News from the Votemaster
The map was getting boring with all that gray. It has now been spruced up a bit. Figuring out colors to use that have some meaning and don't use red and blue (which are already too overloaded) is a bit tricky. The purplish/pinkish states are the ones that already voted. What is clear from the map is that Obama has done very well in the states that normally vote Republican and Clinton has done well in the Democratic states. The Obama spin is: "I can win some red states." The Clinton spin is: "We need a traditional Democrat to counter McCain's appeal to independents in the blue states."
Barack Obama won four decisive victories in yesterday's four elections in Louisiana, Nebraska, the state of Washington, and the Virgin Islands. While he picked up more delegates than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, that is not the most significant factor. What matters more is the momentum this gives Obama going into the Maine caucuses today and the Potomac Primary (Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.) on Tuesday. If you look like a winner, people are more inclined to donate money and vote for you, which generates more momentum, and so on. Here are the results.
Vote totals were not released for the Virgin Islands, but Obama won the caucuses.
In Louisiana, 37 delegates are allocated proportionally based on the results of the primary. Another 19 pledged delegates will be allocated at a party meeting May 3 (based on the statewide totals). There are also 10 unpledged PLEOs. Obama and Clinton split the parishes (counties), with Obama taking the area around New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport as well as upstate. Clinton did well in the southwestern part of the state and scattered parishes elsewhere throughout the state. Exit polls show that Obama got 90% of the black vote and about 25% of the white vote. Black women clearly voted their race rather than their gender.
In Nebraska, pledged delegates were chosen to go to the county conventions in June, where the delegates are selected for the state convention on June 28. The state convention will choose 16 pledged delegates to the DNC and seven PLEOs.
In the state of Washington, Obama won a clear victory, picking off every county except Douglas county in the middle of the state. The delegates elected yesterday will go to district caucuses April 5. These are followed by county conventions April 19, congressional district caucuses May 17, and finally the state convention June 14-15. Ultimately, Washington sends 78 pledged and 19 unpledged delegates to the DNC. While this process may sound cumbersome, it is really democracy in action, allowing the maximum citizen participation in the election process.
No breakdown is available yet for the Virgin Islands.
In the delegate wars, the NY Times puts Clinton ahead 912 to 741 but the AP has it much closer, 1095 to 1070. CNN has Clinton ahead 1100 to 1039. In practice, it is a tie. If Obama wins the Potomac Primary on Tuesday, he may pull ahead in delegates, but a lot will depend on Ohio and Texas on March 4. These states have many bllue collar workers and Latinos and fewer college-educated voters and blacks than states Obama has done well in. They look like Clinton territory, but an upset by Obama in them would hurt badly.
Now onto the Republican side. Mike Huckabee pulled up a huge upset win in the Kansas caucus, getting more than twice as many votes as John McCain. He also won a small victory in Louisiana and suffered a small loss in the state of Washington. The Republicans did not have an event in Nebraska or the Virgin Islands yesterday. Here are the scores. For full results, see the New York Times.
As to delegate totals, The NY Times gives McCain the lead over Huckabee 695 to 159. The AP puts McCain in the lead 719 to 234. CNN says McCain is ahead 714 to 217. The reason it is so difficult to get agreement is the delegate selection process itself. If the precinct-level vote merely elects delegates to the district level caucus, which elects delegates to the county caucus which elects deledates tot he state convention which elects delegates to the national convention, even if you know the exact totals per precinct (which is not always the case), figuring what is going to come out of the other end of the pipeline is not straightforward. And then there are all the unpledged delegates. It gets hairy.
Here are the new polls for today.
-- The Votemaster