The Clinton-Obama Antipathy
A few weeks ago, I put up a post discussing the concern among Democratic Party elites that the mutual antipathy between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters would ultimately play to the benefit of John McCain. I argued that the hard feelings between supporters of the two candidates would eventually subside, and that McCain would seem somewhat less appealing as an alternative, once Democratic operatives focused their full attention on him in the general election.
I still think this is the case, but in looking over the results of Time’s new Pennsylvania poll, it is clear to me that Obama still has his work cut out for him, at least in the short-term. Here is the relevant portion of the Time write-up:
There also appears to be a measure of deep anti-Obama sentiment in Clinton's Keystone State coalition. Roughly a quarter of Clinton voters — 26%, the poll found — say they "would be more likely" to vote for John McCain in the general election if Obama is eventually the Democratic nominee. By contrast, only 16% of Obama's backers report they would be likely to vote for McCain if Clinton emerged as the party's nominee.
So, these most recent data suggest that if Obama eventually receives the nomination, he may find that it takes more than just time to heal all wounds in the Democratic Party. Political elites in the party have consistently said that both camps will put aside their differences and come together to defeat their Republican opponent in November, but I will be interested to see if the Obama campaign also rolls out some sort of comprehensive initiative designed to win over these alienated Clinton supporters by November.
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