A recently released CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that the number of Hillary Clinton supporters planning to vote for John McCain is down. The bad news for Obama is that the number of Clinton supports planning to vote for Barack Obama is also down
The report regarding the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll compares the figures from this latest poll with the poll they conducted in June.
In June, before Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign, 60 percent of Clinton backers said they would vote for Obama if he became the presumptive Democratic nominee.
That numbers has now dropped 6 percentage point with 54 percent now saying they will vote for Barack Obama.
In the June poll 22 percent of Clinton supporters also sad they would abstain from voting at all if Obama became the nominee for the party and that number has risen considerably as a third of her supporters are saying they will abstain from voting now that Obama is the party's nominee.
Furthermore, Hillary Clinton support has increased since she suspended her campaign instead of decreasing, with 43 percent of the registered Democrats that were polled saying they would prefer Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for president, which is up by 8 percentage points from the 35 percent that expressed that view in the previous poll.
All Registered Democrats.
In June Barack Obama received support from 59 percent of the registered Democrats that were polled and in the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, that number has dropped by 5 percentage point to 54 percent.
CNN senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, attempts to explain why he feels this happening and addresses the Clinton supporters issue when he says, "These things always take time to heal. I think Clinton's supporters are waiting to see if Sen. Obama will pick her as vice president. That would certainly be very healing to them."But most political observers agree the prospects of an Obama-Clinton ticket are dim, most notably because Clinton remains a divisive figure in American politics and Obama's message of change threatens to be muddled by the 16 years Clinton has spent in Washington
But the question remains whether Obama can win enough Democrats without Clinton as his No. 2.
"If he doesn't pick her, a later stage of grief is depression and then acceptance," Schneider said. "In the end I expect Clinton supporters will accept Obama, because they will listen to Sen. Clinton, who has said the stakes are too high for Democrats to sulk."
Some political analysts believe it could take up to four weeks for Clinton supporters to "move past" her loss of the tense primaries between her and Obama.
"Many voters find it tough to immediately switch allegiances to a candidate that they once opposed, so they find a 'neutral' setting more comfortable for awhile," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "If that's what is happening to the Clinton supporters who now say they plan to stay at home, Obama may have nothing to worry about. If not, there's a big chunk of the party base that Obama won't be able to count on in November."
These numbers bring up the popular vote totals to begin to even estimate how many voters we are talking about if an actual one third of Clinton supporters decide to stay home and/or vote for John McCain in November.
Including Michigan, Maine, Iowa, Nevada and Washington, Hillary Clinton has, by Real Clear Politics figures, 18,046,007.
Even though the Democratic National Party did not count all those votes for their official tally and instead relied on delegate figures, those are still Clinton supporters that went to the polls and cast votes for her.
One third of those voters equals over 6 million votes.
Putting it into perspective, the political analysts, with historical habits taken into account, believe that a number of those voters will indeed "move past" Clinton's loss in the primaries and cast their vote for Barack Obama, yet the numbers in this latest poll compared to the last poll argues that it may not be that easy.
With Clinton supporter websites, such as "PUMA", "Just say no" and the other 120 plus sites that have sprung up online, getting media attention and increasing their membership levels, this might explain why Barack Obama's numbers are decreasing instead of increasing even with him and Clinton making joint appearances for unity within the party.
In one manner this can be compared to the problem that John McCain has with the conservative Christians, where news came out last week that 100 conservative leaders from around the country decided to unite behind John McCain.
This type of example could bring good and bad news for Barack Obama.
Christian conservatives were slow to embrace John McCain and, in fact, it took them over three months since John McCain became the presumptive nominee to make a public showing of coalescing around him.
The good news, for Obama, that can be taken from this example is that members of a political party, generally end up backing the nominee for the party.
The bad news for Obama, is that three months, if the Democratic supporters follow the conservative Christians example, is cutting it mighty close since the general election is in November, especially since polling done since Clinton suspended her campaign is showing support from Clinton supporters as well as all registered Democrats is decreasing for Obama instead of increasing.
The other worrisome aspect for Barack Obama is that, although the conservative Christians had mistrust for John McCain, there was not the level of vitriol between them and McCain as was seen between Clinton and Obama or Clinton supporters and Obama supporters during their long drawn out primary season.
The second issue, which is the support from all the Democratic registered voters that were polled, decreasing, could stem from the anger some Obama supporters are expressing about his most recent "move to the middle" of the political spectrum.
Polls are but a snapshot at the political atmosphere at any given moment. There is no doubt, from either side of the political aisle that these numbers will change one way or another in the next few months.
What polls do give observers is a look at trends or patterns that emerge as well as which direction public opinion is heading on any given issue.