News from the Votemaster
Today is a WH day (no, not White House--Wisconsin and Hawaii) as they vote today. The polling in Wisconsin as well as previous electiions in neighboring Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois suggest that Barack Obama will win this state. Here are the Wisconsin polls for 2008.
Something is fishy with ARG. Two days ago they had Clinton ahead by 6%; today Obama is ahead by 10%. Both polls are still on their Website but such a switch in voter sentiment is impossible. It was probably a transposition error in data entry last time. This one is plausible.
Nobody has bothered to poll Hawaii. Maybe it costs too much to call there. More likely, it is (1) Obama's birth state and (2) a Western caucus state. Between the native son effect and the fact that Obama has swept all the Western caucuses, it is a safe bet to assume Obama will win Hawaii big time despite Chelsea Clinton's campaigning there for her mom.
So what happens if Obama wins both Wisconsin and Hawaii? To start with, everyone will be going over the crosstabs on Wisconsin very carefully. How did he do among people making under $50,000? How did he do among seniors? How did he do among women? In Virginia last week, he started to make inroads in these groups, the core of Hillary Clinton's base. If that continues in Wisconsin, she could be in for some rough times ahead. If Virginia was just a fluke, she is in better shape.
Cuba's 81-year dictator, Fidel Castro, tossed in the towel yesterday. The longest reigning leader of any country anywhere has had enough, turning over power to his kid brother, Raul, who at 76 is no spring chicken either. The big question is: How does this affect Florida? Is Cuba policy suddenly going to be in the news? Are any of the candidates prepared to deal with Raul Castro? Obama is already on record saying he would talk to nasty dictators around the world claiming that ignoring them doesn't solve much. How will the other candidates react to this news? No doubt all of them are scratching their heads now and running focus groups in South Florida to figure out what to say.
There are no elections next week. Then on March 4 we have two biggies (Texas and Ohio), the yuppie ice cream state (Vermont), and the smallest state (Rhode Island). Most of the attention has been on Texas and Ohio, naturally, since they have the most delegates. Texas has 228 and Ohio has 161. Texas allocates its delegates using a system that can best be described as bizarre, but has major consequences. We'll look at that in detail when the dust from Wisconsin has settled.
Here are today's polls.
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