Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This Is How It Should Be

This tickles my republican heart. Man, I love open dialogue between elected representatives.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Are We Doing in the General?

Wisconsin: Obama 52%, McCain 42% (SurveyUSA 2/18); Obama 43%, McCain 42% (Rasmussen 2/21)
Iowa: Obama 51%, McCain 41% (SurveyUSA 2/19); Obama 44%, McCain 41% (Rasmussen 2/18)
New Mexico: Obama 55%, McCain 40% (SurveyUSA 2/22); Obama 44%, McCain 44% (Rasmussen 2/21)
New Hampshire: Obama 49%, McCain 36% (Rasmussen 2/11)
Ohio: McCain 42%, Obama 41% (Rasmussen 2/17); Obama 47%, McCain 44% (SurveyUSA 2/22)
Pennsylvania: Obama 49%, McCain 39% (Rasmussen 2/14)
Nevada: Obama 50%, McCain 38% (Rasmussen 2/12)
Michigan: Obama 47%, McCain 39% (Rasmussen 2/17)
Minnesota: Obama 53%, McCain 48% (Rasmussen 2/16); Obama 55%, McCain 40% (SurveyUSA 2/22)
Oregon: Obama 49%, McCain 40% (Rasmussen 2/13), Obama 48%, McCain 47% (SurveyUSA 2/21)
Colorado: Obama 46%, McCain 39% (Rasmussen 2/11)
Florida: McCain 53%, Obama 37% (Rasmussen 2/16)
Washington: Obama 55%, McCain 38% (SurveyUSA 2/5)
Missouri: McCain 42%, Obama 40% (Rasmussen 2/12); Obama 49%, McCain 43% (SurveyUSA 2/22)
Virginia: Obama 51%, McCain 45% (SurveyUSA 2/19); McCain 49%, Obama 44% (Rasmussen 2/18)
California: Obama 61%, McCain 34% (SurveyUSA 2/22)
North Carolina: McCain 47%, Obama 42% (Public Policy Polling 2/18)
Kentucky: McCain 61%, Obama 32% (SurveyUSA 2/5)
Indiana: McCain 50%, Obama 40% (SurveyUSA 2/5)
Massachusetts: Obama 48%, McCain 46% (SurveyUSA 2/22)
Kansas: McCain 50%, Obama 44% (SurveyUSA 2/21)
Alabama: McCain 59%, Obama 31% (Press-Register 2/17)

Update: Obama - 255 EVs, McCain - 210 EVs Swing states are: AR, ME, MA (?), MO, OH, VA.


Wisconsin voters are having their collective intelligence insulted by this bs. Anybody want to argue that the Clinton campaign would qualify as Roussean citizens? No, no one does. Because they wouldn't.

Also, Andrea Mitchell just said "interregnum" while discussing Cuba on MSNBC. Awesome.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wisconsin Picks

Let's see 'em. Oh, and the GOP polls are close enough that I want picks from both sides.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

How Are the Senate Races Going?

There are 15 interesting races, 14 of which are for Republican-held seats.

Clear Democratic Leads (3)

New Hampshire - Except for two outliers from disgraced (by their record in the primaries this cycle) polling firm ARG, all of the polls of this race show Jeanne Shaheen (D) holding a substantial lead over John Sununu (R). On 2/11/08, the Granite State Poll put her lead at 54%-37%, while Rasmussen has a 2/13/08 poll that shows her up 49%-41%.

New Mexico - Tom Udall (D) leads Heather Wilson (R) 58%-30%, and Steve Pearce (R) 53%-31% in NMSU's 2/11/08 poll. He consistently out-polls both GOP congresspeople by wide margins.

Virginia - Mark Warner (D) leads Jim Gilmore (R) 53%-38% in Rasmussen's poll of 1/3/08. Those figures are virtually unchanged from Rasmussen's 10/30/07 poll and reflect the general consensus that Warner has a massive lead.

Polling Toss-Ups (4)

Alaska - It feels a little presumptive to label this race a toss-up, especially since the presumptive challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, has yet to declare his candidacy. Still, Research 2000 showed Begich (D) leading Ted Stevens (R) 47%-41% on 12/3/07-12/6/07.

Colorado - Polling in this race has been consistently close. Bob Schaffer (R) had a statistically insignificant lead of 44%-43% over Mark Udall (D) in Rasmussen's 2/11/08 poll.

Louisiana - SurveyUSA released the only public poll for this race on 12/13/07. At the time, Mary Landrieu (D) led John Kennedy (R) 46%-42%.

Minnesota - Al Franken (D) and, to a lesser degree, his primary competitor Mike Ciresi (D), has closed the gap on Norm Coleman (R). Minnesota Public Radio has the most recent poll, which showed Franken leading 43%-40%, while Ciresi trailed 43%-38% (1/29/08).

Races That Still Need Some Work (8)

Idaho - Larry LaRocco (D) is the best candidate we could have hoped for in a state like Idaho (OK, there's Cecil Andrus, but he's 76), but he's not yet in striking range of Jim Risch (R), trailing him 48%-34% in Myers Research's poll of 11/13/07-11/19/07.

Kentucky - Mitch McConnell (R) will face one of two wealthy businessmen, Greg Fischer (D) and Bruce Lunsford (D). There is no polling (that I'm aware of) on either match-up, but I think we can assume that McConnell will start with an edge over his challengers.

Maine - Susan Collins (R) maintains a stubborn lead over Tom Allen (D). SurveyUSA's 11/5/07 poll is representative in pegging her lead at 55%-38%.

Mississippi - We have no reliable polling on this race, but I'm guessing that Roger Wicker (R) has a modest lead over Ronnie Musgrove (D) and a more comfortable margin over Ronnie Shows (D).

North Carolina - Elizabeth Dole (R) is vulnerable, but holds a substantial early lead over his two potential opponents, Kay Hagan (D) and Jim Neal (D). Rasmussen's 12/26/07 poll put her lead at 55%-35% over Hagan.

Oklahoma - It might be that the only reason this race is on the list is because I love Andrew Rice's (D) biography. Still, Tom Coburn's 2004 race was kinda close, so maybe there's hope. Anyway, Jim Inhofe (R) led Rice 60%-28% in Tulsa World's 12/16/07-12/19/07 poll.

Oregon - Aw, crap, those Novick-ites are gonna come back, aren't they? Anyway, SurveyUSA's 11/5/07 poll showed Gordon Smith (R) leading Jeff Merkley (D) 48%-39%, and Steve Novick (D) 45%-39%. However, those polls did not include independent candidate John Frohnmayer, who I expect to take more Democratic votes than Smith votes.

Texas - Since Mikal Watts' withdrawal, Rick Noriega (D) has just about locked up the Democratic nomination. Now it's time to get to work, given that Research 2000's 9/24/07-9/26/07 poll showed him trailing John Cornyn (R) 51%-35% (Rasmussen's numbers from September '07 were similar).

We just need three races to move up into the toss-up category for a 60-seat majority to be a realistic possibility.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Sure, it's still premature to talk about Obama's running mate, but this isn't sexual performance we're talking about. Premature is OK. Obama has some room to be creative here, so there are probably 20+ names that could be in contention. I'm looking to start with 16 , from which we can narrow down to our favorite.

So far, I've got 14 names that are legit contenders and sweet sixteen-worthy:

Governors: Tim Kaine, Janet Napolitano, Bill Richardson, Brian Schweitzer, Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Strickland
Senators: Blanche Lincoln, Claire McCaskill, Bill Nelson, Jack Reed, Jim Webb
Others: Wes Clark, Tom Daschle, John Edwards

Among the nominees for the last two spots in the Sweet 16 are:

Joe Biden
Michael Bloomberg
Bill Bradley
William Cohen
Chris Dodd
Jim Doyle
Dick Gephardt
Anthony Zinni

Any other nominations? Which two from the second list would you elevate to the Sweet 16? Any objections to my top 14?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Uh, the House Democratic Caucus makes a funny (?).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Potomac Points

We all get 18 points for Obama's wins (6 points each since they were uncompetitive) and 12 for McCain's wins in MD and DC. JJ, Devin and I also get 12 points each for McCain's win in Virginia.

Total Points
Joel 570
Geoff 511
JJ 509.5
Devin 471.5
Joaquin 465
Matt 323.5

It's Like Texarkana

Only, it's a primaucus.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Potomac Picks

Obama Sweep - Geoff, JJ, Joel, Devin, Joaquin, Matt
McCain Sweep - JJ, Joel, Devin
McCain in MD and DC, Huck in VA - Geoff, Joaquin, Matt

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend Points

Sat DEM Points
Joel 36
JJ 36
Geoff 36
Devin 36
Joaquin 24
Matt 36

Sat GOP Points
Geoff 24
Joaquin 36
Joel 12
JJ 12
Devin 12
Matt 12

Total Saturday Points
Geoff 60
Joaquin 60
Joel 48
JJ 48
Devin 48
Matt 48

Sunday Points
Joel 12
Joaquin 12
Devin 12
Geoff 12
JJ 0
Matt 0

Total Standings (Pending Feb. 5th recount)
Joel 528
Geoff 481
JJ 467.5
Joaquin 435
Devin 429.5
Matt 293.5

The Maine Event



Patti Solis Doyle Leaves HRC Manager Post

Cue the "Hillary in Death Spiral" stories.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Picks Today

Huckabee - Kansas, Louisiana
McCain - Washington
Obama - Louisiana, Nebraska
Clinton - Washington

Huckabee - Sweep
Obama - Sweep

McCain - Sweep
Obama - Sweep

McCain - Sweep
Obama - Sweep

McCain - Sweep
Obama - Sweep

McCain - Sweep
Obama - Sweep

We're back to the pre-Super Tuesday rules, so each pick is worth 12 points.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Those Superdelegates

It seems that there are now three potential eventualities as the Democratic race goes on. First, Obama can build big momentum over this month and score a net gain in delegates between Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania. In theory, he can build a substantial lead in pledged delegates and even overtake Clinton's superdelegates. At that point, the remaining unpledged superdelegates would begin to flock to Obama and the race would be over around April. At the other extreme, Clinton wants to sustain a series of close losses this month before scoring big wins in Ohio and Texas. If Obama wants to hang around until Pennsylvania, she'd aim to knock him out there and ... the story about superdelegates but for Clinton.

A third scenario, perhaps the most likely, entails a long and super-close second half of the primary campaign. Whether in pledged or total delegates - whichever the media and the remaining superdelegates choose to care about - the race would leave Pennsylvania still too close to call. At that point, the superdelegates will have to come up with some rationale for choosing between the two. Some superdelegates, like Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9), argue that they should simply vote for the leader in pledged delegates. The obvious problem with that plan, is that, under this super-close scenario, we may have to wait until at least May 20th before the final pledged delegate leader is determined (the ultimate super-close race scenario would go all the way until Montana and South Dakota on June 3rd). I find it unlikely that most superdelegates would be willing to wait that long to choose a nominee. For the superdelegates to choose based on the pledged delegates counts, either of the first two scenarios (above) would have to work out.

A more workable system involves the currently un-"pledged" superdelegates to pledge their support to the winner of their state or, perhaps in the case of congressmen, their district. This plan has been proposed by Sen. Barbara Boxer and Maine Democratic Party Chairman John Knutson. That plan seems easy enough, but there are still some difficulties. Should Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Janet Napolitano be obligated to vote for Clinton, even though they declared their preferences at some point before their states voted? What about a more complex problem, like that facing Harry Mitchell: should he go with his state (which voted for Clinton) or his district (which voted for Obama)? In this case I'm biased, of course, but it seems like congressmen ought to vote the way their constituents did, especially since the delegate selection rules are oriented around congressional districts, anyway. Still, the case isn't exactly clear cut (i.e., some could argue that state superdelegations should be unanimous). At the very least, the question is ambiguous enough that a congressman could justify voting either way.

The most likely informal deal would probably be as follows: superdelegates that endorse before their states vote would be allowed to keep their allegiances (but would be pressured to switch if their state or district goes the other way); other statewide superdelegates would agree to vote for the winner in their respective states; representatives whose districts split from their states and others with ambiguous constituencies would feel free to vote whichever way they want.

Let's see how the currently unpledged superdelegates would break down under that scenario (conflicted representatives counted with their state winners b/c of the difficulty in identifying them):

Obama (98)
Alaska - 4
Alabama - 6
Colorado - 8
Connecticut - 6
Delaware - 5
Georgia - 10
Idaho - 3
Illinois - 13
Iowa - 8
Kansas - 6
Minnesota - 7
Missouri - 9
North Dakota - 4
South Carolina - 6
Utah - 3

Clinton (105)
Arizona - 5
Arkansas - 3
California - 37
Massachusetts - 15
Nevada - 5
New Hampshire - 3
New Jersey - 7
New York - 11
Oklahoma - 7
Tennessee - 12

New Mexico - 8 ???????

So, pretty even at this point, but state victories could take on new levels of importance from now on.

Super Standings

I was waiting for New Mexico's results to finalize before posting the pool standings. Well, it looks like I'll be waiting for a while, so I'll just do it now. These standings are unofficial. I'll double-check them after New Mexico comes in.

Joel 468 (Super Tuesday - 280)
JJ 419.5 (257)
Geoff 409 (293)
Devin 369.5 (191)
Joaquin 363 (278)
Matt 245.5 (131)

New Mexico is worth 10 points. Geoff, Matt, and I have Obama. Devin, JJ, and Joaquin have Clinton.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday Picks

Clinton - California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Missouri, Arizona, Delaware
Obama - Alabama, Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Alaska
McCain - California, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Delaware
Romney - Georgia, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana

Clinton - Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, Alaska
Obama - California, Missouri, Connecticut, Utah, Colorado
McCain - California, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Alaska, Delaware
Romney - Oklahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana

Clinton - Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona, Delaware, New Mexico, Alaska
Obama - California, Missouri, Alabama, Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas
McCain - California, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Delaware
Romney - Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana

Clinton - California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona, Delaware
Obama - Missouri, Alabama, Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Alaska
McCain - California, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alaska, West Virginia, Delaware
Romney - Missouri, North Dakota, Montana
Huckabee - Alabama

Clinton - Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Kansas, Alaska
Obama - California, Missouri, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico
McCain - Alabama, Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana, Delaware
Romney - California, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee

Clinton - California, New Jersey, Missouri, Delaware, New Mexico
Obama - Massachusetts, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Alaska
McCain - California, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Delaware
Romney - North Dakota
Huckabee - Georgia, Alabama

Monday, February 4, 2008

Why the Hard Delegate Count Matters

The only real surprise tomorrow would be if it's not super-close. So, does it really matter whether Clinton leads by 75 or 25 delegates? Suppose it's even closer, does it matter which candidates has a 20 delegate lead? I say, yes, it absolutely does matter.

At some point, there will be intense pressure for the party to coalesce around one of the front-runners. Exactly when that pressure will begin will depend on several variables, including the rate at which McCain approaches a mathematical lock on the Republican nomination and at what point McCain's rivals drop out. That pressure will also be dependent on one of our candidates building a small, yet sustainable lead in the hard delegate count.

The mechanism by which we will coalesce is two-fold. One, voters may recognize one of the other candidate as the front-runner and begin to break in their favor. Certainly, I don't expect either candidate to start winning 65%+ of the vote in many states, but a 55%-45% national split will start to push the race's parity beyond the breaking point. Secondly, whether the voters make a decisive switch or not, there will be a lot of pressure for the super-delegates to align with whichever candidate can build a small lead.

Now, I don't expect either process to begin on Feb. 6th, but the Super Tuesday results will set the context for the weeks leading up to March 4th. The contests in that period - primaries in Louisiana, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin; caucuses in Nebraska, Washington, Maine, and Hawaii - seem likely to result in a net gain for Obama. If Obama can keep things close after tomorrow, then he can use these states to rack up not just momentum, but a lead going into March 4th. By then, McCain will likely have spent several weeks as the presumptive nominee and Democrats will be spoiling to get the primaries over with. At that point, front-runner status will mean a lot, but only if either of the candidates can achieve it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Somebody Gets It Right

After hearing and reading dozens of MSM descriptions of the Super Tuesday rules just barely miss the boat, I was relieved to find this article on MSNBC.com that finally gets it right.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Super Tuesday Picks (Let's See 'Em)

I ask unanimous consent that we amend my proposal as previously read to exclude the 30% of the points allocated to picking the overall winner and instead allocate 100% of the points through the state-by-state picks. Hearing no objection, so ordered. I also ask unanimous consent to amend my proposal as previously read to remove the 12 state limitation for the purpose of providing more competition and excitement. Hearing no objection, so ordered.

Anyway, here are the picks I need. Pick the winner in each of these states (point values in parentheses):

Dem Primaries: CA(42), MA(17), NJ(17), MO(14), AL(12), AZ(12), CT(12), DE(9), UT(9)
Dem Caucuses: MN(14), CO(13), KS(10), NM(10), AK(9)
GOP Primaries: CA(39), GA(22), MO(19), TN(19), AL(18), OK(16)
GOP Caucuses: AK(14), ND(14), WV(14), MT(13), DE(12)

Pick well, because I wouldn't be surprised if this is our last round of picks on the Republican side. Speaking of that, I'm not sure how we'll decide when to stop making picks on either side. Any ideas?

Oh, and by the way, picks are due by midnight Tuesday.

Tempe End of Year Finance Reports

Hugh Hallman
Raised - $79,152.46
Spent - $55,246.05
CoH - $23,906.41

Hut Hutson
Raised - $56,055.70
Spent - $4,580.00
CoH - $52,302.77

Mark Mitchell
Raised - $30,034.00
Spent - $5,135.49
CoH - $40,433.18

Joel Navarro
Raised - $28,899.00
Spent - $5,865.48
CoH - $23,033.52

Corey Woods
Raised - $24,876.74
Spent - $15,670.09
CoH - $9,206.67

Rhett Wilson
Raised - $12,079.99
Spent - $8,556.24
CoH - $3,523.75

Darryl Jacobsen-Barnes
Raised - $3,733.92
Spent - $293.92
CoH - $3,440.00

Julie Jakubek
Raised - $1,815.00
Spent - $1,291.00
CoH - $524.00

Hallman has been paying $2,000 a month to Tom Evans Consulting for a "campaign manager", $500 a month to Patriot Consulting for a "volunteer coordinator", and $1,000 a month a firm called Rose & Allyn for "consulting" starting in June. He's also paid about $3,000 to McAndrew Kaps Inc. in Fountain Hills for website work. I didn't see expeditures for ad time, just a few hundred bucks for video equipment. He must have raised even more money to spend on ad time.

Navarro received PAC checks from the Mesa, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Gilbert, and Tucson Firefighters PACs. Add that to $2,000 from UFCW, and he's up to $4,710 in PAC checks.