Final PPP poll in NC + more NC data

PPP has released its final poll for NC, which shows Obama ahead by 10. The full release can be found here.

The specific base numbers:

Obama       52
Clinton       42
Undecided   7

Because demographics (specifically age, race, and gender) seem to have more predictive value than anything else, it's worth noting that PPP's sample consists of 35% AA and 56% female. Age distribution breaks down as follows:

18-29...................... .14%
30-45...................... .27%
46-65...................... .42%
Older Than 65........ .18%

And, for those of you who like to predict delegate allocation by congressional district, PPP includes a breakdown of the various area codes. Clinton's strongest area is, unsurprisingly, the 828 area code (which is the appalachian area in western NC). Obama leads rather comfortably every where else.

The poll also includes some interesting info relating to early voting. Specifically, according to PPP's sample, almost 30% of voters have voted early; and, among those who've voted early, Obama leads by 29%. SUSA also provides polling of early voters who've already voted, and in its most recent report, Obama led by 18 among those who have voted. If these numbers are correct, Clinton will have a lot of ground to make up tomorrow. However, because Obama has pushed his supporters to vote early (especially students due to conflicts with exams and summer break), I expect Clinton to perform better tomorrow than she has during the early voting period. This is something to keep in mind when exit polls inevitably leak tomorrow. Exit polls, I assume, will only reflect tomorrow's voting patterns, which may cause exit polls to overestimate Clinton's strength. Just my guess, though.

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New Rasmussen General Election polls

Rasmussen released two polls today involving general election matchups in two potential swing states. The most dramatic differences appear in the poll of Colorado:

Obama       46
McCain      39

Clinton     35
McCain      49

More after the jump.

Some internals from the article:

Sixty percent (60%) of Colorado voters currently have a favorable opinion of Obama while just 36% hold an unfavorable view.

McCain earns favorable reviews from 55% and less flattering assessments from 42%

Clinton is viewed favorably by 44% and unfavorably by 54%.

The economy is considered the top voting issue by 30% of Colorado voters while 17% name the War in Iraq and 15% say immigration. Health Care is the only other issue in double digits at 11%.

Among those who consider the economy most important, McCain holds a slight edge over Clinton but trails Obama by twenty-three percentage points. Among voters who cite the War in Iraq as the top issue, Clinton and McCain are essentially even, but Obama holds a twenty-five percentage point lead over McCain. McCain leads both Democrats by wide margins among voters who view immigration as the top voting issue of Election 2008.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_c ontent/politics/election_20082/2008_pres idential_election/colorado/colorado_2008 _presidential_election

Note that Bush won Colorado by 5 points in 2004.

Now, first of all, I have no idea how McCain would manage to beat Clinton on the economy (especially while losing so badly to Obama on this subject), but that's what the participants in this poll feel.

The other state polled by Rasmussen was New Hampshire, where the poll yeilded the following results:

Obama      49
McCain     36

Clinton    43
McCain     41

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California SEIU Endorses Obama

The AP reports that the California SEIU has decided to endorse Barack Obama. From the press release:

A spokeswoman for the California branch of the SEIU tells The Associated Press that the union is backing Barack Obama for president.

The SEIU had been backing John Edwards, who dropped out of the race on Wednesday.

The Service Employees International Union has about 650,000 members in California. Many are city, county and state workers. Others are in-home support and health care workers.

link: http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=37973

More in the extended entry.

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"Nature Boy" Ric Flair w/ Huckabee in SC

Warning: Dumbest Diary Ever

I didn't think there was a way for Huckabee to top the Chuck Norris endorsement. Norris now enjoys a kind of mythical status, thanks to Conan O'brien and the internet. But, the Huck-man has really done it this time. As he proved with his fried-squirrel story, Huckabee really "gets" South Carolina (I'm from South Carolina--still here, too--and all my older relatives wax nostalgic about eating squirrel, rabbit, and anything else running around the yard.) And, lest there be any doubt, I love South Carolina (some of it, at least; there are some tricky areas.)

Now, Rev. Huckabee is trotting out Ric Flair (aka the "Nature Boy") on the campaign trail as he delivers his final pitch to South Carolina voters. For the unlucky few who don't know the pleasure that is Flair, some videos of the man--in words and action--below the fold.

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New SC McClatchy/Mason-Dixon Poll

New McClatchy Mason-Dixon poll out of south carolina show Obama with a nine point lead. Here are the numbers:

Obama       40
Clinton     31
Edwards     13
Kucinich    1
Undecided   15

This was in the field from 1/14 - 1/16.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/stor y/24946.html
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/static/pdf/po ll/0117scdem.pdf

More after the jump.

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[Updated w/ Video] Brad Delong Prefers Obama Stimulus Plan

As MollieBradford diaried here yesterday, Paul Krugman recently criticized Obama's recent stimulus package--characterizing it as "tilted to the right" and citing it as further evidence that Obama "really is less progressive than his rivals on domestic policy."

Krugman unfortunately only spends a single sentence setting forth the basis of these conclusions:

For example, the Obama plan appears to contain none of the alternative energy initiatives that are in both the Edwards and Clinton proposals, and emphasizes across-the-board tax cuts over both aid to the hardest-hit families and help for state and local governments.

I responded in the comment thread of that diary that Krugman's criticisms seemed inattentive to the narrowly defined purpose of these kinds of packages. Specifically, I wasn't persuaded that alternative energy initiatives belong in a stimulus package, given the fact that stimulus packages are typically designed to address immediate and temporary economic needs, as opposed to more farsighted objectives.

Today, I read economist Brad Delong's evaluation of the stimulus packages proposed by the respective candidates (For those who may not be familiar with Delong,  he is an economist at Berkeley and generally considered left-leaning). As my headline suggests, he disagrees with Krugman and expresses a preference for Obama's approach. Specifically, he writes:

The plan is clean: there is no place for lobbyists to hang ornaments on it--which means that quick passage is possible. The first $45 billion of checks could be cut and sent out with this April's tax refunds. It meets   Elmendorf and Furman's requirements that a fiscal stimulus be timely and temporary. It does not do so well on "targeted"--it doesn't do a great job at making sure the money gets to people who will spend it and thus boost aggregate demand--but this is at least partly offset by its simplicity, which is indeed essential if we are going to get the timely and the temporary right.

More in the extended entry.

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Obama, McClurkin and Liberal Reticence

[Note: This is admittedly a very long diary. I sort of got carried away with setting up the discussion. The beginning may seem excessively academic, but I thought it might be helpful. If you hate moral and political philosophy, you will find this to be the most boring discussion of sex you've ever read. For those of you without patience, you may want to get directly to the meat of my argument, which picks up roughly after the first blockquote.]

I imagine most of you have had your fill as it concerns the recent Donnie McClurkin dust-up, but I'm not quite ready to bury it just yet. On the other hand, I have no interest in simply revisiting the same old flame war. Instead, my concerns are more abstract, you might say. Basically, I'd like to address what strikes me as an anti-liberal element underlying the outrage/criticism directed at Obama. However, this diary isn't just written in defense of Obama. Clinton, too, has faced similar criticism as a result of her association with Reverend Harold Mayberry (who evidently has preached against homosexuality to his congregation. So, although I focus specifically on the McClurkin situation, my argument is directed at a trend that concerns all the candidates and, more fundamentally, the terms of our social co-existence in general. In short, this isn't the occasion for partisan warfare.

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Hillary at Petraeus Hearing & Obama

I just wrote a diary that for some reason didn't post. So, this is a very abbreviated version of that. Basically, an earlier diary today criticized Obama for not asking more questions with his alloted time at the Petraeus hearings--instead spending most of his time offering general commentary and criticism about the war. I'm writing to highlight the fact that Clinton used her time almost identically (since the majority of Obama's critics in the prior thread were Clinton supporters; I'm not criticizing her, as I think her use of her time was appropriate).

She had 12 minutes, 6-7 of which was used to offer general commentary and criticism--invoking 9/11 and Osama bin Laden--the rest of which was used to ask 2 questions.

Notably, the first question addressed the same general issue as Obama's one question and, as with Obama, the question had already been essentially answered. The second question was hardly provocative or specific enough to produce useful information.

Obama had 10 minutes, the first 6 of which were used to offer general commentary and criticism, while the remainder was used for a question and some pointed criticisms of the witnesses' prior testimony.

Transcript and video of Clinton's time at the hearing is below the fold. Sorry for the lame diary. The one that was lost included some analysis and questions. But, I don't have time to retype it all.

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