[UPDATED] USA Today/Gallup: Clinton Maintains Lead

USA Today/Gallup, in the field November 2-4 2007 reports little change in the Democratic primary race with Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 28 points.

The Democratic race "is a locomotive with Hillary Clinton's face on it," political analyst Charlie Cook says. "On the Republican side, it looks like the TV show Survivor."

Poll results

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New Iowa Poll (ARG)

What everyone has been waiting for, but probably not the results you want to see.

The American Research Group released a new Iowa poll today:

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MD-04 Demystified (Updated)

Here is some information to understand what is happening in MD-04's  primary race with Al Wynn, incumbent, vs challenger Donna Edwards, in response to pragmatic adjustable hed's question.

MD-04 spans two counties: Prince George's and Montgomery, with 104 and 65 precincts, respectively. Electronic voting results are available for all 65 Montgomery precincts and 103/104 Prince George's precincts as of this writing.

65/65 precincts reporting

Donna Edwards     14010
Al Wynn            7971
George McDermott   1288

What will get added to these vote totals? Absentee ballots (counting begins today, Thursday) and provisional ballots (counting begins next Monday). The county-wide estimate is 6000 absentees and "up to" 12,000 provisional ballots distributed due to early morning election day problems.

Montgomery has 238 precincts in total, so for back-of-the-envelope calculations, we'll say that we expect the absentee/provisionals in MD-04 to account for 27.3% of total, or 4914 votes yet to be accounted for.

A comment. The electronic vote total is already 23269, which is comparable to turnout for both 2002 and 2004 MD-04/MoCo congressional primaries. Of course, Wynn ran essentially uncontested, so interest may be higher this time around. I'll investigate turnout issues tomorrow (after all, we have a few days wait to argue about this), but for the moment, let's assume 4914 guess-timated votes yet to be counted. Second, the "up to" 12,000 provisionals cited by the BOE is clearly a fast & loose figure to begin with. At present, we can only wave our hands around.

Assuming a similar breakdown, we then have:

Edwards 16969
Wynn     9654

or a 7315 advantage in Montgomery for Edwards after "all the votes are counted" vs a 6039 advantage right now.

Now, on to Prince George's, where we have 103/104 reporting. The missing precinct is Highland Park Elem in Landover, where 500 primary ballots were cast in 2002.

Prince George's (103/104)
Currrent vote totals:

Wynn      30,110 (56.88%)
Edwards   21,161 (39.97%)
McDermott  1667  

We see right away that even after "all the votes are counted" in Montgomery, Wynn already has enough in Prince George's to offset.

Let's estimate the eventual addition of Highland Park Elem. I've looked at the actual results for this primary for all surrounding precincts, which fluctuate from 51.3% Wynn to 68.3% Wynn. Taking an average over four precincts (boredom may prompt me to compare precinct demos if we don't get actual numbers soon) yields a Wynn percentage of 61.3% -- higher than his Prince George's district-wide average. Let's use the split associated with the PG portion, with the caveat that Wynn may well outperform in this precinct. We get totals of:

Wynn      30394
Edwards   21361

Advantage Wynn of 9033 votes in Prince George's versus 8949 at present. I will have to check in the morning as to the status of absentees/provisionals in PG.

How do we set expectations? Bottom line:

[1] Wynn will add incrementally to his advantage in the one outstanding Prince George's precinct and this is not cause for suspicion.

[2] Wynn may add to his advantage in Prince George's via absentees and any outstanding provisionals and this is not cause for suspicion.

[3] As of this moment, Wynn has a 2910 vote advantage over the entire district (both counties). Very clearly, Donna Edwards needs the estimates on number of absentees/provisionals to be a correct lower bound (hmm); she needs a disproportionate share issued to the MD-04 Montgomery precincts to hope to pass Wynn. Could happen -- anecdotally, I did hear of a large number of issues in Silver Spring alone. While it would be a nice surprise if a much larger percentage of provisionals land up in MoCo's MD-04 territory, I'm comfortable calling it for Wynn based on the existing numbers.

Prince Georgians have already decided, while win projections for Edwards rely on spectacular turnout figures, i.e., greater representation by Montgomery than intended by those who calculated the gerrymandered boundaries. I consider an Edwards win to be not impossible, but unlikely.

Consider what has been implied in other diaries -- that Wynn is holding on to one miserable precinct to ensure his win. Geez, there were better precincts for him to pick. Either Wynn has nothing to do with the precinct malfunction or his infrastructure has weakened to the point where he can't pick and choose precincts at will to, uhm, micromanage.

I'll update as more info comes in.

UPDATE: Highland Park Elem has reported: Wynn 243 (58.4%) Edwards 162 McDermott 11 So, the PG totals are now: Wynn 30353 Edwards 21323 or +9030 Wynn.

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