Obama Pulls Even in TX and OH, Clinton Ahead in RI [Open Thread]

Senator Obama has pulled essentially even with Senator Clinton in Texas and Ohio, where the Democratic nomination may be decided Tuesday.

Senator Clinton remains ahead in Rhode Island. (If you want to help canvass for Obama in RI this weekend, click here … Obama will speak in Providence this afternoon; if you want to donate to his campaign, click here: we’re almost at out $2,500 goal for BMG fundraising).

This is an open thread for two subjects: (1) Tell us your canvassing stories, whether you’re on the street or on the phone, for either candidate; and (2) Why do you think Senator Clinton appears to be stronger than Senator Obama in New England.

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  1. Is HRC stronger in New England?

    BHO got ME. HRC got NH. BHO got CT. HRC is winning in RI. BHO is likely the favorite in VT. HRC won in Massachusetts, but I contend that because of the striking similarities between BHO and DLP and DLP's current mojo [or lack thereof], Massachusetts isn't a reliable sample for overall New England support.  Not to discredit the win -- she won in MA and won strong.  But, they seem to be headed to a 3-3 tie in states won, and according to cnn.com, at this moment the total is BHO 115, HRC 114 -- including the cnn known superdelegate totals for all six New England states, but obviously not including the election totals for RI or VT.

    So... is HRC stronger than BHO in New England?  I'm not so sure.

    • OK, good points

      I think my Massachusetts bias was showing.

    • what if you look at the whole region

      on a population basis, ignoring state boundaries?

      • NH and RI are part of MA Media Markets...

        ... so they know the Deval story so I would speculate that the Shine is off the Pumpkin on the "Sound Bites of Hope" for the Voters of those states. To me that is the bigger indicator of  why Obama is not doing well in spite of the Big Name endorsements in MA.

        Connecticut is a bit weird with the Dodd Lieberman Mix but with a healthy anti war crowd given the Lieberman's loss in the primaries. Actually that could be a telling indicator for the national elections that the left defeated Joe in the primaries but the general put him right back in. ( Now didn't he endorse McCain?)

        Vermont brought us Dean so no surprise there (and I liked Dean). Maine has two moderate Female GOP Senators. Not really surprised that Obama could do well there.

        For all of Obama mania only about 35 to 40% of the electorate that voted in 2004 will be heard at the end of the primary cycle and Hillary will have come close to winning half of the Dem's vote. Subtract the Republicans from that percentage and you end up with about 12-14%(+/-) Obama supporters (who in a survey discussed on the News Hour last night expressed while they like him he has a higher number of his supporters who're soft on thinking he really has the experience to be President than Hillary's or McCain's do.)

        • It took a lot of mathmagic

          to come up with 12-14%... and it's an entirely meaningless number if one wishes to do any analysis.

          In many states, BHO or HRC or both have gotten more votes than the entire GOP field.

          • Then I will spell it out for you.....

            Around 110 Million People voted in 2004

            To date around 20 Mil have voted Dems and around half that GOP

            So roughly 30 Mil to date (This does not include Michigan and Florida but including them does favor Hillary's vote count)

            With the contests left and if trends continue that would likely be 39-42 Mil at the end of the primary season (an excellent turnout)

            Subtract 1/3 for GOP and that leaves roughly 27-28 Mil and half that is 13.5-14 Mil

            13.5-14 Mil is 12-113% of 110 Mil

            So 12-14%+/- (to account for the fact that this is an estimate) of the Voting Percentage from 2004 is a good estimate of who will likely have voted for Obama. (Or whoever the Dems Nominate)

            If you want to differ then come up with a statistical analysis to justify it not just an unsubstantiated accusation based more on who you are voting for that actually looking at the facts.

            • It's mathmagic because its dangerous and meaningless

              Firstly, the actual voting data exists, but you don't use it, you just use estimates.  That's cool, but the errors might compound in a way that substantially changes the number... your estimate could be off by 25% or more.

              Secondly, because the way a large number of states choose their delegates [caucus] is so different from the way we vote for POTUS in November, a legitimate comparison really can't be made when it comes to tallying votes.

              Thirdly, your conclusion

              Subtract the Republicans from that percentage and you end up with about 12-14%(+/-) Obama supporters

              is just plain wrong.  You can't wildly estimate the number of people who voted in the primary system, divide it by the total voters in 2004, and declare that Obama's level of support is the quotient.  The numerator is flawed.  The denominator is irrelevant.  Furthermore, that result assumes that each voter only prefers exactly one candidate -- that people who voted for HRC, JRE, WBR III*, etc don't also support BHO.  It also assumes that GOTV is irrelevant, since it ignores the phased sequence of primaries and that the resources dedicated to each one are disproportional to those for the November election.  It ignores the very real impact of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in the primary system... since voters after Iowa know the status of the race at the time, they change their votes accordingly by no longer supporting candidates who don't appear to have traction.

              There's so much error in the analysis that you'd do better to cite Chebyshev's inequality and proclaim that BHO's support is somewhere between 25% and 75%.

              That's why I proclaimed your string of numbers thrown together in some sort of "political science with actual numbers" stew as mathmagic.  You hand wave over all the difficult parts -- the estimation, the correlation, the time series nature, the turnout models, etc. -- and proclaim a result.

              It's like me arguing that the number of bricks in my office building [deduced by counting a 10'x10' square and then multiplying by estimates for number of walls, size of each wall, factors for interior bricks, etc], divided by the number of trains that pass by the front and back of the building on Monday afternoons [deduced by using the MBTA schedule for Saturday afternoon, factoring in some fudge, and assuming that the MBTA isn't ghost-riding those routes] provides information about the weather in Orlando Florida.

              We're reality-based here.  When somebody talks junk about the legal system, folks like David step in.  When people are just plain wrong about public school, sabutai straightens 'em out.  When I see just plain bad math, I don't let it go -- I try to bring it back to the real plane.

              * William Blaine Richardson III

              • My Numbers come from...

                ... The Democratic Website and Republican website. I could use numbers but I stand by the estimates.

                I would suggest you don't like the "reality they imply" not that they are poor reasoning.

                • In short,

                  you've completely ignored the fact that your analysis relies on a hodge podge of numbers from "the Democratic Website and Republican website" even though the use of those numbers amounts to squat.

                  The numbers simply don't have any reality to imply.  I would suggest that you don't have a background in analysis (scientific, financial, or otherwise) -- because if you did, you wouldn't have posted a lazy, thoughtless, illogical analysis.

                  Sorry bro.

                  • In short....

                    ....you really don't like that only about 12-14% of the likely electorate (which would drop to about 6% of those who could vote but we all know they don't) have actually voted for Obama because it kind of points out how little is actually known about how he will really do (as opposed to all the convoluted theoretical mechanics of political Guesstimation you want to use to either obfuscate or justify what that reality could be) or you wouldn't have to resort to petty insults to try and underline your point.

                    Give that brain a rest.

                    • You've ignored my point

                      for three posts now.

                      Your analysis sucks.  Sorry dude, them's the breaks.  You're just not providing anything worth anything.

                      Consider every other primary season in the past 100 years.  I suspect that, using your bizarre, irregular (to be kind) methods, that no person elected POTUS got a ratio of [estimated votes in this primary season]/[total votes in last POTUS Nov election] greater than 0.15.

                      Throwing a bunch of numbers together doesn't qualify as analysis.  Sticking to it, without responding to criticism of method warrants insults.

                    • Okay...

                      110 Mil in 2004 is basically a real number

                      That Obama will only get around 13-14 mil votes are a likely number

                      14 Mil is .127272727...... % of 110 Mil which is .02272728 less than your  historical maximum of .15 which would predict a loss for Obama (or who ever gets the nomination).

                      Hence only that number of people will have actually voted in the Primary for Obama. (Or who ever gets the nomination

                      What am I missing here???

                      As to your computer Mumbo Jumbo Modeling to predict what that all may mean I suggest you look at say TV weather forecasters.....

                      They all use 3-4 Models of differing sophistication to predict weather and very often still get it wrong. I spoke once to a PHD analyst on climate impacts from the Rand Corporation regarding statistical modeling and weather and he agreed with what I mentioned about the computer aged weather forecaster.

                      "If you want to know the weather" he said "go find a farmer and ask him because after 50 years of being outside everyday he will get it right. Weather forecasters need to get out side more"

                      (Do you recall the exit poling in 2004 or the NH polling debacle)

                      I humble suggest you get out of your brick building with the MBTA trains running outside and feel the Fresh Air:)

                      Also does your model predict unfair and/or biased media coverage's temporary bubble phenomenon and rock star hoopla (which historically leave a lot of one hit wonders wondering where the crowds went)?

  2. Ethnic Politics?

    Look at this map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...

    Then look at this one: http://politics.nytimes.com/el... (Click on the sates to see the county winner)

    With only a couple exceptions, Clinton carries the New England counties with Irish pluralities, while Obama carries the counties with English or Italian ones.  Is this just a coincidence?  Is perhaps ethnicity a proxy for other Demographic or Political characteristics? Or is the Democratic party in New England really divided along these lines?

  3. she won Mass.

    Because the people here have seen that the politics of hope don't really work. Patrick has not been anywhere near as affective as we had all expected after his campaign, and voters in Mass. are aware of that. After all the talk about changing the culture of Beacon Hill, and restoring hope, what has he really done? (And please don't blame Patrick's lack of accomplishments on Speaker DiMasi. Patrick knew when he took office that he would have to battle with DiMasi, and should have been prepared to do so.)

    After 13 months of ineffective leadership here at home, voters are wise enough not to make the same mistake again when picking a President.

    • Sorry Gal ...

      Your point of DP is not correct.  It has taken time but he's hitting his stride now.  He set the stage for a good budget in his first year, he will sign a major life sciences bill soon, a number of elements of his Municipal Partnership Act were enacted by the legislature.  The Local Options Taxes of the MPA will likely get a good second look when communities around the state have difficulty meeting their budgets in the next year, and we're likely to get to a vote on expanded gaming.  I don't particularly like the casino bill, but I give the Governor credit for moving the discussion on the need for new revenue.

      You can say that it took him time to hit his stride, but you can't say he's not doing much.

      Obama will win the nomination.

      • he may have hit his stride,

        but, correct or not, that may not have been perception of the general electorate at primary time.

      • Beg to differ....

        he will sign a major life sciences bill soon,

        Using Tax Break incentives to get them to come

        a number of elements of his Municipal Partnership Act were enacted by the legislature.  

        Yet the Very much Needed Comprehensive Planning Act which has been shortchanged for years ( that would bring MA archaic zoning laws into the 21st century from the 18th where some of them come from)  His point person has added a step so onerous to the  implementation that if passed it would difficult to impossible to ever see make a difference

        The Local Options Taxes of the MPA will likely get a good second look when communities around the state have difficulty meeting their budgets in the next year,

        Sound a lot like Mitt Phonies I never raised taxes cause it will impact towns only ( and unfairly benefit only those towns with bars and restaurants)

        and we're likely to get to a vote on expanded gaming.

        Some how I forgot that part where DP Campaigned on this was how he was going to fund education increases and property tax reductions.

        • Your opinion not withstanding..

          I'm correct on each of the points.  On the local options taxes; I say pass it and let communities decide.  Sure towns like Sherborn might not see the benefit that say Natick would, but a place like the Natick Mall would never be sited in Sherborn.  Let's let a town like Natick acrue some benefits from the burden it has taken on.

          Again, it would be up to the local community to implement.

      • Add

      • Returned the state to the RGGI
      • Kept discrimination against gays and lesbians out of the state constitution
      • Negotiated better rates for health premiums
      • Helped MA move up from 49th to 15th place in job creation among states, by courting companies to expand here and by addressing permitting and infrastructure concerns
      • Reversed Romney 9C cuts
      • It peeves me that there is so much recycling of this right-wing talk radio cliche here against the Governor.  

        We've had a string of Republican governors who could barely keep their attention on the job for a year and whose policies were actively harmful to the state.  Now we've finally elected a guy who is engaged, bright and progressive, who has had some good successes in his short time in office to date, and who looks likely to win some more before the end of his first term.  Let's be appreciative, people.  We have done, and could do, so much worse.  

  • There are a lot of people that want DP to fail

    but I expect he will work through this opposition and get MA turned around during what is a very difficult time nationally.  

  • I have to agree

    that DP's style is all campaign and no substance.  Watching BO, I couldn't help but get the same feeling that I did with DP's campaign (when I would ask his supporters what he stood for, what his take was on issues - I would get back comments like, "oh, he's so handsome", or, "wow, what a wonderful and uplifting speech he gave".)  When I found out DP was involved with BO's national campaign it all fell into place.  

    Not to upset any of the BO fans out there, but I say that if BO is the nominee, JM will be the next president, and as much as I can't stand JM, I think BO would end up looking like another 4 more years of W until the repubs took over everything again.

    • Agree....and don't

      I think that there is vast similarities between Obama and Patrick regarding the ill preparation for a demanding job, the vacuous rhetoric, and the rabid supporters.

      However, I think you, or I, or anyone else running as a Democrat could get elected president this year.  Beating John McCain shouldn't prove that difficult with a minimum of intelligence and a pulse.  What I would expect next, however, would be the "taming" of Obama as someone finally sits down with him and explains exactly how constrained our budget is.  Come one year from now the demonization of Senator Reid and Representative Pelosi will begin, along with a lot of yammering about how Hillary is blocking his stuff in the Senate.  President Obama's inability to deliver will be blamed on the Democratic Congressional leadership.  By November of 2009 people may start realizing where the fault lies, otherwise the party infighting will cost us quite a few Congresscritters.  President Obama is done after 1 term...succeeded by another Democrat if he gets out of the way, a Republican if he doesn't.

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • One comment

        It's nice to think that anyone can beat JM, but didn't we say that about W - twice?  Actually, while we're at it.  Wasn't JM's campaign all but over until it started winning everything in sight?  There is 8 months until the election and those 527s play dirty.

      • I look forward most hopefully to you being entirely right about

        an easy Democratic victory this November and utterly wrong in your jaundiced view of the prospects for a President Obama's relations with Congress.  

        • Won't be easy

          I expect a clear Democratic victory, but taking on the moneyed sector of American society is never easy.

          sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  • And if you want to help Hillary win in RI or VT..

    follow this link: http://hillaryclinton.com/action/voltravel/?sc=3

    or contact:

    Lauren Leeman 857-498-0902 lauren.leeman@gmail.com

    Kate Chang 617-359-3521 chang02144@yahoo.com  

  • A lot of spin to come

    after Tuesday's primaries.  The Obama campaign says a slight win by Hillary won't be enough to close the delegate contest enough to keep HRC viable, while the Clinton campaign claims that with his financial advantage, BO has to win all four contests to stay ahead!

    And on another front, apparently the FL legislature is considering a bill that will disallow a party's candidate from being included on the November ballot unless that the FL delegates get a vote at the party's convention.  Will that pass, and will MI follow?  Is this a strategy by the Clinton campaign to recover delegates, or one by the Republican party to make life difficult for the Democrats come November?

  • Speaking for Massachusetts

    Our state has always had a very good relationship with the Clintons.  After all during the lowest points of the impeachment saga, Bill knew he could always find love here.  If I recall correctly MA and RI gave him the two widest margins of victory in his 1996 bid for re-election, well into the 60s% I believe.

    Recent OH polls have Clinton ahead 2-8 points and TX polls have Obama ahead 2-6 points.  Clinton maintains a wide lead in RI and likewise for Obama in VT.  Unless the margin is wider than usual or district distribution is greatly skewed, I see delegate allotment for Tuesday being roughly equal, then its "all-in" on PA for both candidates.

    I must say I'm getting tired of two things: First is the idea that HRC can't catch up in delegates; she is only about 100 behind and Obama has 600-700 to go before clinching the nomination; second is the idea that since Clinton is not ahead by 20+ points then she might as well lose; that's just overplaying the expectations card.

    • you've forgotten that

      there are a few other states between Tuesday and PA.

      • None of which are good for Clinton

        IMHO, she needs to pick up at least 50 more delegates than Obama on tuesday to even have a remote chance of a comeback.

      • Just Mississippi and Wyoming

        WY has a caucus on March 8th and MS has a primary on March 11th, then there really is a six week gap before the PA primary on April 22nd.  If trends hold I agree that both intervening states look good for Obama, WY being a caucus and MS being in the South, but according to a website I look at (www.electoral-vote.com) no polls have been published in those states.  The focus of my previous comment was on polls, so I skipped them.

  • Surprise, surprise...

    ...another front-paged pro-Obama, anti-Clinton posting from Bob.  This is getting a little monotonous.

    Since when are we to believe the accuracy of polls...especially in 2008?  Remember New Hampshire and New Jersey and California...Obama had pulled even or ahead, according to the polls, yet Clinton managed impressive wins in all three states.  Who knows...that may or may not happen again on Tuesday.  I think there could be a lot of movement either way in the last couple of days, just like there was in NH.  

    But this is one BMGer who is getting tired of these relentless front-page pro-Obama, anti-Hillary posts...it really is tiring.

    • I second that. Amen!

    • Others are bored with...

      ...the whiney-ness of the comments coming from those who don't like Obama. Especially since this post from Bob is hardly "anti-Clinton".  

      • Boo hoo.

        It's anti-Clinton in the fact that it gives numerous links to help support Obama in various ways and does nothing to mention how to do so for Clinton.

        It's just a bit biased.

        And yes, BMG has endorsed Obama, but that doesn't mean the entire community has, and I think that is something that has not been realized, or at least respected.

        • Your tone, matthew...

          ...has been amongst the whiniest. It really does nothing to further your cause.

          There are pro-Hillary people here who are not whiney or sounding like sore losers. I respectfully submit that if the rest of the Hillary people lost the shoulder chip and spent the energy writing dynamic posts and comments accentuating Hillary's superiority in the areas where she is superior, perhaps we'd have a better Hillary presence on BMG.

          Be the change you want to see in BMG.

          • Examples please.

            And what do you mean by "whining" exactly? I'd like some examples.

            I think you just feel anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint is whining, which, I will point out, is not true. It goes by many different names such as differing viewpoints, another perspective and my favorite, looking at things realistically.

            • Rating abuse

              What justified giving a zero rating to that comment? Also, it is considered extremely uncool to troll rate someone you are directly debating with.

              • Oops

                Sorry. I honestly meant to rate it a "3". I apologize for the mistake.

                Let's take the tone up a notch shall we, this isn't a GOP board!

                First up...how about we stick to the issue at hand without name calling. I don't think there is anything whiny about my posts/comments, other than the fact that you disagree with them.

                Did you see Clinton will be on SNL tonight? That should be fun.  

            • Realistically, changing your tone will help your cause.

              If people haven't been following the discussions, they can click through your profile and examine what you've been saying for themselves. If I'm incorrect in my characterization, so be it.

              I don't object to people disagreeing with me. I don't object to people being whiney. I'm stating that the tone of persecution and over-snarkiness and by some people who either perfer Hillary or dislike Obama isn't going to advance your agenda here effectively.

              Obama has flaws. Hillary is superior in certain areas. But that substance is lost when the messenger isn't employing the right tone.  

      • I don't dislike Obama...

        I just think Clinton would make a better President.

        And I'm not whining...just stating my opinion.

        You know, I get it...it's Bob's blog, the three editors have endorsed Obama.  That's fine.  they can do as they like.  

        But if there is to be participation here from other voices, those who do not necessarily share their point of view, it would be helpful if Bob didn't continually throw anti-Clinton bombs and rub his point of view in our faces.  We're all going to have to come together after this nomination is settled...the negativism toward Hillary is not necessary.

        • Bombs?

          Where are the anti-Clinton bombs in this thread?  Maybe this is a reference to other diaries--I haven't been on this site much lately--but if there are bombs in this one, they seem to be very subtle bombs.

          • It's just the latest in a string of many ...

            pro-Obama, anti-Clinton posts.

            Check the front page story underneath this one..."Clinton Hitting the Wrong Note with 'Experience'."

            Again, it's his blog...he can say what he wants.  But I'm tired of it.

            • Shake off your fatigue and write a post :-)

              I like Obama. It strikes me that many aspects of his campaign are superior to the one being run by Senator Clinton. I post when those observations and some free time coincide. I try my best, however, to make my comments substantive and be respectful of others with differing opinions. In this case, I don't think the substance of my post was anti-Clinton in any personal way, it was just a criticism of the way she and her team have run her campaign. You and everyone else are free to disagree: maybe experience was the perfect pitch. Time will tell.

              I front-page posts that seem interesting, substantive and timely and, usually, that have generated some discussion in the comments. I'd front page pro-Clinton posts if they met those criteria. Sadly, the only pro-Clinton posts that seem to have come of late are just short advertisements for where one can canvass for the Senator.

              I note that the last post you wrote was on 31 January. You certainly have no obligation to post, but you might try that as a constructive response to the problem you allege.

              • Yet...

                I note that the last post you wrote was on 31 January. You certainly have no obligation to post, but you might try that as a constructive response to the problem you allege.

                You didn't front page that January 31 post, did you?  And that comment from Obama that I posted about was right out of the Karl Rove play book.

                I'd be happy to make pro-Clinton posts, but I know where they would wind up...and it wouldn't be on the front page.

                • That post ...

                  Did not have a link to the story you cited, so it was impossible to see the source, which right away makes it generally unfit to be front-paged. It didn't get even one comment, which suggested that none of the thousands of people who read BMG every day thought it was even worthy of a response.

                  I stand by my observation that the only recent pro-Clinton posts have been short advertisements for where to canvass for the Senator. That is, if you don't count my own pro-Clinton post a few weeks ago attacking Obama for refusing to debate, and this very post right here where I noted in the headline that Clinton is ahead in RI -- and incorrectly (and to Obama's disadvantage) wrote that she, "appears to be stronger than Senator Obama in New England." (Sorry Obama supporters, my bad! I took the latter conclusion back after stomv pointed out my error.)  

        • Odd, Bean in the Burbs....

          ...every comment I make you find to be worthless...thanks for the latest in a long series of "3" ratings.  

    • Yeah, I'm getting kinda tired too.

      Because every time I put something up on the front page that is mildly critical of Obama, the Obamaniacs shriek and holler -- "Oh God!  David's at it again!  Why doesn't he stop pretending he voted for Obama and reveal his true love of Hillary to the world?" (Cases in point, and you know there are plenty more where those came from.)  

      Folks, this is a place where a wide varieties of viewpoints are represented, and we think that's a good thing.  We also think it's useful to poke at the weaknesses of the candidates we support, before the Republicans do.  Maybe it's time we all stopped questioning the secret motives of those who participate.

      • Yeah, what he said

        And incidentally, I call the thread's attention to this post that I wrote on Valentine's Day eve: Clinton is right: Obama Should Debate. Maybe that too is deemed a secretly anti-Clinton pro-Obama post? ;-)

      • how about a moratorium

        on name calling like Obamaniacs (or should it be Obamamaniacs) or Obamabots or whatever. Maybe you mean it in jest, but not all supporters of either candidate are completely irrational.

      • I've liked your skepticism

        I like that you've been taking a very skeptical approach to Obama, whether its been in regards to true weaknesses or to things that aren't, it is good to "poke at" them to discover if they're false and if not discover how to correct them or at least deal with them.  

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