News from the Votemaster
The Libertarian Pary is holding its convention this weeked in Denver. Former Republican representative Bob Barr of Georgia is the leading candidate. His very conservative philosophy could siphon votes away from Republicans who don't like John McCain. He could be the the Ralph Nader of 2008. The original Ralph Nader is running for President again, as he does every four years, but it won't be until 2036 that he breaks Harold Stassen's record.
A week from today, May 31, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws committee will meet to figure out what to do about Florida and Michigan. if either candidate does not like the result, the decision can be appealed to the credentials committee and ultimately to the floor of the convention, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
Hillary Clinton made a remark that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June (to remind people that primaries have gone into June before). Younger voters can look it up. Older voters know the month as well as they know the month of his brother's assassination. It seems legitimate to point out that June primaries are nothing new. But everybody jumped on her and she had to apologize. Clinton is a auditory Rorschach test. When she says something, people hear what they want to hear. The point is valid but she should have chosen her words more carefully.
No primary polls, but we have some general election polls.
Two new Senate polls today. In New Hampshire former governor Jeanne Shaheen is leading incumbent Sen. John Sununu by 50% to 43% according to Rasmussen. This is the seventh poll this year that shows her with a large margin. Sununu is closely tied to President Bush and the war in Iraq, both of which are extremely unpopular in New Hampshire. Unless Sununu can somehow change his image quickly, he's finished.
In Mississippi, a Research 2000 poll puts Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) ahead of his challenger, former governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) by 46% to 42%, within the poll's margin of error. In light of Travis Childers' 8-point win in MS-01 two weeks ago, this seat may suddenly be in play. What's odd here is that the incumbent, Wickers, has never won a statewide race in Mississippi while the challenger, Musgrove, has. Usually it is the other way around. Also to be considered, Mississippi has the larrgest percentage of black voters of any state in the country (36%) and if Obama is the Democratic nominee, the black turnout will break all records. If 90% of the blacks vote for Democrat Musgrove (and there is no reason to doubt they will if Obama campaigns for him), Musgrove needs only 28% of the white vote to win the election. That's not impossible. Like Travis Childers, Musgrove is quite conservative and has a track record to prove it. As governor, he signed a bill forbidding gay couples from adopting children, and condemned the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building as a "tragedy." He also signed legislation to require the motto "In God We Trust." to be displayed in every Mississippi classroom. On economic issues, he is a typical Southern populist Democrat. But his credibility on the hot-button issues of God, guns, and gays will be very hard to undermine. Musgrove is probably better known in the state than Wickers. Throw in DSCC chairman Chuck Schumer's fat bank account and the fact that this is going to be a Democratic year generally, and suddenly this is a going to be a top-tier race.
The two congressional committees, the DCCC and the NRCC get a lot of play here as they are far more important than most people realize. There is a long story in the National Journal about them. Worth reading if you care about the House is won or lost.
Barack Obama picked up a couple more supers yesterday. At this point all the major news organizations put his lead in the 180-200 delegate range and growing slowly. The only primaries left now are Puerto Rico (June 1, 55 pledged delegates), Montana (June 3, 16 pledged delgates), and South Dakota (June 3, 15 pledged delegates). The only poll in Puerto Rico so far showed Clinton ahead 55% to 40%, which would net her about 6 delegates. Obama is likely to win a delegate or two in Montana and South Dakota.
Needed to win: 2026
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster