Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, January 31, 2008

California über Alles

At long last, California's primary election really matters! (Hooray for our side!) In the Republican race, McCain still holds a clear lead here and Gov. Schwarzenegger has just endorsed him. New York is also McCain country, especially after the Giuliani endorsement. But California is where Romney is focusing his efforts. California is a must-win state for Romney and it is unclear if McCain will persevere if he loses here.

Yet the bigger battle is on the Democratic side. Of the three largest states to vote on Super Tuesday--California, Illinois, and New York--the latter two are the home states of Obama and Clinton respectively, and each is expected to win them handily. So the big prize is California. Until just recently, polls showed a 15 to 20 point lead for Clinton, but the race is narrowing fast. A Rasmussen poll gives Clinton only a 3 point lead--a statistical tie! And the effect of Edwards' departure have not yet begun to show in the polls.

It comes down to this: the candidates who win California will take the nominations in their respective parties. It's an exciting time to be a Californian.


Raised By Republicans said...

But is it a good idea for the most liberal state in the country to decide the nomination of Democratic party in a contest that will almost certainly depend on appeal to non-liberals?

Raised By Republicans said...

Current poll numbers in California may not matter. Because of the emphasis in the Democratic party on absentee and early voting (to combat Republican voter supression tactics), the situation in California may reflect the polls from a month ago at least as much as they reflect the polls today.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I haven't seen any numbers yet on absentee ballots cast in California. About 20% of CA voters are absentee voters, according to a number of sources. These tend to be more conservative voters in the main. In CA, the traditional election night fun is to watch all conservative candidates start with leads from pre-counted absentee voters, then watch them erode as the polls come in. In most cases, these effects are clear within the first few minutes.

Dr. Strangelove said...

In recent elections, absentee ballots accounted for 40%+ of the vote.

Bell Curve said...

We're the most liberal state in the country? More than Massachusetts? I doubt it.

Dr. Strangelove said...

It was gratifying to see such a friendly debate last night in Los Angeles between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I listened to Obama's opening remarks on the radio and thought, "Damn, he's good!" I wondered what Hillary could possibly say after that. But then Hillary did what I hoped she would do: she gave a clear, detailed speech that covered almost the same ground, but in her way. We are so blessed to have such good candidates to choose from this year. As a Hillary supporter, I yearn for the dream ticket: Clinton-Obama. But in any event, if Obama does not win the nomination this time, he has almost surely won my vote for the next go-around.

Bit news: the Los Angeles Times endorsed Obama today!! Rarely have the New York and Los Angeles papers of record split on their Presidential endorsements. I still predict Hillary will win the state--based largely on the absentee ballot discussion--but it could be very close. I had thought that whoever won California would win the nomination, but if it's really that close, not even California's outcome could be dispositive. Let us hope that the genial tone set in Los Angeles continues from here on out, regardless.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Sorry, I was trying to write "BIG news" not "bit news." An accidental one-centimeter finger displacement on the keyboard turned my message into its opposite!

Raised By Republicans said...

"It was gratifying to see such a friendly debate last night in Los Angeles between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama."

AMEN!! Clinton and Obama need to make clear that they'll enthusiastically endorse the winner.

With Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh et al savaging McCain, the Democrats need to show unity if for no other reason than to show independents that Democrats have the maturity to govern.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The debate was probably to Obama's benefit. My reaction was that both candidates came across as equally able to lead and campaign. I was, therefore, reassured that the eventuality of an HRC candidacy might not be as suicidal as I had thought. But most of the "game" in this election is about people who are trying to figure out if they should support Obama, since HRC is more of a known quantity. Appearing to be her equal is a huge green light for those worried about him being, well, too green.

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