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DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES 2008 Click for Republican primaries and caucuses

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News: Updated Mar. 20

Obama Obama won
Clinton Clinton won
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News from the Votemaster

A revote in Florida seems unlikely (but never say never) but they are still battling in Michigan. Hillary Clinton wants one and Barack Obama doesn't seem to. According to a story in the Washngton Post, because he might lose it. There are also legitimate issues about whether Democrats who voted in the Republican primary on Jan. 15 could vote in the new one. Another issue is who pays for the election? The state doesn't have any money. Wealthy Clinton donors might be willing to finance it, however.

If Florida and Michigan ultimately do not revote, the assignment of their delegates is only part of the story. If these primaries are discounted as being invalid, then nationally, Obama holds a popular vote margin over Clinton of 700,000 votes. When the PLEOs finally have to make a choice, if one candidate holds the most pledged delegates, the most state victories, and the largest popular vote, these facts are certainly going to play a role in how they vote. Clinton feels, and rightly so, big victories for her in Michigan and Florida would neutralize Obama on all these fronts. That is why she badly wants revotes and he doesn't. Of course, she can't accuse him of playing hardball because that is a sport she also engages in from time to time herself.

MyDD has a story on a possible third term for DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY). While not unprecedented, it is quite unusual, but Schumer is much beloved by his fellow Democratic senators. It was he who engineered the pickup of six Senate seats in 2006, something nobody thought possible. In 2008, he could easily add four more (Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) and possibly one or more of Oregon, Minnesota, Alaska, and Maine. This would mean he picked up between 10 and 14 seats in two cycles. Needless to say, with that kind of track record, the job is his in 2010 if he wants it.

It looks like another Republican is retiring: Tom Reynolds in NY-26. He escaped the Democratic onslaught in 2006, despite being involved in the Foley pedophile scandal (he knew about Foley and did nothing), but now he is calling it a day. This district, which tilts slightly Republican, will now become a huge battleground. New York state will see many tough House fights in 2008, especially NY-19 (Hall-D), NY-20 (Gillibrand-D), NY-24 (Arcuri-D), NY-25 (open, was Walsh-R), NY-26 (open, was Reynolds-R), and NY-29 (Kuhl-R). All three of the Democrats were elected in 2006 in Republican districts and the GOP wants those seats back.

Continuing yesterday's discussion of top-tier House races, here are the ones west of the Mississippi that currently look most competitive. Again, it is a judgment call on many of these at this moment. For example, AZ-05 (which is PVI R+4) is not in the list whereas AZ-08 (R+1) is. Why? Because in AZ-08, Gabrielle Giffords (D) has a strong challenger in President of the Arizona state Senate Tim Bee (R). In contrast, Nobody of much stature is running against Harry Mitchell in AZ-05, even though his district is more Republican than Giffords'. You can't beat somebody with nobody.

Clicking on a candidate's picture goes to the candidate's campaign site. Clicking on the name goes to the Wikipedia entry--except for Darren White and Tim Bee, who don't have Wikipedia entries. Will someone please create them?

AK-AL      PVI: R+14

Incumbent Challenger Notes
no R

Ethan Berkowitz

Normally an 18-term congressman who wants to be reelected just has to show up. But Don Young is going to have to fight to keep his job because he is the subject of a federal investigation concerning bribes and failure to report gifts. First he has to beat back a primary challenger from Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who is backed by Gov. Sarah Palin (R). If he pulls that off, he then has to defeat Democratic opponent Ethan Berkowitz, former minority leader in the Alaska House. A recent poll puts Berkowitz ahead of Young by 7%.

AZ-01      PVI: R+2

Challenger Challenger Notes
no R

no D

Congressman Rick Renzi has announced that he will retire in 2009. He is under indictment for various crimes and is severely damaged goods. His retirement means there will be a battle royal in this swing district. While Arizona tends to vote Republican in Presidential elections, the Democrats picked up two House seats here in 2006: Gabrielle Giffords in AZ-08 and Harry Mitchell in AZ-05. Expect primary fights in both parties.

AZ-08      PVI: R+1

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Gabrielle Giffords

Tim Bee

Gabrielle Giffords is a first-term congresswoman who won an open seat in 2006 against a Republican so far to the right that much of [arty abandoned him as hopeless. This time she has a much stronger opponent, the President of the Arizona state Senate, Tim Bee. Of course, this time she is the incumbent in what is likely to be another Democratic year. Nevertheless, this will be a closely watched race.

CA-04      PVI: R+11

Challenger Challenger Notes
no R

Charlie Brown

In 2006, Rep. John Doolittle defeated his Democratic opponent, Col. Charlie Brown, a retired Air Force pilot, by 49% to 46%. However, the ongoing FBI investigation of both Doolittle and his wife, both of whom have ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and his landing on the list of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress compiled by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, got to be too much and in January Doolittle announced that he was not running for reelection. Since the district is heavily Republican, a primary fight is likely to develop here for this open seat.

KS-02      PVI: R+7

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Nancy Boyda

no R

This upset by Democrat Nancy Boyda (D) was completely under the radar. Nobody saw it coming in this R+7 district. But the Democratic wave was just too strong for incumbent Jim Ryun. But the Republicans will surely fight hard to get it back in 2008. Former incumbent Jim Ryun has, in fact, already said he wants a rematch. However he will first have to defeat state treasurer Lynn Jenkins in what will probably be a bitter primary fight.

NV-03      PVI: D+1

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Jon Porter

no D

Jon Porter (R) withstood a challenge from Tessa Hafen, winning by about 4000 votes out of 200,000 cast in this relatively evenly split Clark County district (D+1). But the Democrats are likely to go after him seriously again in 2008. Two candidates, former prosecutor Robert Daskas and CPA Andrew Martin and competing for the Democratic nomination to challenge Porter.

NM-01      PVI: D+2

Challenger Challenger Notes
Darren White

no D

In 2006, this was an extraordinarily close race in a swing state. State Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) lost by only 1000 votes to incumbent Heather Wilson. Now Wilson is running for the Senate, so this is an open seat and will be very competitive. Several high-profile Democrats are in a primary fight. The Republican candidate will probably be Bernalillo County sheriff Darren White.

TX-22      PVI: R+15

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Nick Lampson

no R

This is Tom DeLay's district. Nick Lampson won, in part, because in 2006 his opponent had to run a write-in campaign as a result of a court decision that did not allow DeLay to change his residence to Virginia and get off the ballot. This time Lampson will face a serious challenge in this heavily Republican district. In fact, no fewer than 10 people have filed to run in the Republican primary.

TX-23      PVI: R+4

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Ciro Rodriguez

no R

In a surprise upset, Ciro Rodriguez defeated incumbent Henry Bonilla (R) in a runoff election. The district is very heavily Hispanic and unless the Republicans can find a Hispanic who dislikes Robert Frost ("Good fences make good neighbors"), Rodriguez will probably hang on. Two Republicans have filed to run, neither of whom is well known.

WA-08      PVI: D+2

Incumbent Challenger Notes
Dave Reichert

Darcy Burner

Incumbent Dave Reichert (R) beat back a fierce challenge from Microsoft manager Darcy Burner, ultimately winning by 7300 votes out of 250,000 cast. The district, in the eastern Seattle suburbs, leans slightly Democratic (D+2), but that wasn't quite enough to overcome the power of incumbency. Burner is challenging Reichert again and has been outraising him this time.

No new polls today.

The polling results for all states are available as a Web page and in .csv format.

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 so there is some guesswork involved. Furthermore, some of the unpledged delegates are elected at state conventions in May or June. Finally, the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) sometimes waver and may tell different reporters slightly different stories that they interpret differently.


Source Clinton Obama BHO-HRC Edwards McCain Romney Huckabee Paul
Washington Post 1499 1619 +120   1334   278  
NY Times 1472 1620 +148 12 1152 142 225 5
AP 1498 1617 +119 26 1334 257 278 14
CNN 1479 1621 +142 26 1325 255 267 16
ABC 1486 1614 +128 32 1267 273 272 14
CBS 1484 1615 +131 26 1241 149 231 10
MSNBC 1506 1625 +119 26 1266 293 262 14

Needed to win: Democrats 2025, Republicans 1191.

Here is another source for delegate totals.

-- The Votemaster