News from the Votemaster
The good news is pouring in for Barack Obama. As noted here yesterday, he has been picking up superdelegates almost daily since after the Texas and Ohio elections. Bloomberg.com now claims that among governors and members of Congress, all of whom are superdelegates, Obama has pulled even with Hillary Clinton in terms of endorsements. What is noteworthy is that a lot of support is coming from Democratic politicians in "red states" such as Wyoming's governor Dave Freudenthal (D) who announced for Obama yesterday. These elected politicans clearly have the feeling that having Obama on the top of the ticket will draw younger voters into the process and help Democrats downticket in their states. These are experienced, pragmatic people who do care who is President, of course, but care much more about how the nominee will affect local races for Congress, governor, and their state legislature.
Another piece of good news for Obama is on the money front. Obama has announced that in March he raised a mind-boggling $40 million. While less than the $55 million he raised in February, it is expected to be double what Hillary Clinton raised in March. Obama has raised $240 million total so far. Clinton has raised $175 million, which in any other year would be astounding. By way of comparison, John McCain has raised about $65 million total so far. Never before have we had a race in which the leading Democrats have raised something like three times as much as the leading Republican.
Also significant is how the candidates are raising the money. Obama is getting most of it from small donors on the Internet, which requires little work on his part. Clinton and McCain are raising it the traditional way (speaking at $1000 a plate dinners), which takes up more of their time.
Finally, new polling data from Pennsylvania suggests he is closing the gap there. She was leadling him by double digits several weeks ago. She still leads, but now by single digits. She needs a big win here to regain lost momentum. That will be increasingly hard for her to do since with his money advantage he is running TV ads like crazy and opening offices with paid staff all over the state (as well as in North Carolina and Indiana).
A historically minded reader has suggested that the Democrats end their fratricidal battle by taking a cue from what the Whigs did in the 1836 election when they couldn't decide between the Northern candidate and the Southern candidate: they ran both. The Democrats could do this, too: put Obama on the ballot in the Western states in which he did well and put Clinton on the ballot in the big Democratic states like Ohio where she won solid victories. Of course, if successful, this strategy would split the electoral votes three ways and nobody would get a majority. Then the newly elected House would choose the President, with each state getting one vote. The Democrats will almost assuredly control the new House. Of course, the battle between Obama and Clinton would then be reignited in the House Democratic caucus so the Democratic members of the House would end up choosing the nominee. But that is going to happen now anyway. However, by doing it that way, the House Democrats would be sure their choice would become President, without having to bother beating a pesky and popular Republican. Of course, the party would need enough discipline to make sure every member of the House voted for the winner of the House caucus vote and normally herding Democrats is like herding cats. The one downside to this strategy is that it didn't work for the Whigs in 1836; Martin van Buren, Andrew Jackson's Vice President, won a majority of the electoral vote outright.
An incredible 81% of the population thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction. This is an ominous sign for the Republicans and may be a hint to John McCain to put on his maverick hat and start telling everyone what he dislikes most about George Bush.
Here are the new primary polls.
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