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


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Two more Obama triumphs get Clinton on the brink of elimination

With another big night that extended his winning streak to ten contests, Barack Obama made March 4th as irrelevant as he possibly could have.

How likely was such a scenario in the morning of February 6th? After Super Tuesday, the two candidates looked to be stuck in a stalemate with no end in sight. We knew that Obama was favored to win the rest of the February voting states, but such a sweep was supposed to be quickly erased by losses on March 4th, prolonging the primary into a drawn-out battle for each delegate.

Instead, Obama has done much more than hold his serve in the ten contests that have taken place since February 5th. He not only swept every single one of them, but he did so with astonishing ease, crushing her repeatedly and opening up a wide pledged delegate lead. Obama faced high expectations, and was not necessarily going to get much credit even from a victory, but he exceeded them in almost every single contest – a truly remarkable accomplishment.

Obama’s victory in Wisconsin tonight is a dramatic exclamation point to this series. All pollsters (even ARG) had Obama leading in the state, but the conventional wisdom held that the race would remain competitive. After all, the Clinton campaign seemed determined to keep the race tight in a way they had not attempted in the last few voting states. Not only did the candidate herself spend the last few days in the state, but her campaign also

Wisconsin’s demographics also appeared to favor neither Clinton nor Obama, making this contest particularly interesting. On the one hand, Wisconsin’s electorate is particularly receptive to anti-war and populist arguments (it is not a coincidence that Howard Dean chose Wisconsin as his last stand in 2004); it also has a significant student population. On the other hand, the state has a significant working-class population, a group which Clinton had relied on until recently to carry her to victories.

Considering the momentum Obama has been riding in recent weeks, it was logical to expect that the Illinois Senator would win Wisconsin tonight. But the size of his victory – 58% to 41% — was not expected. Clinton will have a very difficult time justifying this defeat considering that she made an effort to limit her losses here. Her strategy of more aggressive contrasts, in particular, does not seem to have been fruitful at all – and that will certainly influence the way the campaign approaches Texas and Ohio.

More importantly, the exit polls reveal that Obama might be breaking the stalemate the Democratic campaign had been in for some time now. Week after week, different constituencies were barely shifting their allegiance, guaranteeing tight elections and preventing any sense of resolution from emerging. But in Wisconsin, Obama has also struck at the heart of Hillary Clinton’s base, improving his standing among her core constituencies.

He tied her among women, riding a 36% lead among men (and a massive gender gap) to victory). He prevailed comfortably among the least educated voters – even High School graduates – as well as across income groups. Clinton still polls fares better the lower a voter’s family income, but she can no longer rely on voters making less than $50,000 to rescue her. Obama even came out with a healthy 7% lead among registered Democrats.

At the same time, Obama’s advance among groups that were already supporting him keeps growing. 70% of voters between the age of 18 and 29 voted for him, as well as 91% of African-Americans (Obama has only recently started passing the 90% threshold among the black vote).

Obama looks to have finally found the key to appealing to Clinton’s key constituencies, and the New York Senator will be in a world of trouble on March 4th if she does not find a way to motivate women and the working-class (as well as Latinos, whom she depends on heavily in Texas). The first signs of this trend had appeared in the Potomac Primary, but Wisconsin has made it that much more dramatic.

Boosted also by his huge victory in the Hawaii caucuses (74% to 26%, which should represent a 14 to 6 delegate split according to my calculations), Obama has built on his pledged delegate lead. Campaign Diaries’s most recent count gives him 1189 to Clinton’s 1041, with 9 outstanding. This alone makes March 4th as irrelevant as Obama could have dreamt it of being on the morning of February 6th: Clinton needs to win Ohio and Texas to stay alive, and she needs to do so by margins significant enough that she can cut in Obama’s delegate lead. But even big Clinton victories – and it is unclear how she could rise high at this point, given her decline among the groups she is the most dependent on – will not worry the Obama camp too much. A 148 delegate lead cannot be lost that easily, and there still are plenty of states voting that Obama is confident will allow him to build on his delegate lead (Mississippi, Wyoming, for instance).
Hillary Clinton still has two major opportunities to stop Obama’s march towards the nomination. There are two debates that are coming up, the first one this Thursday in Texas, and Clinton believes that she has an advantage in this format that could allow her to at best regain some ground and ride strong performances to big victories, and at worst to change the storyline and halt Obama’s momentum. These two upcoming debates should certainly not be dismissed. After all, there have been plenty of debates that have profoundly altered the state of the race so far in this contest – October’s Philadelphia debate that marked the beginning of Clinton’s decline, January 5th New Hampshire debate after which the women vote rallied around the New York Senator, the South Carolina slugfest helped Obama get a massive victory on January 19th, and the California debate a few days before Super Tuesday allowed Hillary to stop the bleeding and hold her own on February 5th.

And Clinton did get one piece of good news tonight. In the Washington primary, Clinton only trails Obama by 3%, 49% to 46%. At this time, the contest has not yet been called. Unfortunately for Hillary, there are no delegates awarded out of this contest, so she once again can point to a beauty contest to reassuring news, but the hope she had out of this primary had nothing to do with delegates. Ten days ago, Obama trounced Clinton in the Washington caucuses – 68% to 31%. The Clinton campaign has been working to argue that caucuses are undemocratic processes in which only a small number of voters can participate, leaving man disenfranchised. Since Obama got many of his biggest wins (and thus a lot of his edge in delegate) from caucuses, the Clinton campaign has been hoping to discredit Obama’s pledged delegate lead by questioning the validity of caucuses.

Now, the Clinton campaign will have evidence to back up its claim. A 37% humiliation in the February 9th caucus has become a too close to call contest, in what is right now a 34% swing. And turnout has been very strong – superior to the Republican primary turnout, and the GOP was awarding delegates tonight. It is hard to entirely dismiss the numbers from Washington, just as it is difficult to ignore Florida’s. And look for Clinton to press the anti-caucus charge in the coming days.

Ultimately, this is not an argument for voters but for superdelegates. As it is looking increasingly likely that Clinton will not be able to catch up Obama’s lead among pledged delegates, she needs to give some sort of cover to her backers, an argument they can use to justify their not rallying behind the party’s frontrunner. And the results of the Washington primary are precisely that type of argument.

But that presupposes that Clinton remains relatively close in the pledged delegate count. And much before Oh
io and Texas cast their votes, it is starting to look like the former frontrunner might not even achieve that. And no one would have predicted that on February 6th.


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Feb. 19th resuts thread: McCain, Obama win Wisconsin

3am: Hawaii looks set to go for Obama, who leads his former home-state 74% to 26% with 26% of the vote reporting. Hawaii awards 20 delegates, so this could end sinking Clinton even more in the delegate count (if the district breakdown holds as it is now, the delegate attribution should be 14-6).

1:30am: With 97% of precincts reporting in Wisconsin, Obama leads 58% to 41%, with a 38 to 27 delegate lead. 9 more have to be allocated. Clinton has not fallen as far behind here as in some of the previous contests, but given how far she is already she really could not afford even this margin.
Results from Hawaii have not yet started coming in, and the Washington primary is still within 3% (with Obama narrowly up) with 56% reporting.

11:55pm: With 45% reporting in Washington, Obama is now ahead 50% to 46% (stil much closer than the caucuses were) and McCain is way ahead, 48% to 21% (he also runs much better than he did in the caucuses).
Meanwhile, the delegate allocation in Wisconsin has been updated to 31-22, with 21 still outstanding.

11:30pm: John McCain called the winner in Washington, where he should get once again a huge share of delegates. But the Democratic race appears surprisingly tight! With 25% of the vote in (and more than 200,000 ballots counted), Hillary is actually ahead 49% to 47% (keep in mind that she lost the state’s caucuses by 36% 10 days ago). Unfortunately for her, there are no delegates at stake here for Dems.

11pm: The polls have closed in Washington, though it does not look like the Democratic results will be easy to find, nor that an exit poll has been conducted for Republicans (though 19 delegates are at stake).
In Wisconsin, Obama is leading 57% to 42% with 72% reporting, a large margin that definitely exceeds expectations. The delegate count right is now 20 for Obama and 14 for Clinton, with many more obviously still outstanding. Obama’s victory speech lasted about 45 minutes, much longer than usual, and Obama ended up going into more substantive points than he usually does.

9:40pm:
Clinton’s speech, a preview of the new stump speech she will use starting tomorrow, drew as direct contrasts as she ever has, especially on health care. We will hear more about this speech when she gives its longer version… and she better hope we will because Obama took the stage a few minutes after Clinton had started her speech, forcing the networks to choose who to cover and leading to the very early interruption of her stump speech. Obama’s camp cannot not have known what it was doing here; I guess it’s a good strategic move, but not the most gracious one. (Meanwhile, with 12% reporting, Obama is leading 55% to 44%.)

9:25pm: Wisconsin is called for Obama
, as exit polls had been suggesting for a few hours now. The question now is how big his victory is, and how big of a hit she will take in the delegate count.

9:15pm:
The third wave of exit polls is now out and Obama is ahead about 55% to 44% (The numbers that were circulating at 6pm suggested a bigger lead, and I did not mention the exact numbers since second wave polls are rarely that correct; so let’s all calm down in the comments here). Clinton kept a very narrow lead among women, 51-48. Obama crushes her among men, 66% to 32%. That’s a 37% gender gap. But Obama has a comfortable lead among lower-income voters, leading 53% to 46% among families with income of less than $50,000. The two candidates are tied among those with no college education. Among registered Dems (63%), Obama gets 51% to Clinton’s 48%. Among Republicans (9%), Obama is ahead 70% to 30%. And among independents, it’s 62% to 34%.

9pm:
Polls close in Wisconsin, and John McCain is (unsurprisingly) called the winner. On the Democratic side, no call yet, though Wolf Blitzer evokes an exit poll lead for Obama.

6:30pm
: The second wave of exit polls from Wisconsin has been leaked, and it shows a huge Obama lead (much more than double-digits). Now remember, this is a second wave exit polls, leaked 3 hours before the polls close, so the results could look very different. I don’t think I have to remind many of you of what the second wave exit polls were showing on February 5th (Clinton barely up in California, a tie in Massachusetts, with Obama up by more than he ended up being in places like Missouri and Connecticut).

So take these numbers with great caution until we get the last wave of exits in a few hours, but it’s hard to not point out that for now the numbers look very bad for Hillary. For one, the electorate is described as “less affluent” than in previous primaries, which could mean that Obama has struck at the core of Clinton’s base (right now he is very narrowly leading among women and families with income under $50,000; as a comparison point, Clinton won that group by 6% even in CT, a state she lost handily).

Original post: Here is this cycle’s eleventh results thread: Wisconsin, Hawaii and Washington will be going to the polls, and the first results will not come until 9pm ET. Turnout has been described as “steady” in Wisconsin, with the cold and snowy weather not helping push voters to the poll. In fact, turnout is reported at different rates in different regions of the state, which could possibly influence the results.

For now, here are some guidelines of what to watch for tonight.


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Feb. 19th guidelines: Can Obama finish off his February sweep?

Three states are going to the polls today (2 of which will be voting in the Democratic contest). First, Wisconsin is holding its primary, allocating 74 delegates for Dems and 37 for the GOP. Polls close at 9pm ET. Second, we will get results from the Washington state primary, where polls close at 11pm ET. There are no delegates at stake for Democrats, and 19 for Republicans. Finally, the Hawaii Democratic caucuses will end around 12:30am ET, so the results of the day’s last contest will likely not be known until late in the night.

As always, I will stay away from offering predictions but here are a few guidelines of what to watch for tonight.

Wisconsin, Democrats: The contest that everyone is watching for, Wisconsin’s primary effectively marked the end of the primaries in 2004, when Edwards failed to catch up (falling 6% short of Kerry) and Dean finished a distant third. The primary is unlikely to be as decisive this year, but it could determine the momentum going into the final two weeks leading up to March 4th, two weeks with no contest whatsoever (!). Most polls show a narrow Obama leading — ranging from 5% to 13% — but the Clinton campaign has been working the state to make sure the margin stays close.

There are enough undecided voters in those polls to make a Clinton victory possible and if that were to happen it would certainly allow the New York Senator to claim momentum heading into Ohio and Texas and limit the talk of the campaign being already over. Inversely, a big Obama victory — with double-digits — would put the Clinton campaign in even more crisis, and further talk of her impending demise. After all, Wisconsin’s demographics don’t necessarily favor Clinton, but they are favorable enough that she has to keep it close. And this is only taking into account the momentum question. A big loss would also make Clinton fall further behind in the delegate count, which she really cannot afford to do.

A closer Obama victory would probably result in a draw, allowing the campaign dynamics to remain fundamentally the same. Obama would have met the expectations that he wins the state, and Clinton will have met her expectations to keep it close. Her campaign would also be heartened to see that it has managed to halt Obama’s upward movement and would probably attribute this to their efforts to draw more severe contrasts between the two candidates — which would signal to them that they should pursue the strategy going into March.

Something else to watch for, of course, will be the exit polls. First, has Obama made inroads in Clinton’s strongest constituencies (women, blue-collar voters) or is Clinton maintaining her advantage there? If Obama continues to improve among these groups as he did in the Potomac primary, it could spell big trouble for Clinton in two weeks. Second, how much is Obama relying on non-Democrats? The voting anecdotes relayed today by the Journal Sentinel point to many Republican voters and GOP-leaning independents crossing over to the Dem contest to support Obama now that the GOP contest is no longer suspenseful. This is precisely the group of voters that escaped Obama in New Hampshire:

Hawaii, Democrats: There are very few clues we can rely on to know what is going on in Hawaii. There have been no public polls from the state and the fact that the state is holding a caucus makes things even more unpredictable. The conventional wisdom is that Hawaii is Obama’s state to lose, both because it is a caucus and because it is the state he grew up in.

Washington, Democrats: I devoted a post yesterday morning to exploring what we are to do with the results from Washington. The Clinton campaign will be hoping to advance its anti-caucus argument here and answer the question: Do caucuses really benefit Obama? So we will have to compare Tuesday’s results with those of the January 9th caucus, which Obama won 68% to 31%. This will have no effect on the delegate race, but if Clinton pulls significantly closer, they will use the results to hit the pledged delegate count.

Republicans: McCain has still not hit a majority of delegates, but he is very close, especially with Romney’s support. The main question in GOP primaries right now is whether Huckabee can embarrass McCain some more, as he did on February 9th and almost repeated in Virginia. Huckabee is counting on Texas to pull off another upset, and it looks very unlikely that he will be able to get close in Wisconsin, which should allow McCain to get all or most of the state’s delegates. In Washington state, the fact that this is a primary should favor McCain, who barely pulled out last week’s caucuses 26% to 24%. And don’t forget that there are delegates at stake here.


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In new polls, Virginia and North Carolina look to be in play even with McCain’s nomination

A number of interesting general election polls were released today, but first come the last two polls from the Wisconsin primary, both of which have good news for Barack Obama:

  • The only pollster that had Hillary Clinton ahead in the state has revised its projection within a few days. ARG has a survey out today that shows Obama leading 52% to 42%, in line with other polls but a 16% swing from ARG’s last survey!
  • Meanwhile, Research 2000 has a poll of its own, showing Obama up 47% to 42%, stable from last week.

We are only a few hours from polls closing in Wisconsin, so there is no need to engage in extensive analysis of these numbers. except to say that no poll has shown the trendlines favoring Clinton at this point. Most surveys show a tight race in mid-single digits, with PPP (and now ARG, ironically enough) the only pollster that has Obama up more comfortably. If these numbers are confirmed tonight, it would meant that Clinton’s strategy of drawing more extensive contrasts has not succeeded in gaining new voters, but it would also mean that it has allowed Clinton to halt Obama’s momentum and prevent new voters from joining his candidacy. That lesson could be very important for Clinton’s campaign given that they still look to be ahead in Ohio and Texas and need to prevent Obama from gaining ground.

  • General election polls

Meanwhile, four general election polls were released this morning from four different states (and 3 different pollsters):

  • In Iowa, SUSA shows a wide discrepancy between Obama and Clinton. The Illinois Senator leads McCain 52% to 41%, while McCain leads Clinton 51% to 41%.
  • In Virginia, the race is also very competitive, with Obama leading McCain 51% to 45% but Clinton trailing 48% to 45%.
  • This is great news for Dems, however. The previous SUSA poll of Virginia released a few weeks back had both Obama and Clinton looking very strong against all Republicans except McCain, who crushed Clinton 52-43 and Obama 52-40.
  • No such miracle, however, in Alabama, where a new poll has McCain trouncing Clinton 58% to 29% and Obama 59% to 31%.
  • Finally, PPP has in a survey of North Carolina that implies that yet another red state is in play next year. McCain leads both Democrats by 5%, which is about 10% weaker than Bush’s totals in 2004. He is ahead of Clinton 48% to 43% and of Obama 47% to 42%.

Two major lessons out of these surveys: (1) The most consistent feature of the electability discussion has been that Clinton polls consistently better in red states, especially in the South. In states like Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky, poll after poll showed her faring much better than Obama did (while the Illinois Senator usually did better out West). While Obama looks stronger in this month’s wave of general election polls, this set is the first one from places like Virginia that shows him either tied or running better than Clinton. Of course, this has to be relativized given that the two candidates are getting very different treatment right now, and that one is on the rise while the other is hurting, but this is the first significant development in general election polls.

(2) Democrats were worried that McCain’s nomination would remove states like Virginia and North Carolina from the competition. For months now, genearl election polls testing different GOP candidates showed McCain running way ahead of Giuliani and Romney, and states like Kentucky in which Clinton looked to have a chance against some candidates looked totally out of reach against McCain. As I pointed above, the same was true in Virginia. But polls like these that show Democrats holding their own against McCain should reassure those that predict a doom scenario for the Democratic nominee.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that McCain is polling stronger right now than another GOP nominee would. For a party that was trailing in countless polls in states that are absolutely must-win in November, it is very reassuring to see that they are now back ahead in places like North Carolina — and even in Alabama, which would seem obvious but where some polls showed the GOP to be on shaky grounds.


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Monday primary polls: Obama improves his standing in incoming primaries

Two new primary polls out this afternoon bring good news for the Obama campaign, first in Wisconsin whose primary, of course, is tomorrow:

  • PPP shows the Illinois Senator leading 53% to 40%, in what would be a crushing defeat for Clinton. Obama leads among both women and whites.
  • PPP’s previous poll out last week had Obama up 11%.
  • In Texas, CNN shows a toss-up, with Clinton at 50% and Obama at 48%.
  • Among Republicans, McCain has a commanding lead in the state that Huckabee is hoping to embarrass him one more time in, 55% to 32%.

Add to this rumors that Obama’s internal polls only have him down 7% in Ohio, and the situation is starting to look worrisome for Clinton. She does not need to win Wisconsin, but certainly needs to keep it closer than 13%, and she then needs to have comfortable wins in both Ohio and Texas — at least one of which should be single digits. And the two debates that are coming up appear to be her last chance to reverse Obama’s momentum.

One note of caution about PPP’s poll, however. As I noted, the group’s previous poll had Obama up 11%, and those two surveys are the only ones that have shown Obama up double-digits in Wisconsin. Furthermore, PPP includes an alternative turnout model — as a secondary result — that shows Obama leading 47% to 44%. On the other side of the spectrum stands ARG, which has been the only institute showing Clinton in the lead. Both PPP and ARG’s poll in the past few days have shown an Obama improvement, which suggests that the trendlines are in his favor, but this could be more or less close depending on what the turnout looks like and which groups show up. In particular, how large will be the proportion of independents? The more the influence of registered Democrats is diluted, the better Obama will fare.

Second, a 50% to 48% win for Clinton in Texas would almost certainly mean that she would come out of the primary trailing among delegates, given the state’s delegate system being structured in a way that favors Obama. Take a look at this great calculator of delegates from the Lone Star Project, in which you can vote totals district by district (with some demographic info provided). I worked myself to an 8% Clinton win which results in only a 6 delegate lead — out of 126. And don’t forget that 66 delegates will then be selected in a caucus system, which could possibly tilt the delegate lead towards Obama.

Clinton needs to not only win but also get a lead in delegates out of Texas, because she needs to start cutting that margin in pledged delegates. It will be interesting to see whether a win coupled with a significant delegate deficit would also be a blessing for them, if it provided them with another argument to deride the absurdity of the delegate system and give cover to the superdelegates). And the news over the past day that the Clinton campaign did not know about the Texas allocation rules until earlier this month is truly stunning and testifies to the fact that they really were not expecting this to go after February 5th, and they had barely prepared a strategy to deal with March 4th.


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Clinton does not give up on Wisconsin, nor on John Edwards

No one really knows what to expect from the Wisconsin primary at this point. All polls taken in the past week expect ARG’s show a small Obama lead, but there has been relatively few surveys. The two campaigns have been remarkably engaged in a back-and-forth about whether Obama is ducking debates, and the situation is even more confused by the fact that we long did not know how seriously the Clinton campaign was going to contest this primary.

That question was partly answered when it was announced that Hillary would spend 4 days in Wisconsin starting on Saturday, but even that was quickly taken back as news emerged that Clinton would be leaving Monday, abandoning the state in the final day of campaigning. Now it looks like the campaign decided to push through as much as possible, scheduling events on Monday night.

This first of all implies that the campaign has realized it cannot afford to suffer yet another crushing loss and that it must stay close on Tuesday night — at least in single digits. Spending tomorrow — 15 days before March 4th — in Ohio and Texas would move far less votes than a few more Wisconsin events. Second, the campaign’s transparently competing in Wisconsin means that they believe they can outperform expectations and compete for the win.

Meanwhile, the night’s second big story is Obama’s trip to North Carolina, where he met with former candidate John Edwards. Clinton had gone down to visit him last week already. It is
worth pointing out that both Obama and Clinton managed to travel secretly, their presence not immediately revealed (though ABC managed to take a shot of the two Democrats meeting).

Edwards knows he has to endorse very quickly if he wants to have an impact, for Ohio and Texas are states where his support could potentially help a candidate. And in this endorsement watch, all bets now appear to be off. News that Edwards is torn between Clinton and Obama has been circulating for a while. I have said a few times that Obama’s constant bashing of individual mandates would make it really hard for Edwards to back the Illinois Senator, though I have had trouble believing that the former candidate could endorse Clinton after running almost exclusively against her for a few months in this fall, often in much harsher rhetoric than Obama is employing even now. But, according to the latest AP article, this flirtation with a Clinton endorsement is not just a way to make an Obama one look more surprising:

People close to the Edwardses, speaking privately, say they have been torn about whom to support… The couple has been impressed with Clinton, who has more effectively courted them since the 2004 vice presidential nominee dropped out, people who talk to the Edwardses say. Obama has been less attentive, they say, and some of those close to the Edwardses have been annoyed that Obama has continued to ridicule him for once saying his biggest weakness is that he has a powerful response to seeing pain in others.

The conventional wisdom seems to be settling on Edwards staying out of endorsing at this point, since he appears to perhaps be leaning Clinton and realizing that it would seem incoherent for him to go there (not to mention that it would endanger the prospect of his featuring in an Obama Administration at a time when the Illinois Senator is increasingly favored for the nod). Anything else could give a jolt to whichever campaign gets the endorsement — not to mention a few delegates.


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Wisconsin gets heated, three days from the first competitive contest since Super Tuesday

Obama has routinely been considered as the favorite in Wisconsin. Clinton was expected to concede the race, partly because of financial problems. And it indeed looks like her campaign is not playing for the win here, as it has let itself be outspent four to one in TV ads in the Milwaukee and Madison markets, about $800,000 to $200,000.

Yet, the state’s primary has emerged as a major battleground. After all, the state never lived up to its hype as an Obama safe bet, mostly because of its high proportion of working class voters. The Clinton campaign appears to believe that it can beat expectations in the state, and it has increasingly turned towards Wisconsin in the past few days. The candidate is traveling to the state today and will stay there until Monday. The fact that she will be living a full day before the election confirms that she does not believe she can pull off a win but merely wants to keep the race close. This decision is surprising — and could soon come back to haunt her — given that most polls have the race within 4-5%.

As importantly, she has engaged the Obama camp in an increasingly heated back-and-forth on TV airwaves. The two campaigns have now ran four ads (two each) responding to each other on the new hot topic of the day: Is Barack Obama ducking debates? Hillary is accusing her rival of refusing to debate in Wisconsin (the last debate was pre-Super Tuesday, the next one will be on the 21st, two days after Wisconsin), and Obama is responding that, with 18 debates already organized, this is a non-issue and the same “old politics.”

Here is Clinton’s second ad, and Obama’s second response. Both are using the opportunity to accuse the other camp of avoiding tough questions, and they expand to issues such as health care. In a campaign that has had remarkably few televised contrast ads, the Wisconsin primary is marking a turning-point.

Putting aside the merits of this debate argument (I will let you guys argue about that in the comments), the Clinton campaign’s new strategy confirms that they are willing to embrace more aggressive strategies – without going negative just yet, for these contrast ads stay away from personal attacks.

The choice to go after Obama’s refusal to debate is seen as a winner by the Clinton camp because it plays into the idea that Obama is all talk and that he does not back up his lofty rhetoric with policy positions, making a debate more dangerous for him than a speech. This line of argument has been used for weeks by Clinton, but her campaign is stepping it up in recent days. The fact that the Obama campaign has taken the step of airing two responses implies that they think this issue is a problem and that they should take steps to fight that narrative before it takes hold.

Overall, Clinton might very well have to beat expectations on Tuesday. She cannot afford to give up another big chunk of delegates with Obama’s already healthy lead, and the momentum building against her could soon become unstoppable, even with wins in Ohio and Texas.


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Cleaning out Friday poll: Wisconsin’s tight primary and competitive Senate races

A few polls were released over the past 48 hours that I have not gotten to yet. With most everyone obsessed about Clinton’s last stand in Ohio and Texas, it’s easy to forget that she could start reversing momentum as easly as this Tuesday in the Wisconsin primary. The New York Senator will be traveling to Wisconsin tomororw and stay there until the election, in what many people are already describing as too little, too late. And indeed, while it is laudable of Clinton to take the Texas challenge seriously — and, as I explained this morning, it is a challenge for everyone — it is unclear why she waited so long before investing herself in Wisconsin when a win here could be an instantaneous storyline turner.

Research 2000’s new poll confirms that the Wisconsin primary is very close, with Obama holding a slight edge:

  • Obama leads Clinton 47% to 42%. In three other polls released in the past few days, Obama has been up by a similar margin (with an average of about 4%), with two polls showing a large Clinton and a large Obama lead.

One of Clinton’s main strategies has been to hammer Obama on his refusal to hold a debate prior to the Wisconsin primary. Obama is retorting that 18 debates have already been held and that Clinton is just grasping at straws, though it is true that only one debate has occured so far in February, and that was the only one with Obama and Clinton speaking directly to each other; it is also true that it is absurd to demand that teh candidates debate in every state that is holding a contest. (The next debate, by the way, is scheduled for February 21st, next Thursday.)

  • Senate polls: Shaheen leads in NH, tie in Colorado

Rasmussen released two polls from two very important Senate contests yesterday:

  • In New Hampshire, Democrat Shaheen is ahead of of incumbent Sununu, 49% to 41%. The last Rasmussen poll showed Shaheen ahead 48% to 43%.
  • In Colorado, GOP Bob Shaffer leads Dem Mark Udall 44% to 43%, the same margin as three months ago.

These races are ranked third and fourth respectively in my latest Senate rankings. New Hampshire looks particularly promising for Democrats, as Shaheen is regularly distancing Sununu in polls. In fact, most surveys — including one released earlier this week — show her ahead by double-digits, making Sununu the Santorum of this year’s race: He has been behind since the very first opinion polls, a rare feat for an incumbent, and is showing little sign of recovering.

Colorado is shaping to be a more interesting race. The early conventional wisdom was that Udall — a popular congressman in a state that has been increasingly trending blue in recent cycles — would prevail in the open seat, picking up a seat for Democrats, but all polls have shown a toss-up between him and Shaffer, who at first seemed to be a second-tier candidate for Republicans. Democrats have been very successful in open seats in Colorado in 2004 (a Senate seat and a House seat) and 2006 (a Governor’s seat and a House seat) and they are hoping to duplicate that here. In races this close, the dynamics of the presidential race could very well end up moving things slightly one way or another.


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As eyes turn to upcoming contests, Clinton looks like she could rebound

Facing the prospect of losing two more contests next Tuesday when Wisconsin and Hawaii go to the polls, Hillary Clinton appears to have decided to make an effort in Wisconsin. She installed Teresa Vilmain, who ran her Iowa campaign, to organize Wisconsin and she is planning on spending four days in Wisconsin starting on Saturday.

It is unclear whether the campaign thinks it can win in Wisconsin, but they have clearly realized that they cannot afford another 20+ loss, both because of the momentum it would give Obama in a two-week period with no elections and because the delegate lead would just keep widening. Polls suggest that Obama is narrowly ahead, but that Clinton is poised to keep this one close:

  • A new Rasmussen poll released this morning shows Obama leading 47% to 43%, up 23% among men and trailing 10% among women.

Balancing things in Wisconsin could allow Clinton to stay afloat in the final two weeks leading up to March 4th (and its two debates), and preserve her lead going into Ohio. The one public poll of the race for now suggested that she had a 17% lead, and two new surveys out this morning confirm the size of Clinton’s lead right now:

  • Rasmussen has Clinton up 14%, 51% to 37%, boosted by a large lead among women.
  • Quinnipiac is even more favorable to Hillary, showing her to be ahead 55% to 21%. Obama is trailing by 26% among white men here, a constituency that has been looking better for him in other states.

The Quinnipiac poll was taken over the course of 6 days post-Super Tuesday, so it does not really incorporate the shifts that might have happened after Obama’s latest string of victories, but Rasmussen’s was in the field last night. Quinnipiac also released a poll from the Pennsylvania primary, which could prove decisive if Clinton survives March 4th. For now, she has an edge in PA too, leading 52% to 36%. Worth noting that both polls show huge educational gaps and racial gaps.

The challenge Clinton faces is that she cannot just narrowly win the three big contests that are coming up (OH, PA and TX), she needs to do so decisively to cut into Obama’s delegate lead. She has not gotten that kind of margin anywhere but New York and Arkansas and, to some degree, in California, where her unexpectedly strong showing gave her an edge of more than 40 delegates. The good news for Hillary is that the events of the past few months have not made her fall in Ohio yet. A 14%+ victory there, if she can also pull off Texas, would surely give her enough momentum to continue and make a renewed case for Florida and Michigan.

  • General election

In conjunction with the primary polls I just mentionned, Quinnipiac also released general election polls in PA, OH and FL, three of the hottest swing states of 2008. All three states are close, confirming that they will once again decide this year’s contest, and there is no clear electability difference between Obama and Clinton. If anything, she runs narrowly better than him, especially in Pennsylvania:

  • Against Clinton, McCain leads 44% to 42% in Florida, 44% to 43% in Ohio. He trails 46% to 40% in Pennsylvania.
  • Against Obama, McCain leads 41% to 39% in Florida, 42% to 40% in Ohio and trails 42% to 41% in Pennsylvania.

In all three of these states, Clinton runs significantly better than Obama among registered Democrats — 15% better in Pennsylvania. And that is not a weakness Obama can necessarily rectify easily as time goes by, as McCain has shown capacity in appealing to moderate Democrats, a group that is not crossing-over if Clinton is their nominee. On the other hand, Obama runs stronger than she does among independents, and their respective weaknesses among indies and Dems offset each other. Now, McCain appeals to both of these groups. Clinton and Obama both defend one turf very well and are weak among the other. It is hard to imagine either doing well without the other group…


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With her campaign in disarray, Clinton leads in Ohio in the state’s first poll

Just as the Clinton campaign is bracing for crushing losses in today’s primaries and looking ahead to the upcoming contests, PPP released a Wisconsin survey, with bad news for the New York Senator:

  • Obama is ahead 50% to 39%.
  • The two are tied among registered Democrats, and Obama gets his lead because of the support of independents. Worth noting that Obama has a 3% lead among women, so that is an obvious group that Clinton will attempt to shore up in the coming week.

This is only the second poll from Wisconsin we have seen this year. The first, released last week, had Clinton up 9%. Remember, the conventional wisdom is that this is Obama’s state to lose, though that might be very undeserved, considering the large blue-collar electorate in Wisconsin. And Obama has a lot to gain here, as Wisconsin now looks to be the only obstacle to his completing a (post-Super Tuesday) February sweep.

But just as Clinton’s camp was settling in panic mode, SUSA released the year’s first Ohio poll. That’s right, until this afternoon we had no idea what the political landscape looked like in what is now shaping as the markee race of this primary:

  • Hillary Clinton is leading 56% to 39%, entirely on the strength of the female vote. She leads among women 62% to 33% and trails 47% to 46%. It is worth noting that not all states had this pronounced a gender gap. Massachusetts is the state that comes to mind that consistently showed wide discrepancies, and Clinton won big there.
  • Among Republicans, McCain is up on Huckabee 50% to 36%.

Finally, SUSA released a North Carolina survey, the first since John Edwards’s withdrawal from the race. Barack Obama is ahead here for the first time, 50% to 40%. North Carolina does not vote until May 6th, however, and the Clinton campaign has to be thrilled looking at those Ohio numbers, especially since the poll was taken after Obama’s Saturday sweep was announced.

This does not mean that the race will not tighten, but considering the deluge of Obama victories and polls that have the Illinois Senator up over the past few days, the situation must have started to appear a bit desperate to the Clinton campaign. The media is feeding on stories of Ohio and Texas being Hillary’s last stand, and the campaign will at least be able to retort that the latest poll has them comfortably ahead. The Obama momentum has not (yet?) reached Ohio, though the question remains of whether Obama has amassed enough of a delegate lead to make the March 4th contests almost irrelevant.

Meanwhile, The Atlantic’s Joshua Green’s piece summarizing the shake-up in the Clinton campaign is a must-read. Green’s richly reported article explains the significance of Patti Solis Doyle’s replacement as campaign manager. Green goes into how Clinton’s strategy was developed early on, and why they did not see the Obama threat coming. There also is a lot about how in the world a Clinton can find herself in financial woes, and the financial mismanagement, some of which can be directly attributed to Solis Doyle.

This article has too many insights for me to summarize here, so make sure to check it out. And expect many similar “what went wrong in the Clinton campaign” stories in the coming days, which is what this Ohio poll is so important for Hillary as it allows her to justify that she still is viable in March despite her streak of February losses and that the press should wait on the obituaries.


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Dems go up in Wisconsin and March 4th states, as all eyes turn towards John Edwards

Hillaryland is entering panic mode, for the third time of the campaign. It survived the first two (post-Iowa and post-New Hampshire), so there is no reason to start writing obituaries. In comparison, it is remarkable that Obama has escaped any comparable panic mode. He lost two important races in New Hampshire and in Nevada, but circumstances were different: Clinton merely balanced things out in NH and Obama’s triumph in South Carolina already looked certain at the time of his NV loss, giving his campaign little to worry about.

With the Potomac primaries almost certainly going for Obama, the Illinois Senator looks set to sweep 7 contests in a row (8 if you count the Virgin Islands). Already all eyes are turning to Wisconsin and to March 4th. There has been one public poll each in the past two weeks from Texas and Wisconsin, with Clinton narrowly up in both.

(In today’s roundup of the campaign’s situation, the New York Times wrote that: “Polls show Mr. Obama gaining strength in Wisconsin and his native state of Hawaii.” There have been no public polls of Hawaii released and only the one I just mentioned from Wisconsin, so it is very unclear what the New York Times is referring to here. It is unlikely that the statement is referring to internal campaign polls, as an indication of that is usually given. Furthermore, it is unlikely that Hawaii surveys have been taken, given how unreliable those would be since Hawaii is a caucus state, thus almost impossible to poll.)

The conventional wisdom holds that Obama is the favorite to win Wisconsin’s primary, both because he has run strong in the Midwest and because the state has a strong anti-war, student population. This gives an opening to Clinton to beat expectations and get a boost on February 19th, alleviating the pressure in the run-up to Ohio and Texas. But if she loses Wisconsin by a big margin Obama’s delegate lead will start looking insurmountable. Ohio and Texas voters are unlikely to be impacted too directly by an Obama February sweep, but Clinton would find it hard to campaign while constantly addressing negative stories and questions about how she thinks she could pull it off.

Wisconsin is therefore emerging as a major battleground, and both campaigns are going up with major ad buys. The Politico’s Ben Smith puts up two ads that are running right now, both focused on health care. Obama starts his with a clip of his mother, while Clinton makes sure to get in a Krugman quote. However, it looks like Clinton is not going to spend most of the next week in Wisconsin, as she is already traveling to Texas. This implies that her campaign does not necessarily believe that she has a chance in Wisconsin, but they are focused on keeping the margin close (they wouldn’t be able to say that it is a caucus this time). It is worth noting that Obama also started running ads in the March 4th states today, with Clinton scheduled to join her tomorrow.

And then there is the John Edwards. Edwards did not endorse in the lead-up to Super Tuesday, though his withdrawal came at a critical time, freeing up a batch of uncommitted supporters at the very moment Obama was making his move. Now, pressure is mounting on Edwards to make his preference known. Clinton met with him in Chapel Hill on Thursday (she managed to fly down there without anyone noticing for a few days) and Obama was supposed to meet the former senator yesterday. That meeting ended up being canceled, though it is reportedly being rescheduled.

TPM goes into potential reasons Edwards is postponing his decision: He clearly aligned himself with Obama through the primaries, but he could also be thinking that Clinton’s policies have more potential to help the lower-classes. Edwards’s health care plan, after all, is much closer to Clinton’s than Obama’s and it incorporates mandates, a provision Obama has repeatedly attacked. In fact, I would venture to guess that this is probably the main factor that has prevented Edwards from already jumping on the Obama wagon.

We will surely know in the coming days whether Edwards will continue staying out of the race or whether he will bring end up endorsing. Keep in mind that Edwards has a number of delegates in New Hampshire and South Carolina (I don’t believe he can keep his Iowa delegates) that he could presumably bring on board with him.


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First assesment of post-Super Tuesday contests

We got a few days of rest after the deluge of polls that marked the run-up to Super Tuesday; but with 7 states voting in the next few days, polls were bound to start coming in again. At a time most of us were expecting to relax a little in preparation for a grueling general election, there is still a lot to cover in the Clinton-Obama race.

Two polls from Virginia were released this afternoon and confirmed the conventional wisdom that the Potomac primary is ideally suited for Obama:

  • First, a SUSA poll shows Barack Obama up a significant 59% to 39%. He is leading 87% to 12% among blacks — which make 29% of the electorate — and manages to tie Clinton among whites, at 49%.
  • Obama’s showing among both groups is particularly strong. He seems to be continually rising among African-Americans, and it is particularly important for Clinton to stay above 15% (which she did on Tuesday) to make sure she is viable in all districts.
  • An Insider Advantage poll confirms SUSA’s finding, showing Obama ahead 52% to 37%.
  • SUSA also released a poll of the GOP race taken yesterday night — after Romney’s withdrawal — and it shows McCain picking up most of Romney’s votes and crushing Huckabee, 57% to 25%.

SUSA also released a poll from Maryland, which holds its primary the same day as Virginia:

  • Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton 52% to 33%. They are tied among women, but Obama leads among men by 37%! Furthermore, they are tied among whites (Clinton is up 42-40) but Obama leads 71% to 18% among black voters. 39% of the sample is African-American, underscoring the challenge Clinton faces on Tuesday.
  • Among Republicans, there is more suspense for second-place than for first, as McCain is ahead of Huckabee 56% to 17%, with Paul in double-digits, at 10%.

Obama’s victories in Virginia and Maryland are expected at this point, but that does not mean Clinton has nothing to lose here. She cannot afford a 20% loss yet again: Virginia allocates 101 delegates, and Clinton could wake up on Wednesday to find herself trailing widely in the pledged delegates count.

Virginia is particularly suited to Obama, and the margins he has opened up in these two polls is not surprising. A third of the state’s Democratic electorate is African-American, and Obama has most of those voters in his camp. He does need a share of the white vote to prevail, but this is where Virginia is so good for Obama: Northern Virginia consists in the DC suburbs, and the electorate will not be as racially divided there as in other Southern states, ensuring that Obama gets a higher proportion of the white vote than he did in Georgia and Alabama. In other words, Virginia combines the high proportion of black voters of other Southern states without the extreme racial polarization that made Clinton run way ahead of Obama among white voters in places like Georgia.

In the GOP race, Virginia could very well be Huckabee’s last stand. The former Governor prevailed in a number of Southern states on Super Tuesday, and he who lives by a Southern strategy dies by a Southern strategy. If Huckabee cannot win Virginia — which is a very hard state for him to win given the growing prominence of moderate regions such as Fairfax — it is unclear where he can win down the line.

Hillary Clinton did get some good — and unexpected — poll news today, from Wisconsin (which votes on February 19th). Keep in mind that this is the first poll from Wisconsin we have seen since December:

  • An ARG poll of the race shows her ahead 50% to 41%. Clinton leads by 20% among registered Democrats, testifying to how much she is hurting in open primaries.

Fairly or unfairly, Wisonsin has been painted as a state Obama is expected to win. Obama’s campaign itself did nothing to squash that conventional wisdom, admitting it was expecting to do well throughout the February primaries. The next few weeks will be all about “holding serve” — Obama has to win the February states, with Clinton facing a do-or-die situation in Ohio and Texas on March 4th.

This ARG poll suggests the story is not that simple. If Clinton wins here, she would diminish the pressure of getting both Ohio and Texas and get at least a few good news cycle in the next few weeks. But the question she now faces is how much the coming Obama victories over the week-end and on Tuesday will affect the results of Wisconsin? Will the Potomac Primary give Obama a boost, or are wins there now so expected that they will leave the fundamental dynamics as is? The answer to these questions will mostly depend on the margins that open up on the 12th.

Finally, it’s worth noting that itis not just Americans who are unable to decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A poll conducted in France finds that the French are torn between the two as well… 38% say they would prefer that American Democrats choose Obama, 36% Clinton, with 26% undecideds (that’s a lower rate of undecideds than in some polls we see over here).



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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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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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