News from the Votemaster
The Democrats are now engaged in a dynastic war. Today Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is going to endorse Barack Obama. This is a huge hit to Hillary Clinton. Kennedy, the youngest brother of the late President John F. Kennedy, and with 45 years' seniority the second longest-serving member of the Senate (after Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)), is the de facto keeper of the Kennedy legacy. Obama is trying to run as the new JFK and having the brother of the original support him gives him a tremendous amount of credibility. President Kennedy's only living child, Caroline Kennedy, endorsed Obama on Saturday. With the Kennedy dynasty firmly in his corner, Obama is in a stronger position to fight the Clinton dynasty.
Many older Democrats still revere JFK as the greatest President since FDR. For a lot of them, a high point of his administration occurred in Sept. 1962 when he sent his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney-General of the United States, to the University of Mississippi to allow a black man, James Meredith, to enroll as a student at Ole Miss against the unrelenting and virulent opposition of archsegregationist governor Ross Barnett. Bobby, as he was usually called, was accompanied by 500 armed federal marshalls who eventually forced Barnett to stop blocking the schoolhouse door, but not before two people were killed and hundreds injured in the ensuing riot. The event was a turning point of the civil rights movement and the subject of at least one book. Kennedy did what he thought was right, even though he knew it would cost his party votes (in fact, the entire South, which was then solidly Democratic). Contrast this attitude with the mentality of most current politicians (of both parties) who will say anything to get 50% plus one vote. That in 2008 a young black man has a serious shot at becoming President of the United States has shown how far we have come in 45 years. Only in America.
Turning from history to the present, the battle in Florida's renegade primary tomorrow is going full tilt on the Republican side. This is a make-or-break day for Rudy Giuliani (probably break) and a critical one for Mitt Romney and John McCain. The latest Florida polls show it to be very close, but as usual with primaries, the pollsters are having a huge amount of trouble figuring out who is likely to vote. Combined with the fact that many voters still haven't made up their minds, anything could happen. If McCain wins this, he will be the favorite going into Superduper Tuesday next week; If Romney wins, the race is wide open; if Giuliani wins, pigs will fly.
Pollster.com has a nice article discussing why there is so much variance among the polls this year. Basically (1) many voters don't decide until the very last minute and (2) different pollsters have different screens for determining who is likely to vote.
The RSS feed has been reactivated.
The polling results for all states are available as a Web page and in .csv format.
CNN is keeping track of the delegates for the Democrats and for the Republicans. Note that other sources may differ because CNN is trying to count the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) and other unpledged delegates. When different reporters call a PLEO and hear "Well, I like Hillary, but Barack has his charms too" they may score it differently. Here is CNN's count:
-- The Votemaster