While itâ€™s being largely ignored by mainstream media (MSM), there seems to be a considerable movement afoot among several groups of democrats to elect John McCain for President, and that cause seems to have been taken up by the McCain camp as well. My curiosity was peaked after getting a phone call over the weekend from the new grass roots organization â€œCitizens for McCainâ€ that was formed last week by Joe Leiberman. It wasnâ€™t a generic recorded message, either, it was a real person with a great English accent who knew my name and ingratiated me to the cause immediately. As an independent, I was on his list, as it was a bi-partisan effort and a very good one.
Being the curious person I am â€“ yes, curiosity may have killed the cat, but at least he knew what he died of â€“ I did the math. Exit polls have indicated that up to 29% of Hillary supporters have said they would vote for McCain, depending on whose exit polls youâ€™re looking at. While I personally think that figure may be high, if you consider that over 18 million people voted for Hillary it would only take around 5% of those voters to constitute a million votes for McCain. JFK won the 1960 election by only 100,000 votes. Hmm, that got my attention and made it very easy to see why the McCain camp would pursue the issue. This is the stuff victories are made of, just as it was in the 1980 election. According to the Washington Post, â€œTwenty-six percent of Democrats crossed party lines to vote for Reagan in 1980 after a bruising fight for the Democratic nomination between President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) — a battle that lasted all the way to the convention. â€œ
As I began scouring the internet, I googled â€œDemocrats for McCainâ€, and got over a million hits. Some of the articles concerning Democrats jumping ship for McCain dated back to 2006, so itâ€™s not a sudden thing brought on only by Hillaryâ€™s speech on Saturday. But it was certainly spurred into frenzy by her speech, as evidenced on her own discussion board with many comments like â€œMy sons did sign waving for her here in Wisconsin and Obama supporters yelled all kinds of nasty things at them and flipped them off when they drove by. We have Hillary bumper stickers on our car and Obama supporters would be rude to us because of them. But not once have I or my family been rude to an Obama supporter. I will never vote for Obama and support this kind of hatred.â€ I thought, could the behavior of Obamaâ€™s supporters have caused part of this uprising?
Most believe the Hillary supporters are just being spiteful, but it seems they have a plan. From the website United4McCain.com, a Michigan group of Democrats:
â€œIn your home states, vote Democratic for all of the Senators and Representatives that are running for office this year. Do not punish them for the sins of our party hierarchy. This plan will only work if we have a majority of Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Do your part to get every Democrat, EXCEPT OBAMA, elected to office this year. And then vote for McCain for President. You will have to split your ticket when you go to the polls. Yes, this is a labor intensive hassle, but you are doing it for your country. We must do what we must do to save our country from inept leadership.â€
Some sites are subtle, some not so much, like PUMA (Party Unity My Ass). You can buy yourself all manner of bumper stickers and t-shirts touting â€œDemocrats for McCainâ€ at dems4mccain.com. All in all, Obamaâ€™s favorite and most successful strategy â€“ the internet â€“ is becoming littered with problems for him.
Thereâ€™s a lot of debate going on all over the discussion boards as to why a Hillary democrat would support John McCain, and the hundreds of answers Iâ€™ve personally read vary widely from spite born out of losing to hatred of Obama and his supporters, all the way to policy issues, credibility, judgment and trust. Some say itâ€™s because McCain is more Democrat than Republican, a line used often by conservative Republicans themselves.
As an Independent, I donâ€™t get much flack for my support of John McCain. Because Iâ€™ve declared myself an Independent Iâ€™m entitled to vote either way. But declared democrats jumping ship â€“ now thatâ€™s a ratâ€™s nest. Or to be more politically correct, letâ€™s say that will prove to be divisive, bitter, and damaging to the Democratic Party.
This commentatorâ€™s conclusion is that while Hillary and Obama were similar in their views on the issues, they were not similar in their values, experience for the job, or ideals. That match up more closely relates to Hillary and McCain, and therein will lay the choice for these Democrats in exile. We all know the stock market runs on emotion, and I have long said so does a Presidential election. Hillary supporters who voted for her because of her stand on the issues will probably continue to support the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. But those that supported Hillary based on character, experience, and emotion may well slide across the aisle to John McCain, and if the exit polls on the subject are any indication, we may very well see a replay of the 1980 elections.
Donâ€™t discount a â€œmovementâ€ in America – itâ€™s the very thing they attribute Obamaâ€™s success to.
Babs is a frequent commenter and contributing guest commentary author for YouDecide2008.com