News from the Votemaster
The big news today is about a man from Illinois. No not THAT man, although he won the Wyoming caucuses easily. Bill Foster (D), a nuclear particle physicist who had never run for public office before defeated Jim Oberweis (R) for the seat of retiring congressman and former House Speaker, Dennis Hastert in IL-14, which has a PVI of R+5 and has sent a Republican to Congress for 11 straight terms. Hastert got 60% of the vote in this suburban Chicago district in 2006 and Bush got 55% in 2004. Foster got 53% of the vote yesterday to Oberweis' 47%. Foster will take office Monday but the two will face off in the general election in November. If Obama is on the national ticket, Oberweis will have virtually no chance. As a sitting congressman, Foster becomes a superdelegate and gets to vote at the DNC. He hasn't announced his choice yet, but the smart money is betting he will support Obama. Even a 1-day politician understands that when a guy helps you get elected, you owe him one.
This is a huge defeat for the GOP in a very high profile race that both parties poured over 1 million dollars into and is a very bad omen for the Republicans in the Fall. If they can't even hold a seat they have held for 20+ years in a strongly Republican district against a newbie who knows nothing about politics, what's going to happen in swing districts with stronger candidates? How are they going to beat the large class of Democratic freshmen under these conditions? To make it worse, many people will see this as a proxy for an Obama-McCain race as the Illinois senator made a TV ad for Foster and Sen. McCain campaigned for Oberweis. At www.intrade.com the bettors think there is only an 8% chance the Republicans will take back the House.
Barack Obama won the Democratic caucus in Wyoming with 61% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 38%. He gets 7 delegates to the DNC and she gets 4.
The NY Times has a Web page full of citizen-reporter-photographer photos of voting in America. Fun to look at and contribute to if your state hasn't voted yet (or in the possible cases of Michigan and Florida, if it votes again).
Here is a new poll for North Carolina.
Here are the delegate totals from various news sources rounded to integers (Democrats Abroad has 22 delegates, each with 1/2 vote). Nobody has factored in Wyoming yet, but it increases Obama's margin by 3 delegates. 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. Also, all 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