News from the Votemaster
The Democrats are still struggling to find a way to seat delegations from Michigan and Florida the NY Times reports. The current plan for Michigan is a primary in June paid for by private sources, but who these sources are is not clear. Also, although Hillary Clinton can live with this plan, Barack Obama prefers a caucus, so the last word has yet to be said. In Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson, a Clinton supporter, now proposes seating the Florida delegation chosen Jan. 29 but giving each delegate half a vote, which reduces Clinton's lead there from 38 to 19. It is unlikely Obama will accept this proposal though. Negotiations are continuing nonstop.
But turmoil is not confined to the Democrats. The Alaska Republican party is in an advanced state of meltdown. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has the FBI nipping at his heels and has a first-rate challenger in the form of Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (who has the full blessing of DSCC chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mr. Moneybags). Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who has served in Congress since 1973, now has a primary challenger--Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell--who is supported by Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R). A bloody primary pitting a sitting lieutenant governor against a 18-term congressman is never good for a party's prospects. The Democrats have a candidate for the House seat already, Ethan Berkowitz, the former Alaska House minority leader. CQ Politics has the Alaska story.
In the better-late-than-never department, Andre Carson (D) was elected to the House of Representatives this week to fill the vacancy created when the former occupant, Julia Carson--his grandmother--died in December. Carson is the second Muslim in history to be elected to Congress. The first was freshman Keith Ellison in MN-05.
A reader raised an interesting question: How come everyone demanded Eliot Spitzer's head for visiting prostitutes but nobody is demanding Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) for doing exactly the same thing? It is especially surprising that the Republicans are not trying to force him out now that the governor of Louisiana is a Republican (Bobby Jindal) who would replace him with another Republican.
There is one new poll today.
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. Also, all 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