News from the Votemaster
John McCain has released his 2007 tax return. His adjusted gross income was $405,409. He paid $17,700 alimony to his first wife, and gave $105,467 to charity. He earned $112 in interest and dividends, which either means he is close to broke (unlikely), has investments that don't pay interest or dividends, or has everything in his wife's name. McCain and his wife file separate returns. Cindy McCain is estimated to be worth at least $100 million, money she inherited from her father, an Arizona beer distributor. She has refused to make her tax returns public.
Michigan Democrats met yesterday to choose their delegates to the DNC. Only problem is nobody knows yet whether they will be seated. The smart money is betting that the Democrats will ultimately seat some people from both Michigan and Florida. For Florida, where both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were on the ballot, options vary from seating the elected delegates, seating them but each with half a vote, seating them as observers, or seating a delegation evenly split between Clinton and Obama supporters. Michigan is trickier because Obama wasn't on the ballot. It is hard to see him accepting an election where he wasn't even on the ballot. On June 10, the mess will be dumped in the lap of the DNC credentials committee. The committee has 161 members chosen by the states and 25 members appointed by DNC chairman Howard Dean. Here is Politico's rundown of the members Dean appointed.
In many cases the candidate supported is a guess based on whose campaign the member has contributed to. It should be noted however, that many DNC members strongly support the idea of punishing Michigan and Florida for breaking the DNC rules, independent of which candidate they support. For Obama supporters, this could mean advocating voiding the two states' elections and seating half for each candidate (message: if you violate the rules, we'll ignore the results). For Clinton supporters this could mean seating the delegations and giving each delegate half a vote (message: we respect your election, but you did violate the rules so you can't get off scot free). But if the nomination has been settled by June 10, they could yet seat the full delegations.
Here is another Pennsylvania poll.
In a new general election poll from Rasmussen, Obama has pulled ahead of McCain in Colorado, 46% to 43% while McCain beats Clinton 50% to 36% there. If Obama is the nominee and we get the Obama-McCain map linked to above and McCain wins North Carolina (likely), then the electoral college will be split 269 to 269 and the new House will pick the President, with each state getting one vote. Democrats are likely to control at least 26 state delegations, but no doubt McCain will argue that representatives from states that he carried should vote for him. Some representatives might vote the way their district went rather than how their state went. But in the end, this would be the ultimate test of party loyalty. Any Democratic representative who voted for McCain would surely be stripped on staff, choice committee assignments, and power.
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