Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Republicans Don't Win Elections, Democrats Lose Them

The title of this entry was a saying of the late Ohio Attorney General Tony Celebrezze. What he meant was that if Democrats stay united, and turned out to vote, they could win virtually every election in Ohio. It was only when Democrats were divided and/or didn't turn out, that Republicans won.

Although that was said almost 30 years ago, a Gallup poll that came out on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. This quote from the Gallup website explains it all:

"If McCain vs. Obama, 28% of Clinton Backers Go for McCain
If McCain vs. Clinton, 19% of Obama backers go for McCain"

Now, losing some Democratic voters to the GOP nominee is nothing new. In 2000 and in 2004, around 11% of the Democrats who voted in those elections voted for George W. Bush. Further, those numbers can be expected to come down once the Democrats have chosen a presidential nominee and had their convention. Still, those numbers, especially the 28% figure is troublesome. If Obama gets the nomination, he can't afford to lose over a quarter of the Democratic vote to McCain. Nor, could Clinton affored to lose almost a fifth of those votes, although obviously she would have an easier time getting down to the 89-90% level among Democrats.

There are a lot of explanations for these figures. Certainly racism, and for that matter, sexism, plays a part. Certainly the tone of the primary battle plays a part. Certainly the fact that the national media loves McCain plays a part. Regardless of the reason or reasons, though, this November's election will be one hell of a tough fight. The sooner this battle for the nomination ends, the better.

Click here to read the full Gallup poll results:

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