News from the Votemaster
Tomorrow are the Wisconsin and Hawaii primaries. There is a good chance Barack Obama will win both of them despite this poll from ARG:
The real test will come on March 4 when Texas, Ohio, and Vermont vote. If Hillary Clinton wins these, all of Obama's momentum will be stopped and we will be close to an exact tie again.
If the pledged delegates break evenly between Clinton and Obama, the PLEOs will ultimately decide the nomination. Who are these approximately 796 people, anyway? Here is the current list. Here it is in another format. It contains all Democratic governors, all Democratic members of the Senate and House, all members of the Democratic National Committee (which runs the Democratic Party), and a substantial number of other high ranking party officials. Former Presidents, Vice Presidents, DNC chairs, and other people who held high rank in the party in the past are also PLEOs. (As an aside, neither Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) nor Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are PLEOs-- because neither is actually a Democrat although they caucus with them in the Senate.) The number 796 is not fixed since there will be several special elections for open House seats this year and the status of Michigan and Florida PLEOs is unclear. And what happens if a delegate moves into or out of one of these states or dies?
Many PLEOs have ties to Bill Clinton's administration and thus are favorably disposed to his wife, especially after Bill calls and turns on the charm. He might also gently remind them how he campaigned for them and raised money for them. On the other hand, many of them (including all members of the House) are running for reelection in 2008 and want someone on the top of the ticket who can help them. The House members from the red states are all keenly aware that Obama has won most of the red states (see map above) and would sell well in their state. These people are no doubt very torn at this moment and it will only get worse if the pledged delegates remain evenly split.
Politico reports on a meeting of big-time Republican donors in which the attack plan against an Obama candidacy is outlined. In six words the message is: "Too young, too inexperienced, too liberal."
It is interesting (?) that when some random reporter, David Shuster, says something tasteless and degrading about Chelsea Clinton ("Doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?) that it becomes a federal case. Yet when John McCain made an even more tasteless and degrading joke about her in 1998 ("Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno") at a Republican dinner, it wasn't much reported by the media. Type "Chelsea Clinton John McCain joke" to Google and you will find over 100,000 hits in the blogosphere but few in the corporate media. And it is surprising (?) that this incident has not been dredged up again. But the reality is that the media love John McCain. If Barack Obama is his opponent, it will be kumbaya all the way to November since they also love Obama.
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.
Needed to win: Democrats 2025, Republicans 1191.
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster