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A CBS poll released Wednesday provided the latest round of support for Mr. Obama’s struggles with Clinton supporters, especially women.

Twelve percent of Democrats said they will support Mr. McCain over Mr. Obama in the general election - higher than the 8 percent of Democrats who defected to President Bush in 2004. In addition, nearly a quarter of Clinton supporters - including a greater percentage of women - say they will back Mr. McCain in November.

But other Democrats with close ties to the party’s campaign said that they expected Mrs. Clinton to send a strong message to her supporters Saturday to put her loss behind them and embrace Mr. Obama’s nomination.

“She’s going to be gracious and enthusiastic about what she says about Barack Obama and that will transfer to her supporters,” said longtime party strategist Steve Elmendorf.

*Donald Lambro and Gary Emerling reported from Washington for this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.