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Posted by on Aug 25, 2008 in Politics | 27 comments

Polls: Race Dead Even Now After Biden Pick Apparently Irks Clinton Supporters

The latest CNN poll shows that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s choice of Sen. Joe Biden has proven to be a “step backwards” because supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton are unhappy about the choice and balking at supporting the ticket.

And the CNN findings of a dead heat after the Biden announcement is now confirmed by the latest Gallup Daily tracking poll which finds the race deadlocked now at 45% to 45 percent with none of the usual “bounce” a Vice Presidential pick gets.

UPDATE: A new USA Today/Gallup poll confirms it even more:

Fewer than half of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters in the presidential primaries say they definitely will vote for Barack Obama in November, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, evidence of a formidable challenge facing Democrats as their national convention opens here today.

In the survey, taken Thursday through Saturday, 47% of Clinton supporters say they are solidly behind Obama, and 23% say they support him but may change their minds before the election.

Thirty percent say they will vote for Republican John McCain, someone else or no one at all.

The findings spotlight the stakes for Clinton when she addresses the convention Tuesday and when her name is placed in nomination.

CNN on its poll:

It’s a dead heat in the race for the White House. The first national poll conducted entirely after Barack Obama publicly named Joe Biden as his running mate suggests that battle for the presidency between the Illinois senator and Republican rival John McCain is all tied up.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Sunday night, 47 percent of those questioned are backing Obama with an equal amount supporting the Arizona senator.

“This looks like a step backward for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Even last week, just before his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate became known, most polls tended to show Obama with a single-digit advantage over McCain,” adds Holland.

Here’s the difference:

It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, who still would prefer the Senator from New York as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.


“The number of Clinton Democrats who say they would vote for McCain has gone up 11 points since June, enough to account for most although not all of the support McCain has gained in that time,” says Holland.

A sign that this is indeed the case is the way the McCain campaign and GOPers have been hammering on the theme about Clinton not getting the Veepship — essentially saying: “She wuz robbed!”

Conservative columnist Bill Kristol makes it clear in his New York Times column that the Clinton supporters could be the GOP’s trump card. His column deals with McCain’s dilemmas on who to pick for Veep. Here is how it begins and ends:

The anguished cries of Hillary supporters pierced the midday calm here on Saturday, as Barack Obama confirmed that his vice presidential choice was not Clinton, who got about 18 million votes this year running against him, but rather Joe Biden, who gained the support of a few thousand caucusgoers in Iowa before dropping out of the race.

(OK, I didn’t personally hear any anguished cries from my work space near the Pepsi Center. But I’m an empathetic guy — I felt as if I could hear them.)

He writes about Lieberman and McCain’s stances on abortion:

Now as a matter of governance, there’s no reason to think this would much matter. McCain has made clear his will be a pro-life administration. And as a one-off, quasi-national-unity ticket, with Lieberman renouncing any further ambition to run for the presidency, a McCain-Lieberman administration wouldn’t threaten the continuance of the G.O.P. as a pro-life party. In other areas, no one seriously thinks the policies of a McCain-Lieberman administration would be appreciably different from those, say, of a McCain-Pawlenty administration.

So it is highly-likely McCain would appoint pro-life judges, which is good news for Republicans who had doubts about McCain. Kristol ends his column this way:

But if you’re pro-life, conservative and/or Republican, you certainly don’t want Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running the country. If a McCain-Lieberman ticket is the best way to thwart that prospect, you could probably learn to live with it — even perhaps to like it. And Hillary supporters could protest Obama’s glass ceiling by voting for John McCain and the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee.

So, in the end, the Clinton supporters who passionately said 2008 was about vital issues and that Hillary Clinton was needed in the White House to save the pro-choice option as it exists, and who denounced the GOP for being pro-choice, could wind up helping checkmate Democratic attempts to stave off what seems to be a Supreme Court ready to tilt definitively pro-life with just one or two more appointments.

A lot of what we are seeing does seem to shape up to good, old fashioned personal political payback. Can Hillary Clinton reverse it with her convention speech?

And if not, then how will she deal with finger-pointing from not just angry Obama supporters in 2012 but the press and pundits if she makes another White House run? You can see that 2012 political truck headed towards Hillary Clinton now by a mile….

UPDATE: A prominent governor and Clinton supporter says she wants to run again.

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