Both Senators Clinton and Obama have stated their desire for party unity, most likely in response to polls stating that around 20% of Democrats would vote for John McCain if their preferred candidate didn’t win. Clinton was asked at a recent rally about the prospects of Democrats leaving and voting for McCain:
Please think through this decision. It is not a wise decision. Every time we have a vigorous contest like we’re having this primary election, people get intense. Senator Obama has intense support. I have intense support. It’s exciting because people want to be involved. But, the differences … pale in comparison to the differences between us and Senator McCain.
Sen. Clinton promised to be a team-player no matter what:
I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic Party. When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we’re going to close ranks. We’re going to be united … The most important goal for us is to put a Democrat back in the White House.
Obama shared her sentiment in a recent interview:
There are going to be some bruised feelings, whoever the nominee is. We are going to have to come together and remind ourselves that there is a heck of a lot bigger difference between either Senator Clinton or myself, and John McCain. I think short term, there is going to be work to do for the nominee to bring the party back together again. People feel pretty passionate about their respective candidates. I appreciate that, and I understand it.
Hopefully this means that the two candidates are realizing the damage that has been caused in their particular divisive primary campaigns. However, I do feel that the sentiment reported in polls is overstated, once there is one nominee, Democrats will coalesce once again against the Republican candidate.
Clinton, Obama: We Will Unite – [Huffington Post]