News from the Votemaster
The Huffington Post has a list of the 210 uncommitted supers. Arianna Huffington is urging Democrats to pressure the superdelegates to get off the fence and come out for one candidate or the other. If every super commits by June 3, then on June 4, after the last two states have voted, everyone will know who the nominee is.
The Democratic nominee will give his or her acceptance speech on Aug. 28 in Denver. If the nominee is Barack Obama, the speech is likely to be heavy on references to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech delivered 45 years earlier to the day. But the day after, Aug. 29, will be even more interesting. On that day John McCain will be 72 years old, an event he is unlikely to celebrate by blowing out 72 candles on national TV. Age is going to be a big issue in the election (especially against the 46-year-old Obama) and McCain has to start thinking about how to minimize attention to it. If he is lucky, all the attention will be on the Democratic nominee and his birthday will slip by unnoticed--unless the Democrat's acceptance speech emphasizes youth, and change, and looking forward instead of looking backward--a virtual certainty in an Obama speech. In fact, both Democrats are likely to wish McCain a happy birthday since it is a polite way of focusing attention on his age. Politico has a story about the role McCain's age is likely to play in the election.
Ted Kennedy's brain tumor brings up some unpleasant scenarios. If the President dies, the procedure is clear: the Veep is sworn in and we go forward. But what if the President gets a brain tumor and has to undergo debilitating treatment but still thinks he is able to govern and the Vice-President disagrees? The 25th amendment to the constitution makes Congress the ultimate arbiter, but it takes a 2/3 vote of each chamber to do so. One can imagine the partisan squabbling in Congress over an attempt to invoke this amendment.
While many pundits are already writing Hillary Clinton's political obituary (which is like declaring the game over if the home team is 5 runs behind at the bottom of the 9th inning), Chuck Todd has gone further and written how the Republican party will implode if John McCain loses the general election. In short, right-wing Christians will point out that McCain ignored them, didn't win any major primaries with their help, and was really lucky that the evangelical vote was split among Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee, thus allowing the only unacceptable candidate to get the nomination. Moral: an evangelical-friendly candidate in 2012 or the GOP will go the way of the Whigs.
Just to cover himself, Todd also described the implosion of the Democrats if Barack Obama is the nominee and loses. To start with, the critics will say Obama did the impossible: lose in a year when every factor (economy, incumbent fatigue, fundraising, war in Iraq, etc.) favored the Democrats. The Clinton supporters will say that Hillary was an experienced centrist in the FDR tradition, and that Obama should have waited his turn. He did a good job of getting a few thousand young people to show up in caucuses in places like Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, where Democrats have no chance anyway, and he had the good luck that Michigan and Florida, two states where Clinton could have won massive victories, didn't count because they broke the rules and voted a couple of weeks early. Moral: everybody else should stay out of the race 2012 and let Clinton be coronated. It won't be pretty.
On the other hand, for the winner, the critics will be silenced quickly with: "I won, didn't I? How do we know we would have won if we had done it your way?"
No new primary polls, but we do have some general-election polls as follows.
Needed to win: 2026
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster