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March 04, 2008


in all likelihood, hillary is going to get an undeserved bounce in coverage. the reason is somewhat complicated, and has to do with the way texas counts "provisional" participants in the caucus.

basically, there will be a large pool of caucus participants that may well satisfy the requirements for participation, but whose qualification cannot be immediately confirmed. those individuals are more likely to obama supporters.

there are two ways to approach this: (1) administer a group oath to all of these people, requiring them to swear that they are eligible to caucus, and then going back and modifying the results by taking out those participants whose credentials, after the audit, are invalid. in this case, the news would report an artificially high obama showing, with ineligible caucusers deleted and the results changing accordingly sometime past the news cycle.

2) not to count those individuals from the start, and just report the results from the people whose eligibility is immediately confirmed. the delegate result should be the same as in 1), but it will only be reached after the subsequently-confirmed eligibility of the provisional caucus-goers is confirmed. in this case, the news would report results that artificially favor clinton, because the delegate totals will not be adjusted upward for obama until later.

there is a further wrinkle - although the state party has seemingly endorsed 2 - which is favorable to clinton - there seems to be some sort of directive from officials in the larger county to do 1.

this is a nice example of the roll that voter protection plays - i suspect this battle will be fought out by the legal personnel on the ground, between 7:00 and 7:30 tomorrow night, as each precinct will have to choose, using the best information avaialable.

as i said, it won't make an ultimate difference in the result, but it will make a difference in whether the official reports are skewed artificially in one candidate's favor.

in the last sentence, i meant "initial reports," not "official reports."

Anything whatsoever that is even mildly likely to happen tomorrow--narrow win, narrow loss of popular vote and bigger loss in delegtes, etc--is going to be treated as a momentum generating win. She could come in third behind Obama and Winslow the Prickly City coyote, and it would be a sign that the race wasn't over and the voters wanted her to stay in.

My favorite phrase from serious news coverage yesterday (as the goal posts tentatively shifted from Rhode Island back toward Ohio): "whiffs of momentum about the Clinton campaign." She doesn't need a whiff, she needs a hurricane force gale, as her campaign promised a mere 2 weeks ago. But now that's ancient history--things look better than they did Saturday, and if you don't count anything before that, it's positive momentum.

I think the delegates are irrelevant to the initial "momentum" coverage. As with previous election-night reporting, the night will be all about the popular vote and expectations. The delegate distribution, which is the meaningful number, won't be known until long after the storyline is established. Even though Clinton had double-digit leads two weeks ago, if she's able to squeak by in the popular vote (even if it's just in Ohio), that will be painted as bad news for Obama. Hell, even if she loses but not by much that'll be bad news for Obama.

The media are dying for a fourth unexpected turnaround in this race, and if they have to gin up a fake one, that just means they get a fifth "upset" when Obama "comes back" to win the nomination after an ugly fight.

"And there’s no state where the popular vote tally bears less relation to the ultimate delegate count than Texas."

Except in my state, Washington, where all the delegates were determined through caucuses a week before the primary.

For one, winning the popular vote matters less than winning the heavily-weighted districts.

Isn't that true in every state? The number of delegates a district gets, by DNC rules, is dependent on the Democratic turnout in that district in recent elections. The only difference is that in Texas the districts used are state senate districts rather than congressional districts.

In Maryland, for example, District 6 gets 4 convention delegates, while District 4 gets 7, even though they have approximately the same population. District 4, like many high-Democratic-turnout districts, has a large African-American population. Certainly the Texas system has many differences, but I think there's some exaggeration of how different it is.

On this from last night: HRC doesn’t think McCain is so bad. She just endorsed him. Over Obama anyway.

The quote I posted last night had the wording slightly wrong. Correcting the wording a bit (my transcription):

“I think that, uh, I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Uh, I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

Video here.

She better hope she gets the nomination, otherwise she just cut a campaign ad for McCain.

The bizarre thing is to even talk about the Democratic "popular vote" in Texas, of all places. It's not as though any of those votes will count in the general election.

I don't know, OCSteve. Seems to me that Obama already has a reply cut--the same one he used when Clinton dropped the 3 am phone call ad on Obama. Sure, McCain has experience, but he was a leader in the push to war. Fat lot of good that experience did him.

OCSteve, the McCain campaign ads Bill Clinton provided earlier about how Obama is unfit to be president may be even more useful. After all, he's the previous Democratic president, not a failed presidential candidate and former Obama opponent.

The Clintons' repeated tendency to put their own ambitions above the good of the party (or the country) makes me unwilling to write off as completely crazy the fears that they'll sabotage Obama this time so Hillary can run in 2012.

makes me unwilling to write off as completely crazy the fears that they'll sabotage Obama this time so Hillary can run in 2012.

It's all about the precious.

Of course, it's the fear that they'll sabotage 2008 if Obama wins that makes me wonder if it isn't better that she's the nominee this time, leaving Obama to run again in 2012 or 2016.

Trilo: The polls I saw had McCain up on Clinton and Obama from about 5-8 points. He also has no money. The Democratic nominee may not take the state, but making the Republican nominee expend energy to defend it can't be good for the GOP.

It's all about the precious.

Hillary strikes me as more Boromir-like than Gollumesque. Does that mean McCain = Saruman?

"Does that mean McCain = Saruman?"

More Denethor, perhaps. Not as obvious, but he's been driven mad by lust for the precious, and will do anything to obtain it, even if he wants it to "do good."

We'll ignore the implied family relationship with Clinton.

Does this make Obama Frodo? And his veep will be Sam?

Howard Dean is Gandalf? Bush is Sauron, creature of Morgoth (the conservative collective essence?)?

Bill Richardson and John Edwards are Merry and Pippin?

Cheney is Sauron, Bush Saruman.

Isn't Bush the Mouth of Sauron?

Oh, and Bill Clinton is Bilbo, who needs to have the precious taken away from him (or in this case, kept away from him).

Obama = Aragorn; his job is to buy time and keep things from coming apart while the Ring goes to the fire. The American people have to be Frodo. We have to be the ones to reject the Ring. This election isn't really about the candidates - it is about us.

Gollum = James Carville
Mouth of Sauron = Chris Matthews

McCain is Elrond. thanks for all your help. now go away.

Mark Penn has to be Wormtongue

"The American people have to be Frodo. We have to be the ones to reject the Ring."

Who gets to be the bitten-off finger?

Who gets to be the bitten-off finger?

John Yoo

Who gets to be the bitten-off finger?

John Yoo

That wouldn't cause organ failure, so you're correct that that would be okay.

LOL. I'm sending this discussion to my family who are major LOTR fans. They'll have a great laugh over who's who in Middle Earth.

LeftTurn, I'll buy Obama as Aragorn and Frodo as the American people, but in that case who's Sam?

OT: I'm listening to an NPR piece on economic dependency on prisons in upstate New York, and it's making me sick. People arguing that we need to lock up more people to keep the jobs going in "Little Siberia".

I love it! Dean can give the keynote speech at the convention in Denver:

"for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair and bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Or did you not know?"

who's Sam?

I think the voters of Texas are auditioning for that part tonight.

For SF fans (Gaiman):
I am I am a Dire Wolf

And rest assured: it's even pro-Obama ;)

I was watching on Wednesday mooning that is night in USA the CNN and the centre had special stage for the election with the tea cups of CNN, Wolf Blitzer on the move with the pro and cons of the election. Dallas Caucuses are difficult as many do not know, there were cars parked in the early hours and those who were there trying to learn the Caucuses. Then there was one withdraw of the president candidate and one who one gave a speech for ten solid minutes , Mr. Bush is going to give him a oat on the shoulder toady of the knighthood. Balloons and screams filled the room, the husband kissed the wife and he kept on saying my friends, my friends my friends, ore screams this carried on for half an hour. I disparately wanted to see the price of the oil and Euro, the gold and the bombs that feel, how many died in Pakistan, as this is daily news like the election. There was none. I mean there was no news. To end up there was also a question why Bill Clinton had left Hillary t fight own her on her own. There was a smile and that is it. I loved every minute of this. Last. My congratulations to Hillary. Honest . She has done a lot of talking. It is not the speech that I look at; it is, like Harvard Business Review states, “THE Stamina”. She needs a pat as she was sliding and all the eyes were shifting away from her. The typical phrase of as you is to you become a three legged horse, you are shot. Well she managed with two legs very well. I admire the woman. I mean well for her. I hope she keeps the promise when she is in the driving seat.
I thank you
Firozali A. Mulla MBA PhD
P.O.Box 6044
East Africa

I'm listening to an NPR piece on economic dependency on prisons in upstate New York, and it's making me sick. People arguing that we need to lock up more people to keep the jobs going in "Little Siberia".

there really isn't much else up there: seasonal tourism, prisons, and dairy farms. upstate NY has been decimated by the loss of manufacturing.

there's a reason i live in NC and not in the Adirondack foothills, where i grew up. it's closely related to the fact that the median income in the town where i went high school is less than half of what it is where i live now.

of course people are going to fight for their jobs - especially when there aren't any good alternatives. and, yes, arguing that NY needs to keep its prisons populated is a pretty bleak argument, but again, they're fighting for the only job their town can provide. if that means competing with prison boot-camps or the NY govt's desire to double-up cells in order to use fewer prisons, well... people are going to fight.

I’m with cleek. Employment sucks in Upstate NY. (We were practically neighbors cleek – I grew up in Malone and surrounding small towns.)

If you think it is bad now, you should have seen it before all the prisons. In my neck of the woods, for the most part if you had a full time job you either worked at Alcoa or Reynolds. The prisons came with a lot of real jobs. And it’s not that people enjoy living close to the prisons (they brought along a lot of bad stuff too) – but they literally saved the area from complete despair.

this is so crazy to thing about.

seasonal jobs online

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