The McCain camp notes a new Gallup poll showing that in the general election, 28 percent of Clinton supporters would support McCain if Obama were the nominee, and 19 percent of Obama supporters would defect if Clinton were the nominee. A recent Pennsylvania poll had similar findings. The Gallup is noteworthy on two levels. Clearly, it shows that the Democratic nomination battle is taking a toll on party unity. But what may be even more interesting is that contrary to the popular belief that a Clinton nomination would split the party more, in this poll, it is an Obama nomination that triggers more defections. I suppose, alternatively, that this can be viewed as Obama supporters being more willing to put what’s best for the party above their personal bitterness. These numbers would likely drop once the heated primary campaign is over and the Democrats start attacking McCain as running for President Bush’s third term. But still, it’s a bad sign for Dems.
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