News from the Votemaster
Barack Obama has now passed Hillary Clinton in the number of superdelegates he has 267 to 265. Right after superduper Tuesday, she led by 60; now they are tied. He also leads in endorsements by governors and members of Congress, pledged delegates, popular vote, states won, and cash on hand. There are six states to go (including Puerto Rico). They will probably split three for her (WV, KY, PR) and three for him (OR, MT, SD). It's very hard to see why the rest of the supers would massively choose Clinton at this point. If they split 50-50, he wins. So far 10 supers have switched from Clinton to Obama and none have switched the other way. It is likely that some of the supers are already committed to Obama but don't want to go public because the Clintons have been good to them personally and they don't want to hit her when she is down out of loyalty for their past help. It's important that when the end comes, the loser goes with grace and dignity and much praise from the winner for the tough battle so the loser's supporters are not upset. But somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. Yesterday, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), an Obama supporter, came out against the "dream ticket" with both of them on it.
If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, both parties are going to make age a central issue in the election. Democrats will say McCain is too old; Republicans will say Obama is too young. What do the voters think? The NY Times and CBS conducted a poll in February asking "What is the best age for a President, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s? Here is the result
There are several issue involved. If a President is too young, he may not know how to do the job. In this frame, age means experience and is a plus. On the other hand, if a President is too old, voters may be concerned about health issues as well as being out of touch with the modern world (e-mail? What's that?). On the age issue, Clinton is the strongest (she's 60), Obama is second best (he's 46), and McCain is worst (he's 71). The Republicans are already harping on Obama's lack of experience but yesterday Obama shot back saying McCain "has lost his bearings" (English translation: he's old and nutty). One can envision the ads we're going to see. GOP ad: 40-something talking to a friend: "Boy, I could never be President. It's the toughest job in the world and I don't know enough." Dem ad: Boy to old man: "Grandpa, could you be President?" Grandpa: "No, it's too hard a job for someone my age. I need to take naps all the time."
The Washington Post's Dan Balz has one of the best analyses of Obama's strengths and weaknesses yet published.
Vito Fossella lied to Laura Fay, saying he was separated from his wife. That's going to make him real popular with women voters. He's probably going to lose both his job and his wife. And the Democrats may pick up the one New York City seat they don't currently hold. I wonder if DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen will send him a thank you card?
One state poll today. Hillary Clinton is going to blow Barack Obama out of the water in West Virginia. This may be her biggest win of the whole campaign.
We have a Research 2000 Senate poll today. It looks like state representative Rick Noriega (D) is within 4% of Sen. John Cornyn (R), 44% to 48%. How can this be? What's the matter with Texas? Republicans are supposed to win by 20-point margins there. But the Texas Monthly reports that the data from the March 4 primary show a huge change afoot. For example, in Tarrant County (Fort Worth), the most Republican of the big counties, twice as many Democrats went to the polls as Republicans. Something big may be going on in Texas.
Here are the current delegate totals. The average of the seven news sources puts Obama head of Clinton by 163 delegates today. By way of contrast, on April 21, the day before Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary, the difference was 144. Thus Obama's losses in Pennsylvania and Indiana and his win in North Carolina and announcements by the supers has netted him 19 delegates since April 21.
Needed to win: 2025
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster