Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Gallup Poll: “Sizable proportion of Democrats” would vote for John McCain over Clinton or Obama

· Clinton supporters who would vote for McCain over Obama = 28%
· Obama supporters who would vote for McCain over Clinton = 19%

Gallup says, “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. A not insignificant percentage of both Obama and Clinton supporters currently say they would vote for McCain if he ends up running against the candidate they do not support.”

What would Gallup's number mean for John McCain in The Keystone State?

Here are (close) approximations of Pennsylvania's current registration figures:

4.4 Million Democrats
3.2 Million Republicans
1.0 Million Independents

As you can see, McCain -- at least theoretically -- couldn't win Pennsylvania if Democrats and Republican voted within their parties. And that would be the case if he does well, as expected, with Independent voters.

In short, to win Pennsylvania, McCain must attract a good chunk of Democratic voters. The Gallup Poll numbers suggest that's doable, especially if Barack Obama wins his Party's nomination, as appears likely.

How probable is it that McCain will do well with Pennsylvania Democrats? It is probable, based on past experience. In 2000 and, especially 2004, George W. Bush, not as popular with Pennsylvanians as John McCain, performed well in The Keystone State. Against John Kerry, he got 48% of the vote -- a number well above the less than 40% of the electorate that identifies itself as Republican.

If voter attitudes stay roughly as they are now, John McCain should be an almost certain winner in Pennsylvania, and that's very bad news for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

NOTE: If you want to get up-to-minute information from the McCain campaign, please send an e-mail to Patrick Hynes at:

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