the number of people who said they would refuse to vote for McCain, that they would rather vote for Hillary. I doubt many stick to their words. Just like a lot of liberal hollywood actors saying they will move if so and so is elected president.

    Actually I think there have been some conservatives on this very board who said they would not vote for McCain early on during the primaries...I think the only one that will stick to it is Trickblue.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree for the most part but as I have said before I think this will be a very close election so I see every vote as an important one so even if a small percentage of Clinton supporters cast their vote for McCain that can make a difference in a states that could be won or lost by 1 or 2 percentage points.
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    To vote for another person because your mad at one is kind of silly IMO. But that is what happens I guess. Mad at one guy for winning (when the reason is they wanted a woman elected) so they go and vote for a different man who's political ideas are less than the one from their own party. Seems it is only due to anger and that is not the best reason to vote. But then again...we are talking voters who are easily duped over the last many years, voters who would vote for someone just because he seems like a guy they would like to have a beer with.

    I could see if they were indies, centrists or maybe mod/dems. But hardcore dems doing that sounds about as likely as some of those guys like that one radio guy who said he would rather vote for Hillary after McCain apologized over what the radio guy said at that one rally. I just don't see it happening but who knows.

    Crazy stuff.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    As I said I think in the minds of some Hillary supporters the only way Hillary will ever have a chance at President is by Obama losing. I know that sounds crazy but should he win then it would not be until 2016 that she could run as he would be the incumbent in 2012. I don't think many will do that however in a close contest every vote becomes very important
  8. hank2k

    hank2k Member

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    Maybe we should ask someone in here who supported HRC .

    I was with her for a while but her behavior and the realization that Obama has a better chance vs McCain switched me.

    Is there anyone on this board who stuck with HRC all the way?
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    The only person I know that really liked her, no matter their lean, was Jterrell.
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I did not know you represented all Hillary supporters; I'll try and contact those who are saying something different than you are and tell them they are wrong. I'm sure they just don't know how they are supposed to think.
  11. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives. Zone Supporter

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    Yeah, what happened to him ? I was against most of his views, but man did he do some good research. He was like a bull terrier !
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    :laugh2: He was the only one that liked her and I think it wore him down. She was like the only politician (in either primary) that pretty much everybody on this board loathed...which is saying quite a bit.
  13. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives. Zone Supporter

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    I wonder who he is backing now ???
  14. Jordan55

    Jordan55 Active Member

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    Is it over yet?

    [IMG]

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