News from the Votemaster
The California Supreme Court ruling striking down all laws forbidding same-sex marriage is going to present John McCain with a bit of a a problem. He has been on the record for years opposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. He doesn't support same-sex marriage but says it is up to the states. If California wants to allow it and Alabama does not, that's fine with him. That's the theory. Now the practice. California is about to allow it and California is a bellwether in so many areas that once it is legal there, it will soon be legal in New York, Maryland, Oregon, and most of the blue states. It is already legal in Canada and much of Europe.
What does McCain do now? One of the reasons the Base distrusts him is precisely because he opposes a constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage. If he reiterates his long-standing position that it is up to the states, the Base is going to be reminded of why it doesn't like him. On the other hand, if he flip flops to make the Base happy (1) the Democrats will accuse him of flip flopping and (2) many independents will vote against him. Well-off suburban women in Missouri are by-and-large not into gay bashing and libertarian states in the West like Colorado don't like the federal government trying to regulate morality. It's kind of a no-win situation for him. It will be tough to please the Base and the independents at the same time and flip flopping is always dangerous.
A new Senate poll shows Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D) leading incumbent Sen. Ted Stevens (R) 48% to 43%. In an indirect way, this poll shows the importance of the DCCC, NRCC, DSCC, and NRSC chairmen. Both Stevens and Alaska's at-large congressman, Don Young (R) are embroiled in corruption scandals with the FBI investigating both of them. Young is in so much trouble that Alaska's Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell is challenging Young in the Republican primary, with the explicit blessing of Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin (R). Chances are Parnell will beat Young in the primary and go on to hold the House seat. Nobody is challenging Stevens in a Republican primary and Begich, with the aid of DSCC chairman Chuck Schumer's big fat bank account, may well unseat Stevens. This is where Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), chairman of the NRSC, should have gotten into the act. He should have cajoled Parnell into challenging Stevens instead of challenging Young. Keeping the House seat while losing a Senate seat is not a good tradeoff. Losing Alaska, probably along with Colorado, New Mexicon, Virginia, and New Hampshire begins to move the Democrats closer to the magic 60 number required for cloture. Whether you have 230, 240, or 250 House seats doesn't matter that much. With 218 votes you can change the colors in the American flag. Ensign blew it. In all fairness to Ensign, though, he didn't want the job. Nobody did. He took it as a favor to the party. But having taken it, he should be paying attention and thrown both of them to the dogs to at least save the Senate seat.
Speaking of chairmen, according to Political Wire, Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) says George Bush has become radioactive and House Republicans must distance themselves from him to save their own skin. He is sounding more and more like the new NRCC chairman. All that is needed now os for the current chairman, Tom Cole (R-OK) to resign.
No new primary polls today, but we have three new general-election polls:
The AP, CNN, and ABC News all have Barack Obama above 1900 delegates now. If we use the AP totals, Obama has a lead of 185 delegates with 429 yet unspoken for. On Tueday, Oregon and Kentucky vote and it is widely expected that it will be a wash, Oregon going for Obama and Kentucky going for Clinton. This will take 103 pledged delegates off the table, leaving 326 left. For Clinton to catch up, they would have to split 256 to 71 for Clinton. In other words, she would have to win 78% of them. If the remaining supers were massively for Clinton, we would have heard about it already. Why would they wait until it is over and does not matter any more?
Needed to win: 2026
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster