News from the Votemaster
Did you know that Roosevelt once said: "If there is simply a caving on this, we'll end up with primaries on Halloween"? Well it wasn't Teddy and it wasn't even FDR. It was the latter's grandson, James Roosevelt, Jr., who is now co-chair of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws committee. He is dead set against seating the Michigan and Florida delegations unless those states hold new elections, something Florida's Democratic Party has ruled out and something which seems increasingly unlikely in Michigan. His point is fairly simple: If we allow Florida and Michigan to violate the rules and get away with it, what's to stop some other state from holding its primary in October of 2011 next time? It's anyone's guess what will happen now. It is not too late to organize June caucuses in both states, but that has to happen very fast. The only other plausible alternative is to seat full delegations from both states but let Hillary Clinton pick half the members and Barack Obama the other half.
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), the only Latino governor in the country, has endorsed Barack Obama for President. As governor, he is also a PLEO and can vote at the DNC. This change of mind is particular hard on Hillary Clinton because Richardson has always been close to the Clintons (he was Sec'y of Energy and Ambassador to the United Nations in Bill's administration). Also Hillary Clinton has done done well in the primaries among Latino voters. Having the only Latino governor endorse her opponent has to be painful. Richardson can forget about being Clinton's Veep, but this move does open the way for a potential Obama/Richardson ticket. Richardson could bring a huge amount of experience in many areas, domestic and foreign to the ticket, as well as a swing state and much help in the Latino community. His main downside: He is a fluent, but boring, campaigner in two languages.
There are two Democratic Latino senators: Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ken Salazar (D-CO). Menendez has endorsed Clinton. Salazar has not endorsed anyone yet. No doubt Salazar's phone is going to be ringing off the hook today as both camps try to make it two out of three. If you are an endorsement fetishist, see Roll Call's list of endorsements. However, bear in mind that few voters make their decision based on endorsements.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chairman of the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) is sitting on a pot of over $30 million he can spend on House races. His counterpart at the NRCC (National Republican Campaign Committee), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), has about $3 million. Van Hollen it not at all shy about announcing how he intends to spend the money. He has targeted 90 races he is going to pour money into. Some of these are districts with a Democratic freshman (freshperson?) who may need help hanging onto the seat won in 2006, but most of the target races are Republican seats he wants to capture. Here is the list of races that Van Hollen is aiming at. Some of these, like ID-01, seem very unlikely, but if he can pour money in and Cole can't, he could at least make life nasty for the incumbent, and who knows what might happen? In 2006, the Democrats won many highly Republican districts that nobody thought they had a chance to win. And in Presidential election years, a strong candidate at the top of the ticket can have coattails that help downticket.
Here are today's new polls.
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.
Needed to win: Democrats 2025, Republicans 1191.
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster