News from the Votemaster
Be careful what you wish for. You might get it. Here is an example where that was problematical. A voter went to the Texas caucuses and voted for Obama, but Obama didn't make the threshold in that precinct. Unfortunately, the Clinton voters didn't have enough warm bodies willing to go to the regional caucuses (at their own expense), so the Obama voter (who wanted to go to the regional caucuses) agreed to go and vote for Clinton. Then Team Clinton kept calling him to inform him that he was not legally bound to vote for the candidate he said he would vote for. He could vote for the person he thought was best for the job. He thanked them for the new information.
Those regional caucuses took place yesterday. While the final tally is not in yet, the AP reports that Obama is leading 59% to 41%, with 50% of the vote counted. The Houston Chronicle also has the story. The regional caucuses will elect 7300 delegates to the state convention in June, which will ultimately choose who goes to the DNC in Denver. This complicated process is grass roots democracy in action--a Texas-sized New England town meeting if you will.
Yesterday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called for Hillary Clinton to quit the race to unify the party. Clinton responded by saying she was going all the way to the convention. However, other voices are saying that if she fails to win the Indiana primary on May 6, she's sunk. If she wins that, she can probably keep fighting. Howard Dean has said he wants this thing over by July 1. In theory, there is no reason for the PLEOs and superdelegates to wait much past June 3. By then every primary and caucus will have been completed and everyone will know what the voters want. No new information will be forthcoming in the rest of June, July, and August.
Another idea that has been launched now is that if Clinton loses the Democratic nomination, she run for governor of NY. The current governor, a legally blind black politician, David Paterson, who has admitted to drug use and extramarital affairs, is hardly a strong contender, especially in NY mayor Mike Bloomberg tries for the job. Clinton-Bloomberg would be a titanic battle, but if Clinton could win that one, she would be much better positioned for 2012 or 2016.
As pointed out here Friday, the housing crisis is an issue that really provides a bright line between the parties. The Democrats want to bail out the greedy little guys who bought homes they couldn't afford. The Republicans want to bail out the greedy banks who loaned money to people who had no chance of ever repaying it. The NY Times has a story today giving discussing the bind Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) is in. His constituents want him to support a bailout for them; the nominee of his party does not. What to do?
No new primary polls today. A Rasmussen general election poll shows McCain beating both Clinton (by 22%) and Obama (by 11%) in Virginia.
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