Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A poll from NC that I don't believe
The poll is garbage unless I see further evidence that somehow there is Black vote depression... and that Clinton picks up 20% of the Black vote.
What is the popular will, pledged delegates, and which popular vote should count?
The first is Iowa. You may not remember but John Edwards actually came away with fewer pledged delegates in the initial count than Hillary Clinton even though he had more people caucus for him.
New Hampshire is example two. Clinton beat beat Barack Obama by a few thousand votes, but they ended up gaining an equal amount of delegates.
Nevada is just a repeat of Iowa... Clinton had more people caucus for her but Obama gained one more delegate.
Missouri is just a repeat of New Hampshire but in reverse. Obama won more votes than Clinton, but they split the delegate count.
In the electoral college such difference on the state level isn't possible. A person who receives less votes in a state can not get the same amount of electoral votes or more electoral vote (unless something like fraud is abound). In both systems its possible that a candidate can receive more support than the popular vote validates.
Anyone dumb enough to argue that pledged delegates don't count shouldn't be heard. It was the system that was picked out before the primary. The candidates knew the rules.
There are reasons why pledged delegates and the way they are alloted are put in place over an electoral college and over the popular vote. First, primaries are made up of delegates won (its that way and always will be). Second, the proportional aspect is a security blanket against the majority or even plurality overrunning the minority. Even if a candidate wins 90% of the statewide vote, there might a congressional district where he wins only 60%. Shouldn't those people get a voice at the convention?
Or in a less extreme example, pledged delegates are proportional to protect a candidate winning 50.1% of the vote and winning all the delegates (a problem seen in the electoral college).
Third, pledged delegates awarded on a congressional level make sure that each campaign has a strong get out the vote effort in November.
Forth, pledged delegates alloted proportionally make every state count (clearly something Obama knows and Clinton doesn't/didn't).
All of these are great reasons for pledged delegates.
The problem is what I outlined above. Delegates at the end of the day are not really proportional, and they don't by themselves guarantee that we hear the general will.
That is where the popular vote comes in.... the reasons for nominations not decided completely on it have already been said.
But the popular vote should play some form independent on how its translated into the pledged delegates.
It should factor into how superdelegates vote. See, that is the beauty of the superdelegates. They aren't bound by popular vote or pledged delegates or even who they think is the best general election candidate.
I believe it to be impossible to determine for sure who the most electable candidate is. What polls and what states a person looks at can lead him or her to different answers.
Pledged delegates mean Obama is the winner.... and we know that.
The question then becomes what is the popular vote and is it fair?
Take Washington for instance... Obama won the caucus there with about 2/3's of the vote. Yet he won the primary (a week later which alloted no delegates) by less votes, despite the fact that more people voted. The obvious conclusion is that primaries bring out more Clinton voters than caucuses in comparison to Barack Obama. The problem being that who knows what would have happened if Obama had put forth a great organization in the state knowing that primary counted? And did people vote in the caucus and not the primary (i'm sure there are some stats on that one). Its a whole big bag of a mess.
Further, caucuses tend to have lower turnout, which leads to less popular vote. The obvious problem here is that states that held caucuses get less of a say than states that held primaries. Unfair I would say.
And we have yet to answer the Michigan/Florida question.
Yes, we know those primaries were rouge. We know that the neither candidate had any sort of organization going on (at least campaigned sponsored). We know the states broke the rules.
The problem for Obama is that he stopped a revote. Anyone who knows anything about Michigan know Obama stopped a revote. He was also the one who took his name off the ballot (there was no reason to do it). It was honestly a stupid move. Obama would have had a legitimate chance at winning a new primary.
The problem in Florida is less complex. His name was on the ballot. But once again there were no campaigns (except for his fundraiser and his ads that were aired in the northern part of the state... in fact a strict interpretation would allot Clinton half of the pledged delegates I believe... I'd have to check on it). Once again a revote was blocked. And a revote on Florida would have probably led to the same vote difference (even if the pledged delegate difference was less).
Do these states count? Most agree Michigan shouldn't. Florida is a tougher case.
I don't pretend to know the answers.
What I do know is that if we counted the primary vote in Florida and primary in Washington as the popular vote, Clinton would win under most scenarios I have played out.
I also know that Clinton would have a pretty good shot at winning the popular vote with Florida and the washington caucus counting.
The chances are much slimmer without Florida...
Michigan would pretty much guarantee a win for Clinton in the popular vote.
But even if you counted Michigan, will the superdelegates decide based on the popular vote?
And if you don't count the popular vote at all and only who is going to win, who do you choose?
Me? I'm going to let it all play out.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The $h1t hath it the fan
Some have suggested that this nomination fight is over. Obama is running out the clock. It is true that Obama will unless some unbelievable collapse occurs win the most pledged delegates. The problem is that the nomination is not decided on pledged delegates. Superdelegates have the ultimate say. They have three choices:go with the pledged delegate winner, go with the popular vote winner, or go with the most electable candidate. Option 1 is Obama. Option's 2 and 3 are more complicated. The answer to question 3 is impossible to answer (it maybe Obama, maybe Clinton depending on what polls you look at and which states). Option 3 is the most fascinating. Do we look at all states/commonwealths/territories (including Michigan and Florida) that have voted. Do we only look at the sanctioned primaries/caucuses (no Florida or Michigan). Do we look at only those primaries/caucuses where both candidates were on the ballot (include Florida, but not Michigan).
I don't pretend to know the answer.
What I do know is that Clinton will probably win Indiana at this point. The "more accurate" pollsters have her up in the state, and the polling average has her up. This was all before Wright stuff hit the fan. This will give her a key to continue on in the primary process. She'll get to go to more favorable territory in West Virginia the following week (a state where she is likely to break 60%). Such a victory does not in anyway greatly expand her chances at winning the nomination.
North Carolina is a state that Obama is favored to win. The state's democratic electorate is 1/3 African American. Obama will carry that constituency 9 to 1. Clinton needs to hold Obama to 30% of the white vote to win the state. There have been only a few states where that has happened (they have all be in the deep south). North Carolina is not a "deep southern" state. Its more Virginian than Mississippian. But Clinton has closed the gap in the polls (a poll out today had the race at 5 points with Obama winning only 30% of the white vote). She's got the governor who is a Hank Hill (King of the Hill) Democrat. Do you really think he would endorse someone who thought couldn't win primary (maybe)? He did make a comment today that Clinton was strong and he used the word pansy. I don't see it as a huge deal (see girle men and Arnold S Gov. of California).
If Clinton ever pulled out North Carolina, it would guarantee (unless something happens, which it can) a popular vote victory when Florida is included. More than that, I personally believe that Obama would be deemed unelectable (can't win blue collar whites). To lose a state that he would have won by 15 points two weeks ago.
Now, I believe Obama will win the state by a 6-8 point margin. But if he doesn't, Clinton's foot isn't just in the door, her entire body is.
I feel the need to comment... writing 5/seminars... a time it works
Now for the feature presentation...
I cannot tell you if Writing 2/3, Writing 5, or Writing Seminars actually truly improve writing. I think we can all agree that the more writing a person does the better writer he or she will become. Whether a person can see dramatic turnarounds in a 9-10 week period is something completely different. In my first term on this campus, I can tell you that my writing did not improve in writing 5. The class was disorganized, and it wasn't my style.
Many at the Dartmouth Review would site this as a reason to get rid of first year writing, and I was inclined to agree.... until....
My writing seminar: Math 7. Yes, Math 7. The class is about healthcare in America, and although I'm certainly on the right (vs. left) side of the issue (thanks mom!), I just love the class. The professor knows how to structure the class for people that might have difficulty organizing. Every other tuesday we have a rough draft of an essay due (the first two have been 3-5 pages.. I kinda made my second one 6 pages... oops). The other Tuesdays we have the final draft of the essay of the rough draft we handed in the week before. On "rough draft" tuesdays, we go through peer review. I know no one can read my writing, but the process helps the reviewer and reviewee improve their writing.
After peer review, we meet one on one in thirty minute conferences on the Wednesdays with the professor. The conferences are so helpful, I cannot tell you. If we don't get to go over the entire essay on the Wednesdays, we can meet on the next day, Friday, or even the following Monday. The prof goes out of the way to help the students.
And more than that, she wants creativity. Yes, there needs to be structure... thesis etc. But we get to come up with our own creative solutions for the different health care problems we see...
Each prompt is broad but specific enough to make sure its not overwhelming.
OH and we do have to read a book (and I actually do the reading) for every thursday... usually. But the books aren't hard to read. And the classroom discussions are fantastic.
We are half way through the term, but I'm honestly enjoying every second.
Oh and its Professor Andrea Kremer in case you are wondering.
She truly bring out the true potential of writing seminars and the writing program in general.
Monday, April 28, 2008
It's time for another edition of... making a call on a race a week out (North Carolina edition)
North Carolina has got major cities (Raleigh, Charlotte)... the middle and eastern part of the state are more friendly to Obama, but Clinton has got a real base in Ashville on west in the mountains... its the Appalachia vote.
I'll update when/if necessary.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Why I keep Kosher for Passover
You might still ask why I keep such a strict diet (kinyot comes to mind). Well, my family is Ashkenazi. Maintaining no kinyot maybe difficult, it is probably unnecessary in the eyes of God. It is, however, one extra respect to my family tradition.
Oh and one more reason keep kosher: its bloody hard for someone who only eats carbs. I order out pizza out every night.... now I'm down to nightly visits to the Pavilion...
It is in my mind a selfless gesture to my family.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Indiana determines whether June comes... NC is a better predictor of who wins the nomination
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
First, Obama came out strongly for the pledged delegate count being the "people's will". Besides the fact I don't believe popular will can be found out at the voting booth (thanks William Riker), I certainly don't believe that pledged delegates do this very well. Proportional pledged delegates award large winners bonuses when you start to rack up the score (30+ margins in districts). This is an automatic advantage to Barack Obama. Case and point is South Carolina. Obama beat Clinton by around 30 points. He won 12 more delegates in the state. In Pennsylvania, Clinton beat Obama by around 9.5 points. She won around 12 more delegates in the state. On its face, you might think that this was advantage Clinton. Not so. Clinton actually won by a margin of 50,000+ more votes in PA than Obama did in SC. There are numerous examples of this... To be fair, it happens in reverse as well (Georgia, Obama got screwed because of the lack of delegates assigned to Georgia despite the massive turnout). But that only strengthens the point, even in a primary, pledged delegates aren't a fair assessment of "popular will".
I'm not going to go through the whole caucus problem (there is one and a lot of it is Clinton's fault for not seeing it coming), but only to say that it strengthens the argument against pledged delegates being the "popular will".
The popular will can also be measured through popular vote. The system is not perfect, and I'm not arguing that its any better than pledged delegates. But it does provide an opening of sorts for Clinton.
The lead is at around 600,000 votes. Clinton has gotta knock that down to around 400,000 votes. Here's the reason: her margin in Florida over Obama combined with her margin over Uncommitted in Michigan is around 400,000. Remember these two states voted, but their delegates aren't counted.. and Obama stalled on a revote. The question is where does she get 200,000 votes? To find out if she can get it, I use a popular vote calculator (which is at best a little bit of a guessing game, it actually nailed the vote total difference in PA exactly, but underestimated turnout and overestimated Clinton's percentage of the vote) created by Jay Cost (smart dude coming out of the University of Chicago).
-Here's what I find: I give Clinton victories in Indiana (by 5 points), West Virginia (by 25 points), Kentucky (by 30 points), Puerto Rico (by 25 points). I give Obama victories in North Carolina (9.5), Oregon (10 points), Montana (10 points), South Dakota (10 points). In pretty much every way to count the votes where I include Florida, I find that Clinton is ahead of Obama. When I include Michigan, in every scenario (including figuring out how many Uncommitteds voted for Obama), I find Clinton beating Obama.
Are my projections a little favorable to Clinton? Yes, they are. But they aren't the realm of possibility. And an interesting thing we are seeing is that more voters to the polls might close Clinton's percentage, it actually has no effect on the amount of votes she wins as comparable to him.
This is the opening.
Do superdelegates buy it? I have no clue. I don't know if I even buy it.
North Carolina Republican ads- wrong.
That is one of the ads. Basically, I deem them to be out of bounds and not wise. Clinton would be smart to come out against the ads. It shows the base coming together.
Post about Obama's margin in North Carolina and Clinton's chance in Indiana coming up later.
Monday, April 21, 2008
A final look at PA
There are a lot of mixed signals come out of PA.
Most of the signs show Clinton.... and undecideds should go her way. If they do 8-11 points should be her victory.
As for delegates, I'm not a master at that art yet. But it should be in the area of 12-20... not a game changer.
If we wake on Wednesday with Clinton by 10+, Obama won't be in trouble because Clinton will pull off something that she wasn't capable.... but will be in trouble because its yet another large state he failed in (and like Ohio where his general numbers are not great).
If Clinton win is less than 5, I would say to her get out of the race...
If its an Obama win, she will leave.
If its between 5-10.... that is VERY fuzzy territory.
My call is the 8-11.. With my belief that it will be 10.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Everybody is Jewish
Oh and I sat behind one of them on the airplane.
Another thing that truly united us was that we all had work in the next week. Essays and midterms were the norm. I guess that what being part of a minority religion is... the world doesn't gives us off days. Teachers don't plan around (though most are willing to meet you at the 50 yard line). In the end, our ability to come together during the holiday season is what keeps us strong.
The second closet election in American Presidential history
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Obama/Clinton general election numbers
All one has to do is take a look at the state of Massachusetts. A state that both Gore and Kerry carried by 20 or so points. Its the Bluest of blue states. Its voted Republican once in the past 50 years (Reagan's blowout of 84). Hillary Clinton leads by a comfortable 15 points... Barack Obama leads by 2 over John McCain. And this is not the first time surveyusa has shown a close race in Mass (a prior poll showed the two men tied at 47-47, this poll is 48-46). I still feel Obama will in Massachusetts comfortably, but the closeness of the race signals Obama's problems with working class whites. Its the same trend we see in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Try New Mexico, a state that Clinton and especially Obama needs to win in order to beat McCain. Its 5 electoral votes play a vital role in what I believe is the trifecta (NM, Nevada, and Colorado) to make up for an Obama lose in either PA or OH. Obama and Clinton trail by 5 and 3 respectively. The fact is however that there is some evidence that these polls do not pick up Native American voters in the state as evident by New Mexico being much closer than the polls suggested in 2004.
And what the heck happened to Obama's lead in Missouri? He trails by eight in that state, while Clinton leads by 1. Neither of them need the state to win the electoral college, but it does have a nifty 11 electoral votes. Personally, I don't believe either will carry the state, but the Democrats do have a strong candidate for Governor in Jay Nixon, the state's attorney general.
In New York, its what we expect. Both lead McCain comfortably, while Clinton lead is a little larger.
Ohio is the same story as Massachusetts. Clinton leads comfortably by 11, while Obama trails by 2. Obama can win the electoral college without Ohio. He simply needs to win the southwestern trifecta. But Clinton needs Ohio. Polling in the state shows her consistently stronger than Obama. And usually in the lead over McCain.
Oregon is next where Clinton's weakness begins to show. Obama has always done better in the Northwest and Midwest. This poll doesn't show anything different. Obama leads by 9, while Clinton only leads by 1. Clinton can make up for weakness in one of the two regions by carrying both Florida and Ohio, but she cannot make up for weakness in both regions. The polling shows it pretty clearly... Obama has the same lead among women as Clinton, but he stays much closer among men against McCain than does Hillary. Reasons? Not a ton of what is called "working" class whites... more independent minded voters.
Virginia is just awful news for both Clinton and Obama. The state is trending more Democratic (there will be two democratic senators in the state by next year in Jim Webb and Mark Warner). But McCain is doing well among the military base in the state. Obama should be stronger in the state as it is the new type of independent Democrat. He is in better position than Hillary, only trailing by eight as compared to sixteen... but he isn't close.
Minnesota, which is in Obama's midwest, is a state he needs to carry. He leads by 6 over McCain, while Clinton leads by 1. Its an independent minded state with a Republican governor and senator (though Norm Coleman is in a lot of trouble against Al Franken). The problem for Clinton is simple... she can lose either the midwest or the northwest with Florida and Ohio, not both.
Kansas is a lost cause for both Obama and Clinton. Obama should be doing slightly better, but there is a better chance of me shooting a duck than either Democrat winning the state.
Alabama is also a lost cause for both Obama and Clinton. I would expect Clinton to do a slightly better (being the southern white vote... which isn't too kind to Obama). Yet, both trail by about 30.
California is a state both Obama and Clinton would win. Who does slightly better? Changes with the poll, but in this case its Clinton, but both lead comfortably.
Iowa is a state that is part of Obama's strategy to not depend on the Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida trio. He has always led over McCain and continues to do so by 7. Clinton, on the other hand, has never connected well with Iowa as evidenced by her caucus performance. Its also a signal that she doesn't do well among midwestern/plains farmers (a reason that Obama should win the South Dakota primary on June 3). McCain leads her by 6.
Perhaps the most intersting polling numbers are from Kentucky. Kentucky went for Bill Clinton twice... by about three and a point. Its somewhat rustbelt, somewhat southern. It has a Democratic governor. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is considered somewhat vulnerable. In the upcoming primary, Clinton is expected to beat Obama by 25-35 points. In the general, Obama trails by 30+... Clinton by only 2. I don't expect her to win here, but it does signal that she can potentially win not only Arkansas, but also West Virginia... and at least be somewhat competitive in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
PA with a week to go
Public Policy Polling is out tomorrow (they say a surprise is coming....)... they are the second most accurate pollster... they were also the second most accurate in Ohio.
They have been more favorable to Obama in PA than Surveyusa, so we'll see if there is any sort of a trend.
The point I'm trying to make is that these so call "undecideds" are going to come in and vote Clinton for the most part. They are going to propel her to a 10+ victory.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Dimensions Weather Forecast is Snowy... just kidding
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Clinton thinks she has found the "silver bullet" over Obama's remarks
My guess at least from preliminary reports from the field is that its not a silver bullet, but this is yet another example of something that I believe is small being blown up against Obama. Clinton's Bosnia comments are a much bigger deal, but they are now gone from the press. They probably did some damage to her, but nothing that was long lasting. The question is why will these remarks from Obama get long airplay?
I believe its a three round reason.
1. When Clinton was the front runner, the press wanted a race, so they pumped up Obama. Any small comments like this from Obama would have gone unnoticed by the press. Clinton wouldn't have pressed the issue because there would be no reason... she's in the lead, no reason to seem like you are paying attention to a gadfly.
2. Once the media fascination with Obama ended and he became the front runner, he became the "target". They want the race to continue. They are willing to press even the smallest of things. Further, Clinton, now behind, will force the press to cover the issue (or die trying).
3. The Clinton campaign (and I believe they do have some validation) believes that if the choice is between two candidates that the public believes are the same, they will go safe with Clinton. Obama only works as the alternative. He's honest, she's dishonest. He's new, she's old. Whether this is from a policy viewpoint on such issues as the war, or on rhetoric bringing people together vs old partisan games, Obama is winning change vs more of the same. If Clinton can prove they are both agents of change, or, in this case, more of the same, then she will trump him with the experience. People believe that Clinton is better geared to play the partisan games. They believe Obama is better able to change the political way. If Obama is believed to just be another Clinton, he is screwed. That is what Clinton is trying to do. Because Obama has held himself to be something different, Clinton just needs to prove he isn't. Clinton is trying to get Obama to play on her field. It is clear she cannot play on his.
In this way, Clinton can make dishonest statements because people already expect this from her. Obama is a different story.
So because of 1 and now 2, Clinton is hoping to accomplish 3. I don't think it will work, but maybe it will.
Carter and Gore to get Clinton out of the race?
According to this article yes... Yes.
Some key quotes:
"Yet some in the Democratic elite are wary of moving too soon. Polls show that 30% of Clinton's supporters would vote for McCain if she fails to become the nominee. To close off Clinton's bid before millions have had the chance to vote risks causing the very split that officials are desperate to avoid."
I agree 100% on this one. I've pointed it out before. Asking Clinton to get out doesn't just upset Clinton it upsets her supporters. In my own experience, there are plenty of Clinton supporters than not only think Clinton will win, but that if Obama wins, they will go to McCain faster than you can say choo choo. I'd dare say the 30% total is low (a little lying to the pollsters going on?). There is a reason that polling from even New York shows the race close. The article fails to mention that a near equal of Democrats think Obama should leave than Clinton (its 26 vs 33 according to Rasmussen).
"But a loss to Obama, or even a single-digit victory, in Pennsylvania will seal Clinton's fate. Pennsylvania is the last big state left in the race, and the last chance for Clinton to claw back Obama's delegate lead. "If he (Obama] wins (Pennsylvania] flat out, I think the big foot will come down," a source said.
Anything less than a resounding victory by her will probably see the race choked off ahead of the final primaries on June 3. "
She must win PA by double digits... I don't disagree, except if Obama goes up in the polls and then she comes back and wins. I don't believe that will happen. My prediction is Clinton by 10+. If she loses the state, she should drop out. She has no reason to stay in... all her reasons have holes (big states, momentum, etc.). She's never going to erase the delegate lead... anyone think that will happen is crazy. She will tighten the lead, but she cannot overtake him.
But I think the article misses the biggest point of all: North Carolina. An Obama win by 20+ points will end Clinton's bid. Indiana is no tie breaker. Besides, the point that an Obama win by this margin will erase any delegate gains from Pennsylvania, it will fight back against charges that the Wright charges have damaged him in a state he should have won. Further, it adds to his electability argument (a poll from NC had him tied! with McCain). And finally, it will make his strangle hold on most of the south final. Did I forget to mention that there will be a senate race in NC this year where incumbent Elizabeth Dole is vulnerable?
At the same time, a Clinton win in that state.... and this race just jumped to another dimension.
As for Indiana, she must win that as well. Its a must win for Clinton. I expect that if she wins PA by double digits, she will win Indiana.
There is very little doubt in my mind that people in the Rust Belt have been hurt by free trade... at the same time, does anyone actually believe these people weren't already on the downturn before free trade? I mean lets be honest, its been called the rust belt for a reason. The place has been rusting since the early 70's, if not before. Jobs have been going overseas, but more than that, companies overseas have learned to produce goods better than we have. Sure, trade deals have sped up the outsourcing process and driven down wages. But, this would have happened anyway... just in slower motion. No, I don't believe any presidential candidate will win a contest in this country arguing that the free market has the magical answers. Only a true economist could believe it. But the idea that these blue collar jobs will be magically in American for forever is a joke. We are just delaying the inevitable.
The point I'm trying to make is that we need to put away our tools that we use with our hands and take out the tool we use with our mind (to butcher the lines from Primary Colors). We need to go back to school. WE need to spend on education. We need to invest in our college system. To make people in the Rust Belt believe their jobs are coming back is a joke. Sure, some may come back... for a little while. But at the end of the day, we need to catch up to the times.
Its easy to pander to the folks in Penn, Ohio, and Michigan (they are the states I believe will determine this election).
Its harder to tell the truth.
*This post was directed at the Rust Belt in particular... manufacturing jobs in the US still remains strong.
** I'll get on McCain... don't you worry.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I am going to be expanding my blog focus
We'll see how this works out.
Some people are just smarter than you are.. and you have to deal with it
It is easy to hold anger against people like this because you work hard and know that you can reach their level. It is to see people like this and give up because you can never hope to achieve what they have. But its hard to wake up in the morning and try. Its hard knowing that your best might not be good enough. Yet, I know that at the end of the day, my best is all I can put forth. I will never be a so-called prodigy. You cannot look back and wish for something that isn't. You must move forth with the tools you got and try to sharpen them. For as I said, it is when the going get tough, the tough get going!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Can Obama changed the Electoral map? no, but yes
There are certainly states that Kerry and Gore won that are in play for McCain. I'm talking beyond the swing states in the upper midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota.. which actually look half decent for Obama). I'm talking about Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, New York (did I really just that), and even Massachusetts. These are all states that I have seen polling in the last month that have McCain either tied or leading the Senator from Illinois. And let me tell you if McCain ever wins the trifecta of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, it will be near-impossible for Obama ever to win (barring some form of a Virginia + some state like Montana). And the fact that we are even talking about New York... is well a major, major problem for Obama.
But in the end, I'm of the belief and have been on the record of saying that this election will come down to Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. McCain will hold serve in the south. Obama will probably hold serve in the north. He will also win Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Iowa (all states Kerry lost). The problem is he will probably lose one of the three tossups I listed. Making him win the other two.
Let the fun begin.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Update on: Barring a meltdown in the debate... Clinton will win PA by 10+
Barring a meltdown in the debate... Clinton will win PA by 10+
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
The Mets.... suck
They are going down in a flaming pile of doo doo... and you know they will.
I just voted in the SA elections...
537.. or 565 "its not even a wide spot in the road"
Sunday, April 06, 2008
SA candidate run ins
That leaves me with Nafeesa. I was standing around with a few SA members after the debate who she wanted to speak with. Instead of ignoring me, she asked who I was as she knew she had never seen me before and wasn't afraid to admit it. Came off as personal. A politician in the future me thinks.... and probably the most impressive candidate on the stage that evening... I guess the only question I have is why she didn't run for the big job? Though I could guess.
Friday, April 04, 2008
The Dem mess in Michigan and Florida
So, what is the solution? To me personally, 50/50 won't fly, nor will counting the primary as is. I don't know what the spread would have been if Obama and Edwards were on the ballot. It might have been higher or lower higher than 15%. There is no doubt that Obama would have closed the gap if he had campaigned in the state. There has gotta be a solution in here that listens to the voters who voted, but is fair to Obama. To me the answer is that all the delegates are alloted, but they only get 1/2 vote each. Further, Obama gets all the uncommitted delegates. Now, I know that isn't perfect. And Obama folks are probably going to argue (I don't know why they would... I mean this pretty much guarantees that Clinton can't win the pledged delegate count.)... but this is making the best out of a bad situation.
Let this be a lesson that breaking the rules really does screw up life.
Class Council.... is this democracy?
What I would like to say is that both Alex Maceda and Neel Joshi are running unopposed for re-election for 2011 Prez and VP respectively. Are you seriously telling me that no one thought they might be able to do a better job? I'm not saying they are doing a bad job, but, I like to see options on the ballot. I mean there are certain issues I have brought up with Neel on how the council could improve (more social events earlier... keeping the class better informed on the council's work etc.). I would like to have heard to if other people might have had ideas on how to improve on these issues. Truthfully, I have no idea if other people might have done a better job. I probably would have voted to re-elect. Further, I know that it takes some true thought and soul to put your name on a ballot for public approval. I know I don't plan to run for an office as high as Class Council because of my fear of rejection (it was something I had to deal with during my runs for student council in high school).
Yet, I know in my heart of hearts that in a Ivy League institution such as this with the leaders we have that there must be someone who wanted the position of either Prez or VP and thought they could do a better job.
I guess I'm disappointed in myself in not running (though I don't really like the idea of challenging someone I'm friends with), but I'm also disappointed in all of us.
Yes, I know that Class Council doesn't accomplish much (that was part of my original discussion with Neel). So, I'm not terribly upset. But I'm a little dismayed.
But as I told Neel on Tuesday... I give him big props for being man enough to put his name on the line... and he got rewarded.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Is Obama really unelectable?
Let's take a look at the states that I would deem very likely to be won by Obama in November.
Maine (4 electoral votes)
Vermont (3 electoral votes)
Rhode Island (4 electoral votes)
Connecticut (7 electoral votes)
New York (31 electoral votes)
Maryland (10 electoral votes)
DC (3 electoral votes)
Illinois (21 electoral votes)
Minnesota (10 electoral votes)
Iowa (7 electoral votes)
California (55 electoral votes)
Hawaii (4 electoral votes)
That is 159 electoral votes for Obama... pretty good base.
Let's add the states that are likely to go Obama.
Massachusetts (12 electoral votes)
Washington (11 electoral votes)
Oregon (7 electoral votes)
Delaware (3 electoral votes)
That is 192 electoral votes for Obama.
Now let's add the states that I consider to be leaning towards Obama.
New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)
Wisconsin (10 electoral votes)
Colorado (9 electoral votes)
New Mexico (5 electoral votes)
Nevada (5 electoral votes)
That gets Obama to 225 votes.
That leaves the following states that I believe to be tossups:
New Jersey (15 electoral votes)
Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes)
Ohio (20 electoral votes)
Michigan (17 electoral votes)
Virginia (13 electoral votes)
If the election were to be held today, Obama would probably win NJ and MI with PA being the truest of tossups.
In other words, PA would put Obama over the top (or could be his downfall).
Hardly unelectable..... but I think we can also put to rest the Obama claim that he would expand the electoral map.
Create your own electoral map:
See the polls:
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ (a pretty awesome website that assigns a mathematical formula based upon what they believe are the more accurate polls... sometimes leaves something to be desired, but it is still pretty cool).
The polls and some great commentary.
For SA President:
I'm leaning heavily towards Molly Bode. She clearly has a detailed platform. The candidates seem to agree on issues of being friendly to the frat organizations and gender neutral housing, but it is Molly Bode who seems to have an idea on how to get things done. I base this assumption off two facts. One, I did a search of the people who were supporting Molly Bode... I found that those in the '11 class that have a good idea of what is going in SA have endorsed Molly. Further, a google search of Molly Bode illustrates that she has been associated the SA for a long while, while a search of Lee Cooper yields only "hits" of him running for President.
Oh and it doesn't hurt that her facebook profile pic has a Riverdale Country School alum in it.
As for VP:
I'm down to two choices. The question is whether I want to go off the deep end and stick to the man by voting for Tay Stevenson. He is the stereotypical "administration has made us slaves", I'm going to give "voice to the people".... Blah. Or whether I want to vote for the safe choice Nafeesa Remtilla. She like Bode has been part of SA for forever and members like her. But she would just continue with the "status quo". As for the other candidates, Chuck Zodda would be wise to take a class on public speaking if he ever were to run for office again (hint: look at the audience when speaking and don't pick at the table when listening to other candidates). And the other candidate Ms. Smith (I can't even remember her first name that is how unmemorable she is) cannot win an election when she is not even here to campaign.
A correction on IN and new PA poll
There is also a new poll by Public Policy Polling that has Obama up by 2 in PA. Besides the fact that I doubt he has gained 29 points on Clinton since PPP took its last poll about 2 weeks ago, the fact is that most polls still have her lead in the upper single or lower double digits. I believe Obama won't make any more in roads into Clinton's lead because the demographics as noted by Jay Cost (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/03/a_review_of_the_pennsylvania_p.html) . But let's make no mistake, Clinton must win this state and win it big. She has gotta win by at least 10 points to have a legitimate shot at the nomination, and in order to have a shot at catching Obama in the popular vote, she must win by 16+. That is looking more and more in doubt now.
If Obama ever won PA, Clinton would do us all a big favor and get out of the race.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Mets, NC, IN, and PA
NC: I have been surprised with the polls showing Obama with 15+ leads. I"m not one to go against polls, and I won't. The current lead for Obama is 12 in the average. The good thing for Clinton is that there is still more than a month until voting gets underway. I expect her to close the gap...
IN: We finally have a poll in from Indiana and its amazingly optimistic for Clinton from my opinion. She leads by 11 points... this is from a polling outfit that has her up by 12 point in Pennsylvania. Indiana is a must win for her to stay in the race past May 6th. This is opposed to NC, which is a state she needs to win in order to have a legitimate chance at winning the state. Michael Barone in US News notes that many people have been overplaying the "Indiana is in the Chicago media market" card. This seems to fit well with Clinton's 12 point lead. Further, white rural voters in the midwest seem to fit in well with Clinton's base.
PA: Obama is closing the gap... I guess being up 3:1 in media buys will do this. Further, he couldn't have slid further in the polls. He also has Senator Bob Casey on his side. Clinton's lead is still probably just north of 10 points. She cannot afford a 5 point win in the state. She must win by 10+ points in order to remain competitive in the nation wide popular vote. And if Obama does pull of an upset... she should drop out.
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