The Washington Post is running a series of
on people just above the poverty level, based on a survey of adults between 18 and 64 making less than $27,000
a year. These people make up 25% of all adults (and if they were registered in the some proportion as the
rest of the population, 25% of the electorate). In a word, it's tough living in America in 2008 on $27,000 or less.
Food prices are up, gas prices are up, wages have stagnated, unions have nearly vanished and life is generally
pretty hard for them. Few have health insurance and many postpone visits to the doctor and dentist.
In theory, this group should be a solid block of Democratic voters, but (1) their turnout is much lower than
the population at large, and (2) they tend to be very religious, which the Republicans appeal to.
High oil prices are costing jobs but oddly enough they are also saving jobs.
When oil was cheap, shipping Brazillian iron ore to China to make steel for washing machines shipped to
Long Beach and then trucked to stores in Chicago made sense. A decade ago it cost $3000 to ship a container
from China to the U.S. now it costs $8000 and is slower as ships travel more slowly now to save fuel.
As companies begin to realize that transportation has become a
major cost of production, they may move factories and jobs back to the U.S. Or they may move them to
factories called maquiladoras in Northern Mexico, which impacts illegal immigration.
For voters, globalization, jobs, and the economy are
important issues and they expect politicians to have good answers.
One unresolved issue concerning the Democratic National Convention is whether Hillary Clinton's name
will be placed in nomination and there will be a roll call vote.
Barack Obama would rather be chosen by acclamation.
However, some of Clinton's supporters, the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) voters, want a roll call vote
(and secretly hope enough Obama supporters might change their minds to make Clinton the nominee).
The New York Daily News ran a
saying that Clinton has asked for her name not to be placed in nomination.
First, the story may or may not be true, but even if it is, she may be withdrawing to show her support for
the party nominee or she may be doing this to avoid the embarrassment of having everyone see how many of her
supporters have switched to Obama on their own.
Many people have wondered about how many people are lying to the pollster
this year about whether they would be willing to vote for a black candidate.
The Wall Street Journal published an
on that subject yesterday, in which pollsters discussed the measures they are taking to determine the amount
of racial bias in their interviews.
We have two presidential polls today. In Alaska, John McCain is hanging on despite Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
woes. McCain is ahead 44% to 39%. In Kentucky he has a solid lead and is expected to win the state handily.