[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/04/art.calidem1.gi.jpg caption=" Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton at the CNN/LA Times/Politico Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain is looking more and more like he'll be the Republican presidential nominee after tomorrow's Super Tuesday contests. However, it's worth noting that one of the defining factors of this Republican primary race has been the inability of any of the candidates to unite their party. But maybe they won't have to. Maybe a Democrat can do it for them.
In fact, many people believe that Hillary Clinton could become that powerful unifying force for the Republicans. Supporters of Barack Obama along with top Republicans say that although many voters passionately support Clinton, there are just as many who really don't like her.
As a Reuters piece points out, there are lots of reasons why some believe this is the case, including left-over resentment for her husband – the former president – her policies on issues like gun control and mandatory universal health care, and a personality that some see as too aggressive and insincere.
Clinton's campaign dismisses these concerns, saying she has a proven track record of winning, and it emphasizes her record of reaching out across the aisle to get results.
Nonetheless, the idea of Clinton as a polarizing figure is a particular concern for Democrats in states that have many rural, conservative voters like Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and others in the Midwest and South. As one Missouri politician puts it, Clinton is quote "a lightning rod" who would bring people out to vote against her.
Here’s my question to you: Which candidate has the greater chance of uniting the Republican Party, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Matt from Madison, Wisconsin writes:
Clinton, by far. I'm an independent with Republican leanings, but I would gladly vote for Obama over the rest of the field. Short of a surprise Ron Paul victory, there's not a chance I'd vote for Hillary. The past looks good compared to the present, but the bitter fighting between parties if there's another Clinton White House would be more of what we already have. It's time for a change.
Jo Ann from Iowa writes:
Definitely Hillary Clinton. The Republicans have a whole staff that has been working for years on the Clinton attack. They have lots of material. I don't want to see it. The Republican base is not excited about McCain, but they'll get very excited about Hillary.
The GOP is chomping at the bit to get at Hillary. The “swift boat” types will make what they did to John Kerry look like a picnic. They will come after her with both barrels. They don't quite know what to make of Obama, which is only one reason he gets my vote.
Jordan from Kentucky writes:
Jack, The answer to this question is the obvious one. Hillary Clinton is as divisive as they come. I manage Barack Obama's campaign at Murray State University in Kentucky, and I hear of more and more Republicans crossing over to support him every day! It's not that Hillary isn't a tried and true Democrat/politician, it's that Barack Obama is a movement, and you can't run against that. McCain wouldn't stand a chance!
Hillary would unite the Republicans, because their hate of all things Clinton makes them lose their minds.
Greg from Houston writes:
Without question, it's Clinton. Even if there were nobody else running, I'd show up to vote against her. And I'm an independent!
Jenny from New York writes:
Jerry Falwell said that Hillary Clinton would unite the Republicans more than the devil himself. That's the only thing I've ever agreed with him on.