Stupor Tuesday (TX/OH/RI/VT)

It’s time for another primary thread!

Put in 50% of my vote this morning. My precinct’s pretty sleepy (suburb of Austin), but there were about 10 people in line for the Democratic side (0 for Republican) and they had already run out of the “I Voted” stickers by 9:15a.

I can’t wait for results late tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m ready for the general election campaign, and I’m hoping we’re close to that for both parties after today.

Obama or bust.

What to watch for tonight:

Vermont polls close first, at 7pm EST. If Obama isn’t declared victorious by 7:05pm EST, something’s afoot.

Polls close at 7:30 EST in Ohio. Watch this carefully. In past elections, returns from rural Ohio districts (which should favor Clinton heavily) have come in early. Cincy and Columbus also come in reasonably early…

…but precincts in Cincy that favor Obama will be late reporters. And Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) will be tardiest of all; results there will be a trickle until 9:00pm or later.

So, in Ohio, Senator Clinton really needs to be sitting on a 12-15 point lead early on. She’ll actually need to be up by 14-16 points to get her double-digit win (her internal polling shows her up by 10 in OH), because the late results will break towards Obama. Figure that late-reporting from Cuyahoga and Obama-favoring precincts in Toledo and Cincinnati will give him a 4-6% gain on the overall vote vs. Hillary, so do the math. If Obama is within double digits before 8:30 or 9:00 tonight, Hillary isn’t having a good day. If she’s up 14 or more, she’ll proclaim herself the nominee and give her victory speech before those Obama-favoring areas can report and show the lead narrowing.

Ok, then TX. Polls close there at 9:00pm est. Thanks to the record-setting early voting in TX, exit-pollers and data collectors will have a solid idea for how the vote will go fairly early. If the early results have Obama within 3, Hillary is in big trouble, because the late votes coming from election day in Houston, Dallas, and Austin will break heavily for Obama.

RI closes its polls at 9:00 too. Clinton has been up by as much as 12 points here in recent polls, but internals show that there may be some slippage there. This race should be called by 9:15-9:30 for Clinton. If Obama is close, something odd is afoot.

Finally: the Texas Caucuses start at 9:00pm EST (8pm local time). To caucus in Texas, you must show a receipt that you voted in the primary. Expect absolute chaos here, as confused non-primary voters attempt to turn out for the party, and Obama crowds overrun caucus sites. Lord only knows when we’ll see results here.

End Game?

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning, Tom Brokaw dropped a bombshell on Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

“Somebody very close to the Obama campaign told me yesterday that they’ve got 50 [superdelegates] that they’ve identified who are ready to go public before too long,” Brokaw said. Off-camera, someone else from the show (it sounds like host Joe Scarborough) can be heard exclaiming, “Wow.” Video of Brokaw’s remarks appears below.

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/

Thanks for the breakdown Trigger.*

I’m (really really really really really really really) hoping that Ickes and Penn’s backing away from ownership of Hillary’s campaign like it was an Ebola victim are indicative that they know its game over man.

*Edit - We need to rig up a live cam and a dry erase board for you a la Russert.

And Brokaw was talking about superdelegates that are in the Clinton tally currently.

How do you know that? (I can’t watch the video at work).

But they won’t switch if it’s too close tonight…

Otherwise yes, I think that there will be plenty of high powered people looking to force the primaries to end.

Before the quoted line, he says, “I think the obvious question is how they’re holding on to their superdelegates and whether they are, or not.”

How many of her pledged superdelegates are from districts/states that went Obama?

Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell from WA are pledged Hillary and Cantwell at least, is viewed as fairly vunerable. The last thing she needs is a primary challenger or a dissaffected base. I’m sure it would be a huge relief for both of them if they can safely switch before the convention.

John Lewis, who not long ago was on the News Hour attacking Obama, has now switched. I have to imagine all of her pledged black superdelegates are facing insane pressure to switch.

Actually polls close at 7p Central (8p EST) and caucuses start immediately thereafter. (At least here.)

How does this work? Polls count for 50% and caucus for 50%?

EDIT: Or does it just depend on what your district is?

It’s a rampaging clusterfuck that confuses literally everyone. Basically, we vote twice!

Vote 1 is the primary, which works just like other primaries. We vote, winner of each precinct submits a delegate. Situation normal.

Vote 2 is the caucus, where, as best I understand, the number of delegates submitted is weighted by the level of Democratic turnout the LAST election.

I…see…

Texas, our Texas, all hail the mighty state!

If they are being subtracted from Clinton’s column and added to Obama’s, I’m pretty sure that would put him ahead with superdelegates. And since Hillary would have to blow the doors off today to pull even with regular delegates, that would mean that Obama would be ahead in both categories.

Sorry if that sounds obvious to everyone – I think my lunch made me a little drowsy.

Clinton cannot make up the pledged delegate gap today. It’s just not possible. Today is going to be all about spin - proving that her campaign is alive.

If Clinton can win Texas and Ohio both (and I’m talking just the primaries here, not the Texas caucus) - it will be spun as “she’s still alive!” There will probably also be people questioning why Obama can’t put her away.

If Clinton loses either Texas or Ohio the pressure for her to withdraw will mount.

If Clinton loses both, it’s done.

Other thoughts: This race will be decided by superdelegates. Neither candidate will get to 2025 pledge delegates - it’s just not possible. Obama would have to win about 70% of the remaining pledge delegates. Clinton would have to win more than 80%. The only question is whether or not the supers will override the majority of the pledge delegates.

Clinton will likely win Ohio. I live in southern Ohio (Cincinnati) and she’s fairly popular here, but she’s even moreso in the cities and towns that rely on manufacturing and other blue collar jobs for their economy. I voted this morning (Obama thank you) and turnout here was VERY light. My district is fairly heavily populated, and last general election there was up to a 90 minute wait to vote. This morning I walked right in and was the 39th democratic ballot issued, and the polls had been open for over 2 hours.

That said, I kind of hope some of my fellow Ohioans stay home. I was very dismayed to see in several television and print stories just how ignorant we seem to come across to the rest of the country. 60 Minutes had a guy on their panel that was voting Clinton becasue “Obama is a Muslim”. He “read it in an email”. I’m guessing my state ranks #1 on the victims of Nigerian email fraud per capita chart. Other gems I’ve seen from Ohioans lately included referring to Obama on national talk radio as “Barack Hussein Obama” with an obvious negative connotation on the middle name and referring to Obama as “too ethnic” to be electable (read as : he’s black, oh noes!). There is also a very strong contingent here that firmly believes that electing Hillary Clinton as President means that we’ll get Bill Clinton back in the White House. While that’s technically true, it’s not going to work the way they believe it will.

CNN just called VT for Obama.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#VT

Edit: Some interesting exit poll trends:

–Obama received 68% of the independent vote. If I’m reading the chart correctly, almost 40% of the people who participated in the exit poll are registered indepedents.

–Obama won the female vote by 16 points. 56% of VT voters in the Demo primary were women.