- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have each said they would support the other should they lose the Democratic nomination themselves, but two new polls suggest their devotees don’t feel the same way.

A Gallup poll showed a staggering 28 percent of Clinton supporters would back Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the general election should the former first lady end her own bid.

This suggests that some Clinton supporters are so strongly opposed to Obama (or so loyal to Clinton) that they would go so far as to vote for the “other” party’s candidate next November if Obama is the Democratic nominee, Gallup wrote in its analysis. The data suggest that the continuing and sometimes fractious Democratic nomination fight could have a negative impact for the Democratic Party in next November’s election.

Among Obama supporters, 19 percent would vote for Mr. McCain should Mrs. Clinton be the nominee.

Gallup interviewed 6,657 Democratic voters via telephone from March 7 through March 22 and has a margin of error is plus or minus 2 points.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released this morning showed 22 percent of Democrats said Mrs. Clinton, of New York, should drop out of the race. The survey also found an identical percentage of Democratic voters think Mr. Obama of Illinois should drop out. The Rasmussen poll showed 62 percent want both candidates to remain in the race, a sentiment echoed by voters in states such as Montana and Oregon, who have not been seriously courted for their presidential vote in many years.

Mr. Obama returns to the campaign trail in North Carolina today after spending several days vacationing with his family in the Caribbean. Mrs. Clinton holds a fundraiser tonight in Washington with her daughter, Chelsea, while former President Bill Clinton is campaigning for his wife in West Virginia.

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