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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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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • Jim_Satterfield

    Am I the only one who wonders when Senator Clinton will stand up and express her views concerning these people who claim to be her supporters? What does she really think of them when they claim that they are going to support a candidate who is her antithesis in her name?

  • Neocon

    I opined the other day after the announcement that for Obama to bring into the fold the Clinton supporters he would have to open up a 10 point lead. He did not. In fact it seems he went backwards.

    My reasoning is thus: Biden is a good guy. A well respected Democrat and an asset to the Democratic party. However Hillary lost the primaries because Obama and his supporters hammered her judgment that she voted FOR the war.

    So did Biden.

    This was an even greater slap in the face of those disaffected Hillary supporters. The old guarde. The lunch pail democrats and more importantly those who are NOT progressive democrats but are in fact just plain democrats without any tags on their names other then “D”.

    I have opined consistently that the anti Hillary Democrats want to continue to rub the noses of their loss to Obama in the dirt. Time and time again by failing to recognize that the PUMA movement while very small represents a much larger problem for the Democrats. Polls are showing that While Obama has a slight lead, the progressives are hoping they can eeek out a win without Hillary and thus taking over the party.

    This election is about who gets to run the Democratic party. Progressives or the old guarde. Jim……….this is a battle that most of you are not realizing. This is for control of the party. Hillary and the old guard in one corner and Obama and the progressives in the other. For her to become an active cheer leader for Obama could mean the transfer of power from the old guard Clintonians to the new progressive Obamacons.

    Right or wrong? Good or bad? It is whats happening.

    • mjjga

      I can’t believe what is happening. I for one will solicit all Hillary voters to do as I will do, and that is vote for McCain. We Hillary supporters, and firm Democrats, need to have a voice and if our Headshed will not listen to us they will after this election. 18 million supports for Hillary and yet she gets snubbed for the ticket. I am sick and tired of the way this primary went. We all know why Hillary lost. Now BO wants us all to roll over and fall in line. Bullcrap on that. Us Reagan Democrats are a large block and we will prove how inportant we are and we will, no, we cannot be silenced.

      • Amanda

        Well, let me ask you two things mjjga. As a firm Hillary Clinton supporter, do you think that it is more important to vote with her on the issues? For example, Clinton is a vocal supporter of women’s rights, especially the right to choose. Assuming you agree with her on this policy position, is it important to you that pro-choice candidates are elected into office? And if so, doesn’t it make more sense to vote for a candidate who agrees with Clinton on that issue?

        Second, in what way has Hillary Clinton been snubbed that her supporters feel that they should take it so personally? She lost the primary, fair and square. So did several other Democrats. Yet the other candidates’ supporters (myself included) have for the most part graciously offered to support the primary winner.

        I guess what I’m driving at here is that I don’t understand how voting for McCain, a candidate who is opposed to just about everything Clinton supports, accomplishes anything for you. It doesn’t get Clinton magically elected. It doesn’t erase her loss in the primary. And it sure doesn’t help her achieve any success in the Senate or in future Presidential races.

        • mjjga

          Amanda: Party politics must STOP. The DNC and the Obama campaign have created this issue. I for one will not stand by why my party is taken down a path that is left and progressive. The Clinton campaign has nothing to show but attracted 18 million voters. The Party MUST understand that and bring Hillary into the Obama campaign. Biden is just another Washington good ole boy. He has already said Obama is NOT prepared to be the President. He said that and is now his #2? Clinton can deliver the Precidency to the Democrats but was snubbed in doing so.

          Although I don’t agree with the McCain campaign I must show my dissatisfaction to the DNC so next time they will listen to us Reagan Democrats who really make or break any election.

          ————– Original message ————–

          • Amanda

            Mjjga, you have completely missed the point of my response and you haven’t answered my questions. Is it important to you to vote for someone based on the issues he/she supports? Because from what I’ve read and heard, Obama and Clinton have very similar views on just about every issue. So please, explain to me what it accomplishes if you vote for the man who is fundamentally opposed to almost everything Clinton supports.

            If you have a problem with progressivism, with the new direction of the Democratic Party, then perhaps it’s time to find a new party or declare yourself an Independent, because that’s the way things are going and if you were paying attention, you’d understant that the majority of Democrats are OK with that. We’ve had eight years of Republican domination and “centrist” Democrats falling in line behind them and where has that gotten us? Into a war we should never have started, into an economic crisis that could have been prevented, into a mind-boggling national debt, into an era when the Constitution is repeatedly tarnished. If that’s the kind of Democratic Party you want to be part of, then I say good riddance to you and everyone who shares that oppinion. I for one am ready for a new generation of Democratic leaders who actually propose solutions for our problems, who understand the needs of the people, and who can lead us in a new direction, one that fits with the 21st century.

  • DLS

    DLS does it again:

    “Obama 2008. One house, one spouse.”

  • I thought Clinton supporters were concerned about Obama’s lack of experience? Now that he’s shored that up with Biden as his VP-pick, the Clinton supporters have been exposed as caring more about the well-being of the personality (Hillary) than about the direction of the country.

  • Kathryn

    This link has an interesting story on just who started the “dissatisfied Clinton supporters” meme. Hint-look to CNN

  • Nate Silver at has a criticism of CNN’s analysis:

    “There is a little bit of sleight-of-hand here. The analysis begins by comparing Obama’s performance in this new poll to CNN’s next-most-recent one, which had been conducted in late July. However, CNN then switches to discussing a different poll, one which was conducted in late June, and pulls several pieces of information about the preferences of Hillary Clinton supporters from that June version of its survey.

    “Why does this matter? The hypothesis suggested by the article is that Barack Obama’s support has been impaired by the negative reactions of Hillary Clinton’s supporters to his VP pick. The best way to test that would be to compare a poll conducted immediately before the VP pick to one conducted immediately after, before other events had a chance to intervene.”

  • mjjga,
    You are indeed a great patriot. Voting out of spite…

  • Neocon

    I think the democrats are doing a great job at imploding. Everyone whose angry at the Democratic party is unpatriotic and worthless scum for daring to vote for McCain.

    Every Republican who is angry with the last 8 years and daring to vote for Obama is a true patriot and a wonderfully enlightened citizen who gets it.

    Again the democrats just dont understand the true impact of their intransigence.

  • rudi

    JS, during the Democratic primary Billary said herself and McCain were ready to lead, Obama not so much. Now McCain is running ads directly at Hillary voters. As JazzShaw says in another post, Billary and Obama share the same philosophies, while McCain is an opposite to the two. The Billary crowd is a “cult of personality”…

  • neocon,
    I know you’re oh so insulted by what I said. You would never use sarcasm yourself.

  • DLS

    Or as the Economist said years ago, Rudi, “foolish love” [for Billary, mainly for Bill].

    Just realize that Obama’s cult is orders of magnitude more powerful. It showed as of Super Tuesday.

    Insofar as the Clinton voters are concerned — they are potentially more poweful than Nader voters were in 2000, and are this year, by far. “Proceed at your [and your party’s] own risk.”

  • AustinRoth

    How unlike the Democratic Party to rip itself apart from the inside, and possibly blow another silver-platter opportunity for the White House.

    It hasn’t happened yet, but at this point you really would expect Obama to be in a better position.

  • Maybe I’m naive here, but it is past time to stop specifically catering to Hillary’s supporters. As you can see above, there is not a single gesture or statement (short of building a time machine to pre-fire Penn) that will make the primaries okay. So it’s time to get back to basics, talking about what Democrats believe in and the fact that we’ve never been so united on the party’s platform. Some people will be convinced, some will never be convinced, but an appeal to Democratic ideals should have more effect than direct appeals to character.

  • 1VirginiaHarris1

    I’m thrilled that Senator Clinton is addressing the Dem Convention on the anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.

    It is a great way to honor her candidacy, AND the extraordinary courage of the suffragettes.

    It will inspire her supporters to stand by her — by supporting the candidate she endorses.

    There are sharp elbows in every good campaign, but in the end everyone has to pull together to get anywhere.

    Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, who really pulled together, women now have voices and choices!

    But most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

    Now readers can discover the shocking truth, and it’s as easy as opening their e-mail.

    “The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

    This is no boring history report.

    Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes — Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!

    Exciting sequential series of 10-minute e-mails, perfect for coffeebreaks or anytime.

    We’re delivering women’s history – and making it free, fast and FUN!

    Subscribe free at

  • “I can’t believe what is happening. I for one will solicit all Hillary voters to do as I will do, and that is vote for McCain. We Hillary supporters, and firm Democrats, need to have a voice and if our Headshed will not listen to us they will after this election.”

    If you vote Republican I fail to see how it makes it more likely that the Democratic party will listen to you – that logic is akin to saying “I will root for the Red Sox this year so that the Yankees learn what a true fan I am”. If you truly want to change the Democratic party then push for changes that you think are needed, otherwise it isn’t “your party” that is the problem.

  • daveinboca

    I think that if McCain picks Lieberman as VP, he will trump the Biden “ace,” although Biden is already starting his gaffes “Barack America.”

    Biden shouldn’t talk about McCain’s seven kitchen tables, as each one probably cost as much as ten of his hair plugs—where did he get the cash for that?

    And is it a crime to be successful in the USA all of a sudden, or is this just another chapter in the class war the covert-Marxist wing of the Dems habitually wages against Americans who are wealthy? This just doesn’t sit well with the vast silent majority that watches and listens to blowhards preaching class warfare.

    The National Enquirer should look into Biden’s hair plugs—and Joe B should shut his mouth on the populist crap & acknowledge he voted for Iraq & now he’s suddenly right—thanks to McCain & the surge.

  • DLS

    “And is it a crime to be successful in the USA all of a sudden”

    For some this has always been so, and just wait until next year if Obama is elected.

    That is, until they realize where the aggregate income is, and they’re forced more than once to re-define more generously (to the IRS) what “successful” (and fit to pay more in taxes; congratulations!) is.

    Of course, they could be really wacky and levy a wealth tax, including one on IRAs…

  • DLS

    “This just doesn’t sit well with the vast silent majority that watches and listens to blowhards preaching class warfare.”

    That’s because we not only know that this heavy progressivity is wrong and based on envy and cynical utilitarianism, but because we in the majority are included in the class being warred upon, normally.

  • Ricorun

    The DNC and the Obama campaign have created this issue.

    I’d say Hillary created this issue — by not winning enough delegates. Her supporters were quite creative in their attempts to get around that unfortunate fact, though.

    Biden is just another Washington good ole boy. He has already said Obama is NOT prepared to be the President.

    So did Hillary.

    Clinton can deliver the Precidency to the Democrats but was snubbed in doing so.

    I’m not at all sure of that. It seems to me Clinton brings a lot of baggage with her. I suspect the Republican attack machine would have shredded her. I spend some time on right wing blogs, and they really, really don’t like Hillary Clinton. Except now, of course. Now they’re using her as a wedge. A useful tool. But if you’re fine with that, well, it’s your choice.

  • Neocon

    Right after Obama won the nomination the talking heads all appeared on cable news with a unified and same message. “WIN AT ALL COSTS.”

    Seriously for about 3 days it was non stop we must do whatever is necessary to win this election. Since that time. They have fumbled, stumbled, mumbled and downright looked sickly as Barak Obama and his inexperienced team and his own inexperience has shown thru mightily.

    Perhaps Biden will right the sinking ship. If not this is going to be one huge Titanic to explain to the voters in November. I rather suspect this is why they chose Biden among other considerations. His ability to organize and get things done.

  • “If not this is going to be one huge Titanic to explain to the voters in November.”

    In every election he’s ever run Obama has run from behind – his campaign strategy seems to be to spend a ton of time putting an organization together, and then to unleash that organization during the month before the election. Look at his Senate bid, the Iowa primary… I suspect this October will be the same, which is why the campaign seems to have been lying low in the past months. I could be wrong, and the Titanic you foresee could be steaming along full speed, but after his impressive showing in the primaries I find it tough to believe that they are truly floundering for the general.

  • Jim_Satterfield

    In other words, mjjga is not a Democrat at all. In case no one noticed her claims to being a Reagan Democrat, that means that she left the party over 20 years ago and never came back. That’s what a Reagan Democrat is. I’m not aware of any of them that still think of themselves that way that have come back to the Democratic Party in spite of Obama. They were busy voting for Bush and never voting for the Clintons. Or at least that’s the case with the overwhelming majority of them.

    The vast majority of those 18 million voters that the PUMA types keep referring to have already moved on and decided that Obama is in fact the better candidate when compared to McCain. They are not interested in voting for someone whose stands are the opposite of Hillary Clinton. They are not so foolish as to believe that this action somehow is a positive for Senator Clinton. They are the ones really supporting Hillary Clinton as they support the candidate she has decided to back.

  • Success is not a crime, but it is a good explanation for why one might look at the current economy and say it’s very good. My mayor, Bloomberg, is insanely rich, but he’s smart enough to not say that the economy is great right now.

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