Saturday, February 09, 2008

It's all about the O...Obama

Barack Obama swept today's Democratic primaries winning in WA, LA, and Nebraska. Although this was expected it's another boost to Obama's campaign train, and the size of the victories was great enough that he's got powerful bragging rights tomorrow.

Although Clinton is still expected to take Pennsyvania and Ohio, huge states with large numbers of delegates, it's looking more and more like the election could hinge on the superdelegates.

Huckabee wins again

As everybody discusses the inevitability of a McCain win on the Republican Primaries Mike Huckabee just keeps on ticking, today winning the Kansas primary handily. With a few more wins like this in areas clearly out of the Southland, Huckabee is likely to land his ticket to the Vice Presidency.

Clinton Obama vs McCain Huckabee would provide Americans with intriguing choices as McCain and Clinton are both moderates in their parties where Huckabee and Obama are right and left wing respectively. I think in this case the VP debates would be very fun to watch.

Delegate Count before today's Feb 9 primaries: Clinton by a nose but only because of superdeletgates is counting the Democrat delegates and boy are they close. Clinton holds a very slight lead *if you include the superdelegates*, Obama leads with popular vote delegates. I'm sure Howard Dean and other party leaders are dreading the possibility that superdelegates could make the difference in the winner, throwing the party

On Tim Russert David Brooks suggested that Clinton has the edge because the remaining states have lower education levels and he suggests that slightly favors Clinton, and also that Superdelegates may make the difference.

A paper obtained from the Obama Campaign by Russert had these totals *before* the superdelegates come into play:

Obama: 1806
Clinton: 1789

Wow, that's CLOSE!

Race and Voting

John McCain has all but locked up the Republican nomination but the democrats appear to have months to go before the decision is made.

I'm really surprised by the Obama surge but I think on the Dem side you now have legions of very enthusiastic new voters pitted against the old Democratic guard who tend to want Clinton. There are also specific demographic factors that have become very important, and contrary to much mainstream foolishness on race issues it appears that: There does appear to be racism, but it's not coming from mainstream white America. Exit polling data indicates that Latino voters may be voting for Clinton in some part because of race, though it's hard to tease out that factor in most polls.

We also see that African Americans are voting in huge percentages for Obama. Is this race based voting? It's hard to argue it is not when you have, say 80%+ when the candidates have effectively identical policies with respect to issues that surround race.

We probably won't know until after the primaries are over and somebody takes a good look at exit polling questions about race, but I'd guess that even though there is some race based voting it won't be the key factor in this race, partly because the two groups that appear to be most sensitive to race issues - Latinos and African Americans - each represent about the same percentage of the population and appear to have different ideas about who to support.