Obama Seen As Stronger Candidate Versus McCain

05/14/2008 05:12 am 05:12:02 | Updated May 25, 2011

Hoping to woo superdelegates, Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has turned to the argument that she, not Sen. Obama, is the best Democrat to take on John McCain in the general election.

Exit polls from Tuesday night, however, do not support that argument. In Indiana, despite the fact that the numbers portend a Clinton win, Obama is viewed as the nominee best able to win the White House, by a margin of 50 to 47 percent. In North Carolina, according to CNN, that divide is even more pronounced: "voters gave the edge to Barack Obama: 54 percent thought he was more likely to win in November, while 40 percent chose Clinton."

There are other telling signs. Forty-five percent of Indiana Democratic primary goers said Clinton was dishonest, versus thirty-three percent for Obama. Sixty-six percent said Obama shared their values. Sixty-three percent had the same opinion of Clinton. That spread was even greater in North Carolina, where 69 percent said Obama shared their values compared to 61 percent for Clinton.

There was one saving grace for the New York Democrat. The numbers suggest that there may be more defections to John McCain should Obama end up the nominee.

Fifteen percent of North Carolina respondents say they would vote for the Arizona Republican should he and Clinton face off in November. That number rose to 19 percent if it were McCain v. Obama. In Indiana, meanwhile, 17 percent of voters said they would support McCain if he were facing Clinton, while 20 percent said they would back the McCain if he battled Obama.

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