News from the Votemaster
The senator ratings by liberal organizations is now linked to on the Data galore page listed on the menu under the map so you can find it easily in the future. A similar listing rating the senators by conservative groups is in the works.
Former California state senator Jacie Speier (D) will be sworn in as the newest member of the House of Representatives today. She won an overwhelming victory Tuesday in CA-12, which with a PVI of D+22 is one of the most Democratic districts in the country. This San Francisco district was formerly represented in Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress. Lantos died in February of cancer of the esophagus. In 1978 Speier was a congressional aide sent to investigate human rights abuses at Jonestown and was shot and left for dead but she miraculously survived. Given the PVI of her district and her age (57), she can probably serve in Congress for the next 20-30 years with no serious opposition. As a member of Congress, she is automatically a superdelegate. She supports Hillary Clinton.
A new survey shows that only 18% of current workers are very confident of being able to retire comfortably. This is a huge drop from last year's 27%. People who think they won't have enough money to retire on are going to be very focused on the economy come election time since this issue hits home pretty directly. Between the mortgage crisis, credit crisis, looming recession, and now this, it seems likely that the party that can best convince Americans that they should be running the economy is the one that is going to profit in November. The Democrats are undoubtedly going to bash John McCain over the head with George Bush's plan to privatize social security. McCain's Website is curiously silent over his position on this issue, but he is likely going to be forced to take a stand sooner or later. This is the kind of issue where in the past McCain would buck his party and work with the Democrats for the national good, but what he will do in the heat of a campaign is less clear so far.
Here is another poll in Pennsylvania. This one seems more plausible than some of the other recent ones. The fundamental demographics of Pennsylvania are not unlike Ohio and since the voting has been so demographically determined, it seems likely that barring something unexpected we will get a similar result.
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