Sure, ultra-conservative Ann Coulter is threatening to campaign for Hillary Clinton if John McCain snags the nomination — "She's more conservative than he is," Coulter recently remarked. But while some young Republicans are supporting the Arizona senator all the same, others in the demographic say they're finding themselves drawn, improbably, to the other Democratic front-runner, Barack Obama. Could this mean that Obama is more capable of pulling moderate Republicans over to his side come November, making him a fiercer Democratic opponent than Clinton?
Both McCain and Obama are seen as potential aces in foreign affairs — the former is a military veteran and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services, and has more than 20 years of experience in the Senate; the latter is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and has an international background and JFK-like charisma. Obama is seen as an outsider fighting to shake up the system, McCain a "maverick" who works across party lines. And in a standoff of macho celebrities, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is siding with McCain, while Robert De Niro has Obama's back.
But perhaps most importantly, both McCain and Obama carry clout with indie voters and moderates across party lines. In a speech at College of DuPage in Obama's home state of Illinois over the weekend, Republican rival Mitt Romney pointedly compared McCain to Obama, saying, "I'm afraid it's going to be real hard to win the White House if there's not much difference between our nominee and theirs, and that's why I'm going to make sure that we stand for Republican ideals and win the White House on that platform."