A comment posted in The Fray by Lulabelle:
If Obama’s voters didn’t support Clinton, they would most likely stay home. If Clinton’s supporters didn’t support Obama, they would be more likely to vote for McCain. They may be more centrist, and they are the demographics most likely to vote, based on past experience. So which eventuality if worse for the Democrats in November? In the end, for the record, if Clinton is the nominee, I think the vast majority of Obama’s supporters will come around — particularly African-Americans, who know the Clintons’ hearts (better than most white people do) and know there’s not a racist bone in either of their bodies. The Clinton Administration record — not just their words — is unbelievably strong for people of color — indeed, for all minorities.
The following is a bit rambly, but bear with me:
I very much disagree. If Clinton is the nominee, the independents, the young voters, and likely the African-Americans will, at minimum, stay home. This is even more salient when one considers that the superdelegates would have to overturn the pledged delegates, which would inevitably lead to strong resentment amongst these groups.
On the other hand, it would be irrational for Clinton supporters to not support Obama. Clinton and Obama do share similar policy positions, but the major difference here is that he would have won fairly. We’re talking about entrenched Democrats here.
The polls are misleading on this point. Clinton supporters tend to be entrenched Democrats. Both sides are currently bitter (yeah, I said “bitter”) over the campaign. However, once everything is settled, sooner rather than later hopefully, it’ll become clear that Republican opposition is far more important than being bitter over their candidate losing. If Obama wins, he will have done so fair and square. Clinton supporters have little reason to complain. If Clinton wins, however, it will have to be done through the superdelegates overturning the pledged delegates. Obama supporters, who are to a far lesser extent entrenched Democrats. It’s all the more reason for them not to vote for Clinton in November. For Clinton supporters, who tend to be entrenched Democrats, will not vote for McCain. They will vote for Obama.
Furthermore, the polls to which Lulabelle refers do not ask the proper question. They ask who such people would vote for if their candidate didn’t win, there was no “not vote” option. As such, Obama supports picked Clinton in far more numbers than is probably true.
Clearly the Democrats do not want to lose the independents, the young, and the African-Americans, but this will happen if Obama loses unfairly. This is especially the case with African-Americans, who will undoubtedly view a superdelegate overturn as ratifying the racism in the process.
If Obama wins, it was a fair result. So while Obama supporters not only have Clinton’s dirty politics, her self-interest over those of the party, and the willingness to do anything to win no matter what rules she breaks as reason not to vote for her come November, they would also have the nomination stolen from them by the Superdelegates. Clinton supporters, on the other hand, have… have… what? That he’s “inexperienced”? The difference-in-experience debate aside, even if it were true, it’s crazy to choose a person with a completely opposite ideology, as McCain, as President simply because that person is more experienced, especially when Obama would be surrounded by extremely qualified cabinet members and advisors. It wasn’t Bush’s inexperience that caused his disastrous presidency, it was his ideology.
Because of a lack of a rational reason for Clinton supporters to vote McCain in the general instead of Obama, and it would be irrational and foolish for Clinton supporters to not vote for him. If Clinton wins, it will be a fair result, and it is more than rational for Obama supporters to not vote for Clinton. Finally, independents and the young have been drawn to Obama not just for his policies, but for his promise of a change in tone in politics. Clinton does not offer that.