Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday Live Blog (Midnight Hour)

1:56am

Chuck Todd is citing an 89 delegate advantage for Clinton among super delegates.

1:55am

Howard Fineman is now discussing the super delegate picture. The big question, do the super delegates start endorsing now or do they hold out as long as they can?

1:50am

So far there are over 100,000 votes for Edwards in CA...is early voting somewhat problematic for primary races where the choices are so fluid from week to week?

1:47am

Still some drama....NM has yet to be called for the Dems.

1:44am

I'm looking at the Missouri exit polls on the Democratic side and it is the first state I've seen where there is no gender gap. Obama and Clinton each split men and women evenly.

1:33am

Over the past 48 hours, this blog has had over 1,000 visitors from 49 states (I guess they don't have internet access in ND?) and 42 other countries. I'm relieved that at least a few people have been tuning in.

1:27am

Keith Olberman is evidently bored now as he was just suggesting that Clinton could call for a recount in MO. As I've already mentioned, it doesn't matter who wins if it is this close...so why bother?

1:25am

LA County was supposed to be a big bastion of Obama support. Only 9% of the precincts in there, but Clinton is up 58%-31% in those precincts.

1:13am

Obama absolutely cleaned up in caucus states tonight, winning over 60% of the vote in each one. The bad news for him, however, is that the only caucus states left appear to be Maine (this weekend), Hawaii, and Wyoming.

However, if FL and MI decided to get back into the game by holding a late party-sponsored delegate selection event, they would almost certainly hold caucuses. On the other hand, Clinton is strong in both of those states.

1:06am

Interesting nugget from the CA exit polls. 42% of Democratic voters said that they decided who to vote for more than a month ago. Of those, 64% went for Clinton. Just think how many votes Clinton had banked with the tremendous amount of early voting.

On the other hand, Obama won (though less decisively) those who had decided within the last month.

On oddity...of those who said they decided how to vote "just today", 6% went for Edwards. Not sure how to explain that.

12:54am

Howard Fineman follows up by noting that Obama is going to take a huge fundraising advantage over Clinton in February.

Obama seems to be ahead in the money, tied in the national polls, and tied in the committed delegates...does this mean we no longer have a frontrunner?

12:51am

Chuck Todd (MSNBC) has Obama up 659 to 623 in delegates before you factor in NM and CA.

After trying to guess how things go in CA, he estimates 841 for Obama to 837 to Clinton.

In other words, this night is going to end in a tie for the Dems.

12:39am

Interesting to watch the TV pundits struggling to figure out who won and who lost tonight. Delegate math really is unique in recent political history.

MSNBC is calling MO for Obama...as if it will make any difference in the delegate allocation if he wins by 5,000 or loses by 5,ooo votes.

12:34am

One other note. John Edwards is pulling 11% right now in CA. Early voters, I assume. That is not enough to be viable, but still pretty significant share of the vote.

12:32am

Just to give you a sense of how sensitive those estimates are to the Clinton lead in CA, if the state ended up 55%-40% for Clinton instead of 55%-32%, my estimate would have Clinton and Obama exactly tied in delegates for the night.

12:24am

Just used the current vote percentages in each state to come up with my own estimate of how the delegates might break down when all is said and done. Here is what I came up with:

Clinton 848 delegates, Obama 807 delegates, with 26 delegates undecided (no results from NM).

That result is very sensitive to the CA results, which were 55-32% for Clinton when I threw them in the spreadsheet.

I can't see any candidate coming out of this with more than a 50 delegate lead (not counting superdelegates).

12:16am

And NBC calling CA and MO for McCain.

I'm going to attempt a new delegate count estimate for Democrats in a minute based on current vote totals in the states. Be back with that in a minute...

12:12am

NBC calls CA for Clinton. Let the spin begin...

12:01am

Obama is still speaking...hey, it is still Super Tuesday in IL.

12:00am

So, there are about as many different delegate counts out there as there are websites. And they are all over the map. Stay tuned.

12:00am

Wow, how about Missouri...neck-and-neck for both parties primaries. Can McCain hold on? It really doesn't matter who wins at this point on the Democratic side, they'll both get about half the delegates.

11 comments:

Mike said...

I'd have to say, and I just said this on the radio and to a print reporter, that there is no frontrunner on the Democratic side, but that fact benefits Obama who has a cash advantage, momentum, and a news media that is relishing the horse race.

Brian Schaffner said...

I definitely agree with that assessment...add this, I haven't seen any polling in this area yet, but everyone seems to think he is going to fare quite well in MD, VA, and DC a week from Tuesday.

Mike said...

Yup. And he is the only one making any noise here in Nebraska, where we have caucuses on Saturday. As you've noted, Obama's done well in that kind of election (so well that the Clintons, before Nevada, were making noise about how caucuses aren't very democratic). I was going to go to the Texas Tech-NU game, but now that Bobby Knight's gone, I think I'll check out the caucus...

Brian Schaffner said...

I'm not sure whether caucuses are undemocratic or too democratic. But I do know that when I speak to groups visiting through state department programs, caucuses are impossible to explain.

Mike said...

That's for sure. Reporters, folks new to the US, and the politically disengaged all have the same incredulous look when it is explained that some folks gather in a gym, living room, or church basement; talk about who they want to vote for; and then reorganize if their person isn't "viable."

Great stuff tonight, Brian.

Mike said...

What do you make of the media's reframing of a McCain-Huckabee contest now that Romney's entering "frank discussions?" I don't see a scenario where he can win. As seer or seers Pat Buchanan said, Huck's running out of southern states!

Brian Schaffner said...

How would Huckabee play in Kansas? Could he possibly sweep KS and LA this weekend? I think Huckabee had a better night than I expected, but the delegate math doesn't add up for anyone other than McCain, best I can tell.

SC said...

The California polls are only going to narrow as more results come in that aren't absentee ballots. Obama is going to pull ahead in the delegate counts for Super Tuesday. I think probably by about 10-15 or so, which would have no practical effect but a large moral effect.

Brian Schaffner said...

I was wondering if the absentees were reported first; if so, I agree that it should close throughout the night and help Obama pull slightly ahead.

Mike said...

I think Huckabee has a natural constituency in KS, but Bob Dole of Russell, KS is a McCain man, which I think might be an indication of how things are going.

I thought Chuck Todd's "Obama could be tied after the caucuses and Potomac primary" was interesting. The coverage is certainly tilting 'tie goes to the junior senator from Illinois'...

Brian Schaffner said...

Thanks for the comments Mike. It was fun, can't wait to do it again Tuesday.