It is at least conceivable that the general election campaign might
involve perhaps some discussion of the issues instead of being entirely
a mudfest. The Democratic primary is issue-free because, to paraphrase
the late Gov. George Wallace "there's not a dime's worth of difference
between the candidates."
In the general election that might be different because with the near
collapse of the mortgage market, the economy is becoming one of the
top issues (although Iraq has the potential to overtake it if things
go south there). While Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have pretty
much the same views on the economy, John McCain has a different view.
In a nutshell, the Democrats believe the government should bail out
individuals who made stupid (i.e., greedy) decisions about getting a
mortgage they had no hope of ever repaying.
In contrast, the Republican believes the government should bail out
banks and brokers who made stupid (i.e., greedy) decisions about
issuing mortgages to people who had no hope of ever repaying them.
The NY Times has a
about these differences.
We have one new primary poll today. Obama has a large (15%) lead over
Clinton in North Carolina. Although North Carolina does not have as
many delegates as Pennsylvania (134 vs. 187), a big Obama victory here
will almost cancel out a big Clinton victory in Pennsylvania.
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.