Division in Democratic ranks?

In Kentucky, exit polls indicate that Clinton supporters wouldn't be happy with Obama as the nominee. But in Oregon, most voters would support either candidate.


Alex Koppelman
May 21, 2008 2:24AM (UTC)

We're starting to see early numbers from exit polling conducted in Kentucky and Oregon, and some of them don't paint a pretty picture.

In Kentucky, where Hillary Clinton is expected to win the day's Democratic presidential primary, the polls show that Clinton's voters would be less than happy if Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination. Only 33 percent of her voters say they'll vote for Obama in November -- 41 percent, by contrast, say they'd support presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, and 23 percent say they won't vote. Eight in 10 Clinton supporters say they'd be dissatisfied with Obama as the nominee. The news didn't improve when Democrats generally were surveyed as to their preference if Obama's on the ballot in November: According to Fox News, just 50 percent of Democrats said they'd vote for Obama in that situation. Thirty-two percent would vote for McCain, 15 percent would stay home.

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Obama's voters were much more likely to say they'd vote for Clinton if she's the nominee. Seventy-one percent said they'd vote for Clinton, while 14 percent said they'd vote for McCain and 11 percent said they wouldn't vote.

Exit polling in Oregon, which was done by telephone and completed on Sunday because of the state's mail-in voting system, showed less of a division. According to CBS News, 68 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for Obama in November, and 80 percent of Obama supporters would vote for Clinton.

Remember the usual caveat that exit polling done at around this time on a primary day is subject to the usual sampling errors, and that the numbers may be adjusted as actual results come in.

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Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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