News from the Votemaster
A primary election was held yesterday in LA-01, a House seat vacated by Bobby Jindal (R) who was elected the nation's first Indian-American governor last November. The Republican nominee is state senator Steve Scalise. The Democrat is Gilda Reed, a professor of psychology at the university of New Orleans. Although her Ph.D. thesis--a study of the effects of drugs on rats--might make her seem ideal for Congress, she is expected to lose badly in this heavily Republican (PVI R+18) district. The special election is May 3.
LA-06, which also held a primary yesterday, is a horse of a somewhat different color. While Republican (R+7), it is not nearly as much so as LA-01. The seat is vacant because Rep. Richard Baker (R) quit to take a $1 million job with a hedge fund. The Republican nominee is Woody Jenkins, a newspaper executive. The Democrat is Don Cazayoux, a member of the Louisiana state legislature.
This race could be a repeat of the recent special election in IL-14, which has an almost identical Republican leaning (PVI R+5), but which was won by Democrat Bill Foster in a huge upset victory for the Democrats. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DCCC is going to be pouring money into LA-06 as if he had millions (which he does, $30 million, in fact). Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), chairman of the NRCC would like very much to defend LA-06 but has only about $3 million in the bank, and after pouring $1 million into IL-14, is probably a bit nervous about a major investment here. Still, a Democratic victory here on May 3 is going to get the pundits talking about the impending disaster for the Republicans in Congress in November, so he can ill-afford to abandon Jenkins. On the other hand, Jenkins is not a neophyte in politics although he once was. He was elected to the state legislature at 24--as a Democrat. In 1994, after being a Democrat for 22 years, he switched to the GOP and ran for the Senate in 1996, losing to Mary Landrieu in a close and bitterly contested election that made Florida 2000 look like a cakewalk.
Rassmussen reports that Barack Obama holds a commanding 10% lead over Hillary Clinton nationally, 51% to 41%. This is the largest lead he has ever held in Rasmussen polling and shows that the Jeremiads of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, didn't seem to cause any lasting damage.
We have one new state primary poll today. Barack Obama has a commanding lead in North Carolina.
Here are the delegate totals from various news sources rounded to integers (Democrats Abroad has 22 delegates, each with 1/2 vote). The sources differ because in most caucus states, no delegates to the national conventions have been chosen yet, just delegates to the district, county, or state convention so there is some guesswork involved. Furthermore, some of the unpledged delegates are elected at state conventions in May or June. Finally, the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) sometimes waver and may tell different reporters slightly different stories that they interpret differently.
Needed to win: Democrats 2024, Republicans 1191.
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster