Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The votes are in...

This is one of those mornings when Polprint is glad she's not a real pundit. I have no idea of what to make of this map (and lack of sleep, coupled with some peculiar power outages in the middle of the night, does not help).

The Republican side is easiest: John McCain has taken a giant step forward. His only risk, and it's a slight one, would be if Romney and Huckabee's support consolidates (ie, one of them drops out). Everybody is saying that Huckabee has secured himself the VP nomination by his strong showing and Christian zeal. But I cannot imagine that McCain can in good conscience choose someone who knows nothing about foreign policy. I've been wrong before.

As for the Democrats...extraordinary. How can Hillary win California and NY and still not have a lock on the nomination? But she doesn't, and this fight will clearly carry on. My main sentiment is pity for both candidates. This should be the time when the victor cracks the champagne and heads off for a week of fishing (or whatever) with their families. But no--it's on to glad-handing the good folks of Nebraska, Virginia and beyond.

On the delegate side, we're still waiting for those totals to come in. But CNN preliminary figures suggest that Colorado has 19 Democratic delegates. That's one more than...Idaho. And less than half the number alloted to Alabama. Er, how is that?

Ah, editing myself here...the answer appears to be that delegate figures are indeed quite preliminary, and Colorado's full share--55 for Super Tuesday, plus 16 superdelegates--has not yet been allocated.

Finally, before I run to class, a short note on last night's speeches. McCain: needs to liven it up. Clinton: needs to slow down her delivery. Obama: needs to break out of what the New York Times is correctly calling a borderline cult of personality. I've had about enough of "Yes, We Can". How about a "Here's my plan".


Finally finally (the aforementioned class was skipped due to an untimely downpour) last night's results say anything about the Democrats' million-dollar question, electability? One of the interesting features of the campaign is that electability has been argued passionately and persuasively for both sides. Here are a few inconclusive observations:

1) Latinos are going to Clinton. But how important is this? Consider that: a) Latino turnout is traditionally low--although every election there is an effort to change this, and with the immigration issue hot this might really be the time. b) Latinos may be drawn to McCain in the general election, for his longstanding measured stance on immigration.

2) Blacks, a core constituency of the Democratic base, are strongly for Obama. But does this mean they would rebuff the Clintons and hold back in November? Unlikely.

3) The three "super-swing states" (can I coin that?)--Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida--for all intents and purposes have not had their say. Florida voted last month but was stripped of its delegates by clever, forward-thinking Democratic party officials. So its overwhelming endorsement of Clinton presumptively does not count, and was achieved without any campaigning. Ohio is up March 4, and Pennsylvania not until April 22. And there are still a few more states after that! Polprint--not to mention the candidates--will have a busy spring.

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