It’s been interesting to see how this election has played out. Who would have though this Democratic nomination would have gone this far. There’s the question of the role of superdelegates. There’s also the question of how to deal with Florida and Michigan. Julian Bond and the NAACP has said not seating these delegates is a civil rights violation.
A new Pew Poll shows that 25% of Hillary Clinton voters would not vote for Barack Obama in the general election, while 10% of Barack Obama voters would not vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m sure these percentages will continue to fluctuate as time goes on as there is so much energy and emotional attachment from the supporters of both sides. But there is definitely some hard feelings developing as this nomination battles goes along.
It’s interesting to see how each candidate has built a different coalition (these are based on exit polls and of course there are exceptions):
Hillary Clinton: women, Latinos, downscale, blue collar workers (Reagan Democrats), people without a college degree, seniors, Asian Americans, Jewish voters, Catholic voters, voters motivated by change, voters motivated by perspiration (a fighter), voters motivated by experience, voters motivated by the economy
Barack Obama: African Americans, men, upscale, white collar workers (activists), people with college degrees, young voters, voters motivated by inspiration (a unifier), voters motivated by change, voters motivated by the Iraq War
(Evangelicals and Protestants – split between the two)
After looking at the exit polls, these seem like the bases for each respective candidate. A few weeks ago, Barack Obama confidently or arrogantly (depending on your point-of-view) said that he could win all of Hillary Clinton’s voters, but he didn’t know if she could win his. But based on these exit polls and the Pew poll that may not be the case. Will women stay home if Obama gets the nomination? Will African Americans stay home if Clinton gets the nomination? Will Latinos switch to McCain if Obama gets the nomination? Will young voters stay home if Clinton gets the nomination? Will Reagan Democrats switch to John McCain if Obama gets the nomination? Will the liberal activists support a third-party candidate if Clinton gets the nominaton? These are the unanswered questions.
John McCain is a formidable candidate. According to that same poll, McCain is able to attract twice the amount of Democrats than the Republicans that Obama is able to attract. I wish either Mitt Romney (he looks like a shady used car salesman) or Mike Huckabee (the likeable fundamentalist) would have gotten the nomination because they would be easier to defeat.
Imagine how unstoppable a coalition made up of the bases of Clinton and Obama would be. I don’t think either can totally attract or unify the other candidate’s base. Does this mean a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket will be required to unify the party? Who knows? However, I doubt that a combined ticket would happen for various reasons. I just hope in the end, we can come together, lick our wounds, allow for some healing, and then come together for the tough general election ahead.