Primary Report: Indiana and North Carolina

The Democrats

democrat-logo

The Primaries

Hillary Clinton won the Indiana primary 51% – 49% by 22,400 votes. Barack Obama won the north Carolina Primary 56% – 42% by 232,775 votes. This has to be considered a major win for Obama, because the margin of victory in Indiana was less than anticipated for Clinton, while in North Carolina, it was greater than anticipated for Obama.

The Delegates

Pledged Super Total Pledged Super Total
Clinton 1415 266 1681 47.2% 51.4% 47.8%
Obama 1584 252 1836 52.8% 48.6% 52.2%
Total 2999 518 3517

Since I last reported, Clinton has added 82 delegates, and Obama 100, giving Obama a net lead of 179 pledged and 155 total delegates. With only 217 pledged delegates left to be elected, Clinton will need 193 or 88.9% of the remaining pledged delegates to catch Obama in Pledged delegates. That will not happen. I may have to adjust these figures, but the differences will be small.

The Demographics

Indiana

Indiana Clinton Obama
Gender
Male 51% 49%
Female 49% 51%
Education
No HS
HS Grad 53% 47%
Some College 54% 46%
College Grad 43% 57%
Postgrad 43% 57%
Income
Under $15,000 41% 59%
$15-30,000 55% 45%
$30-50,000 50% 50%
$50-75,000 51% 49%
$75-100,000 48% 52%
$100-150,000 60% 40%
Party ID
Democrat 51% 49%
Repuglican 53% 47%
Independent 46% 54%
Race
White 60% 40%
Black 10% 90%
Age
18-24 36% 64%
25-59 39% 61%
30-39 44% 56%
40-49 50% 50%
50-64 52% 48%
65+ 69% 31%
Religion
Protestant 50% 50%
Catholic 59% 41%
Jewish
Other 39% 61%
None 42% 58%

North Carolina

North Carolina Clinton Obama
Gender
Male 39% 58%
Female 43% 55%
Education
No HS 37% 60%
HS Grad 40% 57%
Some College 44% 54%
College Grad 44% 55%
Postgrad 41% 59%
Income
Under $15,000 31% 66%
$15-30,000 35% 62%
$30-50,000 41% 56%
$50-75,000 47% 52%
$75-100,000 46% 53%
$100-150,000 42% 55%
Party ID
Democrat 39% 60%
Repuglican 61% 32%
Independent 50% 45%
Race
White 61% 37%
Black 7% 91%
Age
18-24 30% 69%
25-59 19% 80%
30-39 34% 62%
40-49 36% 62%
50-64 46% 52%
65+ 57% 41%
Religion
Protestant 45% 53%
Catholic 51% 48%
Jewish
Other 27% 71%
None 29% 69%

Looking Forward

The only way Clinton can win the nomination is for the super delegates to overrule the voters. Next Tuesday is the West Virginia primary. Clinton holds a commanding 56% – 27% lead according to Rasmussen, but the state has only 39 pledged delegates at stake.

The Repuglicans

GOPKoolAid

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

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In Memory of Heroes

4KentState Kent State University will commemorate the 38th anniversary of the May 4 shootings this weekend with movies, poetry readings, a march and a ceremony, all concentrating on the question, “Where does it end?”

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent students protesting the Vietnam War. Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were killed; nine others were injured.

This year, a poem Miller wrote in high school, in 1966, provides the commemoration’s theme, “Where does it end?”…

Inserted from <Cleveland.com>

This tragedy occurred just a few months after I dropped out of SDS, because would not support the violent tactics the organization had adopted. I was, and remain, a believer in the nonviolence of Thoreau, Gandhi and King. While I disagree with the tactics employed by the demonstrators at Kent State and consider their destruction of property misguided, I understand the frustration they felt and admire their commitment. This was not the first time police or guardsmen had killed demonstrators. I saw it myself in Chicago (1968) and Washington, DC (1969). But it was the first time it was so obvious that the government could not cover it up. Regardless of misguided tactics, remember these four as the heroes they were, because they stood up to power and paid the ultimate price. I leave you with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

Primary Report: 5/4

The saga continued yesterday with a tight race in Guam:

4guam Democrat Barack Obama beat rival Hillary Clinton by just seven votes in Guam’s nominating contest after record numbers of residents voted in the tiny U.S. territory’s primary, officials said on Sunday.

Results after more than 12 hours of manual counting showed Obama took 2,264 votes to 2,257 for Clinton. In the last Democratic primary in 2004 only 1,500 people took part.

“Clearly, both of them are quite popular and we should celebrate that,” Josh Tenorio, Obama’s campaign manager on the territory told Reuters. “It’s a good day for Guam.”

With only four votes at the Democratic convention at stake, the contest on Guam, a Pacific island more than 20 hours by plane from Washington, will barely register in the protracted duel for the party’s presidential ticket…

Inserted from <IHT>

That should split those delegates evenly.

The real action comes on Tuesday, May 6, with important primaries in Indiana, with 84 delegates at stake, and North Carolina, with 134 delegates at stake.  At present, Clinton has a comfortable lead in Indiana and Obama, a formidable lead in North Carolina.  Both states award delegated proportionally by district.  I chose polls for both states that are a week or less old.

Indiana Clinton Obama
Zogby 42% 42%
Rasmussen 46% 41%
Downs 52% 45%
Public Policy 50% 42%
TeleResearch 48% 38%
Average 48% 42%
North Carolina Clinton Obama
Zogby 34% 50%
Rasmussen 40% 49%
Insider Advantage 44% 49%
NBC 17 44% 51%
WRAL 42% 49%
ARG 42% 52%
Public Policy 39% 51%
SurveyUSA 44% 49%
Average 41% 50%

The current delegate count is:

Pledged Super Total Pledged Super Total
Clinton 1334 265 1599 47.2% 52.2% 47.9%
Obama 1493 243 1736 52.8% 47.8% 52.1%
Total 2827 508 3335

4clinton-obama Since I last reported, Clinton had increased her total by 43 delegates, and Obama, by by 42, giving Clinton a net gain of one delegate.

If the polls are accurate, Clinton should gain 45 delegates to Obama’s 39 in Indiana, while Obama should gain 74 delegates to Clinton’s 60 in North Carolina.  That would give Obama 113 delegates to Clinton’s 105, an net gain of 8 delegates for Obama, increasing his lead to 145 delegates.  While polls are not always accurate predictors, I don’t see any major surprised coming in either contest.

With only nine primaries left after this one, all fairly closely contested, and none with more than 65 delegates, I do not see how Clinton can catch Obama before the convention in delegates, popular vote, or states won, before the convention, so the only way that Clinton can win the nomination is for enough of the remaining uncommitted super delegates to overrule the voters.  I am not stating a preference for either candidate, but I stand my statement in January that voters, not party insiders, should determine the nominee

They’re After Me!

Tom12-2007-200 It had to happen sooner or later, and yesterday afternoon it did. I received my first campaign call in which a human, not a machine, was on the other end of the line, so I spent about forty five minutes chatting with a lady who was urging me to support Hillary Clinton. Except for interrupting me several times early on, once she got her planned talking points out of the way she was polite, respectful, and willing to settle down and talk issues.

I told her that I am an undecided voter, but that I will support whichever Democrat wins the nomination in the general election. I also told her that I am a B-list political blogger, but she did not seem to know what a blogger is.

I asked her why Hillary has not supported a single-payer health care system. She said that her brother has had problems with the VA and that she thinks it may be because government health care isn’t that good. I explained that we can leave the care private, but make the coverage public, cutting the insurance industry out of their obscene profits and coverage decisions. I told her that health care decisions should not be left to greedy corporations for whom profit trumps care. She agreed that was a better idea, and suggested that Hillary might switch to such a plan after she was elected. She went on to stress that Clinton’s plan was superior to Obama’s. I asked her in what ways it was superior. She didn’t know the details but knew that it was.

I asked her whether or not Hillary would pursue criminal charges against Bush and his minions for war crimes and other crimes while in office. She did not know. I pointed out that Obama had committed to have DOJ investigate them. She said she hopes that Clinton will too, and suggested that, although they should be tried for their crimes, it might take a long time, like it did with Pinochet. I pointed out that Pinochet had been charged, but never tried.

I asked her why Hillary had never admitted her error in voting for the Iraq war. She said that was Bush’s fault, because Clinton was going on what she thought was reliable intelligence. I told her that I knew and had documented, before the war, that the intelligence was was flawed with far less resources than a Senator enjoys. If I could find that out, why couldn’t Clinton. She didn’t know.

I told her that I was displeased with some of Hillary’s campaign tactics. She said that politics is a dirty business, and I should be glad to have a candidate who can do that well, because those skills will be needed against McCain.

At the end of each of these discussions, she kept coming back to one central theme. The party needs a candidate that can win in November, and that although Obama is a wonderful person, Clinton is the candidate who can win. After ignoring that several times, I rose to the bait. I brought up the last debate, and asked her if Clinton had not said that Obama could win too. She replied that Clinton had to say “Yes, yes, yes”, because she was on the spot, and the media would have roasted her, if she had said anything else. She repeated that Clinton really is the electable candidate, and Obama is not. So I asked, “So are you telling me that Clinton lied when she said that?” Dead silence. Then she said that it wasn’t really lying, it was just saying what she had to say at the time, and asked what she was supposed to do when put on the spot like that? I said, “Well I’d hope she would have realized that the American people deserve the truth, even if that truth is not what we want to hear.”

That undid the poor lady. I could almost hear her thinking that she wished she had never called me, as she said she had to get on to the next person she had to call. She asked me if I would vote for Clinton, and I told her I am still not committed.

I was not impressed with her knowledge of the issues, and frankly, turned off by her insistence that Obama is not electable. After Clinton committed herself publicly that both are electable, that issue should be off the table.

In fairness, I have not yet received a similar call from the Obama campaign, and when I do, I will be just as hard on that person as I was on this poor lady, who remained personable and respectful throughout my inquisition.

On the other hand, if McConJob’s people call, the crapola is going to hit the fan… big time!! smile_tongue

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

The Pennsylvania Primary

Tom12-2007-200 After a long layoff, voters finally became the focus of attention again as they went to the polls in Pennsylvania in the moat hotly contested Democratic campaign in my memory. Clinton went in needing a decisive victory of fifteen points or more to but a dent in Obama’s delegate lead. Obama went in needing a close result to pull the remaining super delegates into his corner. Neither happened. Clinton won, as expected, but with only a ten point margin 55%-45%, giving her only a net gain of ten delegates. How we interpret these results depends largely on whose spin you want to hear. The Huffington post has the spin from both camps plus criticism of both from the NY Times:

senator-clinton2The Hillary Victory Spin: Ben Smith reports that Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee at the Park Hyatt in Philadelphia said: “There’s beginning to be a subtle shift of psychology of a lot of the uncommitted supers. [They] are beginning to wonder why Obama has been unable to win this thing despite all the advantages he has.

“There’s a lot of questions that are beginning to surface about him,” he said, while superdelegates are learning that “every time she’s got her back up against the wall, she delivers.”

Here’s her victory speech, where she told a spirited rally in Philadelphia that the “tide is turning” in her nomination contest against Barack Obama.

obama2 The Spin From Obamaland: “Sen. Barack Obama was en route from Philadelphia to Evansville, Ind., when the race was called,” the Washington Post reports, “but the candidate and his advisers were all smiles when they boarded the plane, relieved that the dreaded blowout had not occurred. The news of a projected single-digit win for Clinton — a projection that might yet change — was transmitted via BlackBerrys as the campaign landed.”

“We’ve been very clear from the beginning, we didn’t come in with oversized expectations,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s chief political adviser. “We wanted to get our share.” More here.

In Evansville, the Democratic presidential front-runner told supporters that he was able to narrow the gap in Pennsylvania, register a record number of voters and rally people of all backgrounds to his campaign. After the bruising Pennsylvania contest, Obama said bickering and tit-for-tat politics obscured the great issues of the day – two wars, a recession and a planet in peril. Watch the speech:

NYT Blames Clinton For “Mean, Vacuous, Desperate” Race: The Obama campaign is sending out a New York Times editorial released tonight that blasts Hillary Clinton — whom the Times endorsed. Here’s a sample:

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

If nothing else, self interest should push her in that direction. Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.

The editorial also knocks Obama:

He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics. When she criticized his comments about “bitter” voters, Mr. Obama mocked her as an Annie Oakley wannabe. All that does is remind Americans who are on the fence about his relative youth and inexperience.

… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <The Huffington Post>

I agree with both criticisms, and call on both to argue issues between themselves and save the vitriol for McConJob.

The Delegate Count:

Pledged Super Total Pledged Super Total
Clinton 1302 254 1556 47.1% 52.5% 47.9%
Obama 1464 230 1694 52.9% 47.5% 52.1%
Total 2766 484 3250

Since I reported delegates on Sunday, Clinton has gained eight net delegates.

Overall, the Democrats will have 4049 delegates at their convention. Of those 3,253 will be pledged delegates and 796 will be super delegates. I oppose the inclusion of the super delegates, because they give roughly 20% of the power to nominate to party insiders. They include Senators, Representatives, Governors, DNC members, and other party hacks, and they are not bound to represent the will of the voters.

As time progresses, it looks more and more like the convention will be brokered with the super delegates deciding the nominee.

The Demographics:

Clinton Obama
Gender
Male 48% 52%
Female 57% 43%
Education
No HS
HS Grad 64% 36%
Some College 53% 47%
College Grad 48% 52%
Postgrad 51% 49%
Income
Under $15,000 48% 52%
$15-30,000 55% 45%
$30-50,000 56% 44%
$50-75,000 57% 43%
$75-100,000 51% 49%
$100-150,000 60% 40%
$150-200,000 47% 53%
$200,000+ 40% 60%
Party ID
Democrat 56% 44%
Repuglican
Independent 45% 55%
Race
White 32% 38%
Black 11% 89%
Age
18-24 34% 66%
25-59 45% 55%
30-39 13% 57%
40-49 53% 47%
50-64 56% 44%
65+ 63% 37%
Religion
Protestant 47% 53%
Catholic 69% 31%
Jewish 57% 43%
Other 41% 59%
None 36% 64%

There’s plenty to analyze there. It’s clear that Clinton needs to improve her image with young people and Obama needs to improve his with blue collar workers.

As I see it, Clinton will not close the gap in pledged delegates, and Obama will go into the convention with a lead in that department. Unless Clinton wins the remaining primaries with decisive victories, I do not believe that the super delegates will tip the balance in her favor. Even then, it would be a toss-up, because deciding contrary to the popular will would thoroughly alienate African American voters, without whose support a November win would be tenuous at best. Therefore I think it most likely that Obama will emerge as the nominee.

In the interim, I call on the supporters of both candidates to reserve your attacks for McCain and support what’s good about your candidate.

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

Primary Report: 4/20

Tom12-2007 After primaries coming fast and furious in the early stages of the presidential campaigns, we have had a long wait for another. At last Pennsylvania is on Tuesday, April 22. There is little point in covering the Repuglicans, because their contest is over, but I shall provide a brief summary at the end. For Democrats there are 158 delegates at stake, making this one of the richest prizes in the nation. The delegates are divided proportionally, according to votes in each congressional district.

The Democrats

democrat-logo

The Polls

Clinton Obama
LA Times 46% 41%
Philadelphia Daily News 46% 40%
Quinnipiac University 50% 44%
Rasmussen 47% 44%
ARG* 57% 37%
Newsweek 47% 44%
Downs 45% 50%
Zogby 47% 42%
Gallup 46% 45%
Average 48% 43%

*American Research Group is notoriously unreliable.

The Delegates

Pledged Super Total Pledged Super Total
Clinton 1250 248 1498 46.9% 52.3% 47.7%
Obama 1418 226 1644 53.1% 47.7% 52.3%
Total 2668 474 3142

Since I last reported these Clinton has gained 13 delegates and Obama 22.

Analysis

If the polls accurately reflect the delegate split, Clinton should win the state and pick up 83 delegates to Obama’s 75, a net gain of 8 delegates cutting Obama’s lead to 138 delegates. Because polls generally lag several days behind, and Obama has been narrowing the gap, I don’t see Clinton pulling out a win of the devastating proportions she would need to increase her chances of winning the nomination. While the fat lady has not yet sung, she is clearing her throat.

Looking Forward

The next primaries are in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6.

The Repuglicans

McCain-redphone

Wrong on Taxes!

Wrong on Social Security!!

Wrong on Health Care!!!

Wrong on the Economy!!!!

Wrong on Iraq!!!!!

Wrong on Iran!!!!!!

Wrong for America!!!!!!!

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

He Said, She Said

I have no doubt that both these stories from yesterday will find their way to bloggers and pundits in their respective camps and used to smear the other candidate.

12obamagaffe Obama’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain both pounced on the comments Obama made last weekend at a fundraiser in San Francisco.

Video of the fundraiser, which was closed to the press, surfaced as Obama was campaigning in Indiana, trying to highlight issues of concern to working-class voters, such as job losses and rising mortgage foreclosures.

“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama, an Illinois senator, said.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” he said…

Inserted from <Reuters>

12clinton Hillary Clinton spoke at a November 1993 NAFTA meeting at which 120 were scheduled to attend; participants described it as a NAFTA cheering session capped by remarks from the first lady when the push was at its peak to get the deal approved. Two at the meeting, representing textile and apparel importers, told ABC News that Hillary Clinton was the highlight of the “100 percent pro-NAFTA event” and expressed not a “hint of waffling” on the deal.

In 1996, she said the trade deal with Mexico and Canada was giving U.S. workers a chance to compete. “That’s what a free and fair trade agreement like NAFTA is all about,” she said. “I think NAFTA is proving its worth.”

In a speech to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in 2002, the New York senator said this of her husband’s record:

“The economic recovery plan stands first and foremost as a testament to both good ideas and political courage. National service. The Brady bill. Family leave. NAFTA. Investment in science and technology. New markets….

“All of these came out of some very fundamental ideas about what would work. The results speak for themselves.” It was one of several occasions when she highlighted the trade deal among Bill Clinton’s achievements.

Her campaign says listing her husband’s accomplishments isn’t the same as favoring them and her 1996 speech was noting NAFTA’s undeniable benefits to Texas, where she delivered that address…

Inserted from <Yahoo News>

On the former, perhaps Obama is insensitive to small-town, middle class workers. On the other hand, perhaps his comments were identifying with and justifying the frustration that they rightly feel.

On the latter, perhaps Hillary is lying about her former support for NAFTA. On the other, perhaps she was submerging her own view to that of the President as claimed.

The interpretations of both stories depend upon the direstion of applied spin.

As this campaign moves forward with little hope for resolution in the near future, the most positive thing Democrats can do is highlight the plusses of their personal choices and reserve their vitriol for McConJob.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus