Hillary Clinton supporters switching to McCain/Palin -- why?

Followup to this thread. As reported in Newsweek:

Still, that the number is greater than zero is significant. Why would someone who backed Clinton in the primaries now prefer McCain to Obama? Possible reasons:

  1. They want to vote for a woman; Sarah Palin on the Pub ticket made all the difference.

  2. They don’t want to vote for an African-American, and would have gone over to McCain whomever he had chosen as running mate.

  3. They still believe in Clinton’s politics and proposals, and believe McCain represents them better than Obama does. I mention this only for the sake of completeness; I think it can be ruled out. The number of voters who think this way would have to be vanishingly small.

Probably in many cases the answer is a combination of 1. and 2., but that’s just my WAG.

Another possibility (#4): they were never that fond of Hillary’s actual positions in the first place, but they supported her because of the perception that she was well to Obama’s right. Now that it’s down to the two of them, they find themselves more in agreement with McCain for whatever reason.

Instead of wondering if their support of McCain makes sense, it might be worth wondering if their support of Hillary ever really made sense.

  1. While politically closer to McCain, they voted for Clinton in the primaries because they want to see a female president. When Obama won the Democratic nomination, they reverted to a more Republican voting pattern.

Remember that in a lot of states, it’s not necessary to be a registered Democat in order to have cast your primary ballot for Clinton.


  1. They vote for whoever has the most experience.


Clinton had more experience than McCain? :confused:

He’s saying Clinton had more than Obama.

But if someone just went for who had the most experience, they wouldn’t have been Clinton supporters in the first place (I suppose they technically should have been Biden supporters, if that was the only criterion).

But now they’re switching to McCain. Why?

I guess McCain has more experience… but then, if Shodan’s reason is correct, they would have gone to McCain in the first place, not Clinton.
Basically I’m saying that if the experience inequality goes McCain > Clinton > Obama, Shodan’s reason cannot possibly be the correct one. And presumably that IS the correct double-inequality.

Maybe they agreed that Hilary’s eight years as co-President counted.

It makes sense, in a way - it’s more than Obama or Biden has.


I would think that number would be zero. No one who voted based on the candidate’s positions could possibly think McCain is closer to Clinton’s positions than Obama is. Indeed it had been noted many times that on details Clinton and Obama’s political positions were really rather close.

  1. Some Clintonites feel that Clinton was robbed of the candidacy and are going to vote for McCain to protest what they view as an unconscionable theft by Obama and the Democratic party. Nevermind that the facts in no way bear this out…some are True Believers and will not be swayed by anything as prosaic as logic and facts.

It’s not so much as they want to vote for a woman, that they don’t want to vote against a woman.

But McCain wasn’t in the Democratic primary. It’s entirely possible that some of the people in the McCain count when polled on Obama vs McCain or Clinton vs McCain were in the Clinton count when polled on Obama vs Clinton.

Plenty of folk are registered as the opposite party to try and steer the primaries toward the candidates that would, to them, do the least damage or be less electable than their party’s candidate. There’s bound to be a number of Republicans who voted for Clinton in the primary that would return to McCain in the general.

Eh, I think everyone’s making a mountain out of a molehill. The reality is far, far, far from supporting the contention that women are flocking to Palin, in fact, it’s exactly the opposite.

Palin was a flash in the pan. Women have now seen what she actually offers and have moved along.

  1. As irrational as it may seem to some, they never liked Obama in the first place and are choosing the candidate (McPalin) over the party.

  2. Many states required a change in voter registration in order to vote in a primary. Perhaps some/many of these newly registered democrats voted for Hill only to hope she end up on the ballot against “their guy”.

… huh. Didn’t Rush Limbaugh urge all his flock to vote for Hillary so the Democrats would be thrown into turmoil by a close primary? I can’t imagine those numbers amounted to much, if any, but still…

Maybe they just really, really want that gas tax holiday more than anything else :rolleyes:

Oh come on Shodan, 8 years as co-president as being more experience than Obama or Biden? Well, Obama will need someone to tell him where the good bathroom is in the white house is I suppose.

Hillary doesn’t have more experience than Biden.

If they cared about experience, they wouldn’t support Palin.

I think that racism is obviously a large factor, especially among older voters, and it would be ridiculous to deny it.

There’s also a percentage (I don’t think it’s really very large) who are switching out of sheer, childish spite. They can’t stand it that Obama beat Hillary, so now they want Obama to lose. Issues have nothing to do with it. It’s purely a puerile, emotional motivation.

There is no credible, policy-based rationale for anyone who claims to have supported Hillary’s policies to now say they prefer McCain’s over Obama’s. That leaves only the irrational (racism, childish spite) or the distinct possibility that they were never really Hillary supporters in the first place.

I think it’s an increasingly shrinking group, though. I think that most of those on the internet who claim to be “converted” Hillary supporters are Republican moles prowing message boards and comment sections hoping to create an impression of a movement.

She doesn’t even have as much elected exprerience as Obama. That’s why the “exprience” argument is such a canard…that and the fact that it flies in the face of supporting Palin.