Dems Find Unity Elusive

The Democratic race for president may have ended a month ago but there are clear signs among the rank and file that all is not well with former Hillary Clinton supporters.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll released yesterday shows fewer Democrats willing to vote for John McCain for president. That's the good news. The bad news is that more Democrats are thinking of not voting at all rather than vote for the party's nominee Barack Obama:

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey completed in early June before the New York senator ended her White House bid, 60 percent of Clinton backers polled said they planned on voting for Obama. In the latest poll, that number has dropped to 54 percent.

In early June, 22 percent of Clinton supporters polled said they would not vote at all if Obama were the party's nominee, now close to a third say they will stay home.

In another sign the wounds of the heated primary race have yet to heal, 43 percent of registered Democrats polled still say they would prefer Clinton to be the party's presidential nominee.
That number is significantly higher than it was in early June, when 35 percent of Democrats polled said they preferred Clinton to lead the party's presidential ticket.
These things always take time to heal," said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst. "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."

How much trouble is this for Obama? Worrisome but not a crisis - yet. Apparently, his efforts to bring some Clintonistas on board his campaign didn't do the trick as far as increasing his support among Hillaryites. They are looking for something more substantial from Obama - the Vice Presidency for Hillary.

Obama so doesn't want to have to choose Hillary as his Veep but the situation may get critical in 5 or 6 weeks as the convention closes in and the party is still not united. I am sure the only reason he would take Hillary is if he was convinced he couldn't win the election without her. Even then he might take the chance and choose someone else. There is just too much baggage coming with Hillary - including her husband - that it seems almost suicidal for Obama to take on the gigantic egos and raw ambition of both Clintons.

But to unite the party, he may be forced into it.

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