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


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The Democratic race, post-Nevada: Clinton win should limit the probable pain of South Carolina

More than a day after Clinton was declared the winner of the Nevada caucuses, the two campaigns keep throwing mud at each other about what happened in Vegas. The first controversy, of course, was whether it mattered that Barack Obama is getting one more delegate to the national convention than Hillary Clinton is. The Nevada Democratic Party did try to put an end to the debate by pointing out that no actual delegates were being attributed yesterday, and that this first process consisted in the selection of delegates to the April state convention at which the national delegates will be selected. Yes, this is very confusing, but the point is that the contest yesterday was not about delegates; if we are going to have a brokered convention, it is the margin in February 5th states that will matter, not whether Obama or Clinton got one more representative out of Nevada. The bottom line is that Clinton won by 6% — and she probably had a wider margin of supporters going in, since Edwards backers appear to have moved more towards Obama than towards Clinton.

The second controversy has been picking up today, as the two camps are accusing each other of perpetrating fraud and vote suppression. The Obama campaign is accusing the Clintonites of having closed the door of the caucuses early at 11:30am. That, they claim, prevented Obama backers to trickle in until noon, as they were supposed to be allowed to. There was indeed anecdotal evidence that doors close too early at a handful of precincts, and the Obama campaign is pointing to a Clinton manual that says: “11:30: Caucus chair closes door.”

The two responses to these allegations are obvious. First, the Clinton camp did not run the caucuses, the caucus chairs did and they had their own manual — so how would the Clintonites have closed doors at 11:30am? Second, even if there were indeed mistakes, there is no evidence that Obama supporters were more likely to come in closer to noon and Clinton backers closer to 11:30am. And the Clinton campaign is responding by throwing its own allegations of voter intimidation to the Obama campaign, focusing in particular on the Culinary’s efforts to get out voters — but the Nevada newspapers that looked into this found no evidence that intimidation tactics were used.

Overall, the storyline is clear: The election were disorganized and the state’s lack of experience dealing with large-scaled caucuses was evident. But there is no indication whatsoever that one candidate or another was favored by this disorganization, and the fight over who got the most delegates is meaningless to the question of who won Nevada. Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama in Nevada — and the media is covering it like that, which means most voters nationally will be reading that headline. Clinton did much better than expected among union members — especially in the Strip where the Culinary failed to organize its members to go out for Obama. To put it simply, the union endorsed Barack much too late, and the Clinton campaign had already done too much outreach in Vegas for the endorsement to change that much.

Going forward, then, how does Nevada affect the coming contests? With a week to go to South Carolina, yesterday’s caucuses should not affect the results there dramatically. If anything, Obama’s win there is even more likely now given how badly Clinton was crushed among black voters. If that pattern holds — and it is conform to what we saw in Michigan on Tuesday — there is no way Clinton can get that close in South Carolina, which is why she is likely to spend much of the coming week reaching out to African-American voters. She at least needs to keep it close in next week’s primary to avoid Obama getting too big a momentum out of that state and into Florida. At the same time, Clinton will drive up expectations for Obama; at this point, no one really expects Hillary to pull it off next Saturday and the campaign will milk the expectations game as much as it can.

There is no question that the Nevada win is crucial for the Clinton campaign — but it was much more important to avoid possible damages than to get any real momentum. Clinton would not have been in good shape if she had gone 0-2 following New Hampshire and heading in the big-states. A lot of the pressure was on Hillary yesterday, and she had much more to lose than Obama. She performed the way she needed to and she can now prepare for Florida and February 5th on a roughly equal playing field. Her campaign also has got to be happy that she handily won the Hispanic vote in Nevada. I suggested the other day that Clinton’s reliance on the latino vote could prove her undoing, but it carried her through yesterday. If this pattern holds in Florida, I could be ready to retract that comment and admit that Clinton has a huge advantage in states like California if she holds on to the Latino vote like that.


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Nevada results thread: Clinton wins, Romney triumphs

7:35pm: The Obama camp is going further than that delegate count to try and disturb Clinton’s win. Here is a statement put out by the campaign: “We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites… These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself.” (Read the full statement here).
Two other important news: (1) Clinton won 7 of the 9 at-large precincts. (2) Among Republicans, the big story out of Nevada: Ron Paul seems to have beaten McCain for second place.

7:10pm:
There is some confusion as to whether Clinton or Obama got the more DNC convention delegates out of Nevada. The delegate allocation is not firmly proportional and depends on the percentages in congressional districts. The AP calculates 13 delegates for Clinton and 12 for Obama, and the Obama campaign is calculating that the inverse is true and using that to claim victory. Not that it would seem to really matter, since Nevada matters for momentum-setting rather than delegate count consider that it is a smallish state. (NBC confirms that Obama has one more delegate, but once again this claim by Obama’s camp is unlikely to succeed given that all papers will title “Clinton wins” tomorrow and that no one believes that these small early-states matter because of delegate count. After all, actual delegates won’t be voted on until end of April — and the same is true in Iowa.)

5:30pm
: The second round of entrance polls have been released by CNN (the previous numbers I had blogged were based on early interviews) has Clinton up by 13% among women and trailing by 2% among men. The entrance numbers look to be 48% Clinton to 41% Obama, with Edwards at 8.5%. The rest of the numbers aren’t changed much: Obama still crushes Clinton among the black vote (he gets 83%). And one big factor in the results is the small number of young voters (13% of the electorate was under 29, 32% was under 44 — a smaller number than the 60+ voting group that massively voted for Clinton). And in actual results, it’s 50.77% Clinton to 45.13% with 90% of the precincts reporting.

5:20pm: We finally got some updates on the GOP side. With 78% reporting, Romney is holding above 50%, with 52.6%. Ron Paul is second with 13%, but that’s only 34 votes above John McCain so the battle for second is still being waged. Fourth is Thompson who is at 7.7% and 23 votes above Huckabee. And then comes Giuliani who with 4.5% is still closer to Duncan Hunter (1.7%) than to fifth-place.
Turnout is also a very interesting story. More than 100,000 Democrats are reported to have voted, which looks to be more than double the Republican turnout in a state that is tied up at the national level.

4:35pm: With 84% reporting, Clinton gets 50.47% to Obama’s 45.35%. This is a difference of about 500 delegates (if anyone knows why the GOP results have been stuck at 38% reporting for more than an hour, please let me know). The New York Times description of voting in a Las Vegas casino gives us many clues to what happened in Nevada. For one, voters were confused and apparently some of them asked to leave once an hour had passed (since they had taken an hour off their shift to come and participate). Second, the NYT points to the Clinton corner being dominated by women — one indication of how Clinton managed to overcome the disadvantage of not having the Culinary’s support (and Clinton won the caucus site at the casino the NYT was reporting from). Many female workers picked gender over union-affiliation, and as I already pointed out the entrance polls show Clinton led by 22% among women (and by 4% among men). Ben Smith adds that Clinton was particularly strong at these casinos among Hispanic women.

4:10pm: Nevada is being called for CLINTON
(by CBS among others). Hillary gets her second win in a row and the results are unlikely to tighten given that most of the votes will be coming in from Clark which is Clinton’s strongest area. And early reports indicate that Clinton won the at-large precincts, as the Culinary seems to have done a bad job at getting its voters to the polls, organizing them and not making the caucuses seem very confusing.

4:05pm: Results are coming in fast and furious now and with 65% of the precincts accounted for, Clinton is up 50.2% to 45% (a 350 delegate lead). Clinton will surely claim a huge victory if she stays above 50% and considering that there still are a lot of votes to be counted in Clark (60% in), it looks very good for Hillary.

3:50pm: With 45% of the vote in, Clinton has increased her lead to 50% to 44.5% (a delegate spread of 230, with Clark County only in 44%, so there still are a lot of votes to be counted). Edwards is at 5%, so he clearly bled a lot of support in the realignment phase.

3:35pm: CNN just posted its entrance polls and they indeed have Clinton up big with about 48% of the vote versus about 34% for Barack. Clinton crushes Obama among the female vote (52-33) but leads by only 4% among men. Edwards gets 12% in the entrance poll, which means that a lot of his supporters will have to realign. If Clinton does wins, Obama can blame the lack of turnout among the youth: Only 27% of the electorate are under 44%, says the entrance poll, and 39% are 60 and older. He can also blame poor indie participation: registered Democrats constitute 83% of voters (and have Clinton up big). Among minorities, Clinton gets the Latino vote (65-20) and Obama crushes her among blacks (76-18).
Meanwhile with 22% of the vote in, Clinton is up 49% to 44%. Her 751 to 684 delegate lead comes mostly from Clark County (Las Vegas), where she has a 140 delegate lead! Obama’s stronghold is Washoe, where he gets 53% to Clinton’s 34%. Both Washoe and Clark are coming in at the same rhythm, but Clark attributes a lot more precincts.
3:25pm: CNN’s exit polls claim that 25% of the GOP electorate was Mormon, and that 94% of them voted for Romney. We knew that Mormons are a strong force in Nevada, but this is beyond expectations and accounts for Romney’s fantastic lead. With 19% reporting, Romney is ahead with 55%. McCain and Paul are battling for second at 12%, separated by 45 votes. (For all it’s worth, the entrance polls have Paul coming in second).

3pm: It looks like Clinton is ahead in the entrance polls. From MSNBC’s First Read: “Based on early entrance polls, Clinton has a significant lead in the initial preference for the Democratic Nevada caucuses.” Of course, if Edwards fails to be unviable and his supporters go to Obama, that could offset the entrance numbers — but there is only so much ground Obama can make up with that.
With 3% in, Obama is ahead with 35 delegates to 33 delegates (remember that the raw votes totals will not be released). Edwards has only gotten two for now, confirming that he is having trouble meeting viability and that his results could be low. Reporting for now are the smaller precincts in which voting is quick.

2:50pm: With 10% reporting, we are starting to get a better idea of the (massive) size of Romney’s victory. He is ahead with 51,1% of the vote right now, with everyone else very far behind. Romney could get some big buzz if he manages to stay above 50%, as the media would have a hard time not covering that. In a battle for second are John McCain at 12.8%, Ron Paul at 11.9%, Mike Huckabee at 10.3%, and Fred Thompson at 8.4%. With 4.2%, Rudy Giuliani seems condemned to be sixth once again and is closer to Duncan Hunter than to Thompson.

Original post: The AP ha
s already called Nevada for Mitt Romney. This happened so quickly that I did not have time to put up a proper results thread. The caucuses closed at 10am PT, so 25 minutes ago and the results appear to have been reported strikingly fast. No word yet on the exact results, however, nor on the order of the other contenders.

While we wait for the (more significant) Democratic results as well the actual GOP results, you can check the guidelines of what to expect in today’s elections and what Romney’s win could win for his candidacy.


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Guidelines to Nevada and South Carolina, with the day’s program

Busy Election Day today, with 3 different contests being held at different times. And that certainly makes life confusing for those of us trying to follow the results. So here is the day’s program:

  • The polls close at 7pm in South Carolina, so results should start tricking in then.
  • The Nevada GOP caucuses start at 9am PT and will conclude by 10am PT. The results will then start being posted, though it could take a few hours for the final numbers to be released (at the latest by 12:30pm PT)
  • The Democratic caucuses start between 11:30am PT, and have to end by 1pm PT. The numbers will start coming in then and we should know who has prevailed in the next 90 minutes or so.

In other words, a near constant stream of politial news throughout the day. And to help you decipher the results, as always, here is a quick guideline of what to look for today:

Democrats: Nevada polls cannot be trusted given that pollsters have no history to base themselves on and that the contest is a middle-of-the-day caucus. It appears that the battle for first place is being waged between Obama and Clinton, with Edwards a distant third — and that could have major repercussions on the final results if Edwards finds himself unviable in many precincts and his supporters have to realign to Clinton and Obama (which should help Obama, at least if we base ourselves on the second-choice preferences expressed in Iowa).

The pressure is much higher on Clinton than on Obama here. It looks like Hillary will have a very tough time climbing back in South Carolina, so she has to be expecting another loss in a week. With Florida and February 5th looming in the horizon, a loss for Clinton today would mean losing two in a row and making Obama that much more powerful heading into the big state contests. For the same reason, Obama can afford losing today since he still looks to be in control in South Carolina and a win there would more than offset a loss in Nevada.

Republicans in Nevada: This is the first result we will know today, and Mitt Romney better win it. It is not just that polls show him ahead so pundits are expecting him to triumph here, but he is the only candidate to have spend time here in the past few days and the only candidate to have invested significant resources in organizing. In the past few days, especially, when it became clear to Romney that South Carolina was a lost cause despite the millions he had poured there since September, the campaign invested even more energy in Nevada to get a win here and be part of the storyline today.

A win by Romney would make solidify his delegate lead and make him the first candidate to win three states (Wyoming, Michigan being the first two). He would certainly claim front-runner status and he would have no problem heading in Florida and February 5th with the necessary coverage.

If the winner is anyone but Romney, that would certainly be huge news and the victor would get a significant buzz out of it. But the second-place could also be good to get for the GOP candidates. If he wins South Carolina and gets second-place in NV, McCain especially will make the case that his candidacy is being received nationally and that he is the new front-runner.

Republicans in South Carolina: This is the big one, of course, the state that no GOP nominee has lost for quite a while and the primary that has broken so many past contenders — starting with McCain in 2000. This time, McCain is back and is battling Mike Huckabee for the win. Polls showed McCain ahead for a long time but a few surveys over the past few days have shown the race tightening considerably, making it anyone’s game.

Both Huckabee and McCain have a lot at stake today. First Huckabee: The SC demographics are as good as it gets for Huckabee, who won Iowa on the strength of the evangelical vote. If he cannot pull it off today, he is even less likely to pull it off in the Southern states on February 5th — and I’m not even speaking of the ability he needs to demonstrate at least to some degree to appeal beyond evangelicals. On the other hand, Huckabee would get a tremendous boost out of a win here. He would solidify his lead in other Southern states and be a major contender in Florida, where some polls have shown him leading.

McCain has just as much to lose tonight. However unfair that is, the press and media now expects him to win SC given his lead in polls and a loss would spark a series of stories about how not that much has changed since 2000, that McCain can only win by appealing to non-Republicans and that the base still distrusts him. After New Hampshire, McCain looked like he might coast to the nomination, starting with dual wins this week. But he lost Michigan, and a second defeat tonight would seriously damage to raise money (always a problem for McCain) as well as his strategy that is based on emerging as the national front-runner and winning big states like that.

Behind the two front-runners, Fred Thompson is the one that has the most at stake here. This is the one state he has poured all his effort in, and the one that his camp has always argued he is favored in. It does not look like he has much of a chance to pull a win tonight, but his choice to attack Huckabee could help him take votes from the former govenor and rise at his expense. Thompson could have a very strong showing tonight, but how much does that help him? Can he stay in the race with anything but a win?

Romney has less at stake here given that he left the state 48 hours ago and did not air ads in the week between NH and MI, but he could certainly get a lot of buzz by a strong showing (a strong third-place?). To be fair, Romney poured millions in the state and started running ads much before any of his rivals did, so I am not sure he should be held to such a lower standard. But of course that’s not how politics works.

And one last note on Rudy Giuliani. He will likely come in with a ridiculously low percentage yet again (will Ron Paul beat him for the third time?), but despite that he has had everything he might wish for now: Huck in IA to get Romney out, McCain in NH for the same reason, Romney in MI because McCain had become very threatening. He would love Huck to win tonight, because a McCain victory would make it extremely hard for Rudy to get anywhere in Florida in 10 days. Giuliani’s luck is truly extraordinary given how short-sighted his strategy is and how pathetic his results in the early states (even if Rudy wins the nomination I will not change my mind on his big-state strategy, whose success has been entirely out of his hands for a long time and that is still alive by a constant stream of miracles).


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Snow and caucus realignment could make things more unpredictable, as final polls have race shifting

The final South Carolina polls released today by Zogby and by ARG are I believe the only surveys to have been in the field on Friday, so that might account for the wide swings we are seeing today:

  • Zogby’s tracking poll has McCain falling from 29% to 27%, with Huckabee surging ahead from 22% to 26%. Romney comes in at 16%, ahead of Thompson at 12%. Paul at 4% and Giuliani at 3% are left far behind.
  • Now the strange ARG poll that is completely off from everything we’ve seen: The poll was taken Thursday-Friday, replacing a previous survey in the field on Tuesday-Wednesday. ARG finds Huckabee at 33% (+10!), McCain at 26% (-7!), Thompson at 21% (+8!) and Romney at 9% (-11!!).

Needless to say that the ARG survey should be taken with extreme caution. ARG also showed widely differing results in Iowa from everyone else and ended being gravely mistaken there. And while the Zogby and ARG polls both find Huckabee surging, they do not agree at all on the direction of Romney’s and Thompson’s movement.

For all it’s worth, ARG also has a poll of the Democratic primary in South Carolina, with Obama holding a 6% lead yet again, 45% to 39%. But the important vote today for Democrats, of course, is Nevada and Zogby’s tracking poll shows no real movement besides Edwards’s collapse:

  • Clinton gets 45% to 39%, with Edwards at 6% (yesterday it was 42-37-12).

The polls generally agree that Clinton is ahead but consider something that no one is really talking about: Nevada is a caucus and, just like Iowa, there will be a realignment phase for voters who are backing an unviable candidate! And considering the percentage that Edwards has been getting in the past few days, it is very possible that he stays unviable in many precincts. That could push him to low totals and it could also make Edwards voters the king-maker in the Obama-Clinton showdown. And the CW is, of course, that that should help Obama, at least in a state like Nevada that does not appear to be voting along strict racial lines like South Carolina.

The X factor among the Republicans in South Carolina, meanwhile, is the weather, with a snow advisory being put out in many parts of the states, with directives to be cautious while driving. This could have a significant effect on turnout — the same way snow probably helped Romney increase his margin on Tuesday by making Democrats and some indies stay home. Here, the same dynamic could play a role if Democrats or uncommitted indies decide that it’s not worth to go vote — and that could hurt McCain. But it could also hurt Huckabee as the regions of the state that are likely to be the most affected or the most dangerous to travel in should be the areas in which Huckabee is the strongest because of the evangelical vote (this report for example has the Huck camp worried about severe weather upstate, which is a crucial area for Huck’s chances). We shall wait a few more hours to know the answers.


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Controversies over UNITE ad, Reagan comments dominate final hours of NV campaign

Nevada Democrats are getting their due. Despite their caucus being scheduled to join Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in the January line-up, no one paid any attention to them for months with barely any polling of the race being conducted. But with Obama and Clinton splitting the first two contests, Nevada has become very important — and we have very little idea of what is going to happen tomorrow. Clinton has been leading in the few polls released this week but we can’t trust Nevada polling given that no one has any idea what the turnout will be. Which makes tomorrow’s vote that much more exciting.

Today, the two controversies I wrote about yesterday (Obama’s Reagan comments and the UNITE ad against Clinton) continued to be the main topic of discussion on the campaign trial.

Let’s start the UNITE ad which attacked Clinton’s character, accusing her of seeking to suppress voting and calling her “shameless.” John Edwards rushed to get involved today. You might remember that back in Iowa, Obama made a big deal of the fact that independent groups (in particular unions) were getting involved on behalf of Clinton and Edwards — and the ads they ran were generally positive. Now, Edwards is attacking Obama for the same reason, asking why the IL Senator is not condemning an ad that Edwards called “divisive.”

And this only a day after Edwards went after Obama for the comments the Senator made about Ronald Reagan, a curious dynamic in which Edwards is rushing to Clinton’s rescue. After Iowa, Edwards was trying to bury Clinton and boost Barack, but now that Hillary is clearly going to be in the race all the way until February 5th, Edwards’s adversary is first and foremost Obama.

And today, it is the Clinton camp that was all over the Reagan comments. Barney Frank was among the first to go on the offensive, and it is worth quoting him at length because he is arguing that Obama’s search for common ground with Reagan was not just on leadership style and that there was something substantive he compared himself to:

When I think about the 60s and the 70s, I think about Medicaid, Medicare, the Environmental Protection Agency, Community Development Block Grants…It’s astounding to me to have this blanket endorsement of a right wing attack… When he says government in effect grew too much in the 60s and 70s…Reagan agreed with that. This is not simply a tribute to Ronald Reagan’s rhetoric but an endorsement of some of the substance.

After Hillary Clinton also went after Obama for saying that Republican had “better ideas” (which Obama didn’t really say), Bill jumped in: “It goes along with their plan to ask Republicans to become Democrats for a day and caucus with you tomorrow, and then go back and become Republicans so they can participate in the Republican primary.” This is a criticism that the Clintons started airing after Iowa, charging that Obama was relying too much on the vote of non-Democrats to win the primary.

The response of Obama’s spokesman Bill Burton came quickly: “It’s hard to take Hillary Clinton’s latest attack seriously when she’s the one who supported George Bush’s war in Iraq, the most damaging Republican idea of our generation.” A way of reminding Democratic voters that, when it comes to what the two candidates have actually done and advocated, Clinton has drifted much closer to Republican ideas and GOP substance than Obama.

Another element playing against Clinton in this controversy is this press release from December 12th on her website that contains an editorial by a NH press group that endorsed her. This editorial claims that Reagan is one of Clinton’s favorite presidents: “Her list of favorite presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, George H.W. Bush and Reagan - demonstrates how she thinks.” This does not tell us, of course, whether Clinton simply admires Reagan’s leadership or something more substantive, but the question should at least be addressed.

For some more context, Marc Ambinder reminds us of this excerpt from an interview he conducted a few months back with Marty Nesbitt, one of Obama’s best friends. Nesbitt told Ambinder that Obama had cited Reagan among the figures he admired the most: “Barack told me, no, he really had something that inspired the company and brought it together. I may disagree with him on policy, but he was what American needed at that moment in history.” That’s a rather strong statement on Obama’s part, and it certainly begs the question of whether he voted for Reagan in 1980 if he truly thought that Reagan was “what America needed.”


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Morning delivery of South Carolina and Nevada polls

Polls open in 24 hours in Nevada and South Carolina, and we are getting a new batch of polls, starting with the Mason-Dixon survey of Nevada that was leaked last night. I reported that Clinton and Romney were leading, but here are the actual numbers:

  • Among Democrats, Clinton leads 41% to 32% for Obama. Edwards is far behind at 14%. And while it is difficult to poll these caucuses, the trendlines ought to be very instructive: In last month’s poll, Clinton led by 8% so Obama has picked up no ground.
  • Some important internals: Clinton leads 50% to 29% among Hispanics, and Obama “only” leads by 7% among union households.
  • Among Republicans, Romney gets 34% to McCain’s 19%. Huckabee has 13%, Thompson 8%, Paul 7%. And Giuliani who led the previous Mason-Dixon poll of Nevada, is once again sixth, at 6%! Could Rudy get in behind Paul in both SC and NV tomorrow?

We also have another Nevada poll from Zogby, and it shows a tighter race — though it agrees that Edwards is far behind:

  • Clinton gets 42% to Obama’s 37%, with Edwards at 12%.
  • Clinton leads Obama in Las Vegas (48% to 36%) while Obama leads her in the race of the state (41% to 31%). Here again, Clinton leads among Hispanics 51% to 27%, and Obama crushes her among black voters (81% to 16%) — remember, this did not use to be the case.

As I have been reminding you for the past few days, these surveys cannot tell us that much since no one knows who will show up tomorrow. With no previous caucuses in Nevada to compare this contest to, it’s impossible for pollsters to really know what is going on. And we won’t have to wait for long, as we will get results in the middle of the day tomorrow. The Democratic caucuses start at 11am Nevada time and the GOP caucuses at 9am.

Finally, here is the Zogby tracking pollL from South Carolina:

  • McCain gets 29% to Huckabee’s 22%, just like yesterday. Romney rises 3 points to 15%, Thompson is at 13%, Paul at 4% and Giuliani collapses to 2%.
  • However, Zogby points out that there is a lot of day-to-day movement. This is a three-day poll, and the Tuesday (pre-Michigan numbers) have McCain up by double-digits. But, says Zogby, “In the single day of polling on Thursday alone, Romney hit 19%, while McCain’s lead over Huckabee stood at only 3.2%. If Romney continues to gain after Michigan it will hurt McCain.”

Naturally the one-day numbers are always tricky since they have a large margin of error, and they are a way for Zogby to protect himself if the results are different from what he showed in the poll. But insofar as the trendlines are very much what we would expect post-Michigan, the results are certainly instructive.


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Obama criticized over Reagan comments, Hillary blasted by UNITE

One of the big stories on the trail today is Barack Obama’s comments during an interview to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Seeking to explain why his search for unity mattered, Obama compared himself to Ronald Reagan:

I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

The themes in this statement are very much in line with Obama’s campaign message, as the candidate seeks to present himself as an opportunity to get beyond the fights of the 1960s and the culture wars of the 1990s to bring about a new chapter in American history, one in which a new majority can negotiate pragmatic solutions. But this comparison to Reagan also exemplifies what many on the Left are worried about in Obama’s call for bipartisanship, since Obama is positioning himself as a centrist — and describing Reagan as such, something most activist Democrats would not agree with.

Comparing his own “optimism” to that of Reagan was sure to inspire critics of Obama’s style of change like John Edwards who has long said that you can’t “nice special interests” to give up their power. Armed with what he thinks is yet another proof that Obama is too centrist to implement true reforms, Edwards predictably ripped Obama by reminding his audience of how conservative Reagan was: “He was openly — openly– intolerant of unions and the right to organize…. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people… I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.”

So what is going on here? Is this just a remake of the 2004 controversy when Howard Dean had called for Democrats to talk to voters who have confederate flags in their pick-up trucks? Dean had been blasted by his rivals who had used that as one piece of evidence that Dean was racially insensitive (a storyline they were pushing aggressively) — but Dean had defended himself saying he just meant that the Reagan Democrats had to be talked to again about economic issues if the Democratic Party wanted to win elections again. And Obama does not seem to be trying to make a point only on style here, or on mode of communication. Obama is clearly not just referring to Reagan’s leadership style or his ability to change the direction of the country (which he undeniably did by heralding the conservative come back). By referring to the “excesses” of the 60s and 70s, he is not only praising Reagan’s effectiveness and genius at strategizing but also finding a common ground with Reagan’s substantial criticism of governmental excesses and lack of entrepreneurship, the alleged flaws of the liberalism of the 1970s. Such criticism can surprise those who think of Obama as a particularly progressive figure, but it is very much in line with the rest of Obama’s message.

Meanwhile, another story in Nevada is the stunningly negative radio ad that UNITE-Here is running in Nevada against Hillary Clinton, attacking her character and calling her “shameless.” Aimed at the Hispanic community, this ad seeks to capitalize on the controversy over the lawsuit against the at-large precincts (that failed today). Here is the script (and you can listen the ad here, via Marc Ambinder):

Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. Hillary Clinton supporters went to court to prevent working people to vote this Saturday – that is an embarrassment. Hillary Clinton supporters want to prevent people from voting in their workplace on Saturday. This is unforgivable! Hillary Clinton is shameless. Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people’s right to vote this Saturday. This is unforgivable, there is no respect. Senator Obama is defending our right to vote. Senator Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people. Senator Obama’s campaign slogan is “Sí Se Puede, Sí se puede.” (“Yes We Can”). Vote for a president that respects us, and that respects our right to vote. Obama for president, “Si Se Puede” (“Yes We Can”).

One of the most flawed moves of the Clinton campaign over the past few weeks is openly relying on the Latino’s supposed distrust of African-Americans as a way of carrying the Hispanic vote and winning states like California. The Clinton camp has been at times particularly transparent in its confidence that it has a lock on the Latino vote, and as we are seeing in Nevada that is not materializing at all. A lot of that has to do with the lawsuit, but clearly Clinton cannot hope to win on February 5th based on this strategy. And a lot is made of the fact that Clinton has had big lead among Hispanic voters — but she also had big leads among the general population in national polls or in California polls for a long time, simply by virtue of being the front-runner.

A new Rasmussen poll of California shows that the state is actually emerging as the battleground of February 5th. Clinton — who long seemed untouchable here — is only ahead 38% to 33%, with Edwards at 12%. Once the media turns to February 5th, it is likely to make California the dominant narrative. And with the other big states (IL, AK, NY and NJ) being home-turf for one of the candidates, California is going to be made as the big showdown — and clearly it is looking much tighter than many people probably expect.


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New polls from Nevada and South Carolina show states ready to split

With one more full day of campaigning for Republicans in South Carolina and for Democrats and Romney in Nevada, we get a new batch of polling from both states with results that are inconclusive at best.

Nevada: Let’s start out west, because we only have one poll from NV and its results are not yet fully known. But the Las Vegas Sun has already leaked the major story: Romney and Clinton are both up by significant margins. Romney is leading the field by 15% and Clinton by 9%. The survey was conducted by Mason-Dixon, a reliable pollster. There is no question that such a decisive victory in Nevada would be a divine surprise for Clinton and, to a lesser extent, for Romney (whose victory here has become expected); and it would allow Clinton to ease the pressure of what looks like a probable defeat in South Carolina.

But keep in mind that the only two other polls released this week (Research 2000 and ARG) had a toss-up in the Democratic race and a tighter Republican race. The reason for this is evident, and the Sun admits it: “The problem is that no one — and I mean, no one — has any idea what the turnout will be.” The Nevada caucuses have never played such a role, turnout in 2004 was only 9,000 voters, and absolutely no pollster has any clue how to project turnout for Saturday. I will of course update with the actual numbers tomorrow morning — and we should also get Zogby’s take on Nevada then.

South Carolina: This is a primary, and is much easier to poll. And get ready, because there was a deluge of surveys in the past few hours, so much so that I am going to have to separate out Republicans and Democrats. Since the GOP primary is only in two days, let’s start with Republicans. And it is obvious that polls disagree very much on whether McCain has a significant lead, though they all put him at the top and agree on a basic order:

  • Two polls out this morning from Zogby and from PPP had McCain up 7% and 8%. And they are supported by the ARG survey that has McCain up 33% to Huckabee’s 23%. Romney is close behind at 20%, with Thompson at 13%.
  • But three other polls have much closer races. The most important is surely the Mason-Dixon survey in which McCain leads 27% to 25%, with 15% for Romney, 13% for Huckabee, 6% for Paul and 5% for Giuliani. Evangelicals favor Huckabee 33% to 20%, but McCain leads 2:1 among non-evangelicals.
  • Second, the SUSA poll (conducted on the 16th) has McCain at 29%, Huckabee at 26%, Romney and Thompson at 17%, Paul at 5% and Giuliani at 3%. The previous SUSA poll was done on the 7th, so post-Iowa but pre-New Hampshire, and it had Huckabee leading McCain 36% to 17%.
  • Finally, Rasmussen came out with the tightest poll of them all, showing McCain and Huckabee tied at 24%, with Romney at 18%, Thompson at 16%, 5% for Paul and 3% for Giuliani.

Just like Iowa, it all hinges on evangelical turnout for Huckabee. Evangelicals came out in higher than expected numbers in the caucuses, and propelled Huck to a 9% lead despite the fact that he was under-organized. If Huckabee manages to make that happen once more, he could very well take the lead Saturday night. If he fails, however, his candidacy will be in serious peril, for he cannot succeed in an electorate of which about half is evangelical, can he win anywhere?

Notice also that all four polls agree with the basic order: McCain - Huckabee - Romney - Thompson - Paul - Giuliani, setting up an honorable result for Mitt and yet another shocker for Giuliani. For the candidate who had the national lead until a month ago, getting in under 4% in 3 of the first 4 contests has got to be humiliating. Naturally, this order could be completely shuffled up, as all the polls also agree that most of the margins are well within the margin of error.

And now on to the Democratic race, where four polls were released this afternoon. All give a healthy lead to Obama who has consolidated the black vote and looks unlikely to look back in the next 9 days. Which makes a Clinton victory in Nevada that much more important:

  • Rasmussen gives Obama a 44% to 31% lead, which is a significant improvement from the 5% lead he had a few days ago (that poll looks like an outlier as Obama was up double-digits in Rasmussen surveys for a few weeks now).
  • Mason-Dixon agrees with the storyline, giving Obama a 40% to 31% lead, with 9% for Edwards.
  • Insider Advantage has it outside the margin of error as well, 41% to 33%, with 13% undecideds. Among black voters, Obama leads by a crushing 61% to 17%. Remember when Clinton led the black vote just a few weeks ago?!
  • And ARG pits the race a bit more close, 44% to 38% with 9% for Edwards.

Clinton has entirely lost the black vote, but Obama trails widely among the white electorate. And to put it in frankly, Clinton’s problem is very simple: John Edwards is taking a part of the white vote that might go to her otherwise. The electorate here is divided along racial lines, and Obama’s disadvantage among the white vote is being offset by the fact that Clinton and Edwards are dividing up that vote. The most clear indication yet that race is playing an actual role in determining results — just as Clinton relied on the female vote in New Hampshire to press ahead.


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Nevada judge allows at-large precincts

A Nevada judge has ruled in favor of the Nevada Democratic Party and against the lawsuit that sought to ban the at-large precincts. There is no need to go into the details of the lawsuit again (if you aren’t up to date on this controversy, check here for some background), but here is a quick overview: What the ruling does is validate the creation of at-large precinct at Las Vegas casinos at which anyone can vote regardless of their residence, i.e. at which casino workers can go and caucus in the middle of their shift. If the at-large precincts had been overruled, the casino workers would have had to go back home to vote — which many would surely would not have been able to do.

This is obviously welcome news for the Obama campaign, who has been endorsed by the Culinary, the union representing casino workers. The Culinary is now even more worked up against Hillary as a result of this lawsuit (despite there being no evidence that the Clinton campaign was behind this and the most plausible scenario being that this is a result of intra-union fighting). And don’t forget that Nevada is a caucus like Iowa, so we will only see the percentages of delegate allocation at the end of the night.

One factor that could save Clinton here: No matter what the turnout in these precincts, there will still only be the same number of delegates attributed at the end, so the same share of statewide voting. So even if the Culinary manages to anger enough workers to turnout hundreds of supplementary votes for Obama in these precincts, it will not boost his final percentage at all since it will result in the same number of delegates.

One more note on unions in Nevada comes to us from Politico’s Ben Smith, who observes that unions are spending on Obama’s behalf in Nevada. You might remember that Obama had blasted his rivals in the run-up to Iowa for relying on “Washington money” and “special interests” among which he was lumping unions. That had sparked a controversy, with Paul Krugman denouncing Obama’s use of conservative talking points, but Obama apparently has no problem relying on union expenditures in Nevada.

Meanwhile, Clinton is seeking to create some light between her and her rivals on an issue very important to Nevada voters: Yucca Mountain. This was discussed at length at Tuesday’s debate, and Clinton is now airing a radio ad claiming she has been the only candidate strongly opposed to Yucca Mountain. She blasts Edwards for having voted twice in favor of the project and criticized Obama for his financial ties with one of the project’s biggest pushers. Needless to say, Obama is fighting back against the charges saying that Exelon’s contributions to the campaign in no way affect his opposition to Yucca Mountain.


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Campaign turns nasty in Nevada and South Carolina

Republicans in South Carolina: Negative campaigning is the norm in South Carolina, where the GOP primary regularly devolves into nasty bickering. 8 years after McCain’s campaign was derailed by a whispering campaign about his “black child,” the Arizona Senator is being hit again by a very ugly flier prepared by a group called “Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain.” The group has also set up a website that details the allegations presented on the flier that McCain is exploiting his POW status and that he collaborated with his captors.

The McCain camp is moving fast to counter the smears, something it did not do very well in 2000. And remember that other candidates have been victim of dirty tricks as well down in South Carolina. In late December, households were sent a postcard that falsely claimed to be issued from the Mormon Church and wished voters a Merry Christmas from the Romney family — a clever way to remind the GOP base of Romney’s religion and get voters angry that they were receiving cards from the Mormon Church.

And Huckabee is also being targeted, as the GOP establishment is organizing its offensive to try and derail the winner of Iowa. An event is being organized today by the Club for Growth, the American Conservative Union PAC and other GOP figures like Dick Armey to discuss Huckabee’s “liberal economic record.”

The union lawsuit in Nevada: The dispute over Nevada’s at-large precincts has still not been resolved, though a ruling should come in the coming days (some background on the controversy available here). The DNC has now entered the fray by filing a brief on behalf of the Nevada Democratic Party and thus in defense of the at-large precincts.

The culinary union is trying to use this issue to motivate its workers to go out and vote for Obama, accusing Clinton of seeking to disenfranchise its workers. Fliers that are being distributed talk about “a hardball effort by Clinton allies to block votes.” Taking steps towards defending the lawsuit, the Clinton camp has explained that a caucus system disenfranchises voters, but why should one particular group (here the culinary workers) be provided accommodations to find a way to vote while no other union or workers’ group is provided a similar boost?

To be fair to the Clinton campaign, there is no evidence that it is behind the Nevada State Education Association, the teachers’ union that has filed the lawsuit. This union is the state’s second largest labor group, and it has not endorsed Clinton. True, some of its leadership has lined up behind the NY Senator, but the factor that explains this dispute the most plausibly is the pre-existing tension between Nevada’s unions.

This article in the Las Vegas Sun details the animosity of many the state’s unions (including some that are not involved in this lawsuit or that are backing Obama, like the AFL-CIO or SEIU) towards the Culinary, an animosity fueled by the latter’s clout, size and influence. Many unions also reportedly resent the Culinary’s refusal to stand by them in labor disputes and referendum campaigns.

And it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the teacher’s union is going after the Culinary because of what it feels is just one more illustration of the unfair advantage its workers are granted. Why aren’t our working sites made into at-large precincts so that our employees can work? And frankly, if the Nevada Democratic Party was so concerned about offenses to the democratic process, it should just have thrown caucuses out of the window and opted for a primary.


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Morning polls: We’re already on to the Saturday contests

The primary process never stops and — merely 12 hours after the Michigan primary is called — it’s on to South Carolina’s GOP contest and the Nevada caucuses. Two polls this morning set the stage for what to expect. The first is Zogby’s new tracking poll from South Carolina. This is the first installment, done from the 13th to the 15th, which means we will know in the coming days whether Romney and McCain move at all because of Michigan’s results:

  • John McCain is ahead, as in most South Carolina polls, with 29%. Huckabee follows at 23%, and everyone else is far behind. Romney gets 13%, Fred Thompson 12%, followed by Paul at 6%. And Giuliani is once again behind Paul (can he survive losing to him three times in four contests?).
  • Zogby predicts 75% of the sample will be registered Republicans, and as often McCain does better among independents. But it’s important to note that he does lead among registered Republicans (29% to 24%), which he was not able to do in 2000.

South Carolina was McCain’s doom in 2000, but notice that he is much stronger among registered Republicans than he was back then. Also, the fact that there is only three days of exclusive SC campaigning reduces the likelihood of a concerted attack against him. Huckabee’s problem is that Thompson is holding firm and perhaps even rising in some polls, and most of those votes are coming from Huck.

Second is an American Research Group survey from Nevada:

  • Among Republicans, Mitt Romney has the lead 28% to McCain’s 21%. Then comes Thompson at 13%, Giuliani at 11%, Ron Paul at 9% and Huckabee at 8%.
  • In the Democratic race, Clinton is barely ahead 35% to 32% for Obama, with Edwards close behind at 25%. In confirmation of how much things have tightened, compare these numbers to early December’s when Clinton led 45% to 18%.

The Republican numbers here contradict the Research 2000 we saw the other day that had Romney fourth in a muddle for first, with McCain slightly ahead. The CW of Nevada is that Romney is the favorite, so we will see in the coming days. If he gets a win here, that would be three states in his column — and it would allow him to get some of the momentum out of Saturday that the winner of SC was supposed to get.

The big fight of Nevada, of course is the Democratic caucus, and things have been heating up lately between Obama and Clinton and even more so between the Nevada unions that have dragged their fight to the courts (more about that soon). The Research 2000 poll had similar results, and it’s striking that Edwards has a high number here — he could surely have done some damage had he gotten the culinary workers’ endorsement as he was hoping to.


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Michigan, Nevada and cross-over voting

The results of tomorrow’s Michigan primary and Saturday’s Nevada caucuses could depend on the proportion of registered Republicans, Democrats and independents in each party’s contest. Just as Obama and John McCain relied on independents to win respectively in Iowa and in New Hampshire, both candidates could get a boost by more cross-over voting this week.

This is especially true in Michigan, where there is effectively no Democratic primary. This means that independents and registered Democrats have nowhere to go but the GOP primary — and that could very well save McCain’s candidacy, as most polls show him trailing Romney badly among registered Republicans. And don’t underestimate the number of Democrats who could vote for Republicans tomorrow. The Zogby poll out this morning shows that 22% of the GOP electorate could be Democratic! Race42008 compares the different polls for evidence of the trendline that Romney does best the more GOP voters are included (and this confirms it with the exception of that Mason-Dixon poll). This comparison would seem to indicate that Romney needs about two-thirds of voters tomorrow to be registered Republicans:

    Zogby: McCain +3 (50% Republican voters)
    Rasmussen: Romney +1 (70% Republican voters)
    Mitchell: Romney +2 (75% Republican voters)
    Detroit Freep: Romney +5 (83% Republican voters)
    MSNBC/Mason-Dixon: Romney +8 (70% Republican voters)

Everyone is now trying to read the tealeaves. And two stories are being talked about right now. First, the weather will not be very good tomorrow in Michigan. It will be freezing with some heavy snow. No storm, certainly, but odds are that some Democrats or independents who cannot be that committed to voting in a GOP primary just stay home; and Romney’s supporters being more staunchly Republican, that should reassure him that he will not lose voters because of weather.

Second, the Politico’s Jonathan Martin notes a change in voting law in Michigan that could convince some indies and Dems to stay out tomorrow. Until recently, voters could just go in the privacy of the voting booth and only choose then which party they want to participate in. Now, voters have to declare when they enter which ballot they have, with an R or a D written next to their name — which has to hard to go through for some Democrats, and also for some independents who like to sit on the fence. Martin talks to some voters who declare being worried about this.

And similar dynamics are playing out in the Democratic race. An Obama precinct captain is distributing fliers that try to convince Democrats to change their registration for a day to stop Hillary (who presumably GOPers don’t particularly like): “Republicans, Independents, Everyone. You can make the difference if you think a Democrat will win in November and you don’t want Hillary…You can come to the Democratic caucus and vote for Obama.”

The Obama campaign has since disavowed the flier, but convincing Republicans and independents to vote in the Democratic primary is definitely part of Obama’s strategy, and his camp likes to boast that he is expanding the “governing majority.” And Clinton regularly takes subtle jabs at Obama’s reliance on non-Democrats — just as Romney is likely to do tomorrow night if McCain wins by swamping the polls with non-Republicans.



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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

    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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