Thursday, February 07, 2008

What to Make of Super-Duper Tuesday and the Road Ahead

It's been about 36 hours since the results are in from the over-hyped, mega-state Super-Duper Tuesday primaries and caucuses. As I suspected, Arizona Sen. John McCain all but locked up the Republican nomination. He now sits with 689 delegates to Mike Huckabee's paltry 156 and Mitt Romney's even thinner 133. Look for Romney to leave the race fairly soon. Sure he's got all the money in world to keep going...but he didn't get mega-rich by making dumb personal financial decisions. As for Huckabee, the affable yet right-wing extremist former Arkansas governor will also soon realize that the rest of the nation's states are not as evangelical-rich as the few Southern states he won this week. Let's not forget that this part of the country, where religious zealots are in abundance, only gave the Baptist minister a mere handful of delegates. Watch McCain on TV now. He's downright giddy. New-found confidence that knows no bounds. And that's because he's now the shark who sees and smells the blood. He knows it's over.

But the Democratic landscape is anything but decided, which is a surprise to me. I had expected a much stronger showing from NY Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, and a dimmer one from her rival Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Kudos to to Obama. He picked up key swing states like Missouri and even somehow managed to pick up states like Idaho. All in all, he captured 13 states to Hill's 8. Granted, she won huge states that really count in a national election--NY, NJ, CA--and she's ahead in the polls of many upcoming key contests in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania for example, but we cannot discount Obama's ability to attract, excite and inspire voters. He's a great campaigner, and is even better at raising funds. He's really giving her a run for the money.

But what Clinton has that Obama doesn't is a very powerful political machine behind her. One that may very well afford her the lion's share of the all-important "super-delegates;" the behind-the-scenes party leaders and officials (governors, senators and other Democratic power-brokers) who comprise 40% of the total delegates needed to win the nomination. This advantage could likely push her over the finish line if things get too close around convention time, when the party could possibly see a brokered convention for the first time since Thomas E. Dewey took the prize in 1952. The NY Times estimates that Clinton's total count of all delegates and super-delegates currently rests at 892 to Obama's 716. That's a 20% margin, and one that would surely grow once others begin to commit to her.

I still believe that Hillary has a better cross-section of Americans behind her, which will be to Obama's detriment going forward. Clinton pulls in the blue-collar, latino, female and white female voters, as well as a healthy percentage of white males. Obama's strength remains among Blacks, white males, the wealthy and educated. To be sure, if I was running, I'd prefer Clinton's constituency over Obama's.

It's just a question of time, but the race will soon boil down to Clinton vs. McCain. And then the real fun begins.


Unknown said...

The news just hit the TV about Romney dropping out. McCain is on his way.
A lot of voters, including myself, have a bad case of Clinton-Bush fatigue. I am sick of hearing about them.
Obama represents a fresh start and his election would send a message to the rest of the world that we can get past our history of slavery and discrimination.

Anonymous said...

We are going to be in big trouble if Obama supporters don't get a grip. Hillary is not your enemy.

Keep your eyes on the prize:
November 2008

Anonymous said...

Clinton/Obama in 2008!

Now that's a winning ticket!

Sidney Condorcet said...

"It's just a question of time, but the race will soon boil down to Clinton vs. McCain."

It surprises me that you offer absolutely no substance to back up this claim, with the exception of a very rough sketch of demographic support. Momentum is everything in politics (as evidenced by Obama's strong showing in Super Tuesday states where he had been down by substantial margins in the weeks). As such, the fact that Obama will likely win SEVEN states (La, Md, Va, Wash, Wisc, Hawaii, Nebraska) to Hillary's ONE state (Maine) over the course of the next month will give rise to a significant bump for Obama in Ohio and Texas. Don't be surprised if he wins Ohio. Don't be surprised if he keeps it real close in Pennsylvania, and wins Indiana and North Carolina.

This is going to the convention, Andy. It's going to be messy, but prepare yourself. And it's best to recall that these superdelegates, who can change their mind at any time, care only about their political futures. Therefore, they will cast their lot with the candidate who has the best shot at winning in November. Given Obama's ability to win among independents and even moderate republicans will give them much to think about...

This is going to be a classic battle. Quit making tendentious assumptions about Hillary the Inevitable.

Sidney Condorcet said...

The superdelegates will also consider these two facts:
1) On Super Tuesday, Obama picked up more than 60% of the total popular vote in seven (7) states, while Clinton did the same in only one (1) state.
2) Ever since Iowa, Obama has done much better in states that Hillary has won than Hillary has done in states Obama won.

Anonymous said...

The fact that in Georgia Obama got the vote of more white men than Hillary did only confirms that which is reflected in the media: Southern men are more prejudiced and fearful of women having power than they fear/hate black men. That's why wives have to be subservient to their Baptist husbands. However, most of the MSNBC media crowd of non-southern men seem to hate or fear women too from the way they continually mock and belittle Hillary. Matthews (who said HIllary looked like a school bus in her yellow outfit) and my former hero Olbermann seem to be the worst misogynists.

Anonymous said...

Andy, you may be right that Clinton eventually wins the nomination, but her supporters, the democratic base, will vote for Obama in a general election. Many of his supporters however, other than the base that's on his side, like blacks that otherwise may not turnout as regularly, and independents, would not vote for her, necessarily. Many independents would go to mccain before they's go through the Clintons again.

Also, mccains camp feels extremely confident about a race against Hillary, yet off the record they concede that they're much more concerned about taking on Obama -- youth vs age, battle for independents, especially those not happy with the war, and what would be a massive black voter turnout.

Obama may indded be a smarter choice to run against mccain.

Finally, to the idiot republican accusing dems of government mandated healthcare: it's called coverage for EVERYONE and not simply those with means. You're nothing but a bitch for the insurance companies and you're too fucking stupid to know it. Gues who first proposed govt healthcare for everyone...any ideas dipshit? Of course not because your a fucking idiot. I'll tell you -- Nixon.

Anonymous said...

Clinton and Edwards have both stated that they want GOVERNMENT MANDATED health insurance for every American.

If you are a young, healthy person who is 'happy' with no health insurance, then YOU CAN'T STAY WITH THAT. A large number of Americans CHOOSE to not have health insurance and you, Edwards, Clinton, and the rest of the liberal Nanny state want to force it on them.

Universal health care is going to create a two class health care system - one for the political elites and one for the rest of us. Walter Reed Hospital will be upon all of us.

Those in favor of universal healthcare are sheep for the politicians that want to use health care and taxation for the control of masses.

You will claim that you want universal healthcare for the poor and for the children, but you are either lying or wrong. Children and the poor already get healthcare under SCHIP and other programs.

The top 1% of ALL INCOME EARNERS pays 40% of ALL TAXES

The top 50% of ALL INCOME EARNERS pays 100% of ALL TAXES

The bottom 50% of ALL INCOME EARNERS pays ZERO TAXES

I imagine that you want to take more money from those who are more successful than yourself to pay for your healthcare.

I encourage you to respond because I've been unsuccessful looking for intelligence on this blog. You might want to try to respond without all the unnecessary cursing. I actually don't mind the cursing, but your "republican caveman" bit seems a little disingenuous when you make yourself sound like a slobbering animal.

Anonymous said...

9:38 How's this for intelligence: Since a Democrat will be elected and since we will have universal healthcare, why don't you preserve your freedom and move to another country? Of course you can't move to another civilized country because they have all had universal healthcare for years. You'll have to move to a Third World Country but that should please you since you seem to have no problem with seeing large numbers of people suffering. Bon voyage.

Anonymous said...

3:01 Hillary started to work as a lawyer right after her graduation. She has never stopped working. Remember, she didn't want to "stay home and bake cookies." So many like you have bashed her for that remark. Where have you been?

Anonymous said...

12:02 am,
Shhhhh.....Hillary doesn't want us to talk about her years working at Walmart as a lawyer. Look at her campaign pages and her biography and then tell me how much content she has up there about those years.

"In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers.

An ABC News analysis of the videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions."

"I'm always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else" - Hillary Clinton June 1990

Anonymous said...

By the way, friends. I appears that I'm not the only one asking questions about Hillary's $5 million loan. Are you prepared to tell Obama to leave the country or accuse him of being sexist ?

Obama suggests Clinton show tax returns
Thu Feb 7, 11:35 PM ET
"NEW ORLEANS - Democrat Barack Obama suggested Thursday that Hillary Rodham Clinton follow his lead and release her and her husband's income tax returns so the public can see where the $5 million she loaned her presidential campaign came from."

Oh, I know - Obama is part of the right wing attack machine.

Anonymous said...

Hillary was appointed to the board of Wal-Mart after she had worked effectively with that company and other civic powers to gain huge benefits for the poor children in Arkansas. This story was reported on the TV networks. Where do you get your news, 12:02? She'll handle the union problem when she's president. And, for those men who haven't noticed, Hillary is married to a man who makes a good deal of money as a speaker and they both are well-versed in investments and economy. And, in America a woman/wife is part-owner of her husband's wealth unless there's a prenup aggreement.
I presume that under the law that applies to the those couples who practice fundamental religion whether the husbands like ir or not.

Anonymous said...

The only way to 'handle' the union problem is to get rid of unions. Unions destroyed the US auto making industry, the teachers union is one of the largest threats to the education of our children.

Those who are under 40 and part of unions need to wake up. Unions are for older generations. If you are young and part of a union today, it basically means that you have no skills to secure a job by yourself.

Anonymous said...

We can tell one among us is no scholar, intellectual or a reliable source for historical facts. If you have any integrity at all or even want to be read without causing a revulsion to your reader, give references and sources to back your claims. Of course should you muster the energy to search, you will not find evidence to support your lies.

If, by chance, you were schooled at home I apologize. YOu could go to night school, now, however.

Anonymous said...

As long as the Republican candidate stays McCain, I really think we will have enough voters who are sick of the militaristic approach to our problems that we will win the general. However, if Senator Obama is the candidate and he continues to say that the Social Security system is broken the older voters who really turn out the vote will be scared from voting for Senator Obama. Whatever his popularity, that is the third rail of politics. AND, Social Security will be fine if the country gets its fiscal house in order JUST LIKE BILL CLINTON'S Whitehouse achieved. Thats when Al Gore promised to leave those funds in a LOCKBOX. Just think what it would be like if the younger folks had been able to invest their Social Security contributions . The market isn't so stable right now. And the future? Senator Obama says its not him to lead America but "us". I hear that as somebody has to be sacrificed to be able to work with the right. I say we must elect more Dems to Congress along with another Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Why let a good fact get in the way of your pro-Clinton hard left slant Andy? I suppose that the Clintons appeal to you because like most far left wingers, they crave the same thing you do - power for its own sake, regardless of what it is used for and, if need, be, to the detriment of the people who helped you get it.

Ask the thousands of workers whose jobs flew outbound on the wings of NAFTA so that the Clintons could trinagulate and keep power regardless of the policy issues at stake for one example.

Super delegates represent only 20% of the total not 40%.

And any super delegate who goes against his constituency runs the risk of losing that constituency. In a 51/49 world, these super delegates are on very thin ice if they flood to one side or another.

Hillary's "nationwide" appeal is extremely superficial. She tends to do well on the coasts and in the concentrated areas where Democrats would run if they put up a cocker spaniel against Abraham Lincoln.

But Obama has demonstrated that he can appeal to states that will be in play - Missouri and CT are simply two of the most recent examples. Democrats will still vote for him because - as I said, their thirst for power qua power dominates all. The real issue is appealing to the indys, the Reagan Dems and the Rockefeller Republicans. Hillary will NEVER do that. PERIOD.

There is a reason why the GOP wants her as their opponent.

And anyone who wants to put Clintons anywhere near the levers of power so they can use it for their selfish interests, pardoning fugitives for money, stealing gifts from the white house, taking money from foreigners and foreign goverenments, granting China MFN status in exchange for dirty contributions so that China can take over our economy via the Walmart loading dock really isn't thinking things through. And if they are, it's even more frightening.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:56---you want Universal Healthcare? Youre saying thats a good thing? You want the GOVERNMENT involved in the health care system?? Wake Up! Government shouldnt be involved in ANYTHING but protecting its citizens. You really should read the Constitution at least ONCE.

Anonymous said...

6:09 Since our (current) government has not done such a good job of protecting us, I guess we could just get rid of government entirely. Since the Republicans love cheating, lying, and breaking laws in general, anarchy would suit them for sure.