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News: Updated Feb. 09

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News from the Votemaster

Today we have caucuses in the state of Washington and Nebraska, and a primary in Louisiana. In addition, there is a Republican primary in Kansas and a Democratic primary in the Virgin Islands. Maine caucuses tomorrow; Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. vote Tuesday. The Democratic battles between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are drawing most of the attention, but a good showing by Mike Huckabee in his first head-to-head contest with John McCain could impress McCain with Huckabee's vote-getting ability and increase the chances of McCain picking him as Veep. Of course McCain has many other considerations, too. One name which has floated about lately is that of Charlie Crist, governor of Florida, which would lock up Florida for the Republicans. A potential Democratic response in the form of Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) or Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) might be precluded if Clinton were forced to take Obama or Obama were forced to take Clinton.

Here are today's polls.

State Pollster End date Clinton Obama McCain Huckabee Paul
Maryland SurveyUSA Feb. 8 33% 52% 56% 17% 10%
North Carolina Public Policy Polling Feb. 6 40% 42%      
Virginia SurveyUSA Feb. 8 39% 59% 57% 25% 9%
Washington SurveyUSA Feb. 8     54% 25% 11%
Wisconsin ARG Feb. 7 50% 41% 51% 4% 7%

Conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks had an interesting piece this week. Brooks claims the divide among the Democrats is not male vs. female or black vs. white, it is the college educated vs. high school grads. He says that when shopping you can go to Safeway or Whole Foods, to Walgreens or to the Body Shop, buy a Windows PC or a Macintosh. In these and other cases, the former represents good products at good prices; the latter tries to sell the experience as much as the product. Clinton is Safeway; Obama is Whole Foods. High school grads want value for money and like Clinton. College grads want to enjoy the experience and go for Obama. While clearly not the whole story, it is indisputably true that Clinton has done much better among voters with lower incomes and education whereas Obama's core voters are better off and have college degrees (with the addition of black and younger high school grads). In fact a lot has been made about the reluctance of college-educated, high-powered, successful women to flock to Clinton, who after all, is a college-educated, high-powered, successful woman. Gerard Baker of the London Times has a similar column.

The press is finally starting to see the potential trainwreck for the Democrats in August. See, for example, this story in the L.A. Times and this one in the Washington Post. As loyal readers know, this is a topic we have touched on repeatedly in the past month. If Clinton does well in the coming weeks (and this week looks quite bad for her), there will be a lot of pressure on Obama to accept the Veep slot and then run in 2016. If Obama does well in the coming weeks, it is hard to imagine Obama offering the Veep slot or Clinton taking it if offered. His best scenario is to deliver a knockout blow in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

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

CNN is keeping track of the delegates for the Democrats and for the Republicans. Note that other sources may differ because CNN is trying to count the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) and other unpledged delegates. When different reporters call a PLEO and hear "Well, I like Hillary, but Barack has his charms too" they may score it differently. Here is CNN's count:


Clinton 1033 Obama 937 Edwards 26   Needed: 2025
McCain 714 Romney 299 Huckabee 211 Paul 16 Needed: 1191

-- The Votemaster
WWW www.electoral-vote.com