For every two Hillary Clinton suppoters among Democrats who say they will vote for Barack Obama if he’s the Democratic nominee, nearly one says he or she will vote for John McCain in that event. The actual breakdown in this Gallup poll is 59 percent for Obama and 28 percent for McCain.
Obama supporters show more party loyalty. 72 percent of them say they would vote for Clinton in November; 19 percent said they would defect to McCain.
I think this poll significantly overstates the number of Democrats who would defect in either scenario. What’s important, though, is that Obama’s defection rate if Hillary wins is much larger than Hillary’s defection rate is if Obama wins (at least according to this survey).
So far, however, Clinton does no better than Obama in the head-to-head polling matchups against McCain. Only if the defection phenomenon found in the latest Gallup survey translates into a statistically significant edge for Hillary in the head-to-heads will these sets of numbers provide the super-delegates with food for thought.
Nonetheless, John McCain must be pleased by the existence of a potential wedge against his likely foe.
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