Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thoughts on Pennsylvania Day

Now who is going to pull it off in Pennsylvania? Conventional wisdom says that Hillary Clinton will carry Pennsylvania. Obama’s campaign says so. Obama himself says that a 50% plus 1 vote is a win, nodding to the Clinton Campaign that is favored in this election. Obama has distanced himself from “the spread”.

The spread is by how much does Hillary Clinton have to win in order to make it a decisive win? Recall that just short weeks ago Clinton led Obama in the Pennsylvania polls by 20%. Obama’s campaign has poured its bankroll into the Pennsylvania media markets and has blitzed the state for 7 weeks. Conventional wisdom says that should break it toward Barack Obama. Polls reveal that to be true and the lead narrowed to 5% of late. But with a 9 to 10% undecided in the mix.

The pols (as opposed to the polls) say that “undecideds” break for Hillary Clinton, especially if they made their decision over the last 3 days. They have in the past, so there is no reason to assume this is not going to be the case tonight.

Others point to the nearly 300,000 new registered voters. Who will they vote for? Someone had a breakdown today on who they are and I was quickly writing down those figures, only to realize that it’s pretty meaningless. Demographically, it sounded like a dead heat among the newly registered. My impression is that the new voters will have a null effect on this.

7:00 PM:

The polls close. MSNBC says it is “too close to call”. This with 0% of the precincts reporting. Meaning, of course, that their bean counters, using their models and exit polls can’t see a clear trend.

Bad news for Clinton. Without a clear trend at this point, it looks like a close race. If you are “playing the spread” it looks like, at this point, Obama is on top. The talking heads say that without a decisive +8 to +10% win, Clinton is in trouble. Superdelegates will break. Campaign contributions will dry up.

At this point, you can hear a collective “sucking in” at the Clinton Campaign headquarters in Philly, all the way down here in Texas.

7:34 PM:

MSNBC now says it is “too early to call”. Collective sigh of relief at Clintonville. Clinton has a measured advantage in early returns. What does that mean? It means that with the votes in it is now 65% Clinton, 35% Obama. Absentee ballots?

7:50 PM:

Hillary Clinton is the MSNBC projected winner. 1% of districts reporting. Right now it is 60% to 40%. Now, everyone is asking, what is the margin of victory?

7:54 PM:

3% of districts reporting. 53% Clinton, 47% Obama.

That’s a 6% spread.

8:03 PM:

6% of districts reporting. 52% Clinton, 48% Obama.

8:34 PM:

With 20% of districts in, its back to 53% Clinton, 47% Obama. Back to a 6% spread. It has been this way for about 20 or 30 minutes now. Without returns from a heavy Obama area or the converse, it looks like this is how the numbers are settling.

A 6% spread.

Now. Is this enough?

9:50 PM:

78% districts reporting. 54% Clinton, 46% Obama. 6% or 8% it doesn’t matter. It will probably settle at 8%.

10:07 PM:

The numbers remain static. All this does, then, is guarantee another several weeks of strife.

I tell you, this isn’t good for us. Tonight we hear of exit polls where 56% of Hillary Clinton supporters will not support Obama in the general election. A second front, therefore, has opened up on the war for superdelegate votes. Vote for my candidate or I will not vote for the party’s choice in the fall.

Really, I can think of no other argument against a superdelegate casting their support for Clinton. If this candidate so divides the party that they will vote for a Republican over the party’s nominee, then it’s time to tell them all that blackmail will not work here.

If you want to hold the Democratic Party hostage by promising to vote Republican if they don’t knuckle under and support their candidate, then it is time to close ranks. Time to close ranks for the candidate that will deliver Democratic voters no matter what. Not turn Democratic voters toward the Dark Side.

Pennsylvania has done nothing but expose the true colors of Clinton supporters.

And so it goes.


jolie said...

hal, didn't hear back with email and still wanted some verification or feedback on this particular item. do you know - is there a challenge to your county delegation in the works? what's the truth - if any - of this bit?
April 18, 2008

A challenge of the SD 18 delegation of Fort Bend (former stronghold of Tom DeLay)
Reported by Susan DuQuesnay Bankston, former proprietress of Juanita's, The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.:

The delegation of SD 18 Fort Bend to the Texas Democratic convention has been challenged.
etc etc ..... thanks for any insight you can offer.

Hal said...

Susan is on top of this one. It's indeed ironic that if the filer is successful in preventing the entire SD 18 delegation from being seated, based on her allegations, that will leave one SD 18 member in Fort Bend County to cast the delegations votes, currently set at 18 for Clinton and 45 for Obama. That person, the SD 18 committeeman, Don Bankston, would then naturally cast all 63 SD 18(Fort Bend) votes for his preferred candidate, Obama.