News from the Votemaster
Barr's impact is yet to be determined, of course, He is strongly conservative in the Barry Goldwater mold rather than in the Bush-Cheney mold. But he is not your standard libertarian. He opposes abortion, whereas most libertarians say it is none of the government's business if you want an abortion. He also opposes same-sex marriage, but opposes a constitutional amendment forbidding it on the grounds this is something for the states to decide. He also opposes the federal income tax and wants to abolish the IRS.
In addition, he is a strong opponent of the war in Iraq. It isn't so much that he feels each state should fight its own wars as his general opposition to foreign involvements. In short, for Republicans who dislike McCain for any reason (e.g., the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill) and who would never vote for a Democrat, Barr provides a satisfactory ideological outlet. He might well drain enough votes from McCain to flip a few states. One state that has been mentioned in this context is Georgia, where he is well known. The combination of Barr bleeding votes from McCain and a massive turnout of black voters for Obama (if he is the nominee), might put the state in play. No doubt McCain will try to swat Barr down as hard and as fast as he can, but since their main point of difference is Iraq, McCain is going to find himself under attack on Iraq from the right, something he probably wasn't expecting. Saying that Obama is buddy-buddy with Nancy Pelosi is one thing; saying that Barr is, too, is something pretty hard to swallow. Nader is in the mix, too, as usual, but Barr will probably get a lot more attention, if for no other reason than the fact that he is the new kid on the block.
The next primary is in Puerto Rico on June 1. Puerto Ricans are American citizens but they cannot vote in federal elections. However, the Democratic party long ago decided to give Puerto Ricans a say in choosing its nominee. Since the Puerto Rican primary comes so late in the season, in most years there is only one candidate left and all the votes go to that candidate. This situation has led to a rumor that Puerto Rico's primary is winner take all, but it is proportional, as all the others are and as prescribed by DNC rules. Here is the Puerto Rico delegate selection plan.
Puerto Rico is allocated 63 delegates as follows:- District-level delegates: 36
- Pledged PLEOS: 7
- Pledged at-large delegates: 12
- Superdelegates: 8
Thus 55 delegate slots will be allocated Sunday. The actual delegates will be chosen at the territorial convention on June 21. The delegates will be chosen by senatorial district, the same as Texas. Here is a map of Puerto Rico (without the districts, unfortunately).
Puerto Rico has eight senatorial districts. The number of delegates per SD is determined by the population of the district. The last two columns of the table below assume Hillary Clinton will get 60% of the vote in each district. This is just as guess, but the only published poll so far shows her getting 55% to Barack Obama's 40%. But she might well surpass 55% since she has been popular with Latinos all year and many Puerto Ricans have relatives in New York City, where she is popular.
Thus with 60% of the vote, Clinton nets 4 district-level delegates. She also gets seven at-large delegates and four PLEOs for a total of 31 pledged delegates. With 40% of the vote, Obama gets five at large delegates and three PLEOs, for a total of 24 delegates. Thus a strong showing in Puerto Rico will net Clinton seven delegates. She is likely to lose three or four in Montana and South Dakota, though.
No primary polls today, just a general election poll for Montana.
Needed to win: 2026
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster