News from the Votemaster
Chalk up another one for Barack Obama. With the announcement of the results of the Democrats Abroad primary, Obama has now won 11 primaries and caucuses in a row. Democrats Abroad represents the Democrats among the approximately 7 million Americans living outside the U.S. (a population greater than that of 37 of the 50 states). The Democratic Party considers DA to be a state and allocates 22 delegates each with half a vote to it (so Americans from more countries can go to the convention). For the first time ever, DA held an Internet primary. It ran for a week. Democrats in 164 countries voted by Internet, mail-in ballots, and in person at 30 voting centers around the world. The results were announced yesterday with Obama getting 66% of the vote and Clinton getting 32%. Obama gets 6 half-votes and Clinton gets 3 half votes as a result of the regional proportionality rules. Another five half-vote delegates will be selected at the DA Global Convention in April. There are also 8 half votes for PLEOs. The Internet primary allowed Democrats in far-flung locations to vote, including Democrat Adam Lutchansky, who is stationed at the U.S. scientific base at McMurdo, Antarctica, who voted on his computer.
Democrats abroad can read all the usual U.S. newspapers on the Web and often get CNN and other U.S. TV stations locally, but they also can watch foreign TV and read foreign newspapers, many of which provide better coverage of the U.S. elections than most U.S. newspapers. Also, they frequently hear from citizens of other countries that the U.S. has gone from being a shining light and symbol of democracy to the world's bully. It is thus not surprising that the "change candidate" did well among these voters. Republicans Abroad is not actually part of the Republican Party and does not get any delegates at the Republican convention.
The fundraising numbers are now available at opensecrets.org. Barack Obama actually slightly outraised Hillary Clinton in 2007, something no one thought possible before the campaign started. He also got double the donations she did in January 2008. Before the race started, absolutely no one saw him as a serious candidate, let alone an incredible fundraising powerhouse, with most of his money coming from small donations on the Internet. Here are the numbers.
What also stands out is Ron Paul's ability to raise huge amounts of cash. Only unlike Obama, he has not been able to convert money into votes. Paul is also the most frugal of the candidates. At the end of 2007, he had no debt at all. He pays all his bills on time, probably in gold coins. In contrast, Clinton has $7 million in debt (of which $5 million to herself), Obama had $1 million in debt, McCain had $6 million in debt and Mike Huckabee had only $54,000 in debt.
Here are the www.intrade.com charts for the Clinton-as-nominee and Obama-as-nominee markets for the past 90 days. 10 shares of Obama costs $80. If he gets the nomination, you get $100, otherwise you get zero. Ten shares of Clinton-as-nominee are a bargain, only $19 and you get $100 if she is nominated. If you are convinced she will be the nominee, you can multiply your investment fivefold in 6 months buy buying shares in her. The money you invest does not go to the candidates, of course. It goes to pay off the winners. The market puts the chances of an Obama Presidency at 55%, a McCain Presidency at 34%, and a Clinton Presidency at 13%.
We have four new polls in Texas today. The race there is definitely tightening up. It is unlikely either candidate in the Democratic race will pick up a huge new gain of the 228 delegates at stake there due to the somewhat bizarre Texas delegate allocation procedure (come back Monday for the details on that). For Clinton, Texas is do or die. There might be a lot of Alamo analogies after this one is over. There is a large Latino population in Texas and if they vote in large numbers for her, she is back in the game. If Obama can peel them off, Clinton is in deep trouble. In Ohio, Clinton is holding up better due to the presence of many economically vulnerable older blue collar workers who like her bread-and-butter economics. They don't want "hope" they want protectionist measures to keep jobs in Ohio and she seems more likely to deliver on that, but it is getting closer there, too.
Here are the delegate totals from various news sources. They 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, some 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