Can the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama coalitions come together?

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.

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10 comments

  1. I hear that maybe there “was” a possible future for the two coming together; but now I hear that after she went on T.V. to show favor/elevate McCain and talk about how ready McCain is to be Comm. ‘n Chief above Obama, it looks like 65% to 80% of Obama supporters will not vote for her after that.

  2. “lick our wounds” this is an abusive comment. I would write cure the wounds. Nobody licks wounds except animals. Unless you are sexualising the Democrats.

  3. I would NEVER vote for Clinton if she was paired with Barack Obama (whether as president or vice president). My vote is for Obama – but I would cast my vote for McCain before I would cast a vote for Hillary Clinton – in any capacity.

  4. Stop slicing and dicing the electorate. I am a Jewish woman in my late 50s, on the frontlines of the women’s liberation movement, and I would NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton. She is not a person I trust or respect, nor has she run as a woman on her own merits. She has clung to a humiliating marriage for the sake of using her husband’s political coat tails, and she is more interested in her own ambition than in doing what is best for Party and country. Her strategy of trying to damage Obama so badly that she HAS to be the nominee–she WOULD lose to McCain because it is untrue that Obama supporters (young, disenchanted, independents, many Democrats like myself, and some Republicans) will either stay home or write in Obama’s name, if not vote outright for McCain (who Hillary is trying to be)–will backfire greatly. I don’t know where you got the laughable statistic that only 10% of Obama supporters would not vote for Hillary.

    The country deserves an honest president, not one laden with twenty years of baggage and battle scars, who will speak hard truths rather than put her finger in the air and poll test what she says. The country is sick of fighting and nothing getting done in Washington. We NEED Obama, and we need him NOW, not when Hillary is done fighting for months or years.

    And quit spinning an Obama-Clinton dream ticket. Obama needs a VP with integrity, who shares the same nirak values as he does. Clinton’s recent campaign has shown her for who she is. Given her blind ambition, with her as VP, Obama would be living on borrowed time.

    Clinton doesn’t need anyone for VP–she already has Bill. All she wants is Obama’s voters, and we are not for sale.

  5. Amend that: she WOULD lose to McCain because it is TRUE that Obama supporters (young, disenchanted, independents, many Democrats like myself, and some Republicans) will either stay home or write in Obama’s name, if not vote outright for McCain (who Hillary is trying to be)…

  6. As an older woman who has investigated the records of both candidates-I would never vote for Barak Obama- the reason is very simple. He has lied for 2 years about his friend Rezko.
    That is an important issue to me because he stands on the dais in front of thousands of young and impressionable people-espousing his honesty, transparency and how he personally will change the course of everything that is American and bad.
    How can he do that day after day and look in the mirror? How can he call himself honest?
    He had many, many opportunities to come clean or answer questions about their relationship. He never did. On February 20th, 2008 he issued a statement written by David Axelrod, who announced it to the press..that Barak Obama wanted to give more information with reference to his 20 year friendship with Antoine Rezko, the dual purchase of adjoining properties in 2005 and the hundreds of thousands of dollars Barak Obama had taken from Antoine Rezko and is still trolling his donations to return the money or donate it to charity in February, 2008.
    No questions were allowed.
    I just can’t get by this issue as it, to me, is significant of the larger personal flaw in Baraks personality. He preaches-he attacks with his rhetoric and is in total denial of the residual fallout from his lies.
    I am stunned that he can even stand in front of ‘folks’ and continue to ask us to believe anything he says he believes.
    There is an interesting and informative article written by Todd Spivac, Houston Chronicle, titled ‘Barak & Me’ which all people who have an interest in this election should read.
    The article details his rise to political notice. You would be well served to read this. It is about 5 pages and will floor you.

  7. Sheri states “I don’t know where you got the laughable statistic that only 10% of Obama supporters would not vote for Hillary.” It’s the Pew Research Center poll, conducted Feb 20-24. Full results here: . Specifically, look under the section titled “Clinton Draws More Support Among Democrats”. The last paragraph of that section states:

    “A quarter of Democrats (25%) who back Clinton for the nomination say they would favor McCain in a general election test against Obama. The “defection” rate among Obama’s supporters if Clinton wins the nomination is far lower; just 10% say they would vote for McCain in November, while 86% say they would back Clinton.”

  8. I am a Hillary supporter, and I will happily vote for Barack Obama should he win the nomination. It really irks me when I hear Democrats say that they will vote for McCain if their candidate is not at the top of the ticket. That’s just so petulant. If your favored candidate ends up at the bottom of the ticket, before casting your vote for McCain, please consider how well 8 years as VP will prepare him/her for the presidency in 2016.

    Personally, I think Hillary is ready now and Barack is close to ready, which is why I’m hoping for a Clinton/Obama ticket.

    One more thing: Hillary *never* said that McCain is better than Obama. She simply said that in the general election, her lifetime of experience will match up better against McCain’s lifetime of experience than will Obama’s speech in 2002. Her point was about electability and the matchup in November. That’s a FAR cry from saying that McCain would make a better president.

  9. I think that Hillary is more patriotic than Obama and that will cause a problem for them in the future…it’s all about loyalty to higher values and public perception of the candidate.

    How do either of the candidates represent themselves on the major issues?

    Websites like the one listed below could ultimately determine why more and more Democrats will defect to John McCain’s camp.

    Unfortunately, there is little about Obama that a website like this says that can be argued with…that is, unless you’ve flunked Philosphy 101 in college or never got to college in the first place.

    Check it out: http://www.chilkootmarketing.com/index.htm What can be done?

    Sooner or later all of us have to reckon with our consience and our higher intellectual powers and when this happens we will be invariably forced to choose between our higher principles or a particular candidate.

    Which candidate is traveling down the wrong road with this?

    Which do you think is going to win out?

    Our higher principles or the intellectual and physical attributes of a particular candidate?

    Predictably, older voters will vote in favor of their ‘principles’…
    obviously, because they are more concerned about what happens after death and the legacy they will leave behind.

    The younger voters (in contrast), since they have more time left in life to recant, are more likely to be reckless and prograstinate with principle in favor of ‘idealism’.

    These are the young and youthful voters that Obama appeals to and also why a lot of us older folks see Obama as ‘the Pied Piper of the niave’.

    However, (which is the next question to beg itself): ‘When does Barack’s own conscience begin to bother him?’

    Personally, I think Obama needs to start thinking about what he can do to ‘remake’ his image if he wants to win this election. I’m not sure that he’ll want to be that person he’s beginning to look like against John McCain…who today represents everything that America stands for.

    BUT, if Obama thinks he can win going the way he’s headed, then let him go for it.

    But, as for me and many like me who still sit on the fence until election time in November, we’ll still be thinking that we’ll have to live with ourselves long after this election is over in November and maybe these are the thoughts that the new young voters haven’t considered yet…and there’s still a lot that can happen between now and then…

    And, this probably means that Obama faces a huge political swamp ahead…one that he has created for himself by already being impetuous on some very important issues.

    Jim Carder

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