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News: Updated Feb. 25

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News from the Votemaster

Oops. Didn't quite make the Texas roundup as promised. Tomorrow or Wednesday. Sorry.

Ralph Nader is running for President again. Even if he loses, he might eventually get the Harold Stassen Award for the most number of pointless runs for the Presidency after you have already become a national laughingstock. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, Nader might actually get a few votes. If Barack Obama is the nominee, it seems unlikely that he will even hit 1%. Few Democrats over 25 have forgotten that if Al Gore had gotten 1% of the 92,000 votes Nader got in Florida in 2000, he would have become President. Democrats under 25 seem obsessed by Obama. Republicans want no part of Nader.

Another factor this time is age. Nader is 2 years older than John McCain. Here's an SAT math question: Ralph Nader is older than John McCain. McCain says he is older than dirt. What is Ralph Nader's relationship with dirt?

Homework for the Legal Beagles

Back to reality. If Hillary Clinton wins the primary and election, we will have a constitutional crisis because she is not eligible to be President. Problem? She's a woman. Article II, Section 1 of the constitution starts:

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows: ..."

Notice the word "He." Nothing about "He or she." But what about the 19th amendmnent, you ask? It reads in full:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Not a word about holding public office. Just voting. Thus the "He" in Article II, Section 1 is still operative. It hasn't been overridden. But Hillary could pull a fast one. She could choose Bill as her running mate, then resign immediately after being inaugurated. Wouldn't this run afoul of the the 22nd amendment? Nope. It starts out like this:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

So Bill can't be elected again, but nothing stops him from succeeding to the office in the event of the President's resignation, impeachment, incapacitation, or death. Some people might not like that, so they can vote for McCain to avoid these nasty constitutional issues. Well not exactly. McCain wasn't born in the United States. He's a Zonian.

What about Obama? He was born in Hawaii. When did it become a state, now? Ah. 1959. When was Obama born? 1961. So it was part of the United States when he was born, but not by much. It would have been kind of messy to have three candidates for President, none of whom was actually eligible for the job. SCOTUS would have had to work overtime to pick a President. Chances are Justice Scalia would have asked: "What was the original intent of the founders (Scalia is an Originalist). The intent was clearly that the President should be a propertied white male. Slaves counted for 3/5 of a person (Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 3) and while women counted for purposes of apportioning seats in the House, they couldn't vote or hold office.

The problem with things written in the 18th century is that stuff changes. Suppose that in 200 years robots are much smarter than people (probably not that hard, actually). Could a robot be elected President? Not what James Madison and friends had in mind, though.

Thanks to The Daily Irrelevant for the tip.


In case you missed it, the movie "No Country for Old Men" won the Oscar for Best Picture. Just what McCain needs. The Democrats now have a theme.

The only new poll today is the other half of Rasmussen's poll of Ohio. On the Republican side, McCain is leading Huckabee 57% to 30%, with Paul trailing at 4%

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

Here are the delegate totals from various news sources. They 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. Also, some sources try to count the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) and unpledged delegates, who also get to vote at the convention. When different reporters call a PLEO and hear "Well, I like Hillary, but Barack has his charms too" they may score it differently.


Source Clinton Obama BHO-HRC Edwards McCain Romney Huckabee Paul
Washington Post 1266 1362 +96   998   254  
NY Times 1112 1117 +5 12 827 142 205 5
AP 1262 1351 +89 26 957 256 254 14
CNN 1250 1319 +69 26 918 286 217 16
ABC 1272 1369 +97 35 944 273 247 14
CBS 1265 1365 +100 26 859 166 205 10
MSNBC 1262 1323 +61   822 282 243 14

Needed to win: Democrats 2025, Republicans 1191.

Here is another source for delegate totals.

-- The Votemaster
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