Some Clinton Donors Are Contributing to McCain

Certainly many Clinton supporters are heeding her wishes and staying loyal to the Democratic Party's nominee when it comes to their fundraising.

Clinton donors have raised at least $3.4 million for the Obama campaign, according to a Clinton staffer, who added that Clinton encouraged 150 of her donors to donate to Obama at a hotel reception on Wednesday and telling them "that it's a mistake to donate to John McCain."

As for the number of her donors who have contributed to McCain, "That's a ratio we can live with," said a Clinton staffer, declining to be identified while discussing the subject.

Some of Clinton's HillRaisers, such as financier Ron Perelman and Hassan Nemazee, have opened up their checkbooks for Obama.

While the ratio may favor Obama, there are indications that while most of Clinton's financial backers aren't giving money to the enemy, they are sitting on their wallets. Obama has yet to receive contributions from some prominent HillRaisers, including Steve Bing and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Only 70 of Clinton's more than 300 HillRaisers have contributed to Obama, according to a New York Times analysis.

Obama's Camp Pleased With Clinton Donors

In any bitterly-fought contest like this year's Democratic primary, there are bound to be disaffected voters on the losing side, says Costas Panagopoulos, professor of political science at Fordham University.

But he predicts that party defections will be much more common this year, especially to the detriment of Democrats and Obama due to McCain's moderate reputation.

"Had it been a different Republican, Democrats would not have been able to consider defecting so easily," Panagopoulos says, adding that he doesn't see much evidence of Republicans supporting Obama. "But given the perception that McCain is a moderate, there is a good chance that some Clinton supporters will defect to him."

A spokesman for the Obama campaign e-mailed a statement, emphasizing their gratitude to the many Clinton donors who are supporting and donating to Obama:

"Just the other night, Hillary Clinton made a strong, heartfelt case to her supporters and all Americans for why they should join her in supporting Barack Obama for president. Americans across the country understand how urgently we need change, not four more years of failed Bush policies – and we've been very pleased that so many who supported Senator Clinton in the primary have taken active roles in the Obama campaign, organizing, raising money, and most importantly, talking to their friends and neighbors about the clear choice in this election."

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