Poll: Obama struggling to win over Clinton voters
— Barack Obama's support from backers of Hillary Rodham Clinton is stuck smack where it was in June, a poll showed Tuesday, a stunning lack of progress that is weakening him with members of the Democratic Party in the close presidential race.
An Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll shows that among adults who backed his rival during their bitter primary campaign, 58 percent now support Obama. That is the same percentage who said so in June, when Clinton ended her bid and urged her backers to line up behind the Democratic senator from Illinois.
The poll shows that while Obama has gained ground among Clinton's supporters — 69 percent view him favorably now, up 9 percentage points from June — this has yet to translate into more of their support.
In part, this is because their positive views of Republican presidential nominee John McCain have also improved during this period. Those supporting McCain have also edged up from 21 percent to 28 percent, with the number of undecided staying constant, the survey showed.
Clinton backers' reluctance to support Obama helps explain why he is having a tougher time solidifying partisan supporters than McCain. Overall, 74 percent of Democrats say they will vote for Obama, compared to 87 percent of Republicans behind the Arizona senator. About nine in 10 Clinton supporters are Democrats.
The problem that supporters of Clinton, the New York senator, have with Obama seems to flow from their measure of him as a candidate, not from issues. From establishing a timeline for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to abortion to canceling tax cuts on the rich, their views of the importance of issues are virtually identical to Democrats in general.