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Category Archive for ‘CA-Dem’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'CA-Dem' Category


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Super Tuesday results thread: McCain has big night despite good Huckabee results, Democrats split delegates remarkably equally

States called, GOP: McCain (CT, IL, NJ, DE, NY, OK, AZ, CA), Romney (MA, UT, ND, MN, CO, MT), Huckabee (WV, AR, AL, GA)

States called, Dem: Obama (GA, IL, DE, AL, ND, CT, CO, MO, UT, AK), Clinton (OK, AR, TN, NY, NJ, MA, AZ, CA)

3am: Last thought of the night will be on the California results, where Clinton is ahead 53% to 39% with 48% reporting. The counties where Obama is the strongest are reported much more rapidly than Clinton’s strongholds. Marin County (55-39 Obama) is 98% in, and San Fransisco (52-44 Obama) is 78% in. In contrast, LA County (59-36 Clinton) is 36% in, and Clinton’s margin there could force some good delegate splitting in even district delegates. McCain, on the other hand, is getting wins across the state, leaving little hope that Romney could win some many districts. McCain should get a big delegate lead in CA.
Meanwhile, with 47% of the vote reporting in NM, Clinton is back up by 900 votes!

2:25am: Clinton just sank in the caucus states, and that by itself likely cost her a delegate lead tonight. Look at Idaho for example, where Obama got 80% of a total of 20,000 voters (!). That means a 15-3 delegate lead for Barack. In Colorado, where Obama won 2:1 against Clinton, he gets a 13-6 delegate lead. As I already pointed out, Obama got a bigger edge in IL than Clinton did in NY, and that also is helping him offset Clinton’s big leads in places like AR and MA.

1:45am: With 30% reporting in California, Clinton is up 53% to 37%. In the last state to have not been called, Obama is up by 400 votes in New Mexico, with 38% reporting.

12:50am: Chuck Todd’s estimates of the delegates count paints a stunningly divided race. Counting estimates in New Mexico and California — the only states in which the margins are not clear yet — Todd gives 841 delegates to Obama, 837 for Clinton (+/- 10 for both candidates). The reason for this is Obama’s massive victories in the caucus states that have given him a very comfortable lead. Clinton had to perform better in places like Minnesota and Kansas.
Overall, the Democratic race could hardly be more equally divided. Clinton did win some very important races — California, Arizona, Massachusetts and New Jersey — but Obama’s victories in Connecticut, Alabama and Missouri are significant, especially when you consider that Obama held Clinton to smaller than expected margins in states like Tennessee.
Obama will emerge out of Super Tuesday with a pledged delegate lead, if you don’t count Florida and Michigan. And expect those two states to soon become a very contentious issue that the DNC will have to deal with very quickly.

12:40am: Fox calls Missouri for Obama, an important win for the Illinois Senator. MSNBC invents a category, calling Obama the “apparent winner” without explaining how that differs from a call. McCaskill immediately says, “This is Middle America, this is not the far coast.” She also feels the need to say that, “I don’t agree with all of Senator Kennedy’s policy positions” before praising Kennedy’s endorsement…
Depending on how big Clinton wins California, Missouri should allow Obama to get the media to cover this as a tie. It is worth noting that his two most significant primary wins tonight (CT and MO) came in very small margins, and Obama has a bigger margin in Alabama.

12:25 am: NBC/CNN call California for both McCain and Clinton. This is huge news for both candidates, as it looks like neither race was that close. This should allow her to get a significant delegate lead out of California and offset whatever problems she faced in Illinois and even in places like Tennessee. In the Republican side, this confirms McCain’s big night. How are conservatives are going to stop McCain’s momentum with his hugely significant win in CA and Missouri? For the entire night the networks were talking about a bad McCain night with one CNN journalist wondering why we weren’t waiting for California. Within 15 minutes, McCain has turned the storyline around.

12:20am: Missouri called for McCain. This is a gigantic win for the Arizona Senator, and it is going to make it extremely difficult for his rivals to continue contesting this race. McCain wins 58 delegates here, and it is not going to be easy for his rivals to keep the delegate count close. The networks are speculating on why McCain failed tonight, but if he holds on in California (as both early results and exit polls suggest he might) it is going to be a big night for him.

12:10am: Obama has pulled ahead in Missouri, in a key move for him if he wants to spin this as a split decision. If California goes Clinton (which is obviously not a given for now) a victory in Missouri would be big for Obama. In California, with 15% reporting, it’s 55% to 32% for Clinton, though the regions of the state are not at all reporting at the same rhythm so these numbers will fluctuate. But remember the CNN exit polls are pointing at a strong Clinton showing here.

Midnight: Barack Obama takes hits at Clinton in his speech. The US needs a “clear choice,” he said, giving a list of reasons he is a much clearer alternative than Hillary (he cites original Iraq vote, not wavering on torture, Iran).
Colorado and Montana are called for Romney, in success for his caucus strategy that is starting to get him some major victories.
In Missouri, McCain is pulling ahead, now 7000 votes ahead with 94% percent in. As always in Missouri, St. Louis is coming in late and transforming the results, making Huckabee go down and lose 58 delegates… and making the Democratic race agonizingly close. (I apologize for covering this as a battle for victories, when it really doesn’t matter in the delegate race whether Obama or Clinton get 7000 votes more. It is hard to break out of the horse race habits.)
It is also worth pointing out — in the context of delegate allocation, that is very important — that Clinton’s win in Tennessee is now smaller than it seemed a few hours ago. She is leading 54% to 41%, and that should prevent her from getting too big a delegate lead. As I explained this morning, the distribution of which districts have even/odd delegates makes it very hard for Clinton to get a delegate lead here at the district level unless she wins big statewide.

11:45pm: Two big calls: Arizona is called for Clinton, and Tennessee is called for Huckabee. Polls were showing a very tight race in both states. Colorado goes Obama, like all the other caucus states, with a huge margin. While these wins were expected, Obama is going to get some big delegate leads out of Colorado, Minnesota, etc.
What a race in Missouri! McCain is now ahead by 3000 votes, with 91% reporting. Don’t forget (I can’t say it enough) that Missouri is a winner-take-all state, so McCain could be on his way from getting all 58 delegates. It would be very hard for In the Democratic race, it’s down 49-48!
Obama gets to the podium and starts his speech while McCain is still talking… But McCain stops talking just as Obama was about to say his first sentence, in strangely coincidental timing.

11:35pm: The delegate allocation in NY and IL is now coming in, and it bring good news for Obama who picked up a lot of delegates in New York. He got 90 delegates in NY, versus 142 for Clinton, a 52 delegate margin. In Illinois, Clinton gets 43 delegates only, with 110 for Obama, a 67 delegate margin. That’s a great margin for Barack.
One interesting note: Clinton won the only majority black district of New York, NYC’s 15th district, represented by Charlie Rangel (a major Clinton endorser). Clinton won 54% to 46% — but she had to split the delegates since it was an even number district.
More good news for Obama in Delaware, where he gets a 9 to 6 delegate lead for the entire state. And he is also likely to get some big delegate margins in the caucus states, as he is winning places like ND, KS with big proportions.

11:30pm: Exit polls in California are showing Obama winning the white vote, 49% to 43% but losing the Latino vote 66% to 33%. The Latino vote was the key measure we were waiting for in California, and it looks like the Kennedy effort to push Obama up in that group has not gone his candidate that far.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, Huckabee is up 214 votes with 87% reporting, but St. Louis is coming in slowly and Huckabee only has 17% in that county… That could spell trouble for Huckabee. With 88% reporting in Tennessee, Huckabee is up 34% to 32% with Romney.

11:15pm: Missouri is now a three point race in the Democratic side, with Obama rising quickly. Meanwhile, it’s worth pointing out that Obama’s lead in Alabama is much narrower than it appeared at first, which is obviously very significant in the context of delegate allocation. With 90% reporting, he is leading 56% to 42% — a big margin but better for Clinton than the 70% he was getting a few minutes ago.
Romney wins Minnesota, a caucus state, though the delegate allocation is proportional. The rules are really messing up any chance Romney had to make news tonight.

11:05pm: Polls close in California! The exit polls right now show McCain and Clinton up narrowly. In another key Western state, Arizona, Clinton is up 51% to 40% with 39% of the precincts reporting.
But the CRUCIAL state right now is Missouri, in both parties: With 78% reporting, McCain just took the lead here by a thousand votes. Don’t forget, this is winner-take-all. McCain wins by a vote, he gets 58 delegates. The Democratic race is also fascinating. Clinton is leading 51% to 46% but St. Louis and Kansas City are still coming in so Obama is still in the hunt for a win here.

10:55pm: Claiming victory in an upbeat speech, Clinton claims victory in… American Samoa!
Meanwhile, Minnesota is called for Obama, an important state which was holding a caucus, advancing the sweep of the caucus states for Obama. This gives him a good list of states… with Colorado probably coming out soon.

10:50pm: McCain wins Arizona. That is not a surprise at all, but it did take more than 90 minutes for his state to be called. As many of McCain’s strongholds, Arizona is winner-take-all so Romney is completely shut out of the state’s delegate.

10:45pm: VERY big win for Huckabee, as Georgia was just called for him. The state allocates 33 delegates winner-take-all statewide, with the rest being distributed district-by-district. Those 33 delegates are obviously very good for Huck.
For Obama supporters in Missouri, the good news is that Jackson County (Kansas City) is also reporting slower than the rest of the rest and Obama is doing better than Clinton there. But this is also bad news for Huckabee, who is trailing in those portions of the state.

10:35pm: Speaking second, Romney vows to press on, though he has nothing much to claim but victory in MA and UT…
In Missouri, Clinton is ahead 53% to 43% with 58% reporting, but St. Louis and its county are reporting much more slowly, so don’t count Obama out just yet in Missouri. He also is leading 2:1 in Colorado, with 10% reporting, getting close to a sweep of the caucus state.
Also, the New Jersey numbers are getting closer now, with Clinton up “only” 53% to 45%.

10:30pm: Obama prevails in Connecticut, a huge victory for his campaign. This was a state that was supposed to go for Clinton, in the Tri-State area. This will definitely be used in Obama’s spin going forward, a good win in Clinton’s backyard. Obama’s lead is only 50% to 47%, so the candidates are likely to split the delegates pretty equally here.

10:20pm: Obama is continuing to do well in the caucus states. Kansas was just called for him, as he is leading 72% to 27% there with 67% in. Meanwhile, Huckabee is continuing to do well in Missouri (up 35% to 32%), in Georgia (also up 35% to 32%) and Tennessee (up 34% to 32% with 68% in). A win in MO and GA would get Huckabee a lot of delegates. Romney is doing a bit better in caucus states now, leading in both Montana and Minnesota.

10:10pm: Mike Huckabee is the first candidate to take the stage and he claims he is now in a “two-person race.” And indeed he is likely to come out ahead of Romney in the delegate count, but that is because alll the states in which Romney is much much stronger than Huckabee (the Tri-State area for example) are winner-take-all. In New York for example, Huckabee gets 11%. The same is true in CT and NJ. But since Romney is shut out as well, this will not appear in the delegate results.

10pm: Romney wins Utah, an unsurprising result (a recent poll gave him 81%). Obama wins North Dakota and Utah, two caucus states (he is leading ND 61% to 37% with 89% in).
New York is going bigger for Clinton than expected, 60% to 38% with 47% reporting, though Obama is doing better in Illinois, winning with 65%. Both candidates are likely to open some delegate leads in their home states, but we will have to take a look district-by-district to know whether Clinton and Obama managed to force ties in even districts.
With 46% reporting, Huckabee and McCain are completely tied in Tennessee, at 33%,. This would be another big potential win for Huckabee, though the states he is winning are not winner-take-all.

9:50pm: Oklahoma is called for McCain, a good win in a very conservative state. And the caucus states for now are not going for Romney, a surprise given his efforts in those states and given his big victories in places like Wyoming, Maine and Nevada. This night is not going well for Romney. Huckabee is taking the role of McCain’s alternative. Though this could change depending on what happens in California. But even there, a Romney victory would not get him that many delegates.

9:40pm: Obama is winning in the caucus states comfortably right now (leading in MN, Kansas, Idaho, all big) and he is holding out for a win in Connecticut. With 50% in, it’s 50% to 48% for Obama but New Haven and Hartford, two cities that are supposed to help Obama, are coming in very slowly.
With 22% in, we are starting to have a better idea of Missouri with Clinton up 19% and Huckabee up 5%. Obama should do better once St. Louis starts coming in.
Right now, Clinton is leading 462 delegates to 392. Among Republicans, McCain has won 302 (credit NY + CT + NJ), with Huckabee 48 and Romney 44.

9:30pm: Some big projections were just announced. Clinton took Massachusetts and New Jersey, two states that her campaign was very worried about. Alabama was called for Obama, and he appears to be winning it big. All these results appear to be rather comfortable, which is surprising given the very tight polls. Massachusetts is being portrayed as a semi-upset for Clinton, and the size of her victory is indeed a bit embarrassing for Kennedys… if it holds that big (Boston hasn’t come in yet).
Meanwhile, Huckabee is continually to do well, leading in Missouri, Georgia and… Minnesota (surprisingly). And Alabama’s call for Huckabee is being confirmed by MSNBC. Confirming that Romney is not doing well as of right now, he is not even leading in caucus states!

9:20pm: New York called for McCain, 101 delegates winner-take all go for the Arizona Senator. Not a surprise at all, but McCain is amassing delegates…
On the Democratic race, the key exit poll out of New York is that Clinton got more than 70% of the Latino vote. If that holds in California, it could spell trouble for the Obama campaign.
Obama is still ahead in Connecticut, in what could be his biggest victory yet given that CT is in Clinton’s backyard. But we are not there yet, as the lead is only 50-47. Clinton is looking good still in New Jersey and is not weakining in Massachusetts with 30% in. Meanwhile, Fox looked to have been wrong on the Alabama call, as McCain is ahead comfortably for now, with 15% in.

9:10pm: Obama won his first competitive primary, it’s Delaware. This is surprising given that it is a coastal Atlantic state, and, despite it being a small state it is a good win for Obama.
In Georgia, the numbers have not moved with 41% in, with Huckabee 3% up McCain and 6% up Romney.

9pm: Clinton wins New York. All other states closing at 9 — including Arizona’s GOP race — have not been called yet. The exit poll in Arizona has McCain up by a few points only, very surprisingly. Remember, however, that Arizona is winner-take-all.
In Missouri, with 4% in, Clinton is up 56% to 37% for Obama. In Massachusetts, Clinton is up huge right now — but Boston has not come in at all yet, so a lot of votes are outstanding.
A note on Alabama: It has been called by FoxNews, not by any other networks. And McCain is winning the vote for now. So I have not included it in the final cont for now.

8:55pm: Things are looking much tighter than in the second wave of exit polls, as I already noted earlier (and warned could happen). With 30% in, Obama is now up 48% to 46% in Delaware, but Clinton is pulling ahead in Massachusetts, 56% to 40% with 11% in. With 5% in, Clinton is up big in New Jersey, 62% to 34%. With 12% in, McCain is up 2% on Huckabee in Oklahoma.
We are now waiting for the 9pm states to close, including New York, New Mexico, Colorado.

8:45pm: Delaware called for McCain. It’s a winner take all state, so Romney is shutout here as well. With 16% in, Obama is up 50% to 45%, but no projection yet.
In Georgia, it’s 35% Huckabee, 32% McCain and 29% for Romney with 25% in. But the strongest Romney counties, around Atlanta, are coming very slowly, so Romney could still come back and win this thing.
Massachusetts is starting to coming in as well, with Clinton up 9% with 7% reporting.

8:30pm: Clinton and Huckabee are declared winners in Arkansas. Clinton declared winner in Tennessee. No surprises here.
Meanwhile, Romney is suddenly competitive in Georgia, 34% Huckabee to 31% for Romney and McCain.

8:25pm: Alabama is called for Huckabee! This is the first competitive state to be called, and Huckabee is starting to have a very good night. Not only did he win West Virginia, but Alabama was a genuinely competitive state. Worth noting that Romney was not competitive in Alabama. In Georgia, we have 10% in with Huckabee at 37% to 33% for McCain.
Obama is staying stable in Connecticut, up 50% to 48% with 10% reporting now.

8:20pm: Updates from the Southern states: In Georgia, With 7% in, Obama is up 55% to 40%. Huckabe is up 37% to 33% for McCain with Romney at 25%. Exit polls look to be really good for Obama and Huckabee in Alabama. In Tennessee, Clinton looks good and so does Huckabee. Can Huckabee sweep the South? And in the all important Missouri, exit polls show Romney-McCain tied and Obama-Clinton tied as well.
And with 4% in in Connecticut, it’s 51% to 46% for Obama.

8:10pm: New Jersey called for McCain.
CNN’s exit poll shows McCain up in Oklahoma for now, though it’s too close for now. In CT, the exit poll has a small lead for Obama. The MA exit poll has a tie at 48-48 for Democrats. Clinton has a tiny exit poll lead in NJ. All of these states are very close; there has been a tightening since the second wave of exits.

8pm: Projections GOP: Connecticut, Illinois called for McCain; Massachusetts called for Romney; Missouri, Tennessee, New Jersey (!), Oklahoma, Delaware, Alabama too close to call. Projections Democrats: Illinois called for Obama; Oklahoma called for Clinton; Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee

7:45pm: At 8pm are closing: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Important reminder about the early exit polls I reported at 6:20: The second wave had Obama had 75% in Georgia. Now the third exit poll poll wave have Obama up around 65%. Keep that in mind when assessing how much trust to put in the second wave. With 2% reporting, Obama is up 56% to 38%, with McCain up 36% to 34% for Huckabee and 26% for Romney.

7:15pm: All eyes are on Georgia right now, where the GOP primary is looking like a toss-up. The newly-updated CNN exit poll gives a tiny lead to Huckabee, approximately 33% to 31% with McCain at 30%. This is going to be a very long night for Georgia Republicans. Among Democrats, Obama looks to have about 66% of the vote… and 88% of the black vote with Clinton at 11%. The exit poll shows Clinton winning the white vote 57% to 39%. That could mean Clinton is shut out of delegates in some major districts.

7pm: Polls have closed in Georgia and no surprise here. The state is called for Barack Obama, and the Republican race is too close to call (3-way).
CNN’s national exit polls show that those who decided in the last 3 days have split their votes equally, 47% going to Obama and 46% for Clinton. That has got to be reassuring for Clinton as Obama’s camp was counting on a last minute surge. And a note to all those whose tension is rising fast: 71% of Clinton voters would be happy with Obama, and 72% of Obama voters will be happy with Clinton.

6:20pm: The first hints at exit polls are coming from the National Review which is reporting on the second wave of GOP numbers. California (40-36 McCain), Missouri (34-32 Romney) and Georgia (34-31-30 Huck) are all very close, so there is hope for those who are trying to derail McCain. Meanwhile, Huckabee looks stronger than expected throughout the South. Meanwhile, the second wave of exit polls on the Democratic side comes to us from MyDD and they have good news for Obama who looks good in AL, GA, IL, who leads in CT (53-45), DE (56-42), NJ (53-47), MO (50-46). MA is close, and Clinton can count on NY but by a smaller margin than she hoped. First wave numbers in California have Clinton very narrowly up.
Remember those are all very early exit polls, they do not include absentee and early-voting, and things will still move a lot in the coming hours. We all know how much the exit polls favored Kerry on Election Day 2004, and that’s because second wave exit polls are not meant to be that reliable. So no one should start celebrating.

Original post: The first polls close in an hour, and we are waiting for the first batch of exit polls. Of course, we already know the results from one state, with Huckabee’s West Virginia victory. This will certainly be a long night, with California closing at 8pm PT, 11pm ET. Alaska will close even later. Though we could very well see a trend forming. As I have said a few times, a 2-3% uptick for either candidate could be enough for them to sweep most close states.

For now, you can read these guidelines of what to watch for tonight.


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Super Tuesday guidelines: What to watch for tonight

My analysis of the Democratic and Republican delegate allocations will serve as my detailed preview of Super Tuesday, but here is a quick overview of what to look for tonight, and what states will be most important in determining tomorrow morning’s headlines:

California, for both parties: Few people expected the Romney come back in California, but the primary here is closed and conservatives have rallied around Romney over the past week, giving him an opening to win the Golden State. Unfortunately for Romney, a win would not necessarily mean a delegate lead, since every district attributes 3 delegates (winner-take-all), whether they are a heavily conservative districts with hundreds of thousands of GOP voters or a liberal San Fransisco area with only a few thousands voters in a Republican primary. Ultimately, California will matter as a symbol in the GOP race. It will be much easier for Romney to justify continuing the race if he wins the country’s biggest state.

Among Democrats, California will be essential to determining the storyline, though here also delegates are likely to be mostly split. An Obama victory would be the dramatic exclamation point to the candidate’s surge over the past week, and give us a measure of his momentum going forward. If Clinton holds on to the state, it will allow her campaign to make the argument that Obama’s momentum is being overstated, just as in New Hampshire. Polls have shown big leads for both candidates, so there is an expectation that Obama could do well today; that means — however unfair that is — that even a narrow Clinton win would be presented as a great victory for the New York Senator, just as in New Hampshire.

Illinois and New York, Democrats: Obama and Clinton will (almost) no doubt win their home states, but their margin of victory will determine just how big a lead of delegate they get. Will Clinton cross 15% in the Chicago districts? Will she cross 30% in most districts, allowing her to force a delegate split in the even-delegate districts? Will Obama do the same in upstate New York districts that award even number of delegates? (More information about this delegate distribution here) Will he win some districts in New York City that he has targeted?

Missouri, both parties: This is a must-win state for Mitt Romney, perhaps even the must-win state. 58 delegates are at stake in the only winner-take-all primary that is a toss-up, and Romney needs those delegates to stay close in the final delegate count. Even with a California victory, it will make very little sense for Romney to continue if McCain has amassed a big delegate lead and is approaching a majority.

For Democrats, the race has been equally close and Obama really wants to win here to be able to make the argument that Clinton cannot win in purple states and away from the coasts and argue that he is the best placed to win over swing voters in the general election. For Clinton, a victory here would allow her to counter the storyline of Obama’s surge — just as in California.

Georgia, Republicans: The Democratic race is not very suspenseful here, and expect it to be called early (it is the only state where polls close at 7pm). But this is one of the most important states in the GOP contest. Not only do polls show a complete three-way toss-up between Huckabee, McCain and Romney, but the winner gets 33 at-large winner-take-all delegates (there also are districts allocated by district). As I already said, Romney needs to keep himself close to McCain in the delegate count and he needs Missouri and Georgia in his column to do so.

Connecticut and New Jersey, Democrats: In Clinton’s backyard, these two states were long considered strongholds for the New York Senator. But recent polls have shown a tight race, especially in Connecticut. A loss in either of these states, while not dramatic delegate wise (especially in CT), would be very embarrassing for Clinton. The results here are also likely to come early in the morning and thus shape coverage more than results in states that report later.

Massachusetts, Democrats: Clinton was long massively ahead but Ted Kennedy (and, to a lesser degree, John Kerry)’s endorsement have given a tremendous boost to Obama’s organization. Polls since then have been very contradictory, ranging from a narrow Obama edge to a large Clinton lead. This is another state whose results could be known early and that could prove embarrassing to the NY Senator.

Alabama, both parties: Huckabee is hoping to complete a Southern surge that started to register in the polls in the past few days and take Alabama from McCai; he is also hoping for a strong showing in Tennessee. Romney seems out of the game in both of these states but needs Huckabee to poll well to deprive McCain of some nominees and stay close to him in the delegate count.

Among Democrats, Alabama is shaping as the only close Southern primary, especially since Edwards’s withdrawal threw white voters in Clinton’s camp. Polls show a complete toss-up here, and a victory here could give the winner’s campaign one more thing to boast about tomorrow morning. After all, with Obama and Clinton likely to split delegates, it will all come down to a battle of symbols.

There obviously are a lot of other storylines (especially in the Democratic race, where every state will feature a major delegate fight, even places that a candidate is expected to win solidly). So to help us through the night, here is a quick assesment of where things stand (the “Lean X” lists are organized from the safest to the less safe states). First, for Democrats:

Leaning Clinton: New York, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma

Leaning Obama: Georgia, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota

Toss-up: California, Alabama, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico

And for Republicans:

Lean McCain: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma

Lean Romney: Utah, Massachusetts, the caucus states (despite little evidence of what is going on): Colorado, North Dakota, Alaska, Minnesota, Montana

Lean Huckabee West Virginia (already won!), Arkansas

Toss-up: California, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Delaware, Alabama


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In final Super Tuesday polls, California is all over the place

After SUSA’s massive wave of polls comforted Clinton supporters earlier today, we knew that the next batch of surveys could only bring some good news to Obama supporters. And Zogby’s third and last day of tracking polls confirms that pollsters are very divided in what to expect in the Democratic race. Their Republican results are much more consistent, suggesting that the Democratic primary is still very fluid with many people still making up their mind.

And with that let’s review the latest numbers from Zogby, and first off California where two polls show widely different numbers.

  • Zogby shows Obama has stormed to a stunning 13% lead, 49% to 36%. Just yesterday, Obama was up 46% to 40%, so he had some very good single nights Sunday and Monday. Zogby explains that he progressed among Hispanic voters and women, two key Clinton constituencies.
  • Among Republicans, Romney remains stable, leading 40% to 33% for McCain with Huckabee at 12%.
  • That California’s polls are all over the place is confirmed by SUSA’s second California poll of the day. They supplemented the poll they had this afternoon with numbers from Monday night and found Clinton up 52% to 42%. Clinton’s advantage among Latinos is a large 67% to 31%. The key to Clinton’s good numbers here lies in the fact that more than a third of the electorate have already voted, and they indicate having chosen Clinton by 17%. Obama will need to have a big day tomorrow to offset that.
  • SUSA shows Romney facing the same problem: SUSA explains that conservatives are now racing to vote Romney (who has tripled his support among conservatives in three weeks) but Romney will have to offset his disadvantage among early voters who are locked in for McCain by 6%. Overall, Romney has pulled into a tie, 39% to 38%. In the poll released this afternoon, Romney was down 39-36.

The second state from which we have more than one poll is New Jersey:

  • First, Zogby has Clinton rising to a slight lead, 46% to 41%, after being stuck in a tie at 43% last night.
  • Rasmussen finds a similar margin in New Jersey, showing Clinton coming in 49% to 43%. Rasmussen’s poll is still an improvement for Obama who trailed 49% to 37% a few days ago, suggesting that undecideds are breaking his way.

Zogby’s other polls are less surprising and less unexpected, albeit the Missouri numbers are interesting:

  • The Missouri Dem race is in a toss-up, with Obama up 45% to 42%, a slight downturn from yesterday’s 5% lead.
  • The Republican Race is perhaps the GOP contest to watch tomorrow given that McCain getting those 58 delegates could be too much for Romney to survive, still looks to be leaning McCain though his lead against Romney has decreased by 5% in two days. Right now, McCain gets 34% to Huckabee’s 27% and Romney’s 25%.
  • And in polls from unsuspensful races, Zogby has McCain up 53% to 24% in New Jersey; 56% to 20% in New York (it is worth noting that’s a 10% improvement for McCain in 2 days). Obama is leading by 20% in Georgia, 49% to 29%. Clinton has to improve her situation a bit to prevent Obama from getting too large a delegate lead out of the state.

On the Republican side, a McCain victory in California, Missouri or Georgia would go a long way towards coronating the Arizona Senator. But the situation will not be clear at all among Democrats. As I will attempt to analyze in more depth in the coming hours, a breakdown of the delegate fight shows that, whatever happens tomorrow, neither Clinton nor Obama will come out with that much more than a 100 delegate lead. And if neither makes such a symbolic coup by winning on the other’s turf or sweeping most states, the delegate count could be so close that the race would increasingly look like it might last until August…


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Poll roller coaster continues, with SUSA showing Clinton holding firm with 12 hours to go

Whatever the results tomorrow, there will be a group of pollsters that will come out the clear losers of the run-up to Super Tuesday. On the one side we have groups like Zogby and Rasmussen which show Obama with higher-than-average results, on the other are Mason-Dixon, ARG and SUSA which are much much more reassuring to Clinton’s chances. Depending on which institute has released the latest wave of polls, Clinton and Obama supporters are trading optimism for depression and vice-versa.

What can these discrepancies be attributed to? It is important to note that each institute is consistent in showing an Obama uptick or a Clinton uptick: Zogby has great Obama results in California but also in Missouri and New Jersey; and Mason-Dixon and SUSA have Clinton up higher than expected in most of their polls as well. This suggests that pollsters are using widely differing turnout models — not only with the composition of the electorate but how many new voters show up and who these new voters are. Don’t necessarily assume that new voters favor one candidate or the other, as both Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats voted in record numbers… to differing results. At this point there is no way of knowing which pollster we should trust, and we will have to wait for the results to come in tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here are the latest trends, mostly based on SUSA’s massive release of polls. First up, of course, is the big prize of California, the state for which we could stay up very late tomorrow night:

  • SUSA has Clinton up 53% to 41% in a week-end poll, which is a slight improvement for the NY Senator who led 49% to 38% last week. The key finding of the poll is that 34% of voters have already voted, and Clinton leads by 12% among those as well. The second crucial internal from the poll is that Latinos (27% of the electorate here) are giving 71% of their vote to Clinton.
  • The Republican numbers are in line with other numbers and have a toss-up between McCain at 39% and Romney at 36%. A week ago, McCain had 36% and Romney had 25%, so this is a significant progression for Romney. Among those who have already voted (35%), Romney is down 5%.

I have long emphasized that early-voting was a big hurdle that Obama and Romney would have to overcome. And while there is no question that many of the people who voted Clinton early would have voted Hillary anyway, there is little doubt that some voters who are now locked in could have been susceptible to this late Obama momentum.

Next, we get three polls from Clinton and Obama’s home states:

  • In New York, SUSA shows Clinton staying ahead 56% to 38%, a bigger margin than in some other polls we have seen. Clinton really needs to get a massive delegate lead here to offset possible losses elsewhere. Worth noting is that Obama wins the male vote, in what is a 44% gender gap!
  • In PPP’s survey, Clinton has a similar lead, 51% to 32%.
  • The GOP numbers have McCain up 56% to 23% in SUSA and 49% to 24% in PPP.
  • In Illinois, it’s Obama that is widely ahead in the SUSA poll 66% to 30%. Clinton only gets 17% of the white vote.
  • Among Republicans, McCain does not tremble, 46% to 25% for Romney and 17% for Huck.

The Democratic numbers in these states are actually very important, as Illinois and New York will attribute a large numbers of delegates and both candidates want to get a lead in their home states to offset potential losses elsewhere. In New York, Clinton has a robust lead in all regions of the state, but Obama is also coming in consistently above 30% which should allow him to split delegates equally in all districts that allocate an even number of delegates! Clinton’s Illinois position is a bit more precarious, as she is weak enough overall that she could let Obama get two extra delegates in even districts. And don’t be surprised if Clinton gets shut out in some districts of Chicago.

Completing the Northeast picture, SUSA releases final numbers from New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Polls from all three have shown tight races in the past week but SUSA partly disagrees:

  • In New Jersey, SUSA gives Clinton a reassuring 52% to 41% lead, in line with another poll released this morning that showed Clinton holding firm in the Garden State. The gender gap is 42%.
  • In Massachusetts, SUSA has Clinton surviving 56% to 39% thanks to a 62% gender gap!! SUSA does show a 7% Obama progression in a week.
  • In Connecticut, however, it’s Obama, 48% to 46% (he led 48% to 44% a few days ago) in a race with a small gender gap, small age gap and small geographical differences.
  • All those states show no suspense in the GOP race, and only MA is not winner-take-all and so the margin has to be watched. In NJ, it’s McCain 54-25; in Connecticut, 52-30. And in Massachusetts, Romney is up 58-30.

In many ways, Clinton would rather lose Massachusetts than Connecticut. Losing the former could be attributed to Kennedy’s influence, while Connecticut is in Clinton’s own backyard. And with that we move to Missouri, a swing state in both parties in which SUSA once again is kind to the New York Senator:

  • Clinton is up 54% to 43%, a noticeable progression since SUSA’s poll released earlier this week in what SUSA calls “Last Minute Momentum to Clinton.” It had been a while Hillary’s camp hadn’t read those words.
  • The GOP ’s Missouri primary might be the single most important contest in the Republican race, as the winner will get all of the state’s 58 delegates. And as in many other polls, SUSA has it too close to call, with McCain at 33%, Huckabee 31% and Romney 28%.

Both Obama and Romney really want to win this state. A Clinton victory here would allow her to show she has appeal in the Midwest and that she can attract voters in a purple state that has been leaning red. And a McCain win would virtually leave Romney no path towards keeping the delegate count close.

And with that we move South, to Georgia and Alabama which are holding very tight contests as well. In Alabama, it is the Democratic race which is key now that Edwards’s withdrawal has opened up a path for Clinton to win if the electorate in the South stays as racially polarized as in SC. We got three polls from AL:

  • SUSA shows Obama up 49% to 47%, CPR has Clinton up 48% to 44% and Insider Advantage shows a toss-up, with Obama at 45% and Clinton at 44%.
  • Among Republicans, AL has long been a McCain-Huckabee contest. SUSA has McCain stumbling a bit in the past few days and now up 37% to 35%, CPR has it at 36-30.
  • In Georgia, PPP confirms Obama’s lead 53% to 37%, but it is the GOP race that is more important in this state. PPP pits it at 31-29-27 (McCain-Romney-Huckabee), with Insider Advantage at 32 McCain-31 Romney-26 Huckabee.
  • The latest updates from Tennessee and Oklahoma (PPP and SUSA) respectively confirm that Clinton has a wide lead there (56-34 and 54-27) but the GOP race is closer (34-28 for McCain-Huck in TN and 37-32 between them in Oklahoma).

As alw
ays, these numbers tell us first and foremost that the delegate count will probably stay close in the Dem race. And odds are that, if one candidate emerges with a significant delegate lead, it will be because of the margins in New York and Illinois rather than because of who won Missouri, California and Connecticut by a point of two.

  • General election poll

A quick note about RAsmussen’s latest general election numbers which are as over the place as the primary polls: McCain leads Clinton 47% to 39% but ties Obama at 44%. But the electability is reversed in Romney’s matchups, as Clinton crushes him 50% to 37% and Obama is much closer, 44% to 41%. Rasmussen had only released Clinton-McCain and Romney-Obama yesterday and the rest today, so it appears that those two match-ups were tested in one sample, and that Clinton-Romney and McCain-Obama were tested in another. Simple sample differences would then explain why the first two are much more favorable to Democrats than the last two. I don’t know, however, why such a sample split would be a good idea.


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Polling tide shifts once more to Obama, as Zogby’s trackings show him with expanding leads

As the Republican race is getting slightly more exciting in the run-up to Super Tuesday, I will keep the Democratic and Republican numbers separate in analyzing a large number of new polls.

Democrats: With the release of a worrisome new wave of tracking polls, the tide in good poll news has switched back from Clinton to Obama, with Zogby going as far as suggest as Obama could have a “big night” if this momentum holds up (the Zogby polls were taken Friday to Sunday, making them the most up-to-date, though barely so). But it is worth noting that Mason-Dixon’s numbers that were a bit more skeptical of a Clinton decline are supported by other surveys.

First, as always, comes California:

  • Zogby shows Obama expanding his lead, now ahead 46% to 40% against Clinton. He was up 45% to 41% yesterday. And get this, Zogby says that Obama is leading Clinton 49% to 32% on Sunday polling alone (though these small samples have a huge margin of error and often show big fluctuations); but it is undeniable that Obama’s surge is being felt.
  • Obama’s surge in California — also underscored by Rasmussen poll hours this afternoon that showed him edging Clinton by a point — is confirming by a Suffolk poll that has Obama up 40% to 39%.
  • But an ARG survey has Clinton up 47% to 39%. The ARG poll has Clinton ahead 51% to 34% among registered Democrats but trailing 63% to 27% among independents (who only make up 14% of voters in this model).

It is very hard to get a sense of where California is heading, especially when you keep in mind that Obama actually needs to get his voters to the poll whereas Clinton can in all likelihood depend in some sort of lead among early-voters. Remember also that a California victory is mostly meant for spin, and that the real fight will be waged at the district level where Obama could do well by cleaning out the numerous Republican districts that have fewer Democratic voters.

Next comes the all important states of Missouri and New Jersey:

  • Zogby has New Jersey staying in a tie, at 43%, the first survey that has ever shown Clinton not winning in the Garden State. Here again, remember that Zogby is being more optimistic for Obama than other recent polls, whether Mason Dixon or Mormouth University.
  • In Missouri, Obama surges ahead. He was down 1% yesterday, today he is ahead 47% to 42%, underscoring the extent of Obama’s last-minute rise.

We end with the South, in Georgia and Tennessee:

  • In Georgia, Zogby shows Obama crushing Clinton 48% to 31%, which is actually a slight improvement for Clinton.
  • Insider Advantage also polled Georgia and found Obama ahead 51% to 36%.
  • In Tennessee, Insider Advantage has Clinton ahead 55% to 35%, a double-digit improvement by Obama in the matter of a few days but he still remains far.

Clinton cannot afford to lose New Jersey, and Missouri should rather be classified as a must-win state for Obama, albeit one in which he trailed for a long time so his surge here is impressive. Meanwhile, Georgia and Tennessee are among the least suspenseful of Super Tuesday, as there is polling consensus about their splitting between Hillary and Barack.

Republicans: Romney’s come back is still as improbable, but there are some signs that are pointing to its possibility. First in California, where two new polls have Romney in the lead:

  • Zogby has Romney expanding his California poll, now up 50% to 42% (it was 47-44 yesterday). Romney winning by a substantial margin could mean that he also gets most districts, ensuring he gets a lot more delegates than expected out of Super Tuesday.
  • The ARG poll has Romney edging out McCain 33% to 32%, with Huckabee at 16%.

Essential to Romney’s chances is McCain losing Missouri and its winner-take-all 58 delegates. At worse, Romney has to hope that Huckabee can topple McCain here to prevent the Arizona Senator from amassing too many delegates. The latest Zogby poll has McCain up with 35% to 27% for Huckabee and 24% for Romney. Other polls have the race closer.

Zogby also polled the unsuspenseful New York race (53% to 19% McCain) and New Jersey (52% to 26% McCain). Both being winner-take-all, even the proportions the candidates receive do not matter, and we can go straight to the fascinating Southern polls of Insider Advantage.

  • Georgia will be one of the three keys to the GOP contest on Tuesday, along with MO and CA, and Insider Advantage shows a complete toss-up: 30% Romney, 29% McCain, 28% Huckabee. Even a win by one vote gets whoever gets on top 33 statewide winner-take-all delegates. In a poll released on the 31st, it was 35% McCain and 24% each for Huckabee and Romney.
  • In Tennessee, meanwhile, McCain’s massive lead a few days ago (33-25 Huckabee-18 Romney) has tightened as well, with McCain up 32% to 30% to Huckabee and 22% for Romney.

The Republican race still unexpectedly holds some suspense, due in large part to Romney’s stunning ability to keep California in play. After the rallying of prominent figures to the McCain wagon and the aura of inevitability the campaign acquired, the mere fact that McCain still has to fight for this underscores how much many conservatives mistrust the Arizona Senator.


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On the trail: Democratic endorements and the fight for GOP conservatives

Democrats: Barack Obama got the unexpected endorsement of California’s First Lady Maria Shriver today, yet another member of the Kennedy clan. There had been no prior announcements, and Maria just showed up at today’s Obama rally in California along with Caroline Kennedy and Oprah. She announced she had just decided to jump in that morning. “Think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, bucks tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader.”

There are two schools of thought about this endorsement. There is no question that it is one more boost to Obama’s chances in California. The Senator has been blanketing the local press with his surrogates and especially with the Kennedys, and the fun storyline of the gubernatorial couple finding itself divided between McCain and Obama is one that California media will run with over the next day, giving Obama some helpful publicity.

On the other hand, how much will Shriver really help among registered Democrats, who probably associate her now more with the Republican Governor than with the Kennedy heritage. And to liberals — and former Edwards backers — that are trying to make up their mind between Obama and Clinton, this is maybe too uncomfortable a reminder that a lot of Obama’s strength is coming from independents rather than party members.

An even stranger storyline developed today around the non-endorsement of Bill Richardson. We knew that Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson were planning on watching the Super Bowl together tonight. But besides the fact that this is a bizarre use of time 36 hours from polls opening, there was no other indication that Richardson was planning a Clinton endorsement. If anything, the buzz at the beginning of the week pointed to the possibility of Richardson heading Obama’s way. But MyDD caught this strange story that ran on NPR for a few hours today that was reporting a Richardson endorsement of Clinton as if it had already happened. NPR ended up taking the story down, so it appears that Richardson will not be endorsing prior to Super Tuesday, making the New Mexico primary even more of a question mark.

Republicans: Mitt Romney has been holding fire for weeks now, and is mostly giving John McCain a free pass to the Republican nomination. With no contrast or attack ads running on Super Tuesday TV and minimal negative mailers, Romney appears to have given up on the idea of derailing McCain by raising hell about the Senator’s conservative apostasies. But he is staying tough in robocalls, just as he did in the final days of Florida. A new robocall is being blasted out in states like California, a closed primary where Romney needs to do well, and it is a recording of former Senator Rick Santorum, a figure of the social conservative movement who was defeated in 2006.

In this call, Santorum says, “As Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, I worked hard to stop the democrats and help pass a conservative agenda. A few senators like John McCain stood in our way.” He also goes on to refer to McCain’s “temperament,” a veiled reference to McCain’s reputation as having a fiery temper and boiled up rage. Romney’s only hope heading to Tuesday’s vote is to convince conservatives that McCain is not one of them, and he is hoping to do so with the constant McCain pounding that many conservative pundits (Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh) are now engaged in.

The Politico has the answer of John Weaver, McCain’s former strategist, which is particularly harsh on Santorum: “When Santorum was begging for John, he never raised a word about any concern about McCain. In fact, he praised him. Perhaps he was desperate then. Perhaps he is desperate now.” McCain knows that California in particular will be key and that it needs to hold on to the conservative troops for a few more days; if Romney wins in that big a closed primary, some conservatives could agitate the fact that McCain is too weak among the party’s base (though he won Florida, a closed primary, rather convincingly).


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In day’s second wave of polls, Mason-Dixon is more generous to Clinton than Zogby was this morning

Sunday polls bring new evidence that anything could happen on Tuesday evening, and that a national swing of just a few points could lead a candidate to sweep most of the swing states. Just as the Zogby polls released this morning showed some great Obama momentum, a wave of MSNBC/Mason-Dixon surveys just released have better numbers for Clinton.

The fact that really no one knows where the Democratic race is heading at this point is perfectly illustrated by the latest NYT national poll that was released moments ago. The survey has Obama tying Clinton for the first time, at 41%. But among states that are voting this Tuesday, Clinton is massively ahead, 49% to 31%. Considering that it is hard to find a Super Tuesday state with a big Clinton lead at the moment — including New York — this finding is very puzzling. The explanation for Obama’s rise comes from his increased support among black voters (49% to 67% in a month) as well as white men (23% to 40%).

The most important state in both parties is shaping out to be California, from which we get two new surveys:

  • Mason-Dixon has Clinton ahead by a comfortable 45% to 36% with 16% undecided, more than in any other state polled by the group.
  • Among Republicans, McCain has a healthy lead, 40% to 31%.
  • But a Rasmussen poll of California shows Obama edging out Clinton 45% to 44%, an improvement from the beginning of the week when he trailed by 3%.
  • Rasmussen also shows a much tighter Republican race, with McCain and Romney tied at 38%.

The California poll from both parties are all over the place, with the Democratic race now varying between Clinton +9 to Obama +4 in polls taken at the same time; similarly, the GOP race goes from Romney +3 to McCain plus +9.

The second most crucial state to watch is Missouri, which is a must-win for Romney’s survival chances. It is also one of the states that Obama has put at the center of his Super Tuesday strategy. And while recent polls have shown Romney, Huckabee and Obama tying the front-runners, Mason-Dixon has good news for Clinton and McCain:

  • In the Dem race, Clinton is ahead 47% to 41%. This is an open-primary, and Obama has a lead among independents, while Clinton leads registered Democrats.
  • In the GOP race, McCain is ahead 37% to Huckabee’s 27% and Romney’s 24%.

The third most important state for Romney’s chances is Georgia, which is less competitive among Democrats:

  • Mason-Dixon pits the Democratic race closer than other polls we have seen (Zogby has Obama up 20%), showing a 47% to 41% Obama lead. Obama leads 3:1 among black voters, and Clinton is ahead 54% to 31% among whites.
  • Among Republicans, McCain is on top 33% to 27% for Romney and 18% for Huckabee.
  • Rasmussen has a more more comfortable lead for Obama, 52% to 37%.
  • Rasmussen also shows a much tighter GOP race, 31% for McCain, 29% for Romney and 28% for Huckabee.

Remember that the statewide winner of Georgia gets 33 delegates winner-take-all, so even those 2 points would mean that McCain takes 33 delegates home and Romney none. Georgia also gives out delegates at the district-level.

Mason-Dixon also released a survey from New Jersey, which has turned into another unexpected battleground. This morning’s Zogby poll had Clinton only up 1% and Monmouth University had her up 14%:

  • This survey has Clinton up 46% to 39%, which is a bit more comfortable for her. But it confirms that the Tri-State area is now unexpectedly close, which should allow Obama to get much more delegates than previously expected.
  • There is less suspense among Republicans, as McCain is up 46% to 31% for Romney and 5% for Huckabee.

Mason Dixon’s last poll is a survey of Arizona’s Democratic race. This primary was barely polled until the last 24 hours, when Rasmussen had Clinton up 46% to 41%. Mason-Dixon agrees that the race is tight, pitting it at 43% Clinton and 41% Obama. This is another state that Obama was not expected to win and which has attracted less attention than others, confirming that the tightening we are seeing right now is first and foremost a national one.

The Oklhaoma poll released by SoonerPoll today is a bit of an older one (Sunday-Wednesday) and it does not capture the dynamics of Edwards and Giuliani’s withdrawals. Among Republicans, McCain leads with 40% versus Huckabee’s 19% and Romney’s 17%. Among Democrats, it’s Clinton at 41%, Edwards in the “mid-20s” and Obama at 17%. This was one of the states in which Edwards was the strongest, so this poll is not a very good indicator of where things are heading since he is still included.

Finally, we got our first poll from Utah today:

  • It confirms that Romney has nothing to fear, and that he will get all of the state’s delegates. He leads McCain 84% to… 4%! Utah is winner-take-all, but the irony is that Romney would get all 36 delegates even if it wasn’t, as McCain is very far from the viability threshold of 15%.
  • Among Democrats, Obama is way ahead, 53% to 29%.

The conventional wisdom is that Obama will fare better than Clinton in the red states holding caucuses on Tuesday — also North Dakota, Idaho — and this poll confirms that. And that could help him not only to claim he can appeal to independents, but also to come out of Tuesday with a significant number of states under his belt.


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In new wave of polls, Obama takes lead in California and candidates tie in major battlegrounds

Zogby just released its first wave of tracking polls from key Super Tuesday states — including the first California poll in a few days. And overall these surveys are very good news for Obama supporters, as well as for backers of John McCain… though there is unexpected good news for Mitt Romney as well. Add to this a few other polls released over the past few hours, including the notorious Field poll, and we are in for a wild ride to Super Tuesday.

In the fascinating Clinton-Obama showdown, the numbers are now tight across the board. Only a few states that are being polled (New York, Illinois, Georgia) have a clear leader. The rest of the states — including some very major contests like CT, NJ, MA, AZ, NM, CA, MO, AL — are way too close to predict at this point.

This means that the delegate count will be excruciatingly close come Wednesday morning, whether or not one of the candidate pulls ahead in the next two days. But also consider that, with Obama and Clinton separated by a few points in all those states and the campaign now national, Obama could post a massive across-the-board victory in most of these contests on Tuesday night by just gaining a few more points until then. Even if he only prevails by 2-3% each in California, Missouri, Connecticut, Alabama, Arizona, New Jersey and he splits the delegates equally with Clinton, it will clearly be seen as a major victory for Barack. Similarly, a recovery of just a few points — or a stabilization — by Clinton could mean that she sweeps all those races, and she would emerge of Super Tuesday as the survivor.

Remember, the race will be analyzed as a delegate contest only if the candidates split the major states pretty much equally. And 72 hours from polls closing, the race is in such flux that a sweep is very much possible — by either candidate.

And with that, let’s get to the polls and let’s start with the numbers from California, as we have truly stunning numbers for both parties:

  • Zogby shows Barack Obama ahead, 45% to 41%. Obama pulls off this stunning come back because of his strength among independents, men and African-American. Clinton’s lead among women is “only” 11%, though it is worth noting that she shows no sign of weakening among Hispanic (64% to 29%).
  • The Field poll, meanwhile, shows Clinton up 34% to 32% for Obama with 18% of voters undecideds, a high number which makes it hard to compare this survey with Zogby’s. The Field poll is known as by far the best poll of California. Two weeks ago, this poll had Clinton up 12%. One reason for this decline is Obama’s massive lead among independents, 54% to 32%. Clinton leads among registered Democrats, 37% to 31%. However, the poll was conducted from January 25th to February 1st, so it is unclear how useful of an indicator it is of what is happening in the state, and the low numbers the two candidates are getting is also due to the fact Edwards was in the race for some of this time.
  • Both polls have numbers for the GOP race as well. And believe it or not, California is one state in which Romney could actually prevail. Don’t forget that the GOP contest here is a closed primary. The Field poll has McCain leading 32% to 24%, with Huckabee at 13% and Ron Paul at 10%.
  • The Zogby poll, however, has Romney leading 37% to McCain’s 34%. Huckabee gets 12%. Romney is ahead 56% to 18% among very conservative voters.
  • We also got a poll from Suffolk earlier tonight, which showed McCain 39% to 32%.
  • The Field poll also tried general election numbers and shows Clinton up 45% to 43% and Obama up 47% to 40% against McCain in California, suggesting that there is a major anti-Clinton mood in California right now. The New York Senator led her Arizona colleague by double-digits just two weeks ago.

There were signs pointing to Clinton’s collapse in the state in polls released last week but Zogby’s is the first that shows Obama in the lead. Unfortunately, neither Zogby nor the Field Poll give us any indication of how the early vote breakdowns are affecting the results. With about 25% of the electorate having already locked in their vote, where do these voters fall? It seems unthinkable that early-voting is not taken into account, but it is also really strange that there is no mention of that in either survey!

Clinton should also be reassured that she has kept her lead among Hispanics despite Obama’s efforts to cut his losses there. But Clinton is certainly losing her hope of getting a big delegate lead out of California. No one will claim the lion’s share of the state’s 370 pledged delegates.

Among Republicans, the fact that Romney is staying alive is truly stunning. And he will certainly be able to press on if he pulls off a victory here. But let’s not overestimate the impact of even such an unexpected exploit: California is not a winner-take-all state, so McCain will not be shut out of delegates no matter what. But contests where McCain seems untouchable right now (CT, NJ, NY, AZ) are winner-take-all. And Romney will be shut out of delegates there.

Next we have unexpectedly tightening numbers in another state Clinton has to do well in, New Jersey. The last two polls had Clinton up 6 and 12, and two new polls released tonight paint even more opposite pictures:

  • Zogby’s poll has Clinton having entirely collapsed, edging out Obama 43% to 42% edge. Clinton is ahead among women by only 9% and is holding on to a big lead among whites and liberals; Obama is crushing Clinton among blacks (74-16).
  • But Clinton should be reassured by a Monmouth survey that has her up 50% to 36%. One big difference is that Obama’s lead among African-American is much less pronounced (57% to 24%). The poll was taken from Wednesday to Friday, so it greatly overlaps with Zogby’s.
  • Among Republicans, McCain shows no sign of trembling and is likely to get all of the state’s delegates. He is ahead 55% to 23% for Romney in the Monmouth poll, almost exactly the same as Zogby’s 54% to 23%.

The Tri-State area is clearly no longer a Clinton stronghold, though New Jersey is still looking a bit better for Hillary than Connecticut. There is no question that losing one of the area’s three states could be a blow to Clinton, but losing two could be a terrible symbol (I don’t think there is much of a need to say what would happen if Clinton loses New York), and one that many newspapers will lead with since press time will come before the victors are known in the Western states.

Zogby provides us also with numbers from Missouri, one of the most fascinating battlegrounds of Super Tuesday:

  • Here again, the Clinton-Obama dual is completely tied, with Clinton at 44% and Obama at 43%. Clinton does better among liberals, and Obama among independents. These numbers are consistent with other polls we have seen over the past two days that have consistently shown a toss-up in this state.
  • Among Republicans, McCain is up 36% to Huckabee’s 27% and Romney’s 22%. This contest is also winner-take-all for the GOP, so even such a small victory could give McCain 100% of the delegates. If Romney and Huckabee want to prevent McCain from getting the nomination on Tuesday, they have to stop him from getting Missouri’s delegates as that — combined with those from the Tri-State area — could really give him too big a lead.

Zogby finishes things off with numbers from two states that are heading towards landslides:

  • In Georgia, Barack Obama is ahead 48% to 28%, confirming other polls of this past week. Georgia’s demographics are similar to South Carolina’s. Also, 23% of voters
    are still “undecided/someone else,” more than in other Zogby surveys, which suggests a lot of Georgia Democrats might be willing to go for John Edwards.
  • In New York, meanwhile, McCain is not looking back. He is ahead 49% to 23% against Romney, with Huckabee at 8%.

As an extra bonus, Rasmussen released numbers from a rarely polled state that has a significant number of delegates, Arizona. And the numbers are tight in both parties, surprisingly so given that this is McCain’s home state:

  • He is leading 43% to 34% in this winner-take-all contest. Arizona is a closed primary, suggesting that the state’s conservative voters are not enthusiastic about their Senator.
  • In the Democratic race, Clinton is ahead 46% to 41%.

The race to the finish will be fascinating to watch.

Update, in answer to comments: (1) As I said, the early-vote results cannot be not be included in these polls even though it is not made explicit. It would make no sense for the pollsters to ignore it, and it’s not like it’s hard to include voters who have already voted. Whether Clinton actually has an advantage because of this, as one comment pointed out, can be debated. Were the people who voted Clinton early voters who would have backed her anyway? Or might some of them have changed their mind?
(2) It is silly to accuse me Obama-bias because I point out that he is rising in polls … which he is. These surveys show Obama gaining on Clinton. In states like Missouri and California, he was down by more than 15% a week ago so his come back is undeniably impressive. Today, all polls show him tied in such battlegrounds. There is no question Obama has surged, but there is also no question that he has not surged enough to take a lead in any of these state but Georgia. As I have said repeatedly, Clinton has not sank because she started off strong enough that her decline of support has resulted in a tie. And I certainly believe (as I said) that both candidates could sweep the close state by just a 1-2% uptick in their national standing.
So everyone stay chill. Polls are polls and there is so much flux in the race right now (Edwards’s withdrawal, debate) that very little will be surprising come Tuesday.


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Heading into Super Tuesday, California stays a question mark

The big Democratic prize on February 5th is no doubt California. And it is also the biggest quesiton mark, as there has barely been any polling from the state over the past week. No one really knows how much Obama has risen and whether he is in a position to win the state.

Obama has long been credited with a great organization in California, as his campaign knew that the state was the large Super Tuesday state in which his campaign was the most equipped to do well in. Now, Obama is benefiting from a perfect storm of endorsements (the LA Times, La Opinion, the country’s biggest Spanish-language newspaper). Obama is also benefiting from some unions who were supporting Edwards now migrating to him, in particular California SEIU. We saw in Nevada that last-minute union endorsements can’t really accomplish that much since there isn’t enough time to organize members, but it’s better to have a labor group for you then against you.

Obama is also milking Ted Kennedy’s support, especially among the Latino community. Granted, Ted Kennedy did not win the 1968 California Democratic primary as claimed by the French newspaper Le Monde in a gigantic journalistic confusion between two Kennedy brothers; but Ted is also very popular among Hispanics. If Obama can keep it close among Latinos, he should be in very good shape come Tuesday as exit polls in Florida and Nevada and polls in February 5th states have revealed that a lot of Clinton’s advantage is coming from Hispanic support.

Another factor playing in Obama’s favor is the fact that California Democrats hold an open primary while the Republican primary is closed. That assymetrical set-up means that independents who want to vote will have to do so in the Democratic primary, which is a huge boost for Obama who does much better among independents than registered Democrats. In previously voting states, Obama has had to compete with McCain for the independent vote, and one of the big reasons that he lost in New Hampshire was that independents decided to vote in the GOP contest at the last minute and pushed McCain over the top there.

Yet, there is no reason to count out Hillary Clinton, and she still has to be deemed the favorite in the Tuesday primary here. For one, a large part of the electorate (up to 25% according to some estimates) voted prior to Kennedy’s endorsement and this week’s Obama surge, and that 25% most probably gave Clinton a large majority. That means Obama needs to win the Tuesday poll by a sizable margin to pull out a victory. Second, there is no evidence for now that Clinton has declined among the Hispanic vote, and that should help her to hold on to her lead here.

In fact, there is a whole series of Super Tuesday states where no one really knows what is going on as not many people are paying attention and no public polls are available. What happens in places like Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota could help determine who comes out with a delegate lead. Obama traveled to Idaho today and was received by a huge crowd who was no doubt grateful that someone is visiting their overshadowed state. Idaho is holding a caucus on Tuesday, and Obama is hoping to do well in this series of caucus-holding red states.


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Obama rising, but Clinton has not sank just yet

Yesterday’s series of polls showed Barack Obama gaining ground across the country in his effort to topple Clinton’s national lead. But while Obama clearly has the momentum going into Super Tuesday, Clinton is still ahead in most polls taken in most states. In fact, the only states in which Obama has been shown to have in any survey have been Colorado (one poll had him up 2), Connecticut (one poll had him up 4), Georgia, Illinois and Alabama (though new polls today have Obama down).

Things are going well with for Obama, but Clinton has not sank just yet. Obama might be getting very close to Clinton, but he has not closed the gap entirely just yet. And while he does not need to win a majority of the states to stay alive since the Democratic primary is now a delegate race, he still needs to get some victories here and there. The question then is whether Obama will have enough time in the next three days to capitalize on his momentum. And a series of polls released today suggests Clinton is still able to hold firm.

Gallup’s national tracking poll had Obama gaining for nine consecutive days, pulling within 3% yesterday, 44% to 41%. Today was the first day with the entire sample being taken after Edwards’s withdrawal, but it is Clinton that benefited the most! As Edwards dropped from 8% to 4%, Clinton rose from 44% to 48%, now ahead of Obama by 7%! The last day Edwards was in the race, the numbers were 42-36-14. Edwards has lost 10% since then, Clinton has gained 6% and Obama 5%, so the theory that Obama is benefiting the most from Edwards’s withdrawal is not supported by this survey. Among Republicans, McCain has shot up at 44%, ahead of Romney’s 24%. McCain has moved up 12% since Giuliani’s withdrawal.

Edwards’s withdrawal is also hurting Obama in Alabama, where two new polls have Clinton in the lead. Alabama is shaping up to be one of the most interesting Super Tuesday states, and also one of the most racialy polarized as Clinton dominates among whites and Obama among blacks. Yesterday’s SUSA poll had the race tied at 47%. Today:

  • Rasmussen shows Clinton ahead 46% to 41%. She is helped by her decent showing among blacks, as she gets 30% — much more than she did in South Carolina. But the electorate’s racial polarization is revealed by this stunning internal: Only 51% of white voters have a favorable image of Obama, versus 82% of blacks!
  • Among the GOP, Rasmussen shows McCain holding to a lead even in this Southern state, ahead of Mike Huckabee 38% to 30%, with Mit Romney at 20%.
  • Insider Advantage came out with similar results in the Democratic race. Clinton is ahead 46% to 40%. Among Republicans, McCain is barely up 37% to 35% to Huckabee with Romney at 14%.

Obama was hoping to count on victories in Alabama and Georgia to complete a Southern strategy, which is what will make Alabama’s results so interesting. Another Southern state in which Obama is trailing is Tennessee, where many polls have given a big lead to Clinton:

  • A new Rasmussen survey shows Hillary is ahead 49% to 35%. The electorate is even more polarized in this state, and Obama is having trouble to break through because the African-American electorate is smaller here than in Georgia or South Carolina. Obama is ahead 71% to 12% among blacks, while Clinton is ahead 61% to 23% among whites.
  • Rasmussen also polled the GOP contest and found a three-way contest between McCain’s 32%, Romney’s 29% and Huckabee’s 23%.
  • A second Tennessee poll was released today by WSMV-TV and shows a tighter race, 36% to 30% for Clinton. But there are a massive number of undecideds as the poll apparently did not push them very hard at all. The internals are also off, as Clinton barely leads among females but has a large lead among men. The same is true of the GOP race, where Huckabee has 24%, McCain 23% and Romney 18%.

Next we have a poll from Missouri, another key battleground state on Tuesday for both parties which Obama has put at the center of his strategy and where Romney is hoping to perhaps derail McCain.

  • Yesterday’s SUSA poll showed Clinton leading 48% to 44%. Today, a Rasmussen poll has Clinton further ahead, 47% to 38%. 11% of voters still support Edwards — in a poll taken after his withdrawal. Just a week ago, Clinton was up 43% to 24%, with Edwards at 18%, confirming that Missouri could have been a strong Edwards state.
  • Among Republicans, the race is as close as can be, with McCain up 32% to 29% to Huckabee and 28% for Romney.

Missouri offers a perfect example of what I mean when I ask whether Obama will have enough time to catch up. He has made up a lot of ground in the past week, including in Clinton strongholds like New Jersey and New York. But Clinton was so ahead as of a week ago that her loss of 10-15% is still leaving her in the lead.

This poll is also a perfect illustration for the fact that Romney and Huckabee are preventing each other from overtaking McCain by coalescing the conservative vote. Because of the division of the anti-McCain conservatives, McCain will probably be able to coast to wins in most states with no trouble.

Finally, a new Chicago Tribune poll confirms that Obama has no trouble holding his home-state and that McCain is comfortably ahead in blue states:

  • McCain leads 43% to 20% for Romney, with Huckabee at 15%.
  • Among Democrats, Clinton trails by a massive 55% to 24% — much superior to Clinton’s lead in New York.

Clinton’s main objective in Illinois is to cross the 15% viability threshold statewide (which she should have no trouble doing) and in each of the 19 congressional districts which could be difficult for her in some areas of the state. Consider, however, that if Clinton can get even 38% in a four-delegate district, she will force an equal split of delegates. If she gets 20% in a three-delegate, she will get one of three of the allocated delegates — in other words 33%, much more than her share of the vote. Obama will force similar splits in New York, and it is because of such rules that the Democratic contest could still be a toss-up come Wednesday morning.

Update: In response to a comment, these polls do not tell us anything about the debate’s impact just yet. The Rasmussen polls, for example, were all conducted on Thursday so they don’t incorporate any swing the debate might have produced. Furthermore, Obama is rising in those polls, even among those he is still trailing widely in. The Rasmussen polls of Alabama and Missouri that have Clinton ahead had her leading by a much larger margin just a week ago, and Obama has surged by at least 10% in both of them. The point is that his rise is for now not enough to overtake Clinton, though things could still change in the next three days… in either direction.


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Primary polls: Key states tightening, including for Republicans

Yesterday afternoon alone, poll numbers from New York, California, Connecticut and Massachusetts showed Obama tightening the race in all these states. With three more polls this morning, we are starting to get a better idea of where things are heading on Tuesday:

  • Rasmussen released a poll from California that has Clinton down to a 3% lead, stunning progress on Obama’s part. Clinton is up 43% to 40%, with Edwards still getting 9%, way more than the margin between the two front-runners.
  • Confirming that (1) Clinton could get the nomination on the strength of her Latino support and that (2) the polarization of the white vote only applies to the South, Clinton leads by 27% among Hispanics and trails by 3% among whites.
  • Among Republicans, the California race looks tighter than expected, with McCain leading 32% to 28%.

The survey was taken in the hours following McCain’s Florida win and before Giuliani’s withdrawal (he gets 14%), so McCain should still get a bounce out of those events. But since the conventional wisdom holds that McCain will just blow Romney out of the water at this point, this has got to be heartwarming for Romney supporters. Also comforting is a new poll from Illinois, also from Rasmussen:

  • McCain is up 34% to Romney’s 26%, confirming that Romney is holding his own. But the survey was taken mostly prior to McCain’s Florida win, so it’s going to be very difficult for Romney to climb those 8%.

And with that we get a series of polls from Southern states that are voting in 5 days, confirming that Tennessee and Georgia aren’t that suspensful on the Democratic side but will be key battlegrounds for Republicans:

  • In Tennessee, Insider Advantager has McCain leading 33% to 25% for Huckabee at 18% for Mitt Romney.
  • Among Democrats, Clinton has a massive 59% to 26% lead. Edwards was not included in the poll. This follows a poll released earlier this week that gives Clinton a clear lead as well.
  • In Georgia, Insider Advantage shows Obama ahead 52% to 36%. John Edwards was not included here either.
  • John McCain is winning this Southern state as well, 35% to 24% for Huckabee and Romney.
  • PPP also has a Georgia survey out, and it confirms Obama’s lead. In a survey taken after Edwards’s withdrawal, Obama is ahead 51% to 41%. He wins 73% of the black vote, but trails 56% to 36% among whites.
  • Among Republiacns, PPP contradicts Insider Advantage showing Romney at 32% with McCain at 31% and Huckabee at 24%.

Update: Gallup’s latest national tracking poll numbers are out, and they show Obama continuing to gain ground. He is now trailing 43% to 39%, a stunning come back as Barack trailed by double-digits just three days ago. Edwards is now at 8% — down from 12%, and Gallup does say that his support does not seem to be going to one candidate overwhelmingly. Giuliani’s support is massively benefit McCain, on the other hand, who is now ahead 37% to 22% for Romney (it was 32% to 21% yesterday).


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The ground is shifting in Obama’s favor, but does he have enough time?

With 6 days to go to Super Tuesday and with the GOP having gone a long way towards settling on a nominee last night, all eyes are now on the Democratic primary where the stakes of the next few days are much higher. Hillary Clinton is seeking to halt the seemingly unending stream of good news for Obama (South Carolina triumph, Kennedy endorsement) by putting forward her Florida win. And the campaign must be happy with the controversy over whether Obama snubbed on the floor of the Senate. Images of that “incident” are now being widely covered by the media, and every news cycle Clinton can own this week could make the difference come Super Tuesday.

The poll numbers indicate that the ground is shifting in Obama’s favor and that he is getting closer to his rival. But with 6 days to go and the campaign now national, does Obama have enough time to make his case in the states he needs to do well in come Tuesday, for example in California? That is the huge question we are facing right now. And unfortunately for those of us who are accustomed to relying on polls to get some idea of where an election is heading, it will be very difficult to assess the state of the race in the next week. For one, most polls that are being released yesterday and today were taken late this week-end or on Monday, in other words in the immediate aftermath both of Obama’s South Carolina victory and of Ted Kennedy’s endorsement. Is that a lasting bounce like the one McCain got out of New Hampshire and South Carolina? Or will it subside in a few days like the one Obama got post-Iowa? It will be very difficult to assess this for a few more days.

Second, John Edwards’s withdrawal dramatically alters the race, freeing 10% to 15% of the electorate who will have to choose a second choice. While some will probably stick with Edwards, this could significantly change the dynamnics between Obama and Clinton, and we will not have much indication of where the Edwards vote is going for a couple of days. And third, there is a debate tomorrow night that will probably be watched closely by many Super Tuesday voters, and its impact will likely be decisive. Don’t forget that we have already had a couple of game-changing debates, whether October’s Philadelphia debate that was the start of Clinton’s troubles, the New Hampshire debate on January 5th that caused the female vote to rally around Hillary or the South Carolina debate of last week in which the image of Obama being tag-teamed by two white candidates could have a lot to do with what we saw on Saturday night.

With those words of caution, let’s launch into today’s polls as nearly all states are tightening right now in what is shaping up to be a fascinating run-up to Super Tuesday. First, Gallup’s national poll has some fascinating national numbers in its tracking poll:

  • In the latest poll that was in the field from Sunday to Tuesday, Barack Obama has risen to his highest percentage in yet (in the past 3 weeks) and is trailing Clinton by only 6%, 44% to 38%. Five days ago, it was 47% to 32% Clinton; two days ago, it was 44% to 33%. Yesterday, 44% to 34%. Clinton has been steadily declining for about a week now and this is a very worrying trend because a national lead is essential to her chances on Tuesday in what is essentially a national primary. Edwards gets 12% in the latest poll, double the margin between Obama and Clinton… The next few days could prove very instructive.

With that, let’s move on to some state polls including in two states that Clinton should be winning very comfortably.

  • In Connecticut, in Clinton’s backyard, a Rasmussen poll shows Clinton and Obama tied at 40%. The poll was entirely conducted on Sunday, the day after Obama’s SC victory, and it has John Edwards at 11%. Clinton can hardly afford to lose one of the states of the Tri-State Area, so she better pay special attention to Connecticut. No previous poll confirms that this primary is heading towards a toss-up, but it fits with the narrative of Obama’s rise.
  • Among the Republican winner-take-all primary, McCain is ahead big, 42% to 26% for Romney, as we would expect. Giuliani, still including in the poll, gets 12% in what was supposed to be one of his momentum-proof states.
  • Next, we have a PPP poll that has Hillary only up by 12% against Obama, 45% to Obama’s 33%, with Edwards at 10%. The numbers are strange given the high number of undecideds, particularly among white voters who break 44-29 for Clinton and black voters who go 44-32 for Obama (a lower proportion than we are used to seeing). Clinton leads 64% to 31% among Hispanics, in what is clearly a key constituency for her. Also keep in mind that Obama coming in relatively close to Clinton in New York could get him a big number of delegates from Clinton’s very own home-state.
  • And with that we move on to some better news for Clinton, a Tennessee poll that has her leading 43% to Obama’s 32% with Edwards at 16%. Tennessee will be a disputed state come Tuesday but this is one contest where Edwards’s withdrawal should benefit Clinton. He gets 2% among black voters, among whom Obama leads 60% to 20% but he ties Obama among whites (of which Clinton gets 50%).
  • The most worrisome numbers yet come from California, where a tracking poll conducted on behalf of an anti-gambling campaign (which is polling an initiative that is also on the ballot and including primary questions) shows Obama only 5% behind Clinton (36-31) in a period ending on Sunday. On Sunday alone, Obama is up 3%, but the margin of error of such a small sample is obviously gigantic. The point remains that Obama is tightening the race, but Obama supporters should not get carried away yet: (1) SUSA’s survey that I reported yesterday is probably more reliable was taken entirely on Sunday and has Clinton up 11%; (2) California is one of those states Obama could have an early-voting problem, as about a quarter of the electorate has probably already voted and gone for Clinton big. Can Obama really make up for it?

Finally, let’s close this poll post with a reminder of why many Democrats would have much rather seen Romney win Florida than McCain. The latest general election numbers come to us from Rasmussen and they have good news for the GOP:

  • John McCain defeats Hillary Clinton 48% to 40% and tops Obama 47% to 41%. That’s a reversal from two weeks ago when both Obama and Clinton led McCain, albeit by a small margin.

Keep in mind that McCain has gotten a lot of good press lately with his rivals leaving him unscathed, which accounts for why he appears so strong at the moment. Rasmussen will start a daily tracking poll this week-end pitting McCain against both Democrats, so we will see if McCain’s numbers go down a bit as the attention shifts back to the Democratic race.

Update: Add one more state in which Obama is rising fast, and this one is directly due to Kennedy’s endorsement. A new Rasmussen poll from Massachusetts has Clinton only leading 43% to 37% in a state in which she used to be much stronger. There is no past Rasmussen poll to compare trendlines.



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    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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