It's been a while since we had one of election things. Or at least it feels like it.
Here are the latest polls (Clinton-Obama):
Insider Advantage 49-42
If we throw out PPP as an outlier, and Zogby for being Zogby, we are left with margins of 5, 7, and 10, which averages out to 7.33. All of those polls were taken on or after the 19th. Even if we include the polls taken on or after the 18th, the margins 7, 7, and 6, which doesn't alter the figure much.
7.33 is nice and close to the eight point Hillary win I have been expecting, and still expect.
If Obama has really good turnout and wins late deciders, he could pull it to within 5. If late deciders go for Hillary, and she gets good turnout, she stretches the numbers to 9ish. For her to reach double digits would cross the threshold into clear victory.
More...Mark Blumenthal: It's the Turnout Stupid
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It's been almost 6 weeks since the March 11th Wyoming Caucus and Mississippi Primary. During that time we've seen the candidates taking shots at each other and drinking shots. We've lived through snipergate and bittergate. Now all of that is behind us and the voting will begin at 7am on Tuesday. The polls will close at 8pm and then the waiting begins. Check here early and often on Tuesday to get the latest news and results.
The 158 delegates are divided as follows: 55 delegates will be determined by the state-wide vote, broken up into two separate groups of 35 and 20 delegates. The other 103 are determined by vote totals in each congressional district, from a low of 3 delegates in PA-9 to a high of 9 delegates in PA-2. You can find detailed district-by-district projections here and here.
Update Monday evening: We've made some very conservative baseline delegate assignments even before the voting has started. These are a minimum level of delegates that each candidate will receive unless the polling is really, really bad. Statewide, the average of the current polls is Clinton +6 - we've converted that to a 53-47 Clinton lead, then subtracted 13% from each side, to find a vote level that each candidate will not miss. For Clinton it's 40%, and for Obama it's 34%, which gives Clinton an initial 22 state-wide delegates and Obama 19 state-wide delegates.
For the CDs, those with 5 or less delegates we've given each candidate 1 delegate each, and those with 6 or more we've given each candidate 2 delegates each. Except as follows: CD-1 (7 total delegates available): 3-2 for Obama. CD-2 (9 dels available): 4-2 for Obama. CD-11, 12 and 16 (5 dels available each): 2-1 for Clinton. Giving a total CD delegate count of 29-29. Which gives a complete delegate initial baseline estimate of 51-48 for Clinton. So 63% of the total delegates are essentially spoken for already. Which leaves 59 delegates left.
Once the votes start coming in, we'll continue to update the delegate projections.
She's crazy."I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much[...]
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UPDATE: Oil approaches $120.
More problems in Nigeria, Russia producing less oil, the weak dollar and China's demand shot up 8% from March 2007. In other words, same old, same old. And the dollar has hit an all time record low, trading at $1.60 to the Euro. Absolutely shameful.
I like him. His ideas are proving transformative to the country. But after an interminable wait for today’s primary, I have one small complaint to make: the ‘50 month primary strategy’ needs to be re-thunk.
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Dedeist speaks up for unilateral preventive war, saying "I also think military action without U.N. approval is generally a bad idea, and should be used only as a last resort. But to rule it out entirely is insane. I would certainly support it if it was the only way to keep Iran from getting Nukes, Russia and China wouldn't go along, and it seemed militarily feasible at a 'reasonable' cost." This is well-put because it's sounds like common sense and captures, I think, why John Edwards didn't succeed in putting much pressure on his rivals to respond to his (correct, in my view) decision to specifically disavow the preventive war doctrine.
The beginning of wisdom here is to recognize that the usefulness of preventive counterproliferation strikes is largely illusory. Joe Cirincione has importantly observed that even Israel's famed raid on Iraq's Osirak reactor actually did more to convince Saddam Hussein to speed nuclear weapons research than to impede his pre-Gulf War quest for nuclear weapons. If you want verifiable nuclear disarmament (something that's been achieved in a number of countries that once had robust research programs or even actual weapons in the case of some post-Soviet countries) you need either a diplomatic agreement, or else you need "regime change" and as we're learning in Iraq, regime change isn't a very practical option.
Beyond that, it's imperative for the world's leading power (that's us) to try to articulate rules of the road that strike a balance between serving our interests and being rules we can reasonably expect other countries to follow. A set of rules in which a country gets to attack another country for non-defensive purposes just because the aggressor claims that doing so is necessary to ward off some hypothetical future threat isn't the world we want to see. We (rightly) weren't happy with Iraq's unprovoked aggression in 1990, and if India or Iran or Venezuela or China were to start mounting preventive attacks we'd want to rally a coalition to constrain them. We're not, in other words, prepared to concede a universal right to launch wars on such a thin basis.
Conversely, no other major or middling country is going to concede a principle granting the United States of America a special right to launch unilateral preventive wars. Given our current military preponderance it seems doubtful that anyone could actually stop us, but strong as we are we rely for our prosperity and security on a web of modes of economic and political cooperation that were frayed by Iraq and would be frayed further still by repeat adventures. Certainly the hope of any sort of basically cooperative international environment would be seriously damaged by us actually putting new unilateral preventive military strikes into action.
Beyond that, we must consider the role that U.S. insistence on maintaining such a forward-leaning posture plays in actually driving proliferation. Medium-sized countries like Iran and North Korea have no practical ability to ward off an American military attack through conventional means. The example of Iraq shows that we may not have the ability to subdue the population of such a country, but we certainly can shatter the regime. This gives countries with a poor or uncertain relationship with the United States a pretty strong incentive to explore nuclear weapons capabilities. If we don't want them to do that (and we shouldn't) we need, among other things, to be responsible actors in our right. That entails living up to our Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation to work toward general nuclear disarmament, but also to avoid giving the impression that Iraq-induced logistical problems are the only thing standing between us and a new series of wars.
Disavowing Bush's preventive war doctrine would be one easy way of doing that. Previous Presidents have gotten along just fine without counterproliferation strikes, and the Bush administration's one effort to put the doctrine in practice has been a huge fiasco.
An interesting coincidence via the Washington Post:CAIRO, Egypt — Osama bin Laden’s chief deputy on Tuesday denied a theory that Israel carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al-Qaida’s strike against the U.S.The comments in a recording posted on an Islamic Web [...]
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The Environmental Defense Fund released a report on the eve of Earth Day “that suggests implementing a cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gas emissions would not slow the U.S. economy or cost jobs, contradicting a report released recently by a group of manufacturers that oppose a climate change bill.” Overall, the report says that “the economy would continue to grow at an average clip of 3 percent.”
69 percent: Americans who disapprove of the job Bush is doing. ?The approval rating matches the low point of his presidency, and the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt.?
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has doled out numerous favors to Arizona millionaire Donald Diamond, the New York Times reports, including authorizing the Interior Department to pay Diamond $23 million for Arizona ranch property valued at about $5 million. “Mr. Diamond and his family have given more than $55,000 to Mr. McCain?s campaigns” and Diamond has raised $250,000 for McCain’s presidential race so far.
At least two dozen detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere “say they were given drugs against their will or witnessed other inmates being drugged.” The allegations have resurfaced since the release this month of a 2003 Justice Department memo by John Yoo “that explicitly condoned the use of drugs on detainees.”
In a speech last night at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Defense Secretary Robert Gates “said he believes Iran is ‘hell bent’ on acquiring nuclear weapons,” but warned that “another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need and, in fact, I believe it would be disastrous on a number of levels.” Despite his warning, Gates said he “favors keeping the military option against Iran on the table.”
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Random Thoughts From An Idiot
>> Internal Clinton campaign polling data---intercepted by C&J while using sensitive DHS monitoring equipment---shows a 95%-5% blowout for the New York senator in Pennsylvania today. If she fails to meet this threshold it could be the knockout blow to her campaign.
>> If you're driving from one end of of Pennsylvania to the other, it feels like it takes twenty years to complete the journey. For this perfectly valid reason, having nothing to do with my natural superiority as an Ohio native, I roll my eyes at Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians except Daniel Boone and Jonathan Frakes.
>> Today is Earth Day. Approximately twenty million trees will be harvested to print the same message of conservation in newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, catalogues, inserts and handbills that I can deliver here in three words: stop wasting stuff. I'll reinforce this message later today by skywriting it using 30,000 pounds of colored chlorofluorocarbons.
>> Red Bull!!! Red Bull Red Bull Red Bull Red Bull! I just drank a Red Bull! Red Bull for President!
>> If one candidate smears another, and the smearee objects to the smear, then both candidates are equally guilty of smearing each other. I learned this from watching TV.
>> The pundits who complain the loudest about elitism tend to have the most beautiful summer homes.
>> And if a small child ever asks you the meaning of the bad word John McCain used to insult his wife in public, simply say: "That's the special place where babies come from." Then use candy to change the subject.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
I don't know if this article came out of any "official" results, but the Michigan Uncommitted delegate situation is still, well, I don't quite know what to call it:
In the end, supporters of Obama won half of the 36 Uncommitted delegate seats, while union-backed candidates won the rest. It was a bitter pill for the new Democrats, who felt that all 36 slots should go to true-blue Obama fans.It's been written elsewhere that the the non Michiganders-for-Obama should not be assumed to be any less for Obama than the MfOs. But, on the other hand, they probably can't be definitevly counted for Obama either. And officially, they may all have to stay in the Uncommitted category up to the convention - and this is all only if they get seated as is anyway.
Although most of the Uncommitted delegates said they would support Obama, there is suspicion that many of those not endorsed by the Obama group actually support New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.