Majority Definitely Will Not Vote for Romney or Clinton

Hotline On Call looks at data from a new ABC/WaPo survey and reports, “The poll finds that the percentage of those surveyed who would definitely not support Sen. John McCain has nearly doubled and is nearly a majority — 47%. He’s become as polarizing as Hillary Clinton, at least to partisans. But only 41% of independents say they would definitely not support him.”

While that’s significant, it buries the lede:

Among independents — Definitely would NOT support
Romney: 53%
Clinton: 51
McCain: 41
Edwards: 39
Giuliani: 35
Obama: 29

A majority of independents surveyed say they will “definitely not” vote for Romney or Clinton. Given that the election will be decided by both base turnout and the swaying of independents, that’s huge. McCain and others are quite viable.

One major caveat is needed: The survey is of “adults,” not “likely voters.” It may well be that some substantial percentage of these “independents” are actually apathetics and that the “independents” who will actually vote are much different from the broader group.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. While it is certainly possible that the non-voters are in the “definitely will not vote” in sufficient numbers to skew this, I suspect that the likely voters are more apt to have made up their mind.

    Also, I suspect that absent a third party choice, at least some of those “definitely will not vote for” would hold their nose and vote for the party/against the other guy.

  2. legion says:

    Indeed, this kind of question tends to skew itself… I absolutely wouldn’t vote for Hillary _in a primary_, but as much as I don’t like her, I can’t think of a single GOP prospect I’d vote for over her in the general election.

  3. Anderson says:

    YAJ and Legion say everything that needs to be said. But I’ve commented anyway.

  4. Triumph says:

    I wonder how much McCain’s prospects were damaged after his bizarre rendition of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” last night?

    Someone whose sanity is so visibly and completely slipping can’t be in a good position.

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Where’s Fred in this poll? That’s who we want to know about.

  6. carpeicthus says:

    Jesus, Dems, keep Hillary away from the nomination!