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News: Updated Mar. 18

McCain McCain won
Romney Romney won
Romney Huckabee won
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News from the Votemaster

The latest word is that Florida will not hold a new primary and will not hold a caucus.

In a statement, Former Rep. Karen Thurman, chair of the Florida Democratic Party has ruled out a new primary. There will also not be a new caucus. The DNC is very unlikely to seat the delegation elected in the now-voided election of Jan. 29. What will happen is anyone's guess. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has proposed seating all the people elected Jan. 29 but giving each one half a vote. This would reduce Hillary Clinton's net gain to 19 delegates. The story is also at CNN and the NY Times. The whole thing is complicated because everyone is trying to do two things at the same time:

    - Make sure the people of Florida are represented at the Democratic National Convention
    - Get partisan advantage for one of the candidates

Doing the first one isn't so hard, but if the best solution gives an advantage to one of the candidates, the other side is going to reject it. If there is no resolution, it could come down to a credentials fight at the convention, which would hurt the Democrats badly by focusing all the attention on the rules rather than on the candidate.

No matter what happens here, Michigan also has to be solved. In a way Michigan is worse because Barack Obama removed his name from the ballot in accordance with DNC policy towards the primary date. Hillary Clinton did not take any action, which resulted in her name remaining on the Michigan ballot. While Clinton may push for the Jan. 29 Florida primary to be accepted, the imbalance in Michigan is so blatant that a different solution is needed there. And in Michigan, the damage was entirely self inflicted. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) was the force behind moving the Michigan primary to Jan. 15. In Florida, it was the Republican-controlled state legislature that did it, more with an eye on the Republican nomination. The Democrats were just collateral damage. But they hardly protested. Michigan has a Democratic governor who is trying hard to find a solution. Currently, the most likely option is a state-run but privately financed primary. Clinton has agreed to this but Obama is dragging his feet (because Michigan, like Ohio and Pennsylvania, is full of older blue-collar workers who are partial to Clinton). If he agrees to a revote, it will probably happen, leaving only Florida disputed. One thorny issue yet to be resolved is who can vote. For example, can (conservative) Democrats who voted in the Republican primary Jan. 15 vote in the new Democratic primary? What about (conservative) Republicans who are just following orders from Rush Limbaugh? If Clinton wins Pennsylvania and a new primary in Michigan and gets half the Florida delegates, this will make a big dent in Obama's current delegate lead so we will have a difference of maybe 1-2% in delegates. What then? Anybody for just flipping a coin?

Now a few words about Congress. House incumbents who are not under indictment have a reelection rate exceeding 90%. Thus when a seat becomes open, it becomes a very attractive target for the party not occupying it. In 2008, an uncommonly large number of members of the House are not running for reelection for one reason or another, most of which will lead to fierce battles. The majority of the retirees are Republicans, giving the Democrats openings in many districts. Furthermore, the Democrats who are retiring are mostly from safe districts. Below is the list of seats in which the 2006 winner is not running in 2008.

District Incumbent Party PVI Reason for Vacancy
MD-04 Albert Wynn Dem D+30 Donna Edwards beat incumbent Al Wynn in the primary
CA-12 Tom Lantos Dem D+22 lantos died of cancer; there will be a special election
NY-21 Michael McNulty Dem D+9 Apparently had enough after 10 terms; age: 60
IN-07 Andre Carson Dem D+9 Carson won a special election for his grandmother's seat after she died
CO-02 Mark Udall Dem D+8 Running for Wayne Allard's Senate seat
ME-01 Tom Allen Dem D+6 Running against Susan Collins for the Senate
NM-03 Tom Udall Dem D+6 Running for Pete Domenici's Senate seat
NY-25 James Walsh GOP D+3 Apparently didn't stomach another hard-fought race like 2006
NJ-03 James Saxton GOP D+3 Apparently had enough after 12 terms; age: 64
NM-01 Heather Wilson GOP D+2 Running for Domenici's Senate seat
OR-05 Darlene Hooley Dem D+1 After 32 years in public service, she's had enough
IL-11 Jerry Weller GOP R+1 Probably due to growing scandals
VA-11 Tom Davis GOP R+1 Wants to make money in private sector plus tough fight expected
MN-03 Jim Ramstad GOP R+1 Not known; he could easily be reelected
NJ-07 Mike Ferguson GOP R+1 Not known
OH-15 Deborah Pryce GOP R+1 No. 4 is GOP leadership; minority is no fun (?)
AZ-01 Rick Renzi GOP R+2 Would be defeated due to corruption scandals
FL-15 Dave Weldon GOP R+4 Unknown; he is a mere stripling at 54
OH-16 Ralph Regula GOP R+4 At 82 and in the minority, he's had it
IL-14 Bill Foster Dem R+5 Foster won a special election for Dennis Hastert's seat
IL-18 Ray LaHood GOP R+5 Unknown; he is only 61
NM-02 Steve Pearce GOP R+6 Running for Domenici's Senate seat
OH-07 David Hobson GOP R+6 Unclear; maybe his age (71)
AL-05 Bud Cramer Dem R+6 After 9 terms, he just had enough
MO-09 Kenny Hulshof GOP R+7 Running for governor
LA-06 Richard Baker GOP R+7 Getting a $1 million job in hedge fund industry
LA-04 Jim McCrery GOP R+7 Ranking member of Ways and Means, sees he will never chair it
CA-52 Duncan Hunter GOP R+9 Running for President
CO-06 Tom Tancredo GOP R+10 Made an abortive run for President
MS-01 Roger Wicker GOP R+10 Was appointed to fill Trent Lott's seat in the Senate
PA-05 John Peterson GOP R+10 Age and health reasons
MD-01 Wayne Gilchrest GOP R+10 Andy Harris beat incumbent Wayne Gilchrest in the primary
CA-04 John Doolittle GOP R+11 One scandal too many
KY-02 Ron Lewis GOP R+13 Not known
AL-02 Terry Everett GOP R+13 Unclear; he is a mere 70 and could serve 10 more years
MS-03 Chip Pickering GOP R+13 Got bored waiting for a Senate vacancy
LA-01 Bobby Jindal GOP R+18 Elected governor of Louisiana in 2007
WY-AL Barbara Cubin GOP R+19 Probably forced out by GOP leadership

The polling results for all states are available as a Web page and in .csv format.

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. Also, all sources try to count the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) and unpledged delegates, who also get to vote at the convention. When different reporters call a PLEO and hear "Well, I like Hillary, but Barack has his charms too" they may score it differently.


Source Clinton Obama BHO-HRC Edwards McCain Romney Huckabee Paul
Washington Post 1498 1617 +119   1334   278  
NY Times 1446 1569 +123 12 1152 142 225 5
AP 1497 1603 +106 26 1334 257 278 14
CNN 1479 1618 +131 26 1325 255 267 16
ABC 1485 1614 +129 32 1267 273 272 14
CBS 1476 1611 +135 26 1241 149 231 10
MSNBC 1251 1400 +149 26 1266 293 262 14

Needed to win: Democrats 2025, Republicans 1191.

Here is another source for delegate totals.

-- The Votemaster