News from the Votemaster
Today Kentucky votes and Oregon's mail-in balloting finishes. CQ Politics has a detailed prediction of today's primaries, CD by CD. It is expected that Hillary Clinton will win Kentucky in a landslide as the demographics of the state are similar to those of West Virginia, which she won in a landslide last week. Barack Obama is expected to win Oregon big time as its demographics are similar to other states he has won.
Several endorsements were announced yesterday. For one, Warren Buffet, the richest person in the world, has endorsed Barack Obama. Buffet has en estimated wealth of $62 billion. If he decided to spend one-tenth of 1% of his money on ads for Obama, he would't even notice it, but it would amount to $62 million. Buffet is a frugal guy but on the other hand, that kind of money is something Obama might remember if elected President.
Hillary Clinton also got a big boost. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving U.S. senator in history and former industrial-strength racist and Ku Klux Klan member and now civil rights champion who generally gets 100% approval ratings from the NAACP endorsed Barack Obama. How does this help Clinton? Byrd's state, West Virginia overwhelmingly voted for Clinton. Byrd just ignored his consitutents and voted for the person he personsonally thought would make the best President. This is exactly what Clinton has been saying for months to the supers: ignore the voters and do what you think is best. Now she can add "like Sen. Byrd."
There is another interesting race in Oregon today: the Democratic senatorial primary. It pits state House speaker Jeff Merkley against insurgent activist Steve Novick. The race is closer than expected. For more, see TPM.
The NY Times is reporting that Rep. Vito Fossella, he of the two families, will not run for reelection to the House, creating an open seat in a D+0 district in New York City. DSCC chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is probably licking his chops and NRCC chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) is probably crying in his beer. After losing three straight special elections in heavily Republican districts, the Republicans are not looking forward to an open seat in liberal New York, which is also the nation's most expensive media market.
No new primary polls today but we have a general election poll for Maine. Both Democrats beat John McCain by 13%.
We have dropped the Washington Post in the list below since it has stopped counting the delegates on its own and is just using the AP totals. Every news source now puts Obama over 1900 delegates. He is likely to pick up about 50 today, bringing his total to around 1950, only 76 short of what he needs to be nominated.
With numbers like this, why doesn't Clinton quit the race? Richard Cohen has a good column about this. The world is full of statues to leaders who fought against tremendous odds and lost but are remembered for their dedication to their cause. There are no statues to gracious losers. If Robert E. Lee had surrendered two years earlier to save the lives of more Confederate soldiers, would have been be as revered in the South as he is now? People like fighters who don't give up. Sometime in June Clinton will drop out, endorse Obama, and probably even campaign for him. But if he loses, in 2012 she will be remembered not as the ex-President's wife, but as a candidate who fights to the bitter end and never surrenders until it is really over.
Needed to win: 2026
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster