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Posted by on May 20, 2008 in Politics | 1 comment

Kentucky, Oregon Exit Polls: Big Economy Issue And Big Democratic Divide

The battles between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the Kentucky and Oregon Democratic Presidential primaries aren’t just going to produce winners and losers — but a glimpse into the minds of voters. And exit polls show Democrats are preoccuped with the economy but also highly split and partially prone not to vote for their party’s nominee if he/she wasn’t the one they backed.

This means the Democrats have a big issue but grudges held over from the primaries could be so hard to heal that the election could turn on sore feelings rather than the issues. CBS reports:

According to CBS News early exit polling, in Kentucky, eight in ten Clinton voters said they would be dissatisfied if Obama was the Democratic nominee. Obama voters were about evenly split on whether they would be satisfied if Clinton got the nomination.

In Kentucky, just 33 percent of Clinton voters said they would back Obama in the general election if he is the Democratic nominee – 41 percent said they will vote for McCain, and another 23 percent say they won’t vote.

Oregon voters felt differently on that question, according to the exit poll. A majority of Clinton and Obama voters in the state would be satisfied if their opponent got the nomination. And 68 percent of Clinton voters say they will back Obama in the general election if he is the nominee and 80 percent of Obama voters say they will back Clinton in the general election.

Democratic voters in both states said the economy was the most important issue, with 65 percent of voters in Kentucky saying that. Voters differed, however, on whether to suspend the gas tax was a good idea. In Kentucky, 57 percent thought it would be good idea and 39 percent said it would not be. In Oregon, 63 percent said they thought it would be a bad idea and 26 percent said it would be a good idea.

Oregon does tend to be a state with a higher environmental consciousness so that poll result is not surprising. But the exit poll does indicate that anger continues to fester among the Democrat’s warring factions to the exent that the prize for some voters may no longer be retaking the White House but casting a protest vote because the candidate they backed didn’t get the nomination. Who stands to benefit? John McCain.

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