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Obama and Huckabee win Iowa: (Who is really going to win the US Election? Part 2 )

by Frank Schnittger Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:31:20 PM EST

In my first blog on this subject I stated my objective to be as follows:
European Tribune - Who is really going to win the US Election?

This forum has seen a plethora of blogs about the US elections, their format and procedures, and the policies and personalities battling for victory.  Many bloggers have given their personal views and some are campaigning for their favoured candidates. Some of the commentary seems to be laced with wishful thinking or unsubstantiated assertions as to what is or is not going to happen. I thought it might be useful to have a look at the actual polling data to see how that battle is shaping up.

The polls themselves, of course, are often not entirely objective or politically neutral and the electoral procedures of the Iowa Caucuses, in particular, make them notoriously unreliable.  However for the purposes of this discussion I will use a website called Real Clear Politics to provide us with a summary of trends averaged over a wide range of polling companies.

I will summarise the data on that site under three main headings:

  1. Main Democratic Candidates
  2. Main Republican Candidates
  3. Head to heads contests between the main Democratic and Republican contenders

My conclusion was as follows:
European Tribune - Who is really going to win the US Election?

Its early days and all to play for, but my money (based on looking at the trends to date) is on a Clinton Huckabee contest with Clinton winning by a narrow majority.  It's a bit like trying to predict the future by looking in the rear view mirror and we all know that big money and powerful vested interests are in the driving seat.

This Diary looks at the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses and more recent polling data to see if there is any reason to change that very early, and very tentative prediction.  


1) Main Democratic Candidates

IOWA.  The final polls and result (with 100% of precincts reporting)

                 Final Actual
                 Polls Result
Clinton           29    29
Obama           31    38
Edwards         26    30
Biden               5     1
Richardson        5      2

So what impacted on the final result?  

Opinion poll trends:
Clinton had been holding steady at around 30% in the polls whilst Obama and Edwards shared 60% of the vote almost equally between them and seemed to be fishing in the same pond for votes.  Obama rose as Edwards declined but a recent Edwards revival had put Obama's recent lead over Clinton in jeopardy.  For Clinton to win, she needed to either increase her vote significantly or split the Obama/Edwards vote almost exactly down the middle.  In the event she did neither.  Obama sored and she dropped back to third place.  Why was this?

Clinton is the most polarising of the three candidates having the most committed support, but also having the lowest second preference numbers of all three.  Thus in precincts where either Obama or Edwards failed to secure the 15% threshold, or one or the other were a few votes short of securing an extra delegate, their supporters were more likely to support each other than Clinton.  In addition the younger voter appear to have turned out for Obama where he reportedly received 57% of the under 30 vote.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. The key issue here is the degree of "bounce" Obama will get from his Iowa performance and the bandwagon effect that can create.

Opinion Poll Trends:
Clinton has consistently polled in the mid-30s in New Hampshire, well ahead of both Obama and Edwards.  However both were eating into that lead to such an extent that Obama almost caught up with her last week.

In the last days few says, however, she has stretched her lead to 7% again.  However Obama did 7% better than his final opinion poll ratings in the actual Iowa vote so he must now be favourite to win New Hampshire with the added boost of the Iowa win.

OTHER EARLY STATES. Clinton has maintained her c.20%+ lead in Michigan, Nevada, Florida, California and New Jersey but is statistically tied with Obama in South Carolina which should now  swing Obama's way. However Obama probably needs to win New Hampshire to have a chance of winning in the other States.

NATIONAL.  Clinton has increased her national lead over Obama from 18 to 21% with Edwards 31 points behind and appearing to be going nowhere.  It will be interesting to see how much of an impact the Iowa result will have on these figures, but Edwards would appear to be in big trouble despite his second place in Iowa.

2) MAIN REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

IOWA
                 Final Actual (with 92% of Precincts reporting)
                 Polls Result
Huckabee       30    34
Romney          27    25
Thompson       12    13
McCain           12    13
Paul                7     10
Guilliani            6      4

Opinion Poll Trends
Huckabee recovered from a recent dip in the polls and stretched out to a very impressive 9 point win with McCain and Paul showing some momentum.   Most commentators put Huckabee's success down to a very high turnout by his Christian social conservative supporters and also due to a strong showing amongst women voters.

NEW HAMPSHIRE.
McCain had shot up to overtake Romney by 2.5%  even before the Iowa result, so Romney must now be in deep trouble.  Giulliani, still barely in third place in the polls, has bombed to 10% and should now be overtaken by Huckabee who may now even threaten Romney's second place position.

OTHER EARLY STATES.
Everywhere you look Huckabee is gaining fast - even before the Iowa result - on
Romney in Michigan, on Romney and Giulliani (tied) in Nevada, on Romney in South Carolina where Huckabee already has a 6% lead, and on Giulliani in Florida and California.

NATIONAL.  Giulliani's lead is now down to 3% on both McCain and Huckabee who look to have all the momentum.  A win in New Hampshire for McCain looks increasingly likely which will consolidate his position.  Romney is a further 2% back and he badly needs to win in Michigan and Nevada to stay in the race. Giulliani's campaign could be stillborn before it really even gets started.

3) NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN HEAD TO HEAD POLLS.

There is no change in the National Head to head pols with Edwards beating all Republican candidates, Obama beating all except McCain (Tied) and Clinton beating all except McCain who wins against her by a clear 5%.

CONCLUSION.

The Iowa result puts Obama in the driving seat but he has a long way to go to overcome Clinton's 20% lead in many of the early states and in the national polls.  Undoubtedly his Iowa win will give him a lot of momentum, but will it be enough?  He heeds to win Hew Hampshire as well to have a real chance of catching Clinton in many of the other states.   Edwards' campaign looks in real trouble unless he can spring a surprise in New Hampshire.

My prediction that Huckabee would win the Republican nomination looks a lot safer now, but McCain has real momentum, and if he can win New Hampshire, it's game on.  Romney is in real trouble and Giulliani needs to covert his remaining slight national opinion poll lead into real votes in real primaries fast if he is to remain competitive.

The results of the last ET prediction poll were as follows:

My Prediction (not my preference) is that the next POTUS will be
.     Clinton     47%
.     Obama     11%
.     Edwards     29%
.     Giulliani     0%
.     Huckabee     5%
.     Romney     5%
.     McCain     0%
.     None of the above     0%

Lets see if this poll has a different outcome!

Poll
My Prediction (not my preference) is that the next POTUS will be
. Clinton 22%
. Obama 48%
. Edwards 7%
. Giulliani 3%
. Huckabee 14%
. Romney 0%
. McCain 3%
. None of the above 0%

Votes: 27
Results | Other Polls
Display:
I think it's going to be Obama.  Unfortunately, Edwards is now probably done, and I think we're going to see his supporters move, even if just slightly (given their passion), to Obama.  Ditto Dodd, Biden and the undecideds.  I think New Hampshire goes to Obama, followed by South Carolina and Nevada.

I do think Huckster will be the nominee at this point, but I'm afraid he's going to be decimated by Obama.  Dem turnout was double that of 2004.  The independents were nowhere to be found in the GOP caucuses.  It does not look good for the Republicans.  

Just thoughts for now.  We'll see.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:50:13 AM EST
I've tended to see Edwards as the 'We're still a democracy, but gee, what a shame your candidate lost' candidate.

It's been nice wishing he had a chance, but populism can only take you so far in the US. (I.e. not very far at all.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Populism may still take Huckabee quite a way.  We tend to see him as the Christian Fundamentalist candidate but he also seems to be able to leverage his outsider status and get independent/disenchanted votes.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's more fundamentalism than populism I think. Huckabee is kinda sorta a bit economically populist more or less, but it's not the core of his message.

I'm not sure what the core of his message actually is - although he does play bass guitar, which has to count for something in the South.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that Huckabee has the Republican nomination at this point. It's true that he supports a  fair tax, which is like a VAT to replace income taxes

It's important to remember that there are two warring camps in the Republican party.

1) Economically conservative, socially liberal (Bush and the gang belong to this group, they're all for wealth people being able to do whatever they want.)  What really matter to them is tax cuts, deregulation, and the whole shebang.  They know that they even if they someone are forced into outlawing abortion, they'll be able to go to another country where it's legal. This is the establishment Republican Party, they've got a sweet deal with the donors in the Democratic party, where they fight over irrelevant social issues shit, and have a truce on neo-liberal economics. These are the business Republicans.

This is the group within the REpublican party that Obama is going after.

2)Economically populist, socially conservative. This is the Huckabee group.  Let's get this straight, he isn't Francisco Franco.  It's true that he'll probably go after abortion and the like.  They really don't trust big governent or big business.  He's an ordinary guy, an old school Huey Long populist.

This is the within the Republican party that Edwards hopes to pull away from the Republicans.

There's a third element here, which is the possibility that the establishent wing of the Republican party mounts a third party challenge to Huckabee through New York Mayor Bloomberg.  This is where I see 2008 heading.

Obama and Bloomberg fighting it out over the remains of the establishent Republican party, while Huckabee takes it home with his wing of the Republican party.  If we see a left wing candidate thrown into the mix, it could be a repeat of the 1912 presidential election. The key difference being that because Obama and an indpendent candidate are dividing the same voters, they hand the election to Huckabee.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huckabee, after a quick scan of his rhetoric, is economically to the left of Obama.

Excuse me.  My brain just went twing!

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PoliticalCompass.org: US Primaries 2008
In response to many requests, not only from Americans, The Political CompassTM has charted the most prominent names in the 2008 US Primaries. They have been evaluated through scrutiny of public statements, manifestos, interviews and, crucially, voting records. Our apologies for those not included.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great comment.  This chart probably deserves a diary in its own right.  Interestingly Obama, is smack bang in the middle of the Dems, and Huckabee is centre stage for the Gops.  Means both are well positioned to pick up support from failing candidates all around them.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The chart below (and historic ties of party/business loyalty) would indicate that Bloomberg might take more from Huckabee than he would from Obama.  Huckabee needs the business wing of GOP more than Obama does.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but the people who create these charts are idiots who don't understand politics.  Note that normally these charts are oriented so that the libertarian corner is oriented to the top, to indicate this is the right answer.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:02:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in this case libertarian is down.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:11:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one easy observation and that is that these charts tend to show a strong correlation between the economic and social dimensions. It really doesn't matter whether you look at composers, Australia, the 2008 US primaries or the 2004 election, the EU or Canada. So, in a sense, it is not true that there isn't a single most important dimension and that that dimension cannot be tied to economic left/right. What it does seem to indicate is that libertarian socialism is not an oxymoron as the anarchocapitalists would have you believe.

In more ambiguous cases all you need to do is to remove a single outlier and the rest of the points all show the same neat correlation: US 2004: remove Badnarik; US 2008: remove Paul; Germany: remove the NDP (the FDP isn't all that far away from the main axis); UK: remove the BNP; and New Zealand: remove ACT.

In the case of Ireland Ireland the main axis is almost exactly economic left-right, that is, there is little correlation and much lower variation on the social axis than on the economic axis). But the exception is in the absence of correlation, not in the existance of a main axis which does correlate with economic left-right.

Though it has to be noted that in the case of the EU governments the main axis correlates more strongly with the authoritarian dimension, which should be food for thought.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 07:14:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone is arguing that these charts are anything more than an interesting 2 dimensional way of seeing party/candidate rather than the usual boring an uninformative one dimensional left right axis.

I stand by my view that Obama only needs to unite the democrats and pull in some independents to win, Whereas Huckabee needs to unite the GOP to have a chance.  If Bloomberg pulls away a significant portion of the GOP business wing, Huckabee is toast.  

Personally I don't see Bloomberg as anything other that  a gleam in some democrat eyes who are hoping he will do a Perot and the Dems the election on a plate.  Surely he's not that stupid?  

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 09:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically a chart should have an axis for each variable of data.  However, a 20 or 30 or 100 axis graph gets - shall I say - "fun" to graph and interpret.  

No reason to take these graphs anymore seriously than the message(s) inside a Chinese Fortune cookie.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are sensible dimension reduction techniques in statistics, too.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 03:31:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Populism doesn't pay in a system in which the "winning" candidates are bought.

So you say populism isn't popular in the US, and yet Edwards polled 30% of Iowans on $1 million when he was vastly outspent by the others.

This means the man or the message had a much bigger impact than the money did (in terms of ratios) but that the money was not nearly enough for him to win.

by Upstate NY on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:21:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I mean - it's not enough to win. The interest is cetainly there, but the game is rigged to make sure that the populist message is represented to make it appear to have a voice, but it has no chance of winning the nomination.

The rigging is mostly done by the media, who carefully build the required narratives.

Right now Obama is on fire because he's the not-going-to-change-much change candidate.

It's a perfect story - selling people the thing that Edwards is promising, and which people want, and which Obama can be guaranteed not to deliver.

Edwards has done very well to get this far, but I still think it's over for him. He doesn't have the cash and the media profile, so he's not going to get the nod, no matter how much his supporters - including me, as an outsider - might want him to.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's so much an issue of it not taking you very far.  Edwards polls incredibly well in general election matchups, and he was the Veep nominee last time.

I think Edwards's biggest problem was fighting to not become Dick Gephardt, a good candidate focusing on working-class issues, but one who wasn't going to win outside of Iowa.

Now, that said, Edwards was #2 last night.  The fact that he held on to beat the Clinton Machine is damned impressive.  And historically the #2 in Iowa gains while the #3 loses.  Edwards might be able to leverage that into some possible wins, or at least be able to keep his agenda alive to force Obama and/or Clinton to grab it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'll say this.  Political outcomes depend on the overall circumstances and mood of the country.

If the Reps win in November somehow, and the country continues to fall, an Edwards win in 2012 could look incredibly good.  Populist candidacies can be successful, but they need furious electorates.  I think the electorate is very angry and depressed right now, but I don't know if it's the right alignment in the stars for Edwards.

One way or another, I wouldn't count him completely out forever.  There are candidates who've lost, taken a break, and returned to victory under the right circumstances.  Among them, Nixon enjoyed enormous success, and Edwards wouldn't likely piss it away with paranoia the way Nixon did.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the very least, if Obama is the nominee, Edwards needs to be given a prominent position in the Cabinet.  Edwards is far too valuable to allow to just go away.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:35:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
here is the Presidential Primary Calendar.

With the Iowa win I see Huckabee coming in the top 3 in NH.  Which is all he has to do.  Then comes South Carolina where his fellow assholes the Christian Right will propel him to victory.  Then it's Feb 5 and take a guess but I give Huck the edge from the southern states.  If Giulliani, Romney, and McCain are all still in the race Feb 5 then Huck's the GOPs Man.

On the Dem side I don't know.  

Obama's surprise win and the size of that win surprised me.  NH and Iowa are loosely coupled but with his win Obama will get 3-4 days of (free) media time and then we're into the period when the 72 hour people - the decisive demographic - make up their minds.  Obama should be in the top 2.  Then it's off to South Carolina where Obama has to be considered, at this point, the Front Runner.  I think he will win SC no matter the result in NH.  On Feb 5 Obama should do good and may wrap the nomination up.

Edwards has to win NH or he is toast. He will lose SC to Obama and then it depends on Feb 5.  He is financially the weakest of all the candidates and that will hurt on Tsunami Tuesday.  He won't even have the money to compete effectively in all 20 states even if he wins NH.  

Clinton lost Iowa Big Time.  Her only winning age demographic was the 65+ group.  Even worse was the younger the voter the worse her percentage.  IF the insurgent trend carries into NH her chances shrivel.  Being third in Iowa - where she placed a large bet, BTW - third in NH, third in SC -- and the Inevitability Argument, a large weapon in her arsenal, is gone.  poof  And she goes into Feb 5 very weak.

An interesting point that needs to be made: Edwards can become King Maker for Obama.  If, or when, Edwards quits he can assure Obama the nomination with his active support.  67% of Iowa was Not-Hillary.  That's a whopping margin to over come which she cannot do because everybody has already made up their mind about supporting her.  If they don't support her they most likely will never support her in the primary.

I expect some high-level telephone calls will be made after next Wednesday.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:08:33 AM EST
A big part of Obama's win seems to have come from an efficient student vote machine. He may not have that advantage in the other states. But he does have momentum now, so he'll hoover up a lot of undecideds.

What makes it look so final is the size of the win. Psychologically he looks far ahead of Edwards and Clinton, with their equivalent losing percentages, which makes him appear very electable.

The press really screwed Edwards by not giving him the coverage. With more airplay I think he could have won this. But the meeja are just fine with Obama. He's not going to rock any boats or kick over anything that matters.

And here's why I think this will eventually turn into a disaster for the Democrats.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Edwards also may have screwed himself a little by making it clear that he was counting on a win in Iowa, rather than on a good showing.  In any other circumstance, placing 2nd ahead of Hillary Clinton would have been seen as a huge victory for a candidate who's gotten comparatively little press attention and spent a lot less money.  He was caught in a bit of a bind, because he had to seem viable in order to attract voters.  But in the end, IMHO, he didn't play the expectations game very shrewdly, unfortunately, so now 2nd place is seen as a disappointment going into NH.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:11:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that effect may be stronger with the junkies.

A lot of people who follow this less closely will just see that he is in front of Clinton - ie his name will suddenly be mentioned more than before, even though the media spins it as a disappointment, it's still a mention, which is better than what he got before:

From this recent dKos diary

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point and nice graphics - I must get the hang of embedding them - the Real Clear Politics ones seem to be awkward to capture so I just link to them

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Embedding images is easy. However, RCP's diagrams are not images but flash graphics: you'd need an image software (say IrfanView) to print-screen, crop and save as gif; and then upload on some image host. But most of that is in the New User Guide if you're not scared away :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, I'll give it a go.  How about embedding (excel) tables?  Do these have to be converted to an image as well?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a way to export an Excel table as html, but I haven't tried it yet. As for on-line html tables, it can be copied as html -- easily if you have Firefox and downloaded the extension written by someone:

RealClearPolitics - Polls

PollDateGiulianiMcCainHuckabeeRomneyThompsonSpread
RCP Average12/14 to 12/3020.0%17.2%17.0%15.0%11.4%Giuliani +2.8%
Pew Research12/19 - 12/3020%22%17%12%9%McCain +2.0%
FOX News12/18 - 12/1920%19%19%11%10%Giuliani +1.0%
NBC/WSJ12/14 - 12/1720%14%17%20%11%Tie
USA Today/Gallup12/14 - 12/1627%14%16%14%14%Giuliani +11.0%
Rasmussen (Thu)4 Day Tracking13%17%16%18%13%Romney +1.0%


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:55:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant - I didn't even try that - doh

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless you put them in as simple HTML tables.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:55:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm so simple I don't do html.  If you can't copy and paste it its technical!!!  Some might call it lazy, I claim I'm campaigning for more user friendly software.  If you think visually, code is counter-intuitive or just plain hard work

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:15:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I claim I'm campaigning for more user friendly software.

It is crucial to understand that there are two kinds of user friendly-ness in software: The first kind is the kind of user friendly-ness that allows a user to walk in from the street with zero prior experience with the software and start with zero instructions. That's the kind of user friendly-ness that our favourite bloatware provider specialises in. Then there's the kind of user friendly-ness that permits experienced users to use the software efficiently and soaks up a minimum of CPU time. This is the UNIX kind of user friendly-ness.

Unfortunately the two are frequently at odds and often outright incompatible. For instance, requiring that people provide much of the code themselves when they write blog posts (rather than through a point-and-click and/or WYSIWYG interface) both allows more use of the keyboard over the mouse and reduces the amount of javascript on the page, which increases the efficiency of use but decreases the accessability.

Myself, I prefer efficiency and ease of use over accessability - but then again, I already know the system, so I may be a bit biased in that regard :-P

</rant>

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 11:12:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't it show how sick media are? How everything must be binary?
We had the same thing in France with Bayrou being hardly mentioned, even though he was very close. But this is another dimension altogether, Edwards with 8% in Google news when he was in a virtual tie in the polls!

It's OK, the system dictates you to vote Right... All is well...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:09:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As the NYT editorialised in a hit piece on Nader just before the 2000 election, true democracy requires that voters be presented with a clear choice between two horses. Everything else perverts democracy. Or something like that.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Similarly, just before the French election, Le Monde (France's most prestigious newspaper) editorialised that it would be anti-democratic to have anything other than Sarkozy v Royal in the second round.

They must have a book of knowledge we don't get to see...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its the single vote system that perverts democracy by creating early and forced choices.  In a single transferable vote system you vote for a number of candidates in order of your choice and your vote is counted first for your first choice.  If he is eliminated (at the bottom of the poll) your vote is transfered to your second choice, and so on until there is only two candidates (and one winner) left.

The effect of the system is to avoid polarisation as a successful candidate needs not just first but second and third preference votes as well.  It also avoid early exclusion of minor candidates as your vote for them is not wasted.  Thus you can vote 1) Kucinich, 2) Dodd, 3) Biden, 4) Richardson, 5) Clintom, 6) Edward and 7) Obama and your vote will counted 5 times (giving some credit to minor candidates) before it finally counts for Edwards in an Edwards/ Obama final play-off.

It also avoids vote-spliting - so you can vote for Nader or whoever in the National poll and then give your second choice to the Democratic nominee without damaging that nominee.

If such a system were employed in the US I would expect it to favour candidates with broad wide appeal like Edwards/Obama and McCain over more partisan or narrow focussed candidates like Clinton and Huckabee.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:07:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a vote in academia for a departmental hire.

As is proven by academics, this system is the surest way to hire the second-least-objectionable candidate.

My band once won a battle of the bands in this manner. Seems everyone picked us second in order to keep the stronger bands from accumulating votes.

by Upstate NY on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on Jerome 17% of the Voting Age Population of Iowa bothered to show up in a state where somewhere between $80-$100 million voters was spent actually bothered to show up. It's a victory for democracy.

The thing that irritates me is that I know who the Obama supporters are.  One of my former friends was one of the youth surge that went to Iowa.  We sort of drifted apart when it became utterly apparent to me that he thought his book smarts should allow him to tell people who've actually worked for a living the way things are.  See according to this guy, working people are selfish bastards who damage the economy.

The irony is that this guy hasn't been paying his taxes for the past 10 years, and brags about it when he gets drunk.  He forgot to change his voter registration, and he tried to illegally vote in his old precinct.  The only reason he was caught was because his address on his new license didn't match his old address.  And finally, I'm fairly certain that the mysterious source of the money he's been giving to the Obama campaign are from selling drugs.  

When they talk about how Obama got a youth surge, they're talking about people like this.  Forgive me, but I play by the rules, and it pisses me off that people who have a contempt for the idea that there are rules are the ones making this decision.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This takes 'generalising from personal experience' to a whole new level.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've found this to be true of the Obama supporters on blogs as well. It's part of their schtick, Obama people don't believe in issues, it's all about the identity of the candidate.

I'm sorry, but I'm sick and tired of dealing with people who haven't been involved in building the party, but expect to come in and run the show.  There are a limited number of political personalities, and I've run into most of them having worked on campaigns here. I don't like them, they've succeeded in giving us Bush and the dismanteling of the gains of the 20th century.  Where I come from there are empty lots where the factories my family used to work in used to stand, and economic inequality is growing.  

But these guys want to talk about how wonderful it is that a black man and a women are running.  As though the vicarious experience of power through identity is supposed to make up for the fact that people are dying because they can't afford healthcare and are losing their jobs. You can't compromise when the opposition wants to wage class war against working people, you have to fight with all you got.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not involved in building the party?  22% of caucus-goers were young people, the same percentage as those 65+.  Turnout doubled the previous record.  Union members, women, everybody went to Obama.  How can that be evidence of anything other than building the party?

Portraying Obama supporters as a bunch of drunk, drug-dealing young people is pretty ridiculous.

It's also more than a little ridiculous to state that it is all about identity.  What's it all about with Edwards?  You could as easily say that it's simply about a well-done makeover with Edwards, or gender with Clinton.

Yes, people are dying because they don't have health care, and people's jobs are being shipped over seas, so you're...supporting the guy who voted for trade with China and opposed universal health care in 2004?

Come on.  The Edwards campaign is no less built on a personality cult than the Obama campaign.  All campaigns are built on personality cults.

It's amazing to me that people can buy the bullshit from one and try to tear down the assumed bullshit of the other.  Really, it's amazing to me that Obama, Edwards and Clinton supporters can find any reason to fight other than based upon love of personality, because the three have nearly identical platforms (although, yes, different records).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All campaigns are built on personality cults.

There's really no point in having a conversation with you, because someone who seriously believes this isn't capable of conversation about political issues.  

Democracy is a den of special interests, so we have to privatize everything to make things clean. You've drunk the neo-liberal kool-aid that let's them get away with the things that they do, congratulations.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:41:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you've clearly nailed me down there, MfM.

Seriously, you're a better writer than I am, and certainly a much better writer than that.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I share your frustration MfM but there's no reason to take it out on Drew.

Presidential campaigns are Personality Contests because most state's EV are determined by the 72-hour deciders who know bugger all about politics.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:59:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
Really, it's amazing to me that Obama, Edwards and Clinton supporters can find any reason to fight other than based upon love of personality, because the three have nearly identical platforms (although, yes, different records).
So they're all chasing the centre and should be judged on their records, then.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 07:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
K-Drum has some interesting pro-Obama propaganda, re- his record.

Through Atrios, who has a comment that makes me think "me, too":


In all my dealings with Obama people, as well as the man himself, there's always been this sense that they're constantly telling people, "Trust us. We've thought this through. We know what we're doing. It'll work. Yes we understand that you're uncomfortable with this, or that you think it's wrong, but really we know what we're doing."

And then those of us in the cheap seats think that there's no way all of those new/young voters show up to vote in Iowa, that Obama's inclusive rhetoric doesn't have the appeal he imagines, etc.. etc... And then he pulls it off. Maybe he does know what he's doing.


A lot of Obama's campaign is about the personal awesomeness of Barack Obama. Maybe he is pretty awesome. It still makes me uneasy. What if he uses his awesomeness to cajole the EU/NATO to join him in some misguided military intervention?
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 10:53:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That won't happen, not because of Obama's awesomeness, but because the American public simply doesn't have an appetite for it.  Especially now that it's learned the Bushies were full of shit about Iran.

On the whole, the Dems have actually talked up the EU -- I don't remember there even being a mention of NATO, but if there was it was a small one -- more as a partner in a non-military sense.  I was rather encouraged to finally see some acknowledgment of the EU as something more than a child on the international scene.

Now, granted, whether that holds up in a Democratic administration is another question.

If he wins the nomination by building the party base with new Dems, indies, and some soft Reps, my concern, like others, is that he'll not make the effort to pull the center back to the left, and we'll have wasted an historic opportunity.  The thing about Obama is that he's probably more capable of this than anyone, because of the "awesomeness" factor, but nobody knows if he'll do it, and his policy proposals on everything, outside of foreign affairs, have been basically slightly more timid versions of Edwards.

I think, like Atrios, I want to know that he's going to pull the country back to progressive causes before I hand my vote to him.  He's proven he can get new people out to vote, unlike...everyone else in history.  And that's great and important.  But the simple truth is that fear with Obama lies in the fact that we don't know what to expect, and it's not irrational to have that fear.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see Obama going to war with Iran. Pakistan, I don't know, he did say that he'd strike in Pakistan if he had reliable intelligence on Al Qaeda leaders. In terms of confrontations with Russia or China, Obama may be the candidate most likely to defuse an explosive situation.

The thing is that he's an interventionist at heart. He will intervene in the case of genocide or large scale ethnic cleansing, when he can.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see Obama going to war with Iran. Pakistan, I don't know, he did say that he'd strike in Pakistan if he had reliable intelligence on Al Qaeda leaders.

I don't think even the Republican Noise Machine could sell war with Iran after the NIE.  That sent shockwaves through the country, and I think it served as a sort of nail in the coffin for the Neocons.  They were ridiculed, and, ever since, we haven't really heard much about Iran.  They now sound, to the ears of the public, collectively like the crazy guy standing on the corner with his "The End is Near" sign.

On his Pakistan remark, I'm reminded of something Bill Maher said of Howard Dean four years ago after some "gaffe" Dean had made:  "A gaffe is when a candidate tells a truth he's not supposed to tell."  With regard to the others, there was nothing controversial about what he said.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 12:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
On the whole, the Dems have actually talked up the EU -- I don't remember there even being a mention of NATO, but if there was it was a small one -- more as a partner in a non-military sense.
That is very interesting.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 03:27:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they're all chasing ChangeTM right now.  (As Iowa demonstrated, that's going to ell for Obama and Edwards, but it's really just impossible, I think, for Clinton to sell it.)  Yes, of course candidates should be judged on their records.

Now, their platforms are not completely identical, and so there's judgment to be made on them with regad to what they say they're going to do.  For example, Edwards has the best health care plan, in my opinion.  Clinton and Obama came out with good ones, but they don't quite measure up.  (I'm not sure where I stand on Obama's lack of mandates for adult purchasers, honestly.  I'm inclined to agree with Krugman about the free-rider problem.)

Edwards and Obama have engaged very different temptations on Iraq from those of Clinton, which is why I have my stated fear of her on the war.  On this point, however, Richardson and Biden are the top dogs, in my view.  I also like that Biden has a kid serving.  In all honesty, if I were to pick any candidate based upon experience, it probably would've been Biden, because there I get experience and someone with a little backbone.

No matter who wins, they're going to be chasing the center by changing their rhetoric a bit.  The nice thing is that none of them really need to do much (even Edwards).  The plans are already there, so there's no wiggle room on policy.   The public can already find where they stand on this or that issue, since all three have laid out pretty detailed plans on their websites.  They all probably stand slightly to the right of the public, depending on the issue.  And there, I refer to the entire public (more liberal), not the voting public.

All we'll see once the primaries are over is the nominee retuning his/her rhetoric to match the center of the voting public.  At most.  He/she may not even need to, given the, shall we say, extremist rhetoric of the other side.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
They all probably stand slightly to the right of the public, depending on the issue.  And there, I refer to the entire public (more liberal), not the voting public.
This implies that the non-voting public leans left. Why is that?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:05:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Think of who makes up the nonvoting public.  I'm guessing it's single moms, working-class people, young people, and a few other groups.

I suspect it will lean more working-class than upper-class, and I believe the data looks that way, having seen it in the past.

In other words, a group that very much looks like it would be a progressive Democratic constituency, at least on economics.

That would also explain, as I've mentioned before, why the Dems so thoroughly trounce the Reps when we see issue-by-issue polls, but then see the Reps win in November.  The nonvoting public should be a solidly Democratic -- and, again, progressive -- portion of the voting public.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So why do they not come out for national elections? why are they disconnected? has chasing the elusive "Middle"(hah!) meant that these communities now think that the  national government is going to do nothing for them, so there is no reason to vote?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:33:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of it is just an issue of time.  Again, they're likely to be working-class people, I think.  They work during the day in the factory, and want to go home and relax when they're done, instead of wasting time on an election they believe they'll have no impact on.  Some of it is just an issue of not being inclined to get into politics, I suspect, in a similar way to young people who think politics is boring.

I don't think it's easy to fit that group neatly into categories, because it's likely to be quite diverse (since it covers 41% of the American population), but, thinking about potential reasons for why people wouldn't show up, those are the sorts of things that come to mind.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if you offered these people a candidate to vote for and they did go out and voted, it wouldn't hurt the Democrats? So a third party candidate competing for the Progressive Democrat vote wouldn't be a spoiler?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a world in which (say) a Green Party candidate was drawing support mainly from nonvoters, it wouldn't hurt the Dems.  And, to be fair, Nader made a good point about this, although I think he's kidding himself if he believes none of his supporters would've gone for Gore.  He did get quite a few people who would not otherwise have voted, and, really, the impact on Gore was small (and wouldn't have mattered if the election hadn't been stolen).

I think a progressive third party could wind up being a good thing, because it would force the Dems to the left, and it would probably help to expand the pool of voters.

Having Huckabee, Bloomberg, Obama, and Nader in a debate could be quite fun.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nader's political campaign, IIRC, was aimed at maximum political damage for the Dems. If he'd only been interested in drawing in new voters, he would only have focused on non-battleground states.

The thing with third parties in the USA is that it's never the time for them, and won't be until one of the two big parties gets destroyed (here's hoping the Repubs will in '08) or both big parties can magically agree to change the electoral system.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Nader would've lose any sleep over hurting the Dems, but, that said, I've made my peace with Nader.  And he and Gore have, after all, become good buddies.  I think we need guys like Ralph Nader to keep the party focused on the core principles it's supposed to be focused on, and we need to bring the Naders of the country back by listening to them and working with them.  They should be allies, not enemies.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:47:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Frank for this post, and good assessment AT. Sadly, I think it looks like slim pickens for Edwards...but I doubt he leaves soon, if at all. A question is, when would be the best time for him...leverage wise...to bow out. And can he wring some concessions out of Obama, if he were to do that. But that won't happen for awhile, as we have to wait and see what the delegate totals look like.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:16:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NO!  I don't want to hear talk of Edwards bowing out.  Period.  Full stop.  The voters of one overwhelming white, rural midwestern state do NOT get to decide who is a viable presidential candidate for all of us!  Edwards should not even consider getting out till after at least South Carolina and Florida, and probably not till after Super Tuesday.

&^%$#@ this is why I hate Iowa....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Example #1, this annoying defeatist diary on the DKos reclist by an alleged Edwards supporter, already having basically conceded the nomination on the basis of one ^%$#@& state.

This NYTimes piece manages to, bizarrely, make the even-handed (and IMHO correct) point that the race is still wide-open between the top three candidates, and at the same time almost completely ignore Edwards.  Sigh.

It. Is. Not. Over.  It has just begun.  God, Iowa pisses me off.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:24:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably it is saying the race is still open because it doesn't want Obama to win, and it is ignoring Edwards because it doesn't want him to win.  Not so bizarre at all if you want Clinton to win!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stormy, I totally agree...it sucks bigtime that two little states set the dynamics rolling. I think it should be rotating regions myself. But...I still think Edwards is strongest, but...looking at Jerome's graphics about actuall press time Edwards is being given...it doesn't look too good. Seems the powers that be have made up their minds about which two are preferable (which makes me a bit suspicious). And I still don't know what Obama is for...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Bill Maher had a great idea:  We should have a lottery to see which state goes first.  Announce it (say) two months before the primary/caucus, leaving enough time for the citizens to get to know the candidates and their positions and have a few swings in the polls.  And that way nobody knows where to campaign.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should have a lottery for Senate and Congress, and then pick a President from the random delegates.

Better yet, pick a random foreigner for President, so the rest of the world gets a chance to participate.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same way the US Prez election is on the same day (altough without a law prohibiting the publishing of polls and results until the end of voting everywhere) and we wish EU referendums would be on the same day in every member country, the real pluralist solution would be primaries held on the same day.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely not until after Super Tuesday. And someone mentioned last night thet Edwards has gone the route of spending limits and matching funds, so if he makes it past Super Tuesday he'll get a big boost when the other candidates will have severely depleted their war chests.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:33:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea - its much to early for Edwards to bow out - even Richardson is fighting on.  But what leverage does he want - the VP job may not look so attractive the second time around, although he has a much better chance this time around of actually winning it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to agree with all three comments today except your  linked comment where you said Clinton was toast.  I said in The  Who is really going to win the US Election? that Clinton was the only Democrat who could lose both Iowa and New Hampshire and still remain viable (because of her 20% lead in many states which gives her a lot of downside resilience).

A lot will depend on how badly she loses New Hamshire (assuming she does) and how she is seen by the media to respond.  Any sign of weakness (or a Dean moment) will be ruthlessly exploited and she IS toast.  But if she holds her nerve, smiles a lot, is gracious in defeat, hangs tough she could still win enough States Feb. 5 to remain in the hunt.

What surprised me about Obama is how well he did succeed in bringing out the youth vote (unlike Dean).  But as you say he has all the momentum now.  However his support could be a mile high and an inch deep and the momentum could indeed turn again.  He is so much of an unknown quantity -I hope he doesn't do a Kerry...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced that 20% lead is solid Clintonite. I'd guess it's more a group which sees Clinton as more electable than Obama because of precedece. If Obama wins big in NH and if the media form up behind him - which I suspect they will - those voters will be looking at Obama and thinking he'll do just as well.

Apart for name recognition and inertia, Clinton mostly inspires no real loyalty because she doesn't seem to have done much for the last eight years. If she's leading it's only because she's the assumed front runner, not because she has any intrinsic qualities which make her unstoppable. The Woman Card seems to have lost traction with the younger generation - which I suppose shouldn't be a surprise - and Obama's token minority-ness could easily stand in for it.

And I think there's real interest in trying something different. Obama appears to offer that. (It's most likely an illusion, but it seems to be a convincing one.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:31:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I absolutely agree that a large part of Clinton's current 20% national lead is not hard core Clinonite - but you could say that of anybody's support base - all I'm saying is she she could lose a lot of votes and still be competitive in most states which is more than could be said of Obama/Edwards up until now.  However now the "Front-runner" tag goes to Obama and a lot of the floating vote will drift his way.

Hilary needs to redefine her message a bit and seem less old/guard establishment.  The "experience" argument didn't wash because it made her seem like an insider who wouldn't change much in Washington.  She now has to transform herself to chase the Edward's base which may become available after New Hampshire - but Obama has the clear advantage there.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:53:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How big was the swing for Kerry in the polls in 2004?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big.  Kerry was trailing Dean badly in New Hampshire prior to his Iowa win, and it flipped overnight to give him quite a victory.  But this year may be different.  In 2004, our marching orders were, "Find a candidate, get behind him, and go after Bush."  It's more open and less pressured today -- a good thing, for now, since it shows the comfort we enjoy because of the massive problems the GOP has.  There's still no clear front-runner for the GOP.  Huckabee has to be presumed the nominee right now, because of the sort of southern and working-class tilt of the upcoming primaries (obvious exception of independent-heavy New Hampshire).

Random thought: One thing we haven't mentioned yet is that McCain is in deep shit.  He lost to Thompson and nearly lost to Paul.  Obama's success with independents also strips away a big chunk of McCain's base for Tuesday.  McCain didn't need an Obama loss as bad as Clinton, but it was pretty close.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:05:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The diary still lists McCain ahead of Thomson with 85% of precincts reporting. Can we have an update?

By the way, apparently Ron Paul came first in Jefferson County.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:11:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At 1716/1781 precints reporting, Thompson is again ahead of McCain, by a mere 15,521 to 15,248.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The big disappointment for me was not seeing Ron Paul beat McCain.  Granted, it should still be a big story that he came so close, but McCain getting beat by Ron Paul would've sent shockwaves through the press.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've updated the Diary

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:56:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The truly depressing thing is that a candidate who attacks the others from the right may even stand a chance at all.

That is insane. Clinton is WAY right of what USA need. Edwards is to the right too, if less so. OK, it's a weak pool of candidates (I'd rather have Dean, Gore or even Kerry, regrettably we can't have Krugman) but still...

And yet, let's-be-friends-with-movement-conservatism-Obama can even exist???
OK, the utterly silly nomination process explains some of that maybe, on the other hand it's a very white state so maybe we can't even blame it on the bizarre tradition of starting with Iowa caucus. Rather, it seems that it is a product of the increasing tendency of politics becoming all show, no substance. We had a rather convincing case study in France with the second round being just that.

Also, January the 3d??? The primary essentially over early February at the latest???? Does that make any sort of sense? We may then have all the mayhem you could (not) wish for and no chance of a candidate who would be the right person to handle it (being populist being necessary, if not sufficient) even running. Do you think the MSM really could have blocked Edwards in that way if a recession had already officially started? And even Edwards wasn't in the region of Roosevelt.

I needed to be cheered up after learning last night that I probably cannot have children normally, but to see that the only Democrats allowed near the White House would be Bourbon ones won't exactly do that...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry to hear about your bad news.  The problem is that politics now is essentially about marketing a Brand and gaining market share.  With the nomination process so momentum based and concentrated we could know the winning Brand on each side in a few eeks time.  

And that leaves an awful lot of time for people to find out that either the Democratic or Republican Nominee is a real Turkey who will be a dead duck a few months later.  One swallow doesn't make a summer and there could be a lot of fowl play before next Fall.  It's too early to start crowing but a bird in the hand sure beats two bushes....  (ok, ok, I apologise...)

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and the oh so democratic college system just makes it certain that if in those months emerged an independent populist candidate he would get thrashed. And demolished by the MSM, of course.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:15:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MfM suggested last night that Bloomberg might now enter the race as an independent, in reaction to the Huckabee win.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd guess that Bloomberg is going to wait it out a bit more. Really, I don't think he'd stand a chance if Obama is running, because Obama's got the whole 'moving beyond partisan bickering' unity spin thing covered (and is just to likeable a press darling). Neither Huckabee nor Obama has the nomination, yet, but Huckabee is even less sure as he'll likely lose New Hampshire.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:50:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a big conservative business vote which is currently Giulliani/Romney and which won't be happy with a Huckabee/Obama choice - but they won't waste time on a loser, they'll just buy whoever is selling their soul most cheaply

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a real class problem with Huckabee, as mentioned elsewhere. He's not one of them. He's a lower caste, a plebeian. Distasteful. The patricians will let him fail just for that. They can live with Obama for four or eight years (he's 'clean' and 'articulate') before they stage a comeback.

Now if it's Edwards vs. Huckabee, they'll really freak out and run a third party candidate like Bloomberg.

The GOP establishment will likely rally behind whoever wins New Hampshire, even if it's McCain.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:02:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so.  Bloomberg gave a very clear answer to that on New Year's Eve, and typically those clear answers mean that the potential candidate is telling the truth.  (Otherwise he'd say, "I have no plan to be a candidate, I'm VARY IMPWORTANT ON LONGUE ISLAND, blah blah blah.")

He can't win anyway, and he'd really only strip Business Wing votes from the GOP nominee, according to the polls I've read, handing an easier win to the Dem.  It's going to be difficult enough for Teh Huckster to get the Business Wing (which quite openly hates Huckabee) on board without Bloomberg gumming up the works.

Huckabee also doesn't carry the Neocon vote very well.

But, by all means, Bloomberg is welcome to jump in and play Ross Perot to our nominee's Bill Clinton.  I think he'd be wasting his money, but whatever.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's unlikely. At least not more likely than Ron Paul running as independent which could doom the GOP.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:26:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I needed to be cheered up...

I feel really sorry for you Cyrille. As you say "probably", I hope it will not be the case.

M.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry to hear that, Cyrille. I like your writing, FWIW.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for your support. There are two important words (and after that I'll try to stop hijacking the thread too much): probably, and naturally.

Probably because even though the test was as negative as can be, there are reported cases where it worked nonetheless. So you never know.
Naturally, because in vitro should still work, if somewhat less romantic. Then there is always adoption, although my wife would find it hard to fail to experience a pregnancy.

So hope there is. In fact, much more hope on my side than of a real populist winning the White House ;-)

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:15:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My commiserations aussi

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:12:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear. Sorry Cyrille. :(
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where do folks get this idea of Dean being some kind of hyper-liberal leader in our party?  All three of the major candidates right now are more liberal than Dean on every issue but the war (on which Dean is no more liberal than Edwards or Obama).

Many of us loved Dean for his war opposition, but also because he was a pretty boring, yet very competent, moderate governor.  That was his appeal, in addition to his lovable New England prickiness.  He's not very liberal.  He's just common-sensical, and that makes people think he's liberal because of the GOP's mass psychosis.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:20:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, maybe not hugely liberal (although I don't agree that he was less so than Obama or Clinton -I could be wrong of course). But certainly more willing to confront Republicans than Obama, and considerably less of a candidate of the system than Clinton.

Also, it wouldn't be a great sign for democracy to have a Clinton or a Bush for at least 24 years on the trot (not counting a possible later Jeb Bush, and the years of 41 as VP). That would more appropriately be called alternating dynasty.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dean had not much of an environmental record, his budget balancing involved not too social cutbacks, he supported death penalty, and even flip-flopped on occupation. However, the reason I thought him supportable (even while I liked Nader more, even or especially during the Dem witchhunt against him) was on one hand what you say about attacking the Repubs openly. On the other hand, that a Dean victory would have been a netroots victory, both in practice and in public perception, and thus he would have felt dependent on them and in dept for them. I thought in that situation, he would have achieved much more positive reforms than a more progressive establishment candidate who'd be back firmly in the straitjacket of counsellors and lobbyists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:10:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the real appeal to me, too.  Watching Dean take off with small donors and grassroots support was incredibly inspiring.  His campaign really did change the entire scene, and, like the Internet it was built on, I think we're still only in the beginning stages of seeing the effects of it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely the beginning stages. Although there is no clear netroots candidate this election, Booman wrote a good post a couple of days ago on why the blogs broke for Edwards.

Similarly, Krugman has been writing for some time now on why the dems need a fighter and a populist.

I'd say this perception has not seeped through to the general electorate enough to make a difference. The anti-partisan candidate just won. Though saying this purely on the basis of Iowa is a bit thin. We'll see in the coming weeks.

If Edwards doesn't win, the blogs should put all their attention on primary challenges and policy battles. FISA has been going well so far, but that's still a vital battle.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blogs need to put their resources into primary challenges anyway.  Regardless of the nominee, a victory is useless in November if we don't have a Democratic Congress with a larger number of progressives.  Ned Lamont should take another shot at Holy Joe, and so on.

Dodd needs to be the Senate Majority Leader.  If the next president is a Dem, there needs to be arm-twisting to make that happen.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Buy mediaTM
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm incredibly sorry to hear that Cyrille.

It's politics, and one thing I've learned since 2004 is that it's no use investing too much of your heart in a campaign, because it's crushing to watch it lose.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:23:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry to hear that

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most important on the psychology is Clinton's third-place finish.  But I think Obama has really shocked the country with this win, having just won one of the whitest states in the union as the first viable black candidate.

Of course, you never know, Alan Keyes could always come back. ;)

But Clinton's third-place run is a pretty nasty blow, as you've noted.  At the very least, the inevitability factor has been smashed, and I think that alone will stun many on the left and right.  The wingers, for some reason, believed the inevitability talk more than anyone.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I rate Iowa as significantly less racist than NH, for what its worth.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know either state well enough to give an opinion.  Clearly nobody should be leveling charges of racism at Iowa, or at least Democratic Iowans, for quite some time.

Race isn't going to decide this primary, in my view.  And whatever role it plays will be more positive than negative.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:16:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
An interesting point that needs to be made: Edwards can become King Maker for Obama.  If, or when, Edwards quits he can assure Obama the nomination with his active support.  67% of Iowa was Not-Hillary.

Thats the point I was making when I said Obama and Edwards seemed to be fishing in the same 60% pond prior to Iowa - when one went up, the other went down and Clinton desperately need them to stay almost dead level for her 30% to be anywhere near enough - and she still need to gain at least a couple of points to win even in that ideal scenario.

Iowa has changed that in two ways - it expanded the Obama/Edwards pond to 68% and it produced a clear leader.  Clinton now has to do a lot better than 30% to win anywhere, and this is where her lack of second preference support really starts to hurt her.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:32:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I went to your state primary calendar link, Frank, and what really jumps out at me is how many big states (with big delegate totals) are occurring on Feb 5th. I think we will have a much more realistic idea about how things will play out by Feb 6th. <geez...that's soon!> After that, there are still a good number of other states, but these have much smaller delegate totals...though likely it will be one of those that pushes a candidate over the victory line.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:55:59 AM EST
Thank  ATinNM - he provided the link.  yea - thats why there is the discussion up thread about this possibly/probably all being over bar the shouting in a few weeks time - which leaves 9 months for dirty tricks to undermine a successful nominee and almost render the election null and void as a true contests.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The larger states likely have mail-in balloting as an option.  California does, for example.  The SF paper interviewed a consultant who stated that perhaps 44% of the vote would be by mail.  The mailers go out this week.

This means that many Californians will actually be doing their voting during the next weeks (though probably waiting at least for NH.)  The big rich organizations know this, and will already be targeting those voters.  Despite Iowa, this is a strong advantage for Clinton over Edwards.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:01:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I voted for Edwards by mail in Calif already...he better still be in the race!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the 2004 elections, the youth vote didn't materialise for the Democrats, whereas Rove's army of evangelicals did materialise for Bush (they sat out the 2000 elections due to the DUI charges). That, plus some shenanigans, is how Bush won.

Rove really worked these evangelicals for a long time, there was a huge organisation behind it bringing the Bush message (save the unborn) to local churches, for years. None of the current candidates is going to replicate that level of organisation, though Huckabee will not have to.

Obama looks like he really succeeded in drawing out the youth vote, big, in Iowa. This is a huge selling point. At the same time, the GOP looks to either lose the evangelicals (if McCain or Romney or Giuliani wins), or the patricians (if Huckabee wins). Thompson is the only one who could unite most wings of the party, but he's a singularly uninspiring candidate, he'd be just as bad or worse for the general.

The patricians would line up behind a Bloomberg candidacy, but aside of bringing a lot of money to the table, that's only a 10-15% (rough guess) constituency. Obama likely has most of the right "bipartisan" wing of the Democratic party covered, and Bloomberg is not the right candidate to really organise the 5-10% for whom immigration is a bigger theme than saving the unborn.

The GOP may well try to swiftboat Obama. A Clinton advisor recently claimed they'd bring up the past cocaine use (and had to resign for bringing that up). But it may depend upon the candidate running against Obama.

If it's Giuliani, the attack line is mainly going to be 'Barack Hussein Obama, rhymes with Osama, went to a Madrassa in Indonesia' (cue footage of Bali bombing). Giuliani is just all about total war against Muslims at this point, that's how he's going to fight the general too. Luckily, his chances right now are slim.

I think it's highly likely that they're going to try to pin some sex scandal on Obama, probably related to porn and/or prostitution, possibly actual, possibly in his past, if they go all-out, related to an underage girl -- in a big, big way. The promiscuous black male image is very powerful in the US. That's how they sank Harold Ford's senate run in '06. Still, I don't see them doing this if McCain runs, or Huckabee, because those candidates will get a big dent in their image themselves if they or their surrogates go that sleazily negative. If it's Romney or Thompson, bet on it.

The classical Rovian tactic is to attack an enemy on his strengths, which is why they went after Kerry's Vietnam record in '04 (ripped open a nice old culture war, too). Although the flip-flopping attack line was probably as important. Obama's strengths are his positive outlook, youthfulness, and bipartisanship ('getting things done' 'working together for change'). These are much harder to attack because the media subscribes to them itself on a very deep level.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:47:46 AM EST
A 10-15% constituency of "Patricians" includes 9 to 14% of deluded fools.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. The top 20% in the US all have a level of material wealth that is unprecedented throughout history, worldwide. They have all continued to gain (though the top end gained the most).
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Youth vote was the highest percentage wise in US history in 2004. The night of the election, everyone said it didn't materialize. But in exit polling, people were surprised to see they broke all records.
by Upstate NY on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right (my perception was based upon immediate post-election coverage on a few blogs). Youth turnout went up by 9 percentage points in 2004, according to rock the vote whereas general turnout went up by 4 percentage points.

Because the increase of the non-youth vote came off the back of an already higher participation number, however, the youth vote's share of the total electorate did not really increase. That might change in '08.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:04:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the roundup. Yea, it's depressing that Edwards looks like burnt toast after one not very representative caucus, but that's the reality of the process.

In terms of my idea of their uselessness for the task in hand I couldn't put a fag paper between clintobama, but they're the only permitted wineers from the democratic party this time round anyway.

Of the also rans the biggest winner is Dodd, but that was for his performance in the Senate.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:53:42 AM EST
For the last time, he looks like no such thing.

I thought we in the blogosphere were supposed to challenge the MSM frames, not repeat them.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:02:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But Huckabee does look like a younger Nixon clone, and I do keep thinking that Dean looks like a Thunderbirds puppet.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:06:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, should you maybe be over in this thread? ;-)
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:13:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No it is here, but it might be sleep deprivation at 4 in the morning that had part of the effect.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:32:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we'll all know in a month or so, but my feeling was that he'd have to be a strong second in Iowa at least. It's not so much the gap between him and Obama that's the issue, it's the lack of one with Clinton.

That means he gets squeeezed. That may be the traditional media frame, but it's my impression too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 11:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep - we mustn't forget, that so far it is only the party activists and politically engaged in one small state who have spoken so far...  its the great unwashed out there that will make the decision, and their view will depend on how this all plays out in the media.

Except Obama to be given a really hard time as the new front-runner.  Perversely it could actually suit Clinton to be regarded as the underdog/bitch for a while.  In an era where people want change, she has come across as almost the incumbent with a sense of entitlement to return to her old lodgings.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:35:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like nanne said above, the turnout of 19-29 year olds in Iowa was unprecedented. I read something like 20%-22%. Huge. Not sure how Obama did this, but it won him Iowa. Can he repeat this elsewhere, in the regular primary where everyone gets a vote...not just those who show up? And can Edwards or Clinton find a way to pull in some youth vote at this point? This is a very big question, but Obama really did pull a rabbit out of the hat for Iowa, that's for sure. This bears watching.

Also, on another note we have been kicking around: would Clinton be willing to be a VP for Edwards or Obama? Would Obama be a VP for Clinton or Edwards?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:16:05 AM EST
I don't think Clinton bakes cookies or makes apple pie.  If you've been used to living in the main residence, its hard to move out to the gate lodge...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:37:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is an obvious choice of Veep for both Edwards and Clinton. The other way around, not at all (Edwards is quite good on most counts, but already having ran for Veep and having lost makes it really awkward. I don't know if he can turn that perception around).

Durbin might be a good pick for Obama, if he weren't called Dick. Other than that... maybe Jim Webb? Webb would bring more fire, but not really more political experience. Mark Warner would be perfect, but he's already running for Senate; it would ruin a pretty sure dem pickup in Virginia. I guess the most obvious pick is Bill Richardson.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:31:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Warner's not ready for prime time, in my opinion.  And we need him to win that Senate seat, both for the majority and for the fact that the presidential nominee can ride his coattails in what may turn out to be a huge flip in an increasingly-liberal southern state.

Webb would be interesting, but, again, we need the seat.

In my view, -- again, assuming Obama's the nominee for the sake of argument -- it's Richardson, Biden or Edwards.

I don't think Obama would take the Veep position, because he then runs the risk of becoming damaged goods in a loss, whereas staying in the Senate leaves him relatively uninjured.

Richardson and Biden are the conventional wisdom picks for him.  Of the two, I think Biden is the superior choice, because Biden seems to generate a lot of affection from typical voters.  He's very experienced, very sharp, and he could help close the deal in the Veep debate by making the GOP Veep nominee look small and weak.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:49:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden is a bit more gaffe-prone than Richardson, but he might also be a more gifted speaker. There is a consistent background noise rumour about Richardson behaving inappropriately towards women among his staff. So I'd prefer Richardson as Secretary of State (added bonus: Holbrooke won't).
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:24:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard that about Richardson, too.  Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but it does need to be answered before Richardson is considered for the #2 spot.  I think Biden is easily the more gifted speaker of the two.  He speaks in plain terms, and he's quite funny, at least in my view.  He's real somehow.  I don't quite know how to explain it.

Of the experience candidates, my pick was Biden, and I would've been happy to support him.  I liked Richardson, too, but I thought Biden was a better package.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted this on an earlier thread.

The Iowa caucus winner only wins the nomination 50% of the time.

Even worse, only once has the Iowa caucus winner won the presidency. GW Bush is the only one to have managed it so far.

This puts last night in a bit of perspective.

That being said, Obama is certainly in the lead. If Obama wins New Hampshire, the primary election is over. He will have it cinched up no matter what happens in the coming months.

Edwards must win New Hampshire to stay alive.

Clinton must win New Hampshire to have a chance.

Despite people already calling Edwards dead, you have to look back a bit at primary election history to realize that the small New England states are filled with contrarians and Yanks who don't like to be told how to vote. Connecticut once went for Jerry Brown in the midst of a Bill Clinton premature victory party.

That's why Edwards and Clinton still have a good chance.

If Obama doesn't win New Hampshire, the race will continue on into Super Tuesday no matter what happens in South Carolina. If Obama wins New Hampshire, he's got the nomination.

It's not over yet.

by Upstate NY on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:35:45 AM EST
Maybe I'm just pessimistic about the chances of beating the Clinton Machine, but I don't think it's necessarily over if Obama wins New Hamster.

I don't think Edwards has a prayer in hell of winning on Tuesday.  I do think he might have a shot at second, but he's got a big mountain to climb.  Whether his second-place finish last night can propel him is an open question.  A second-place finish gives Edwards a new lease on life, a new storyline in the press ("The Comeback Kid"), since it's a state he is not supposed to do well in.  Recall that he took third or fourth there in 2004.

I say all that because Edwards and his people have done a good job of seizing the narrative to ensure he's still in the race.  The Clintonistas failed miserably to get any line on last night (something Bill Clinton was very successful at).  Edwards took second place, and the margin doesn't really matter.  If he can leverage the "I beat the Clinton Machine" talk, he may still be in it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:59:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After reading through this post & comments, I have started going over to Dkos, Mydd, etc., to see what is being talked about. The Edwards supporters are feeling good about the #2, but outraged by the lack of media coverage...even today, the day after...according to people saying that the morning TV & radio shows aren't mentioning Edwards. Many people are sending Edwards money today as a response. One commenter at Dkos said (and I won't link here, since that person didn't and is only expressing an opinion):
"I wonder what would have happened if he had targeted the independents and college students like Obama? As a democrat, I am not pleased that independents and republicans decided the winner of a democratic caucus. But I guess all is fair in love, war, and politics, and Obama's campaign was smart to go after these votes.

Obama mailed 60,000 mailers to Illinois residents who are attending college in Iowa, asking them to caucus. A little shadey, in my view, but it worked so and I'll have to say it was a clever move.


 I don't know if this is what Obama did or not, but it does say something about the IOWA caucus...anyone can vote for anyone.

Also, over at MyDD a poster had this to say:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/1/4/4427/25587

Obama (38%), Edwards (30%) and Clinton (29%).  

What is the truth about these results?

  1. Obviously, Obama came in first, Edwards second, and Clinton third.  

  2. The race for the nomination is now a THREE PERSON race. (Most of us have known this fact for a long time, but curiously, the MSM spent all of 2007 telling us it was a two person race. Ugh.)  MSM, start telling the American people the truth. Give them equal time. Put all three of them on the cover of your magazines, not just Obama.

  3. The supposed "inevitability" of Hillary Clinton is FINALLY OVER. Over 70% of the voters in Iowa voted AGAINST Hillary Clinton.

And this took place after Hillary spent an historically unprecedented amount of money, $10 million, to convince Iowans to vote for her. Additionally, Hillary had the backing of the former Governor of Iowa, other key leaders in the state, the largest paid staff in Iowa (over 400 people), all the DC establishment behind her, a former President campaigning for her, and the endorsement of the Des Moines Register, the largest newspaper in Iowa. And yet, 70% of the voters voted against Hillary. Which tells us what?

  1. John Edwards was thoroughly outspent by Obama and Clinton, received a fraction of the MSM coverage, received a fraction of the favorable coverage by the MSM, in fact, had been written off by the MSM at virtually every turn.  And yet, John Edwards came in second place, very close to the media choice Obama, and ahead of Hillary.

  2. Two candidates, Obama and Edwards, ran in Iowa as agents for STRONG CHANGE in America...and within the Democratic party.  These two STRONG CHANGE candidates received 68% of the vote.

By contrast, the "old hand at politics" candidate who "deserved to win" because she can "start on day one," received only 29% of the vote, last place among the three.

What does this tell us? Democrats, clearly, want STRONG CHANGE by a factor of 2-1. Moreover, the STRONG CHANGE candidates took the top two spots, while the "old hand" took last place among the three.

I very much agree with this. So, as Stormy notes so adamantly above, its just one contest out of 50, lets see what develops from here and not buy into the corporate media spin.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:07:25 AM EST
Huckabee, Obama have huge night in Iowa - CNN.com

With such a close race on both sides, voter turnout was key. The Iowa Democratic Party reported seeing record turnout. The party said there were at least 227,000 caucus attendees. The Iowa GOP projected that 120,000 people took part in the Republican caucuses. See how candidates courted voters »

The Iowa Democratic Party said 124,000 people participated in the 2004 caucuses, while the Republican Party of Iowa estimated that 87,000 people took part in the 2000 caucuses

Democratic turnout exactly doubled - that has to be good news for the level of engagement by democratic voters...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:08:11 AM EST
Icing, meet cake.  Obama:

This feels good. It's just like I imagined it when I was talking to my Kindergarten teacher.

Now that was a nice swipe.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:24:34 PM EST
I'd love to see an Edwards v Huckabee match-up.

That'd get make some Corporepublicrat heads explode.

(At least until they run Bloomberg as an independent. And you thought elections in America weren't, for all intents and purposes, bought and paid for...)

by redstar on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:19:26 PM EST
GREAT diary!  Thank You!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:58:39 PM EST
Many thanks to all who contributed.  I'm still learning the ropes with this American politics business and you guys are an education!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"you guys are an education"

Putting it nicely.  I can think of other, less flattering  phrases.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 10:09:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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