News from the Votemaster
A federal judge has ruled that Michigan's primary law is unconstitutional. While the issue at hand is distribution of voter lists, the Obama campaign will undoubtedly use this as more ammunition to prevent a revote in Michigan, saying the Jan. 15 vote was not only in violation of party rules, but illegal to boot. The effect is more psychological than operational, though, since it does not appear that Michigan was going to hold a revote anyway (Thanks to Political Wire for the pointer.)
Chris Bowers at Open Left has a thorough discussion of the delegate math for the Democratic nomination. He points out that in pledged delegates, Obama holds a 6% lead with 83% if the primaries and caucuses already finished. In a general election, when one party leads by 6% with 83% of the vote counted, virtually every observer would call the race for the leader. He then goes on to see how well Clinton must do in the the upcoming races to catch up. Hillary Clinton's hopes for a revote in Florida and Michigan seem dim and after June 10, the question will be turned over to the credentials committee, which is likely to be controlled by Obama. Such a committee might well decide to seat full delegations from both states, but allow each of the candidates to choose half the people. While it ain't over til it's over, Hillary Clinton needs a really big win in Pennsylvania to give her much needed momentum.
Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) has apparently also made this calculation. He is pushing the idea of a miniconvention of the 796 Democratic delegates not chosen directly by the voters (PLEOs, members of Congress, etc.). He says they are going to have to decide the race eventually and better in June than in August so the candidates don't spend the summer attacking each other and decreasing the winner's chances in November. Bredesen himself is not committed to either candidate. He just wants to get the process finished.
Colleen Shannon has kindly updated her map animations to show the daily maps as a movie for both the Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain scenarios. Here is the link. It is also on the menu above as "Animated maps" and will be updated every day. The movie is very short now, but will get longer as the year progresses. Thanks Colleen.
An eagle-eyed reader noticed that the batch of 50 general election polls released by SurveyUSA on March 6 were actually taken Feb 26-28. The data base has been corrected. The dates matter because the map algorithm uses the most recent poll in every state plus any other polls taken within a week of it and averages them all equally.
No new primary polls today. One general election poll, though. Rasmussen shows McCain beating either Clinton (by 9%) or Obama (by 15%) in Missouri.
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