John McCain sees his path to the White House lined with Hillary Clinton supporters. Up to 28% of Clinton backers have told pollsters they’ll defect to the GOP now that Barack Obama has clinched the nomination, the Washington Post reports, so McCain is targeting them, calling Clinton a “friend” who inspired his daughters. It’s a long shot, but, hey, it worked for Ronald Reagan.
Reagan’s 1980 win came after a long, bruising primary that pitted Jimmy Carter against Ted Kennedy. Reagan wound up taking 26% of the Democratic vote. It’s worth noting, however, that after 47% of Kennedy supporters threatened to jump, half calmed down by November. The country has also become much more partisan since then; in the past four elections, only 1 in 10 Democrats voted Republican.