Thursday, February 28, 2008

Marks and Spencers to charge 5p for plastic bags

This is great - maybe the other big chains will follow suit.

Imagine - 13 billion plastic bags every year in the UK alone! And this scheme reduces it by 70%. And they give away free bags for a month. Not bad.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Still something seriously weird about strange death of Prozac story

Hmmm... huge new study finds people on Prozac might as well be taking sugar pills, and it's not even on Google News' listing of top ten Health stories. Jeez.

If this thing isn't picked up tomorrow, we know something is seriously wrong. I mean, the AP ignores the story outright? I ask you...

New PPP Poll shows dead heat in Texas

Clinton - 48%
Obama - 48%

The interesting thing about this poll is that there are far fewer undecideds than the others we have looked - only 4% is unaccounted for.

TIME magazine: Republicans can't hold their liquor

Is American media burying the Prozac story?

A huge new study has found that Prozac is hardly more effective than a placebo. But some media outlets are burying the story.

AFP is carrying it.

Reuters is carrying it.

The Associated Press has nothing.

Is this because the study was based in Britain and AFP and Reuters are European-based agencies? Either AP has missed a trick or is burying this.

I'm starting to think it's the latter.

This is front-page news in Britain.

The Independent

The Guardian

The Times

The Daily Telegraph is apparently not running it.

In Paris, Le Monde has the story.

The New York Times runs the Reuters story, but buried in the News section with a very unprovacative headline: Study Doubts Effectiveness Of Antidepressant Drugs

Compare that to the Murdoch-owned Times (of London): 'Depression drugs don’t work, finds data review' and, on the contents page, "Anti-depression drugs 'no better than placebo'" They also have an analysis piece explaining 'Why it is often better to prescribe conversation than antidepressant pills'.

This hugely important story is getting buried in the States.

Prozac no better than placebo

233% increase in early voting in Austin

Check out this nice little local news piece from Austin:

Tale of Texas Turnout

'Early vote tallies compiled since Tuesday — the day early voting opened for the March 4 primary — show huge numbers of suburban voters turning up to vote Democrat. Texas suburbs have long been Republican strongholds, but the numbers indicate a huge shift.'

This from El Paso:

'More residents have cast ballots in the last six days of early voting than during the entire two week early voting period in 2000.'

From Tom Delay's old district, a 2-to-1 turnout so far for Democrats:

And in a sign of intense interest in the Democratic presidential primary race, 11,240 people had voted early in Fort Bend County as of Friday, with seven days of early voting left.

That easily tops the 10,710 Fort Bend County residents who cast ballots during the entire early voting period leading up to the March 7, 2006, primary elections.

According to early voting totals compiled by the Fort Bend County Elections Administration, 7,563 people had cast ballots in the Democratic primary as of the end of the day Friday, while just 3,677 did so in the Republican primary.

The Houston Chronicle reports that huge numbers of Republicans are turning out to vote for Democrats in early voting:

'An American Research Group poll released Monday showed Obama leading Clinton, 71 percent to 25 percent, among Texas independents and Republicans who are likely to vote in the Democratic primary.

There is scattered evidence across the state that some Republicans may be voting Democratic, at least for a day. In one precinct in the suburban Houston neighborhood of Kingwood, where 82 percent of voters cast ballots for President Bush in 2004, Democrats were outvoting Republicans 4-to-1 last week in early voting.'

Third poll gives Obama Texas lead

First ARG, then CNN, now Survey USA:

Obama - 49%
Clinton - 45%


Obama consolidates national lead in new polls

CBS/ NY Times:
Obama 54
Clinton 38

USA Today/ Gallup:
Obama 51
Clinton 39

AP/ Ipsos:
Obama 46
Clinton 43

Obama pulls down endorsements in Texas

Second Texas Poll gives Obama lead

This one from CNN:

Obama - 50%
Clinton - 46%

Monday, February 25, 2008


A new poll out today show the Obamentum pushing B.O. over the top in the Lone Star State.

Obama - 50%
Clinton - 42%

The same polling firm, ARG, gives Hillary an 10-point lead over Barack in Ohio, 49-39.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just a hunch.

I predict that Hillary will concede in the week after March 11th.

She is looking like she won't do so hot on March 4th. Then you have Wyoming on March 8 and Mississippi on March 11th. I think Obama will win these, and it will look like a long hard road ahead to Pennsylvania. The money will be running out and people will start calling her asking her not to damage the party's chances. And she knows that a concession at that point would precipitate a sigh of relief that a disaster at the convention would be averted. In fact, she would come out of it smelling like roses and maybe even clinch a nice position (Sec of State?) in an Obama administration. Who knows...

Somebody owes me a Coke if I'm right...

Obama already having huge impact on Texas Dem turnout

Turnout on the first day of early voting was up all across Texas, according to initial numbers from the Secretary of State's office. But Houston and Dallas were off the charts -- the numbers show a 10-fold increase over 2004. In Harris County four years ago, only 728 people showed up for the Democratic primary on the first day of early voting. Yesterday it was 9,243.

In Dallas, the first-day turnout jumped from 913 in 2004 to 8,615 yesterday. That would seem good news for Obama. Other urban counties such as Travis (Austin) and Bexar (San Antonio) showed six-fold increases. In El Paso, it tripled.

Turnout was up too in the Rio Grande Valley, an expected Clinton stronghold, but the increase wasn't as dramatic. In Hidalgo County, the number of voters rose from 3,858 (2004) to 5,793 (2008).

David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager, told Texas reporters this afternoon on a conference call that the campaign has emphasized ushering supporters to the polls early and was very encouraged by the early voting numbers so far. Early voting ends Feb. 29.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Super Tuesday is finally over

As the Democrats Abroad go for Obama.

Looks like he got about 65% of the vote.

Tonight's Democratic Debate

From the Recreational Sports Center at UT Austin. This one is by invitation only.

A place I worked out at once.


Early voting (as opposed to postal voting) started in Texas yesterday. Records are already being broken. And more than twice as many Democrats voted yesterday than Republicans in this 'red state'.

TO maul a line from the Dixie Chicks, this does make me proud to be from Texas.

Anyway, here's the numbers from the state's most populous 15 counties, including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso:

Democrats: 65,293

Republicans: 25,673

Keep it up, Texas...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Let's look at the margins of victory for Obama in the states he won on Super Tuesday and in the nine contests since then. The old thinking was that Obama was able to dominate in caucus settings, but this shows that he can win in primaries in states that were supposed to be a close finish with Hillary Clinton, like Virginia and Wisconsin. Check it out.

It's ten in a row when you include the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Wisconsin (primary) - 17% margin of victory

Hawaii (caucus) - 52% margin of victory


Virginia (P) - 29%

District of Columbia (P) - 51%

Maryland (P) - 27%


Maine (C) - 19%


Louisiana (P) - 21%

Nebraska (C) - 36%

Washington (C) - 3%

FEBRUARY 5TH (of the states Obama won)

Alabama (P) - 14%

Alaska (C) - 49%

Colorado (C) - 35%

Connecticut (P) - 4%

Delaware (P) - 11%

Georgia (P) - 35%

Idaho (C) - 63%

Illinois (P) - 32%

Kansas (C) - 48%

Minnesota (C) - 44%

Missouri (P) - 1%

North Dakota (C) - 24%

Utah (C) - 18%

OF all the states since Super Tuesday, i.e., the 9 in a row that Obama has won, five have been primaries and four have been caucuses. The average margin of victory in these primaries has been 29%. The average margin of victory in the caucuses has been 27.5%. Interesting stuff.

New Map

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cineworld can

Big News Week

The House of Representatives passes contempt motions on Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten.

The Orwellian-named 'Protect America Act' is allowed to expire and the world hasn't yet disintegrated.

The world gets a new country - Kosovo.

Fidel Castro resigns.

In Pakistan, Musharraf concedes defeat as Bhutto's and Sharif's parties split the vote.

Oh yeah, and Muhamed Fayed called Prince Philip a 'Nazi'.

And it's only Tuesday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More from Spitzer

Just to hammer this point home:

"In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules."

Bush v. The People

States tried to fill the void when the federal government took away bankruptcy protection and allowed predatory lending practises.

And the federal government then fought those states, going to extraordinary lengths to screw over the American people.

Elliott Spitzer, governor of New York, explains it all.

A must-read piece. I hope this slime is out of power for a generation.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Interesting historical perspective

This is really interesting - a really unimaginable loss for a generation - and it kind of helps explain why France reacted like it did in 1940.

"In 1914-18, 1.3 million Frenchmen (those cheese-eating surrender monkeys) were killed defending their country, which is to say more than twice as many as all the Americans who have died in every foreign war from 1776 until today. - New York Times, Feb. 11, 2008.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dems taking on Big Pharma

Banning those awful commercials would be a start.

Side effects involve cramping, nausea, headaches... for lobbyists.

Clinton wins New Mexico

Here we go.

by 1709 votes.

Still, a very close contest in a heavily Latino state.


The House has passed a contempt resolution on Miers and Bolton. But Mukasey has already said he won't enforce it.

This thing is headed to the courts. If the Supreme Court upholds this ridiculous overdefinition of executive privilege, which basically argues that anyone in the executive branch never has to answer to Congress, and undermines the entire constitutional provision for checks and balances, then one of the most important tenants of American democracy will have been sacrificed.

This motion is the beginning, anyway. After the Senate's shameful capitulation on illegal wiretapping, a scandal which saw the illegal destruction of millions of White House emails, it is nice to witness a rare showing of Democratic backbone.

A new low?

GOP representatives force vote during funeral of Tom Lantos. This just makes me sick...

Pipe Dream

Wouldn't it be nice if, the day after Obama wins the election in a landslide, Congress votes to begin impeachment proceedings on George Bush?

Or is that too much poetic justice for one day?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Updated map

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Big Psychological Shift

Pop Life

It seems to me that what Obama really needs now is to rack up a good national popular vote lead over Hillary. Winning in caucus states with relatively few overall voters does little to help this, but today's primaries in Maryland, DC, and Virginia could give him a sizeable lead in this area, if polls turn out to be right and give him a 15- to 20- point lead over Clinton there. THis could turn out to be a very important arrow in his quiver if he ends up having to argue that the Clintons are going against the wishes of the people. Already her surrogates are trying to make superdelegates sound really democratic in some truly shameful spin. The deal clincher for Obama now is some big wins in big states. We'll see.

New Mexico still undecided

This from the Albuquerque paper:

"We've made significant progress qualifying provisional ballots," the state's Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colon said on Monday. "Our volunteers have checked more than 15,100 provisional ballots and identified 5,466 registered Democrats-so far. At the same time, we are conducting a second search to a more extensive database to make sure that we count those provisional voters who are registered and have not already cast a ballot."


The question to me seems to be whether people voting with provisional ballots, who are more likely to be first-time caucus-goers, will swing heavily towards Obama. We'll see.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My crap graphics

The O's stand for Obama; the crescent moons for Hillary. There's a lot of 'O' on that map.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Super Tuesday Humor from The Onion

"This Super Tuesday is supposed to be the largest to date, with an astounding 57 states holding primaries and an additional 39 holding caucuses."

More where that came from.

Upcoming election polls

Not much out yet.

Maryland, DC and Louisiana are expected to favor Obama due to black support.

Virginia, which has more blue-collar and suburban white Dems, is meant to be much more of a battleground. But look at this Insider Advantage poll out today:

Obama 52%
Clinton 37%
Undecided, etc: 11%

Clinton has been getting the majority of last-minute deciders, but if this poll is correct, Obama's margin of 15 points would beat this.

A Survey USA poll taken on Feb. 2 and 3 had Obama leading Clinton, 53 to 40.
Again, his lead appears to be greater than the number of undecideds.

The latest poll in Maryland, taken in early January, had Obama with a slight lead.

February Calendar


Louisiana, Washington State and Nebraska




Maryland, DC and Virginia

Tuesday, Feb. 19th:

Hawaii, Wisconsin

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Take Heed

That's part of Obama's crossover appeal, said George Kobitz of Covington, who drove across Lake Pontchartrain before dawn with his wife and a sign reading "Obamacan," signifying an Obama Republican. Obama has talked about trying to appeal to Republicans much the same way President Ronald Reagan garnered support from whole blocs of Democratic voters.

"I've been a Republican all my life and this Bush thing didn't go over very well. If it was just Clinton, I would stay a Republican and vote for (Arizona Sen. John) McCain, but Obama's about change," said Kobitz, who has sent several donations to Obama's campaign. "The Bush-Clinton era is over. We're sick of it."

What is a Picayune, anyway?

More turnout


Turnout for 35%, the highest in 67 years.

Of the state's 4.8 million registered votes, 1,114,609 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary, while 558,007 voted in the Republican primary.

Still waiting on hard numbers in many places...


Will Super Tuesday bear out the trend of higher voter turnout for Dems than the GOP? Let's see what we know so far:


44% of registered voters in both parties and independents.
52% of these were Democratic primary voters.
Not bad for a 'red state'.


14 million Democratic voters
10 million + Republican voters.

I Predict A Riot

Okay, we're still waiting to see how the delegates shake down, but at the moment I can see how I did in my predictions based on the popular vote. Here goes:

Let's start with the ones I got right.

ALASKA for Obama.
Arizona for Clinton.
Arkansas for Clinton.
Georgia for Obama.
Idaho for Obama.
Illinois for Obama.
Kansas for Obama.
Massachussetts for Clinton.
New Jersey for Clinton.
New York for Clinton.
North Dakota for Obama.
Oklahoma for Clinton.
Tennessee for Clinton.

That's 13, a little over half.

Now let's look at the ones I got unequivocally wrong:
American Samoa went for Clinton, not Obama.

All the actual states that I called for one candidate (rather than a tie) and got wrong, did so in favor of Obama. I also heavily underestimated his turnout in caucus states, most of which he won by huge margins.

Delaware went for Obama, not Clinton.
Minnesota went for Obama, not Clinton.
Utah went for Obama, not Clinton.

So I don't mind being wrong on these. Also, it's worth noting that Delaware and Minnesota are 'blue states', showing that Obama upset expectations not only in Republican-leaning places like Idaho and Kansas (where he won't win in November).

Now, ties I got wrong. Some of these may still be ties in terms of delegates. Obviously, there is no such thing as a perfect tie in the popular vote.

Ties that broke for Hillary:
California. Chalk this one down to the absentee ballots and the last-minute deciders, who seem to be breaking for Clinton. Expectations got too high for Obama, but he still closed the gap from about 20 points to 10 points in a very short time.

In every other case, the movement was towards Obama. Let's take a look:

I said Colorado would be a tie, actually Obama wrapped this up by about 44 points!

I predicted Alabama would be a tie, and Obama swept up by 14 points.

I thought Connecticut would be a tie, and Obama grasped a very significant victory by 3 or 4 point spread.

Missouri, the Bellweather state, broke for Obama. This is huge. I said a tie; he one by a percentage point. They may still tie here in delegates.

New Mexico, I called for Clinton, and it was for all intents and purposes a tie. They are within a hundred votes of each other, and provisional ballots are being counted. Either way, the movement was towards Obama.

So, I did pretty well. The only places where the votes broke for Hillary against my prediction were California and American Samoa. If anything, I underestimated Obama's strengths in the South, the Midwest and the West, and in a caucus environment. He won Idaho, 80-17.

So, to recap, Obama won Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, possibly New Mexico, and Utah, all of which I said would either go to Clinton or be a tie.

That this night could be spun as anything but huge for Obama is a mystery to me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Missouri tightening

With 83% reporting, it is now 50 Clinton - 47 Obama. Would be a big deal if Obama wins or they tie for delegates.

Clinton likely to bag narrow wins in Arizona, Missouri

New York versus Illinois

Obama has done much better in New York than Hillary has done in Illinois.

New York (92%)
Clinton 57
Obama 40
17-point lead

Illinois (64%)
Obama 65
Clinton 32
33-point lead

Obama, as with these huge margins in the west, will do well on delegates.


Obama leading by over 50 points.

The West and Midwest is a huge story for O.

Just shows what a little attention can do.

Dem's in 'red states' are sick of being written off...


Again, it's looking like a 30-point margin for Obama.

Can he keep this up in Arizona and New Mexico?

This will be big tomorrow for Obama's momentum...


At the moment, with nearly 30%, Obama has a 30 point lead over Clinton here.

In a state I called for Clinton.

This is great news for Obama in the midwest.


Obama looks like getting a 30-point margin. Fantastic.


Close win for Obama. It's official.

Obama winning big in the heartland

Kansas: 73-27

North Dakota: 61-37


Calling North Dakota for Obama

With 96% of results in, a 61-37 win for Obama.

18 points up

for Obama in North Dakota


Obama now 9 points down.

Still eeking out a win in Conn.

Nothing the matter with Kansas

With 64% in, Obama is leading by something like 45 points above Hillary. Wow.

Obama within 10 points

now in New Jersey

and is winning by really big margins in some states - bigger than expected in Georgia, Alabama, Illinois.

I think the same will be true in Idaho, Kansas.

THis will be good news in terms of delegates.

Looking like a huge upset for Obama in Kansas

71-28 with 51% reporting

Obama looks on track to win

in North Dakota and Minnesota

But Clinton looks likely to win the crucial state of Missouri...

More Margins

To be fair, Hillary is leading with big margins in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arkansas, but these were expected.

New Jersey doesn't look too good for Obama at the moment. Somewhat doubtful that he can close the gap to around 5%.

Obama is winning by about 67/31 in Illinois, a good margin for delegates. Let's see how well Obama does in New York. If he steals delegates from Hillary there, and coupled with a win in Conn., we can still see a big night for Obama in the Northeast.


Obama doing well in the margins of victory. Remember that this helps a lot in terms of racking up delegates.

GEORGIA, with 49% of vote in
Obama - 60%
Clinton - 37%

ALABAMA, with 25% in

Obama - 63%
Clinton - 34%

This is very good news for Obama, where I had actually called a tie in delegates for Hillary.

In CONNECTICUT, with 35% in, Obama still leads with 50-47.


Has got 92% of its numbers in, and says this:

OBAMA - 52%

The story so far...

The states have fallen as predicted by progressionsession so far, with the exception of Delaware, which I called for Clinton but was won by Obama. Obama looks likely to win Connecticut narrowly, which I called as a tie.

As I said in the prediction, Obama coming within 5 points in NJ would be a big deal. He was behind there something like 20 points a week ago...

The narrative so far

seems to be leaning towards Hillary doing better than expected (whatever that means). That the Clinton camp will sell Massachussetts as upset tells you something about the expectation game, but I think we need to sit back and wait for the delegate counts and the final tallies.

NBC just called New Jersey for Hillary, but I think we need to wait and see how Obama does in the West, and esp. in California.

Let's wait to see delegate counts and even final popular tallies before we make this Hillary's big night...

Obama loses Massachussetts, wins Delaware

Will want to see how Mass. breaks down in delegates, though...


As they say in Texas...

With 7% reporting, Clinton is leading 54/43.

Peachy keen

Obama still holding to 57-39 lead in Georgia, now with 14% in.

The Wrath of Conn.

Obama still edging out Hillary, 50-48, with 11% in.


With 3% reporting, Obama has a narrow lead, 51-47.

The long wait...

Well, they've called Tennessee and Oklahoma for Clinton, and Georgia and Illinois for Obama. No surprises there. But we're going to be waiting a while to hear about those battleground states whose polls just closed - especially Mass., Conn., Missouri, and New Jersey. These are all going to be very close.

FOr the time being, Georgia augurs well for Obama. He has increased his turnout among both blacks and whites compared to South Carolina. And, with 7% reporting, he has about an 18 point lead over Hillary. The leaked entry and exit polls we saw earlier suggested something like 75% for Obama, which would be very good for him, but 18% would still be pretty, pretty good. In the words of Larry David, who has, by the way, endorsed Obama, with or without his activist wife.

By the way

Joy is my friend who is working for Obama in Georgia. She was in a South Carolina too. A good luck talisman?


Well done, Joy!

Exit polls suggest as much as 75% for Obama - if this is true (a big if), it will be very good news for him delegate-wise.

I'll get back with some real numbers.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Take a break from the election...

To vacation at the Pacific getaway spot of 'Eastern Garbage Patch', a zone NE of Hawaii as big as the contiguous 48 states, full of floating and degrading plastic waste.

For people who prefer Asian garbage, try 'Western Garbage Patch'. It's just as nice.

Here's a nice quote: "The garbage patch barfs, and you get a beach covered with this confetti of plastic"

I'm a little peeved

that's Obama's campaign didn't concoct a media-grabbing event to counteract Hillary's very strong finish last night. On top of her Hallmark moment, she went on Letterman and did a top ten list of her own. So a lot of undecided voters around the country saw a lot of Hillary face-time and almost none from Barack. If it peels off just a few points for Obama among undecideds, whom I have argued may be falling for Hillary anyway, it could mean 'losing' some of those very close states like Missouri and Connecticut.

All will be revealed, I guess...

Besides that, however, I really think the Obama campaign has run a very tight ship ever since South Carolina. He has really been making all the right arguments, trying to counteract the myth that Hillary has a better chance to win in November, and so forth. I think that a big win today might change perceptions a bit on that front.

Opinions, anyone? Let's gets some dialogue tonight, eh?

The Last Polls

From Zogby:

California -
Obama - 49%
Clinton - 36%

(leaving 15)

New Jersey -
Clinton - 46%
Obama - 41%

(leaving 13)

Missouri -
Obama - 45%
Clinton - 42%

(leaving 13)

Georgia -
Obama - 49%
Clinton - 29%

(leaving 22)

This looks like good news for Obama, but John Zogby is not going to look good if he hasn't in some way accounted for all these undecideds.

Not So Fast

A slew of last-minute Survey USA polls give us one prediction of where all those undecideds are going: Hillary.


Clinton: 53
Obama: 41
Leaving: 6


Clinton: 56
Obama: 39
Leaving: 5


Clinton: 54
Obama: 43
Leaving: 3

Unlike the earlier polls that showed Obama had pulled even or was even leading in these key battleground states, these Survey USA polls have very small numbers of undecideds. Let's hope this has something to do with their methodologies and is not a true harbinger of things to come today.

IN some good news, the same poll gave Obama a 13-point lead in Washington state, which votes in a few days.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Superdelegates: this thing could get ugly

It looks pretty likely now that superdelegates will decide this thing, unless a wave of momentum carries one of the candidates into inevitability-land.

And that means big squabbles over the controversial Florida and Michigan delegates, too.

Read this, but it's not pretty.

Must-read story

From The Guardian, on the implications of an Obama presidency.

(and remember that the word 'liberal' hasn't been twisted and maligned the way it has in the U.S. of A.

I particularly like the point that if Obama could do two things successfully - health care reform and a new foreign policy that regains America's reputation in the world - that a 'new liberalism' (but don't expect it to be called that in the States) may come in to the ascendant...

Fantastic Quote

I just had to share:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labour laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible, and they are stupid."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower


Question: What does Hillary do when the polls show she's gonna lose?

Answer: water works.

Obama closes the gap in Mass.

Looks like all that Kennedy-hugging has given Obama a leg up in the Commonwealth.

A Suffolk University poll has Obama leading Clinton, 46-44.

Compare this to a Jan. 29 Survey USA poll showing Clinton with a 24 point lead, 57-33.

If this poll isn't an outlier, this could be great news for B.O.

On the other side of the aisle

What's happening for the Gray Old Patriarchs tomorrow?

The big question at the moment is whether Romney will anywhere other than Mass. and Utah. This is the last chance for a dittohead revolution to unseat the hated McCain. So can the Robo-gov beat Old Chipmunk-Cheeks in California? He's hoping the fact that independents aren't allowed will give him a shot. And will that Squirrel-eatin' son of a gun Ah-Shucks-abee (and doesn't he just look like Gomer Pyle?) see his support fade away at the last minute? Keep a look out.

The big question for Democrats will be to compare turnout in primaries and caucuses between the Dems and GOP, and see if it continues the patterns we've seen, with much higher Dem turnout than GOP. If that can be confirmed nationwide, it's bad news for Republicans in November.

Watch this space...

Where's the pre-poll surprise?

Maybe the Super Bowl has everyone feeling a little hungover, but I really thought the main campaigns, especially Clinton and Obama, would try and engineer something to dominate the last news cycle before Super Tuesday. Maybe they're just running around to much, maybe they couldn't get the kind of star endorsement (Edwards, Richardson, Gore, Wierd Al) that they might have wanted, maybe it'll be in tomorrow's morning papers.

Hillary has a townhall meeting on the Hallmark Channel (big collective sigh now please) tonight - let's hope Obama has something cooked up to counteract that warm and fuzzy Hallmark feeling. It's almost like 'Hillary' - the made-for-tv movie, about a woman who overcame an overbearing, cheating husband to rise to the highest political office in the land. Aaaahhhh...

NY Times confirms my points about NYC

This is how we really know that momentum is strongly in Obama's direction: while Obama is making strong gains against Hillary on her own home turf - mainly the NYC media market, the reverse is not true. Obama still holds a commanding lead in his home state of Illinois, and has closed the gap with Clinton in states like California and Missouri. Now check out this New York Times story:

'Senator Barack Obama has made rapid gains in New York and New Jersey among likely Democratic voters and has nearly closed in on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s once-dominant lead in New Jersey, according to poll results released by Quinnipiac University this morning.'

Clinton holds only about a 14-point lead in New York, while Obama leads by 30-ish points in Illiois.

Super Tuesday results

Just to warn you, there will be live, semi-sober analyses tomorrow night!

Feb. 4 Zogby Polls

Good news for Obama.

The numbers in the parentheses are undecided or otherwise unaccounted for.

46-40 lead for O. (14)

48-31 lead. (21)

47-42 lead for Obama (11)

43-43 tie. (14)

Where will all the undecideds go? At the moment, it looks like if they break evenly, it's good news for BO.

Obama ahead nationally for first time

A CNN poll, just out, has Obama at 49% to Hillary at 46%.

Finally, coverage of the Alaska race!

... from a British paper.

"These communities are not typically connected by road - there's no way to travel between them except by snow machine and that's unlikely to happen," says Kay Brown, communications director for the Alaskan Democrats. "This is the biggest organisational effort that's been made ever by the Democratic party here."

In 2004, only 700 Democrats turned out in the whole state! I suspect it will at least double that this time...

I May have to eat my words

On New Mexico, my hunch may have been off base. THe first poll out since Richardson left the race gives Obama a 48-42 lead over Hillary, within the 7-point MOE.

The Albuquerque paper just endorsed the Big B.O. as well.

We seem to be seeing the potential of a much bigger showing in the West for BO than his loss in Nevada would suggest. We're looking at the real possibility for wins for him in New Mexico, Idaho and Colorado, and now look at this:

Mason-Dixon gives Clinton only a 2-point lead in Arizona (43-41).

It'll be really interesting to see how he does in all the western states, including Utah and Alaska.

Three Polls Now GIve Obama Tie or Small Lead in California

Feb. 4/ Suffolk/ Clinton 39 - Obama 40

Feb. 3/ Rasmussen/ Clinton 44 - Obama 45

Feb. 3/ Zogby/ Clinton 41 - Obama 45

A note of caution for these and other polls: most recent polls reveal a 10-20 point group of undecideds. How this group breaks will be a huge factor. Note that in Florida, Obama did better among people who decided in the month leading up to the election, but Hillary got a small lead on the day. This phenomenon is probably explained by people who have a hard time deciding between their 'heart' and their 'head' - i.e., between inspiration (Obama) and what they (erroneously, in my opinion) believe to be a person with more experience who has a better chance of winning the general election. This misconception, which I have seen constantly repeated by average JOes and Janes all across the country, belies both the polls and the fact that HRC is the stated preferred opponent of the Grand Old Part-ay. Go figure...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Tuesday Predictions

As you know, the actual states won by Clinton or Obama don't really matter; it's the delegates that count. But assuming that they split the delegates relatively evenly, the ability for each camp to say they racked up more states will be crucial in mainaining momentum. So, here are my predictions for Tuesday; if I get more than three wrong, I'll, I don't know, chew off my left arm. So, here goes:


And here's the reasoning, such as there is any:


Recent polls show Obama narrowing what was once a big Hillary lead. Black voters will deliver a very close result here for Obama, perhaps a small lead for O.


Obama has consistently won male voters; Alaska's population is heavily male. As a caucus in a mostly Republican state, a small core of motivated Obama supporters could deliver it for him. Truth is, with virtually no polls to go on, this state could go either way.


Obama's international ties, particularly his time in Indonesia, should help him out here.

Obama is running an ad here voiced by Gov. Napolitano, which seems to have helped him narrow the gap to within 5 points of Hillary. For some reason, I just don't see it happening for the Big B.O. here. I predict a small win for Hillary.

No prizes for guessing why.

With 441 delegates, California is the big prize. Everyone expects New York to go to HRC and Illinois to go to BO, so a lot hangs on this win psychologically. Look for both camps to claim victory in this state and give a big speech there. Obama has been surging there, and with endorsements from the L.A. Times, La Opinion and other papers, if he can gain among Latino voters there and mop one among liberal strongholds like San Fran and Berkeley, he may be able to gain the mantle of inevitability here.

Surprisingly, a poll about a week ago from the Denver Post showed Obama with a 2-point lead. Is this a fluke, or are Hispanics turning towards Obama? We really have very little to go on for this state, so I won't venture a favorite.

Based probably on wealthier and highly-educated Dems exiled from NYC and the Ned Lamont anti-war crowd, Obama has surprisingly pulled even in this state that was supposed to be part of Hillary's NYC trifecta. Too close to call; both sides may claim victory here.

Obama has been pushing to even things up here, but he will do well to lose by 5-10 points.

Unlike overseas Republicans, who are mostly military or foreign service, overseas Democrats tend to fall into the highly-educated, more liberal group that Obama has won significantly. This will probably not be a blow-out, as women may rally for Clinton, but the introduction of new internet voting system could help drive the younger voters for Obama. Look for Obama to edge out Hillary in this one. (His foreign background and international ties may help too.)

After South CArolina, the polls show a surge in African-American support for Obama here. This should be a big win for him, by 10-20 points.

Obama has sought to put his 'One America' theme in practice by competing in heavily red states like Idaho. Dems there may just be so happy that he visited the state personally that they'll give him a big win there. A win here will show that he can compete in the west.

Hillary's attempt to bite into Obama's lead in his home state may or may not have had any real impact. Look for a thirty-point win by Obama here.

There haven't been many polls here, but Obama has two things in his favour: a high-profile endorsement from Governor Sebelius and the fact that his mother was from there. Similar demographics to Iowa, which gave him a big win a month ago.

Hillary does well among the sort of blue-collar Dems who are the base in Massachussetts, but Obama's poll numbers have been surprisingly low here, given three factors: the embrace of the Kennedy family of Obama, the large numbers of 'liberal elites' around Boston, and the large numbers of college students. Still, if the polls are to believed, Hillary should win here by at least ten points.

There haven't been many polls here, but what is available suggests a small Clinton win. Lower-middle class Dems and older voters should help Hillary here.

Clinton was leading here until recently, by 19 points just a week ago according to a Rasmussen poll, but a Zogby poll out today shows that lead has shrunk to one point, within the margin of error. Other polls from the last couple of days confirm an HRC lead of only 4 or 6 points. Obama is running an ad there voiced by Senator McKaskill. This will be a very close race. The Bellweather state may well predict who can pull out the nomination.

Hillary did have a big lead here, based on her blue-collar Dem support, but Obama has made significant gains. Look for Hillary to win it, but perhaps only by about 5 points or so.

Hispanic support and women. No polls, just a hunch.

Home turf for Hillary, although Obama has been advertising heavily here. He'll do well to come in better than 20 points down.

Endorsements, and the same reasons as places like Idaho and Alaska. Just a hunch, again.

Look for a big win by HRC here, probably 20 points. BO isn't even bothering to advertise here.

If Obama narrows her lead to 10 points here, he's doing well.

This state could end up favoring Obama for the same reasons as Idaho, but he had to cancel his big rally here for a Mormon funeral. I say Clinton, but could be close.

Can Obama do it?

The best that Obama can do really would be to post a decisive win in California, where independents can vote in the primary. Wins in Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, Alaska, Connecticut, on top of this would show that he can win in very different regions.
If he does well around the rest of the country and then clinches things in the Potomac Primary a week later in Maryland, DC and Virginia, he may be able to pull this thing off.
This is a dream scenario though; it is still an uphill fight for Obama, and chances are more likely that he will come out of Super Tuesday with 40-45% of pledged delegates. We'll see...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Avalanche of polls


Survey USA: Clinton 47, Obama 47

Note that undecideds are shrinking considerably now.

InsiderAdvantage: Clinton 46, Obama 40

Note that there are still fully 14% undecided here.


Eisenhower's granddaughter endorses Obama

Friday, February 01, 2008

closing the gap in NYC media market?

This is again based on Rasmussen, who use robocalls, but there are signs that Obama is closing the gap in New Jersey, as we have already seen in Connecticut. Jan. 31 poll had HRC with a 12-point lead. This is down from 18 points two weeks ago. Other Jan. polls had Hillary ahead by 25 or 30 points.

There aren't any post-bounce Obama numbers yet for New York itself. I'll let you know...