News from the Votemaster
Well, today's the big day Pennsylvanians (and everyone else) has been waiting 6 long weeks for: the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Here are the latest polls.
If the polls are to believed, Hillary Clinton is headed for a solid victory today, probably on the order of 10%, but a lot depends on turnout and how the undecideds break. In the past they have tended to go for Clinton. However, as we pointed out here April 15, a Clinton win by 10% might net her something like 3 pledged delegates and perhaps 15-20 total delegates. So the thing to watch tomorrow is not the percentage of the vote, but how many delegates each candidate gets.
Clinton's hope for Pennsylvania is that lots of older, downscale, blue-collar workers turn out. Many of these people experienced better times during the first Clinton administration and are probably hoping that Clinton 44 will be like Clinton 42 (to borrow a Bush analogy). In fact, some of the unreconstructed men may be expecting that if the Clintons return to the White House, Bill will run the country again and Hillary will be a figurehead, like the Queen of England. They are likely to be sorely disappointed, although her policies are not that radically different from his.
Obama's hope for Pennsylvania is the Missouri model, where he won 5 of Missouri's 114 counties and lost all the rest--but he won the counties with most of the people. In Pennsylvania he needs a huge turnout in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas to compensate for his certain loss in the middle of the state. James Carville once said Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama sandwiched in between. There is a lot of truth in that actually, as the center of the state is rural and conservative.
Dan Balz has a very good analytical piece about Pennsylvania and beyond.
Barack Obama picked up another 1.5 delegates yesterday when DA (Democrats Abroad), which the Democratic Party treats like a state, announced the results of its Global Convention. Like Texas and some other states, DA had a primary (on Feb. 5) and also a caucus (convention). Democrats abroad voted by Internet on Feb. 5, with votes coming from every continent including a scientist in Antarctica. Obama won the primary 65% to 32% for Hillary Clinton. With the new results, DA will send 13 Obama delegates and 7 Clinton delegates to Denver, each with half a vote. Two superdelegates are still uncommitted. While not an indication of what the world thinks of the U.S. election, Democrats abroad read foreign newspapers and watch foreign TV and are keenly aware how much U.S. prestige has fallen in the past 7 years. Not surprisingly, many want change and voted for Obama.
The fundraising totals for the various committees through March are now in. Here they are:
This pattern has held the entire cycle so far. The RNC has outraised the DNC and hoarded its pennies whereas the DNC has opened offices and spent money in all 50 states. In contrast, the DSCC and DCCC have hugely outraised their GOP counterparts and have far more cash on hand. With John McCain probably opting for public financing and the Democrat probably not doing so, the RNC will be forced to spend its money on McCain's campaign to be able to compete at all. This decision is going to leaving Republican Senate and House candidates on their own. Both Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), chairman of the NRSC and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), chairman of the NRCC, have been trying hard to find rich businessmen who can fund their own races in order to challenge incumbent Democrats. On the Democratic side, personal wealth has not been a factor, with DSCC chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer recruiting people like Anchorage mayor Mark Begich to run for the Senate in Alaska. Begich is not rich and has never run a statewide campaign, but Schumer's fat bank account will make up for that.
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