Hillary Clinton - the right experience and partisan fire at the right time for our country

The race for the nomination of the Democratic party has been one for the ages.  Good, strong candidates have thrown their hat into the ring, and I believe we never had a field this strong.  EVER.  A strong top-tier with John Edwards, who despite personal hardship decided to enter the race and put his stamp on it.  Barack Obama, a gifted speaker, talented politician and good role model for the future, and Hillary Clinton, the tireless worker who to me incorporates the best of all worlds.  She is a populist like John Edwards was in this, his finest campaign.  She excites and inspires many, many people to come out to vote for her, like Obama has done in many ways, many for the very first time in their lives for anyone, or for the first time for Democrats.  She incorproates the best qualities of Dodd, Biden and Richardson, having been there for many years, at the gubernatorial level, the presidential level and the House level.   I believe her to be the right choice for Democrats, and ultimately all Americans, at this time, in this place.   She is ready to lead on day 1, and she won't take her commitment to the "little guy," the poor, the unemployed and underemployed lightly.  

I am a proud supporter of her, and while I am not quite on the level of my wife in her full adoration for Hillary (I am more jaded from all these years of politicians promising to get the blue from the sky, but in the end delivering so little) I have become more and more convinced over this year-long journey that Hillary really means what she says, that she really is going to fight very hard to accomplish what she has put her mind to do.  She will be a very tough nosed negotiator, and with her I am quite sure that she will not give in to demands from the minority Republicans in Congress just to "make good" with the other side, that instead she feels, like many of us, that our time has now arrived, that we can achieve many of our progressive goals with a Democratic Congress and the overwhelming backing of the American people on virtually all of the issues that are important to us.    

I don't want us to squander this golden opportunity to elect the most competent, most "ready" and most "right" on the issues person we could possibly have.  I will bend to the will of the Democratic electorate, but I am confident that most of my Democratic brethren will have reviewed the facts of this race, as I have, and will be voting to nominate Hillary Clinton, starting with an impressive day on Super-Tuesday.   I may end up being wrong about this, but my feelings on this is that we will see a lot of support coming out for her, more so than for the opponent, in a vote of confidence and a willingness to put our collective trust in one candidate.  I can't tell you the delegate count, or how exactly every race will shape up.  But I believe that voters will come out strongly for Hillary across the board.   With that, let the chips fall where they may.  

POLLS

Polls have been all over the place, and certainly they suggest a close race.  But, if you look at the numbers closely, two stories emerge, and they simply don't match up.   Today we have seen a Survey USA release out of California that pegs the race with Hillary well ahead in that state, 53% to 41%, a solid 12% lead.  Another poll, the Mason-Dixon poll has the race as a 9% Clinton lead.  Then there is ARG, which pegs the race as an 8% Hillary lead.  All 3 pretty solid leads that promise a good showing for Hillary.   However, there are 3 other polls that show a completely different picture:   Zogby pegs the race as a 5% Obama lead.  Suffolk U shows a 1% Obama lead, Rasmussen shows a tie as a 1% Clinton lead.  There is no way to consolidate these numbers.  By tomorrow night one set of pollsters will look totally out of whack.  Either Survey USA, Mason Dixon, ARG will have egg on their faces, or Zogby, Rasmussen and Suffolk.  The temptation may be there to simply split the difference, average these six polls out, and call it a day.  But, the disparity is so large, so enormous, that it would do the race a great disservice to do so.  Either the second set of numbers is correct, in which case Obama has a very good chance of showing a small win in CA on Super Tuesday, or the first set of numbers is correct, in which case Hillary Clinton is looking at winning the race with a pretty solid double-digit or close to double-digits margin.   I personally believe that the first set of numbers will come to pass, and we will see a solid Hillary victory in California, but we shall know tomorrow night who is going to wear the dunce cap, Survey USA or Zogby.  

Other polling has been equally all over the place, with one such example being Massachusetts, a state pegged as a very solid win for Hillary by Survey USA (they show a 17% Hillary edge) while Suffolk is actually showing an Obama edge of 2% and Rasmussen a very narrow Clinton edge.  Again, these polls are so far off, that one set of numbers simply has to be completely off base, an absolute crash-landing into laughable pollster lore tomorrow for either Survey USA or, again, Suffolk and Rasmussen.

We shall see how things will turn out, but the large disparity of poll findings has been very interesting, and we will obviously hear the refrain again for at least half the polls taken:   "What went so terribly wrong again?"

TOWN HALL

Those of you who missed it, here is a replay of the town hall that took place tonight.  

http://townhall.hillaryclinton.com/

It went very smooth, given the many satellite locations that had to be combined into one system.  It was great to see so many people across the country excited, and while I agree with Todd below me that the town hall was primarily aimed at women, it did have a lot of substantive talk, a lot of meat.  I was very pleased to hear her make a very strong case for withdrawal as quickly as possible, and once again she reiterated that she hopes to have all troops out of Iraq within a year (minus residuals, of course,) a clear sign that we WILL have strong troop movement out of Iraq right away (of course, Obama is roughly on the same level as for troop withdrawal, although I am not 100% sure if he will move as quickly on troop withdrawal as Hillary.)   My wife, a high school teacher, enjoyed the education related question the most, as it hit home for her.  I am most pleased that Hillary Clinton has made health care her signature issue, as I believe that to be our most urgent and pressing crisis, in need of immediate attention.  That came through loud and clear in the town hall several times as well.

SUPER TUESDAY

Now it is the turn of many of you (almost half of the voting population gets a chance to cast their votes,) so vote your conscience, review the platforms and programs, listen to the candidates, but also read between the lines.  Get a feel for who you think will "bring home the bacon" for us Democrats, who will fight for us to make sure every issue that is dear to us gets a hearing and a vote, without dillution and without being watered down in the name of bi-partisanship, as watered-down is a compromise that most of our programs simply can't afford to undergo, lest they be virtually worthless legislation.

Vote your conscience tomorrow, and if you truly do so with all information at hand, all issues laid before you side by side, I believe it should be a vote for Hillary!

There's more...

Hillary poised to win Florida, reacts to Bush's State of the Union

Bumped - Todd

First, Hillary's appearance in Tennessee today, with her timely comments aimed at Bush's State of the Union address.  I am a proud supporter of her in good part because she makes the exact same case about the Bush administration I would personally make, something that is sorely lacking from the other major candidate.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/C LINTON?SITE=TNJAC&SECTION=HOME&T EMPLATE=DEFAULT

Hillary Rodham Clinton relegated her chief Democratic rival to the rhetorical sidelines Monday and focused her criticism on President Bush, saying he had lost touch with the concerns of an anxious public.

In a speech to more than 1,000 people jammed in a gymnasium, Clinton did not refer to the fight with Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her audience, which included an equal number listening in an adjoining room, roared with approval when the former first lady took note of the Republican president's dwindling time in office.

"Tonight is a red-letter night in American history," she said. "It is the last time George Bush will give the State of the Union. Next year it will be a Democratic president giving it."

Bush is isolated at the White House, Clinton said, inviting the president to join her in meeting the kind of people she has come across during her campaign. "Sit at tables at diners and hear what's on America's mind," she suggested.

The LAST EVER State of the Union by what history books will most likely describe as one of the 3 worst presidents in our history.   Wooohoo.  Uncork the champagne.  Of course, to make this meaningful beyond changing personalities, we must wrestle the presidency away from the GOP in November.  

Bush is clearly oblivious to the wants and needs of the American people.  Generally speaking, whatever the general public wanted, Bush acted against that in a bizarre need to assert his "independence" from polls (and thereby, the collective desires of the American people.)   Is it any wonder he is loved by none, respected by very few, approved by less than a third, and many of those with apprehension,reflecting mere party loyalty?   In an aside, her comments also pointed at the contrast between Obama and Hillary, where Hillary wants to sit with regular people at diners and in their living rooms and GET IT, understand and get an earful about the problems average Americans are going through, whereas, as this diary from SteveM aptly demonstrated the other day:

Is Obama Better Than The Rest Of Us?  http://mydd.com/story/2008/1/25/173237/0 76

According to Steve Hildebrand, Obama's senior advisor, Obama can't be bothered with such trivialities, as the quote went "She goes to Nevada and sits with Latinos in their living room to court their vote -- that's not the way Barack approaches people."  Well, that's what we like about her, Mr. Hildebrand.

Bush is certain, she said, to assert that the state of the nation is strong even though "we are sliding into a recession. We have as lot of concerns we need to deal with," including a mortgage crisis that is driving people from their homes.

In Clinton's estimation, Bush "has never understood is that the State of the Union is not about a speech in Washington. It is about the lives of the American people who feel they are moving toward the American dream."

Instead Bush has ALWAYS used the State of the Union addresses to push for his pet projects, try to advertise and push through unpopular programs, without much regard to the needs and wants of the average worker, mother, father, older person, young person, sick person, healthy person.  

Before returning to Capitol Hill, she sounded the same theme before 2,000 cheering supporters at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

"We see as we look around our country, the state of our union is one of economic anxiety, it's concern about fairness, worries about that's happening to our country," Clinton said. "There couldn't be a starker comparison between what I believe and we have heard from President Bush and the Washington Republicans."

Hillary in the White House would bring with it many reversals of Bush's policies and plans, an unrolling of the conservative GOP doctrine that has been prevalent for so long.  Of that I am convinced, more so today than a year ago.  

FLORIDA

On to tomorrow's contest in Florida.  If Obama's "momentum" has any wings at all, it will show up in Florida.  An impressive showing for Obama in the by far largest state to go to the polls out of all pre-Feb. 5 states and also the demographically most diverse, yet typical of many follow-up states, would show that Obama is for real, that he built on SC and moved long-standing perceptions of him, and with it the polls.   I am confident that instead Hillary Clinton will make us proud and come out of Florida with a strong victory, but we know soon enough.  

The support site "Florida for Hillary"http://www.floridaforhillary.com/ has listings of what they dub victory parties across the state.  They are obviously confident that Hillary will walk away with a convincing win which will be an important show of support across major demographics that will also be crucial in many other states to follow, despite the delegate dispute still hanging over the proceedings.   Events are planned across the state, so whoever is interested and you live close to Orlando, Gainesville, Palm Beach, Hollywood or Miami, you can find the locations for the parties on that site.   Tampa, my hometown, has one of the larger celebrations planned, at the Green Iguana on Westshore Blvd.  They expect a big turnout.  

More after the break:

There's more...

Feb. 5 state polls: Hill: CA +15%, MO +19%, MA: +37%, MO +13%,

More Feb. 5 state polls coming in in rapid fashion.  Let's try to dissect them and, with 10 days to go for the 22+ state extravaganza, let's use these polls as starting points to see movement until Feb. 5:

CALIFORNIA

Let's start off with California, the biggest prize of them all.  

The PPIC poll shows a 15% Clinton edge in the state.

http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/ S_108MBS.pdf

Likely voters

Clinton 43%
Obama 28%
Edwards 11%

Findings:

Amongst self-professed liberals:

Clinton 41%
Obama 27%
Edwards 12%

Gender gap:

Amongst women:

Clinton 48%
Obama 26%
Edwards 8%

Amongst men:

Clinton 35%
Obama 30%
Edwards 15%

Hillary continues to do well in California.  Edwards has not gained traction as of yet.  According to this Obama and Clinton are right on the cusp of important thresholds (the 30% and 45% thresholds.)  If, as it looks, Clinton wins California, it will be interesting to see who can reach the thresholds to gain extra delegates.

GOP:

McCain 29%
Romney 17%
Giuliani 10%
Huckabee 10%

If this holds, McCain will get a major leg up on the competition with a California delegate boost.  

MISSOURI

2 polls out today for Missouri.

Rasmussen - Missouri:


Clinton 43%
Obama 24%
Edwards 18%
Not sure 5%


Hillary Clinton enjoys a nineteen percentage point lead over Barack Obama in Missouri's Democratic Presidential Primary. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the state shows Clinton earning 43% of the vote while Obama attracts 24%. John Edwards trails Obama by six points and is supported by 18% of the state's Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters.

Gender gap:

Clinton leads by 28-percentage points among women but just seven points among men.

Good favorability ratings for Hillary:


The former First Lady is viewed favorably by 82% of those likely to vote. Obama earns positive reviews from 69%.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Missouri's Democratic Primary Voters believe Clinton is at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. That figure includes 51% who believe she is Very Likely to defeat a Republican challenger in November. Seventy-six percent (76%) believe that Obama would be at least somewhat likely to emerge victorious in the general election.

Most important issues to Democrats:


In Missouri, 89% of Democratic Primary Voters consider the economy to be a Very Important issue. Eighty-five percent (85%) say the same about Health Care while 71% see Government Ethics and Corruption as that high a priority. Sixty-one percent (61%) see the War in Iraq as that important.

This finding confirms two other polls we have seen recently.  As for the most important issues, Democrats have shifted away from Iraq somewhat:

1. Economy

  1. Health Care
  2. Change in government
  3. Iraq

Clinton looks very formidable in Missouri, despite McCaskill throwing her support behind Obama.

Research 2000 - Missouri

http://research2000.us/

Clinton 44%, Obama 31%, Edwards 18%

Note:  The R-2000 site does not have the poll available at this point to look at internals.  They probably just reported the horserace numbers so far.  I will update when I get my hands on the pdf.

MASSACHUSETTS

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollRepo rt.aspx?g=b8837d05-481b-4f85-b88b-21427a 447690


Clinton 59%
Obama 22%
Edwards 11%
Undecided 6%

Somewhat of a gender gap:

Men: Hillary 48%, Obama 25%, Edwards 15%

Women: Hillary 66%, Obama 20%, Edwards 8%

ILLINOIS

A new IL poll shows Obama leading by 29% in his home state:

Research 2000 Obama 51, Clinton 22, Edwards 15

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/ 2008/president/il/illinois_democratic_pr imary-351.html

No link to the actual data is given

ALABAMA

http://rasmussenreports.com/public_conte nt/politics/election_20082/2008_presiden tial_election/alabama/alabama_democratic _presidential_primary


Hillary Clinton 43%
Barack Obama 28%
John Edwards 16%

While the nation is focused on the upcoming Democratic Primary in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama by fifteen percentage points in Alabama's Democratic Presidential Primary.

It's Clinton 43% Obama 28% and John Edwards a distant third at 16%.

A bit of a surprise, since Alabama was said to be one of the few Feb. 5 states Obama was supposed to have an advantage over Clinton in.  If these numbers are correct, that may not be the case.


In patterns that have become familiar in the Democratic campaign, Clinton does much better in Alabama among women and white voters while Obama does better among men and African-Americans (see national data).

In Alabama, Clinton leads by nineteen points among women and just seven points among men. She trails among African-Americans by a two-to-one margin but leads 58% to 9% among white voters (Edwards picks up 24% of the white vote).

An obvious gender gap, and also a racial divergence notiecable here.  



Among Likely Democratic Primary Voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 76%, Edwards by 66%, and Obama by 62%.

There is a strong favorability gap here with Obama only showing a 62% favorability to Hillary's 76%.  That is bad news for Obama, as he must be seen more favorably by voters in AL than Hillary to catch her.  


Eighty-one percent (81%) believe that Clinton would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. That figure includes 48% who say that Clinton is Very Likely to win in November.

Sixty-one percent (61%) say Obama is at least somewhat likely to win if nominated. Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe he would be Very Likely to win.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Alabama's Likely Democratic Primary voters say that the economy is a Very Important voting issue. Eighty-six percent (86%) say the same about Health Care. Government ethics and corruption is Very Important to 72% while 65% say the same about Iraq.

Note:  I think the approval ratings gap between Clinton and Obama in both Rasmussen polls, the one in Missouri and the one on Alabama, with Missouri showing Clinton at 82% and Obama at 69% and Alabama showing Clinton at 76% and Obama at 62% suggests that there may be a backlash against Obama in both of these states.  It remains to be seen how the respective approval ratings for Clinton and Obama are in other states to get a feel for how Feb. 5 states feel about the Obama vs. Clinton fighting.  In those two states at lest, according to these numbers, Obama may be getting the brunt of the blame for the brouhaha.  

There's more...

Final SC Zogby out: Obama +15% ARG: +3% S-USA: +13%

http://zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=14 35


Illinois Sen. Barack Obama reversed a declining course and regained some support heading into Election Day here, posting a 15-point lead just hours before polls open here today, the latest and last Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily telephone tracking poll shows.

1-23/1-25

Obama 41%
Clinton 26%
Edwards 19%
Not sure 10%

Pollster John Zogby on the Democrats in South Carolina: "Obama holds solid leads in every section of the state, and among both men and women. He has big leads among voters under age 65. Interestingly, among voters over age 65, Clinton leads him by a few points only, and Edwards is doing well.

"We are making no predictions, but on the watch list is the order of finish here. Obama leads big among moderates and liberals and among all age groups. He is back over 60% support among blacks, while Clinton and Edwards are tied among whites. Clinton returned to the state after her numbers here started to slip and Edwards started to gain. After all, he is, like Bill Clinton, a son of the South.

Overall, Obama's lead is solid as Election Day dawns, but voters here have been fluid in their support.

Looks like Obama is going to take this one, although I don't see him getting 15% margin.  It will be a lot closer than that, probably 5% to 8% margin.  

S-USA released their final poll and it is a 13% Obama lead:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollRepo rt.aspx?g=44f7c683-6b75-49c4-9e5d-ac2dbe d05859

Obama 43%
Clinton 30%
Edwards 24%

There was also an ARG poll that shows a 3% margin, which is probably an outlier (although the margin had closed to 6% in one-day tracking from Friday with Zogby as well):

http://americanresearchgroup.com/

Obama 39%
Clinton 36%
Edwards 22%

Finally, Zogby's final GOP FL poll:  

http://zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=14 35


McCain 31%
Romney 28%
Giuliani 15%
Huckabee 10%
Ron Paul 5%
Not sure 9%

Too close to call between McCain and Romney.  Giuliani looks to be toast.  This was his firewall.  If he can't win here, he has no business in this thing.  

There's more...

Feb. 5 states: Tennessee poll - Clinton 34%, Obama 20%, Edwards 16%

With 85 delegates Tennessee is amongst the biggest prizes on Feb. 5.    It has not been polled much at all, but with the primary coming up soon (in 11 days) that is obviously going to change.

Here is the latest poll out of Tennessee:

http://www.wbir.com/pdf/wsmv_poll_012420 08.pdf

If the election was held today, which candidate would you vote for?

Hillary Clinton 34%

Barack Obama  20%

John Edwards 16%

Don't know yet 28%

A pretty large "don't know yet" contingent, but it looks like a pretty good starting position for Hillary in the volunteer state.  We will see if future polls show a similar picture.  FYI, Tennessee conducts an Open Primary (Independents allowed to vote in it.)

The breakdown of votes is interesting:


African American Democratic voters are nearly twice as likely to prefer Barack Obama as they are Hillary Clinton. However, more than one in three African American voters said they were currently undecided:

If the election was held today, which candidate would you vote for?

Caucasian 

Hillary Clinton 39%

Barack Obama 14%

John Edwards 20%

Don't know yet 25%

African American

Hillary Clinton 22%

Barack Obama 40%

John Edwards 1%

Don't know yet 36%

No huge gender gap visible in this poll


If the election was held today, which candidate would you vote for?

Men

Hillary Clinton  32%

Barack Obama 21%

John Edwards 20%

Don't know 26%

Women

Hillary Clinton  37%

Barack Obama 19%

John Edwards 12%

Don't know 29%

The economy is the top issue driving the election for poll respondents.  I believe that the economy is going to be the overriding issue from here on out in the nomination process and also for the General election cycle.  The war in Iraq, which used to be the biggest issue, is falling further and further from our conscience, still considered somewhat important, but no longer the top issue.

What is the single most important issue among Democrats in deciding which candidate to support? (Based on those who name a candidate they support.)

Total

The economy  38%

Health Care 20%

Change in Washington politics 18%

The war in Iraq 15%

Family values 5%

Immigration 4%

Women

The economy  41%

Health Care 24%

Change in Washington politics 13%

The war in Iraq 15%

Family values 6%

Immigration 2%

Men

The economy  35%

Health Care 16%

Change in Washington politics 23%

The war in Iraq 15%

Family values 4%

Immigration 7%

Here some info about what is going on in Tennessee in regards to the nomination battle:

Bill Clinton rally in Nashville last Tuesday.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/jan/22 campaign-trail-hits-nashville

Hillary Clinton Ads Appear In Chattanooga, Barack Obama Ads Disappear

http://wdef.com/blog/hillary_clinton_ads appear_in_chattanooga_barack_obama_ads disappear/01/2008

The race is heating up.  With many Democrats still undecided, Tennessee is up for grabs, but with a decent lead going into the final 10 days Hillary appears to look strong in Tennessee.  

There's more...

Hillary campaigns in CA, AZ, NJ, drawing big crowds, tons of support

A couple of days ahead of the SC vote, Hillary Clinton did a whirlwind of visits to Feb. 5 states, drawing packed houses, tons of support.  She seems clearly energized.  Here a bit of a potpourri what has been going on with Hillary over the last few days:

1. Clinton draws huge crowds in Arizona

http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/221828

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.23.2008

LAVEEN -- Hillary Clinton took the stage here Tuesday night, rallying a crowd of thousands with promises to bolster the economy, pull troops out of Iraq, and end Washington corruption if elected president.

In what was a brief campaign stop, the Democratic presidential candidate addressed an estimated 2,500 people in an auditorium at Cesar Chavez High School in this community just southwest of Phoenix. But thousands -- 10,000, the campaign estimated -- lined up outside and were turned away due to space constraints.

That is huge turnout for Clinton, anyway one looks at it.  Her message clearly resonates out west.

Saying the Bush administration has taken "a detour from our destiny," Clinton said she wants us to "get back to acting like Americans again." The New York senator promised investments in alternative energy and a "pay-as-you-go" policy on federal spending.
"On day one, we're going to tackle globe warming," Clinton said. "We can do it and create jobs and give our children a future they can count on."
Clinton said as president she would work for every American, "not just the wealthy," pointing to the mortgage crisis and trouble in the stock market as proof of what she called failed Bush administration policies.
Clinton also repeated her goal of offering Americans the same health-care plan that members of Congress receive.
"This is not government-run health care," she said. "At the end of the day, I figure if it's good enough for Congress, it's good enough for the American people."
 

You know, that is substantive talk, and very convincing.  The word HOPE does not appear here, but it is all over these substantive comments rather than a concept for its own sake.

2. Clinton with commanding lead in Arizona

http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/p resident/articles/0123elect-poll0123.htm l

On the Democratic side, Clinton claimed 45 percent of the voters polled, putting her well ahead of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who drew just 24 percent. Obama gained little ground since the last poll, even after winning the endorsement of Gov. Janet Napolitano.
...
Merrill said one reason McCain and Clinton have built such a wide lead in Arizona is because they have attracted a broader base of support among voters, while other candidates seemed to appeal to narrower constituencies.

3. Clinton takes her campaign to NJ

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/01 /hillary_clinton_campaigns_in_n.html

VIDEO of the energetic appearance:

http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2008/01 /hillary_clinton_visits_bergen.html

Hillary Clinton arrived to a roaring welcome at two campaign rallies in New Jersey tonight, urging voters to back her as the presidential candidate who will "set some big goals for our country."

"New Jersey, on February 5, make it clear we are going to take our country back," Clinton told the crowd at the first rally in Hackensack. "We have to have leadership again that believes in America."

About 1,000 people filled the Bergen Tech high school gym, and another 800 spilled over into the school auditorium to watch Clinton on a live feed. After finishing the rally on the Bergen County Academies campus, Clinton arrived at a rally for Latino voters at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, where 1,000 supporters packed the ballroom and another 200 watched on video screens.

The candidate walked onto the stage at 8:25 p.m. to chants of "Hill-ar-y! Hill-ar-y! Hill-ar-y!" Clinton spoke for about 25 minutes, then lingered for another 10 minutes shaking hands.

Earlier today, Clinton was in Philadelphia, where Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell endorsed her candidacy at a midday news conference in city hall. Rendell is a former mayor of Philadelphia.

4. Quinnipiac New Jersey poll

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1299.xml?Rele aseID=1135


Among Democratic likely primary voters, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 49 - 32 percent, with 10 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
...
Sen. Obama leads among black Democratic likely primary voters 62 - 27 percent, while Sen. Clinton leads among whites 54 - 23 percent. Clinton also leads 54 - 28 percent among women and 44 - 36 percent among men.

Although Sen. Obama has picked up some strength in New Jersey, Sen. Clinton appears to be maintaining the sizable lead she needs for a Super Tuesday string of victories in her Northeast strongholds," Richards added.

NJ and AZ appear to be going for Clinton big-time.  I don't see how Obama cuts into Clinton's lead here.  In the case of NJ it looks as if Obama's 62 to 27 share of the AA vote is already at high levels that are more likely to come down in favor of Clinton rather than increasing, IMO.  

5. Clinton in California to pick up United Farm Worker's endorsement

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/story.p hp?sid=65103&storySection=Top+Storie s

SALINAS -- Sen. Hillary Clinton basked in the glory of her newly won United Farm Workers endorsement Tuesday, choosing to celebrate the moment in the city that's home to some of the labor union's most profound battles.

"We'll solve the problems facing agriculture," she told a noisy crowd of more than 2,000 at Hartnell Community College, many wearing red shirts emblazoned with the union's Aztec eagle and hoisting Spanish-language campaign signs.

The New York senator was not only thousands of miles from South Carolina, where the night before she had engaged in a testy televised debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama, but was far removed from the prior day's wrangle over legislative records and campaign ethics.

Instead, standing in the gym that's home court to the Hartnell Panthers, Clinton evoked an almost populist message. She pledged universal health care, new jobs for the middle class and greater access to education.

"We know that the economy is beginning to slide into recession," Clinton said, commiserating with the crowd over the rising cost of health care, energy and mortgages.

Her nearly 45-minute message, which focused largely on economic issues ripe for a city hit as hard as any by the downturn, struck a balance between hope and policy details.

also see:

http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/01 /23/united-farm-workers-say-viva-hillary /

http://www.mercurynews.com/nationworld/c i_8052093?nclick_check=1

The link above is from an article titled: "Clinton slams Bush for economic policies"

NO chance whatsoever to see that headline from an Obama campaign appearance.  NONE.  EVER.  That, in a nutshell, is the biggest difference between Obama and Clinton.

6. Roundup of latest polls

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/ 2008/latestpolls/index.html

In addition to the aforementioned large Clinton leads in Arizona and New Jersey, these following polls have come through since Sunday:

Nationally:  

LA Times - Clinton +9%

Rasmussen - Clinton +12%

States:

SC: Zogby - Obama +15%

FL: Miami Herald/St. Pete Times -  Clinton +19%

CA: Field poll -  Clinton +12%

NY: Quinnipiac - Clinton +26%

FL: Survey USA - Clinton +33%

NY: Zogby - Clinton +21%

NY: Siena - Clinton +25%

Alabama: Press Register - Clinton +3%

CT: Hartford Courant -  Clinton +14%

There's more...

How Clinton won Nevada (demographics analysis) and what it means moving forward

Disclosure: I am a Hillary supporter

The debate in SC has been discussed right below this entry quite a bit, so I would like to focus instead on the battle for certain constituencies and demographics, as they obviously make up the winning combination for whoever comes out the winner of the Democratic nomination process.

Let me first say that this is probably the most interesting and exciting Democratic campaign I have personally witnessed.  We have seen record turnouts for these primaries/caucuses, which bodes well for our party and our fortunes moving forward towards November and beyond.  I am confident that whoever wins will be a very strong candidate for us (I obviously believe that will be Hillary) and whoever loses will bring the constituency strengths with him/her and add it to the absolutely impressive, downright baffling, total with full, unconditional support.

At this point Hillary Clinton's core constituency is coming out in large numbers to help her win primaries/caucuses.  Obama must cut into Hillary's share of these major constituencies by either convincing many of them to move to him, or by suppressing the turnout amongst those groups.   Let's dissect what has been happening since NH (leaving MI out of it as not very instrumental to this analysis):

The Nevada exit poll was off by a bit (they have a margin of error, too,) but nonetheless serve to provide us with some interesting numbers to mull over, which the campaigns will no doubt also use to see where they have particularly strong weaknesses and strengths, and as a basis to hone their message moving forward.

Here the exit poll data:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primari es/results/epolls/index.html#NVDEM

Let's analyze the important comparative numbers one by one,  as they pertain to the core constituency groups, and see what they mean for the process moving forward.  It is also important to see movement within Demographics, so here are the New Hampshire exit poll numbers to make that comparison:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primari es/results/epolls/index.html#NHDEM

1. Registered Democrat vs. Independent/registered Republican

Democrats  51% Clinton, 39% Obama, 8% Edwards
Independents 31% Clinton, 41% Obama, 18% Edwards
Republican 0% Clinton, 0% Obama, 0% Edwards

Comparative, NH:

Democrats  45% Clinton, 34% Obama, 16% Edwards
Independents 33% Clinton, 47% Obama, 11% Edwards
Republican 0% Clinton, 0% Obama, 0% Edwards

Analysis:  Hillary has a strong advantage with registered Democrats over the rest of the field.  The party ID gap between Hillary and Obama is 12% in Hillary's favor, with Hillary commanding a majority of Democrats.  In NH Hillary had an 11% advantage with registered Democrats.  Given that a good number of primaries moving forward don't allow Independents to participate, Hillary's strong advantage with registered Democrats probably means that Obama will be somewhat competetive in open primaries, but will lose badly (by double-digits) in closed primaries.  That is unless he can make inroads into the Democratic party ID demographic.

We have also seen that, once again, Obama won over more Independents than Hillary.  However, that advantage has narrowed a bit, from 14% in New Hampshire to 10% in Nevada's caucus.  Still, Obama's strength with Independents suggests that he will be somewhat competetive in open primaries.  

2. Female/male voters

Hillary Clinton had a decisive advantage with female voters once again.  They came out in record numbers and gave Hillary a strong advantage.   In Nevada the female vote made up a whopping 59% of the total, males 41%. In New Hampshire we had a similar dynamic, with female voting making up 57% of the total and male voting 43% of the total.  What many Hillary Clinton supporters have claimed since the beginning of her candidacy is coming true:  Women are coming out in record numbers to cast their votes for Hillary.  Many of these women have never voted in their lives, but are now getting involved in large numbers, to make a difference in this process.   That bodes well for the prospects of Democrats moving forward, for our fortunes in November, and also for progressives down-ticket, as women tend to vote more progressive than men.

The numeric result:

Female share of the vote:

NV: Clinton 51%, Obama 38%, Edwards 8%

NH: Clinton 46%, Obama 34%, Edwards 15%

Male share of the vote:

NV: Clinton 43%, Obama 45%, Edwards 9%

NH: Clinton 29%, Obama 40%, Edwards 19%

Analysis: Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead with the female vote, which also comes out to these primaries/caucuses in larger numbers than males. Hillary's advantage over Obama with the female vote is 13%, whereas in NH it was 12%.   An interesting movement in the male vote:  While Obama held an 11% advantage in the male vote in NH, that lead was down to only 2% in Nevada, suggesting Hillary Clinton has made some inroads in erasing the male vote deficit she had to Obama.   I think it is safe to assume that Hillary will continue to command a strong advantage with the women vote moving forward.  How the male vote goes from here on out is anyone's guess, but the fact that Hillary was able to erase Obama's advantage in the male vote to a virtual tie must be a headache to the Obama campaign.

3. Vote by race

There appears to be an interesting dynamic taking place here along racial lines, which will be very pivotal moving forward. We will see in Florida and other racially diverse states whether these important dynamics hold:

Nevada only:

52% of Whites voted for Clinton, 34% voted for Obama

83% of African-Americans voted for Obama, 14% voted for Clinton

64% of the Latino community voted for Clinton, 26% voted for Obama

Analysis:  The African-American vote is going strongly for Obama, but that is made up by Clinton's strong share of the Hispanic vote.  In some of the larger states coming up the Hispanic vote is more important than any other minority vote.  Whites going strongly for Clinton (to the tune of almost a 20% gap) may be a counter-reaction to all the race stuff that was going back and forth, although I hope that is not very distinct and will settle down some.  If it does, then Hillary's share of the AA vote will probably grow again while Obama's share of the White vote will do the same, probably proportionally to race issues finding their way to the backburner once again.   I think the strong Hispanic vote for Clinton is somewhat of the tie-breaker here, support that has been very strong from the very beginning and will, unless Obama can make serious inroads into it, reap major benefits in some of the largest states for her.

4. Vote by age

Obama wins the youth vote, Clinton wins the older-age vote.  Nothing new here, but let's look at movement:

NV:

Age:  18-29 yrs. Obama 59% Clinton 33%
      30-44 yrs. Obama 46% Clinton 38%
      45-59 yrs. Clinton 46% Obama 42%
      60 and older Clinton 60% Obama 31%

Obama won the age groups below 44, Clinton won the age groups above it.  The kicker here is the turnout.  Voters age 45 and older made up a whopping 68% of the Nevada caucus electorate, 44 and under made up only 32%.  You WANT to win in the strongest age group, and given that 60 and older was the strongest representative here, showing up to the tune of 36% of the overall voting public, Clinton's strong advantage in that age group (winning by almost 30%) was a huge difference maker.

NH showed a similar dynamic, with Clinton winning in the age groups above 40 years of age, which comprised 67% of the overall voting public.  

Generally speaking, while young voters are very important and they are showing up in very large numbers, it is still true that the heavier weight of the balance is with voters above 40, and the candidate who has decisive advantages in the age groups above 40 has a chance to win primaries/caucuses more often than not.  

There are other interesting comparisons to be drawn, all of them telling in their own rights.  Quite important, with the economy becoming perhaps THE issue of the campaign now, voters who stated that the economy was their main concern, Hillary won Nevada by 9%, the exact same "confidence" gap those voters showed pro-Hillary in New Hampshire.  Also quite important, Hillary wins the "lunchpail Democrats," voters who make less than $50,000 per year, by a healthy margin. In NV it was by 12%, in NH she won in that category by 15%.

Obviously, moving forward, Hillary needs to continue to keep her strong and dedicated support from the core constituencies she currently has:  Registered Democrats, Women, Hispanics, older voters, and "regular, working people" who are economically the most vulnerable.  If she can, she can't be beat.  Obama needs to expand on his constituencies beyond Independents, African-Americans and certain economic income groups.  He is a formidable opponent, as his strong showing in both Nevada and New Hampshire showed.  However, Hispanics will take center stage in major contests in huge states very soon, a lot of the contests moving forwards will be closed up to Independents voting, and the youth/college vote seems too unreliable a factor to count on it to deliver across the board.  Desmoulins explained in his Nevada series that college voters are no factor in Nevada, as the major colleges have a very transient nature with most students registered elsewhere, which is what a lot of other states have to offer in terms of a college vote.  Obama must become much more viable with voters 45 years and over to have any chance, as they make up 60%+ of the entire voting public almost everywhere.   This promises to be a great contest for all of us, and the Democratic party is looking at a bunch of "fat" years, IMHO.  And I am stating that not because Hillary is ahead, but that would also be the case if Obama can find a way to win the nomination, obviously having done so convincing enough voters to give him a second look and consider him presidential material.  

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Florida DOES count

On the local newscast tonight here in Tampa, Florida, there was a pretty long report on Obama's Florida memo "Florida's primary is meaningless." It has been making some waves in the print media as well as on-the-air media (TV, radio) and several somewhat politically involved Democrats I spoke with today knew about this.   Generally, the tenor is that Obama's dismissive memo has been received very negatively.   I guess nobody wants to be told that their votes don't count.  It apparently is creating a bit of a backlash for Obama amongst Floridians, at least those who have heard about this.

The thing that is perplexing is that Obama made repeated statements to Florida boosters that he would indeed seat the Florida delegation.  If that was an honest statement, how then would the Florida primary be "meaningless"?   The only thing that makes sense, given Obama's previous statement that he would seat delegates, is that he now expects to lose Florida, and lose it big.  That is why his previous vows to Floridians about delegates have gone by the wayside, and the Obama campaign now declares Florida meaningless.   It makes Obama look desperate, frankly.  Suddenly, after seeing the latest crop of FL polls (3 on the same day showing a grim picture for Obama's prospects here,) Florida is "stata-non-grata." 

Those of us who know about Obama's previous statements to Floridians that he would seat the Florida delegates can only shake our heads about the tremendous hypocrisy displayed here.  If the polls had shown a tighter race, there is very little chance that memo would have been sent.  If the memo is "the word," then Obama's previous promises to Floridians were untrue.  

This certainly does not make Obama look good at all in this state, any way you slice it.  Florida is a pivotal, pivotal state, perhaps THE most important battleground state.  We simply can't afford to NOT seat the Florida delegates and hope that voters here will "come around," flock to us anyway, despite the jilting the state's Democratic voters received.   The Florida delegates will eventually be seated (unless the Democratic party has a freakish death wish and no interest in winning Florida in November,) which makes issuing the Florida memo even more of a boneheaded move.

Here the Miami Herald's publishing of the Clinton memo/response:

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpoli tics/2008/01/clinton-to-obam.html

Clinton to Obama:  Florida does count

Regarding: Michigan and Florida Presidential Primaries

The Obama campaign today circulated a memo regarding today's Michigan primary and the January 29 Florida primary.  This memo was concerning on several levels.

Let us be very clear.  Senator Clinton signed a pledge that she would not campaign in any state that violates the DNC approved calendar.  Therefore, we did not campaign in Michigan, nor will we campaign in Florida in violation of the pledge.  We have two small scheduled  fundraisers in South Florida on January 27, as explicitly permitted by the pledge, but we will not hold any open public campaign events.  The Obama campaign has also held numerous fundraisers in Florida since signing the pledge. Contrary to the Obama campaign's memo, there are no events at large venues, nor have we organized in the
state. We intend to do so as our party's nominee in the general election, but will honor our pledge not to campaign there in violation of the pledge.

Let us be clear about something else, however.  While Senator Clinton will honor her commitment not to campaign in Florida in violation of the pledge, she also intends to honor her pledge to hear the voices of all Americans.  The people of Michigan and Florida have just as much of a right to have their voices heard as anyone else.  It is disappointing to hear a major Democratic presidential candidate tell the voters of ANY state that their voices aren't important.

Make no mistake -- the Obama campaign had no problems when its supporters and allies in Michigan ran radio ads and other campaign activities urging people to vote for "uncommitted" as a way to register their support for Senator Obama -- and to give him a chance to compete for those delegates at the national convention (http://facts.hillaryhub.com/archive/?id= 5218).  Now, with polls in recent days showing that effort and their candidate running far behind in both states, the Obama campaign has shifted tactics to say that those who cast a vote in either state don't matter.  We couldn't disagree more.

Senator Clinton intends to be President for all fifty states.  And while she will honor the pledge she signed and not campaign in either state, she intends to continue to give every American a voice during this election and when she gets to the White House.


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Hillary Clinton moving onto NV, SC, FL, Feb. 5

Disclosure: I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton for president

With the row about race hopefully ironed out and out of the way, as per good-will gestures from Clinton and Obama, the campaigns are headed into the deciding stage of the race, in my opinion.

Here are some of the bits and snippets of where we are and other items some may have missed:

1. Latest campaign ad in NV:  Title "About people"

It is short (most likely produced for TV, which can get pretty expensive) but well done.  Hillary highlights 35 yrs. of experience, a theme that works for her.  Also very evident is populism and the idea that Hillary will fight for the little guy/gal.  

2. Clinton's recession response plan

In a very important development, Hillary Clinton has released her recession stimulus plan, to blunt the effects of the recession we are either already in or just about to enter.  

I had blogged about the plan in more detail earlier, here:

http://mydd.com/story/2008/1/11/194436/3 52

This article in the NY Times written by Paul Krugman compares Hillary's, Edwards' and Obama's responses to the looming recession:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/opinio n/14krugman.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&am p;oref=slogin&oref=slogin

A very telling excerpt:

Last week Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal. (ed. note: compared to Edwards' plan.)  It also includes aid to families having trouble paying heating bills, which seems like a clever way to put cash in the hands of people likely to spend it.  The Edwards and Clinton proposals both contain provisions for bigger stimulus if the economy worsens.

And you have to say that Mrs. Clinton seems comfortable with and knowledgeable about economic policy. I'm sure the Hillary-haters will find some reason that's a bad thing, but there's something to be said for presidents who know what they're talking about.

Clinton's response is predictably populist and progressive.  The size and scope of the package puts a lot of money into the pockets of the hardest hit to churn the economy.

Krugman also made some unflattering comments about Obama's recession response.  However, that has been discussed in length on this blog earlier today and does not need to be rehashed.

3. Hillary Clinton reiterated that she would start pulling out troops within 60 days of inauguration.

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Russert_dr aws_staunch_defense_of_Clintons_0113.htm l


Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her record on the Iraq war to Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet The Press" this Sunday and insisted that she will begin to pull out troops within 60 days of taking office.

"From my perspective, part of the reason that the Iraqis are doing anything is because time is running out," she said. "They see this election happening, and they know that they dont have much time, that the blank check George Bush gave them is about to be torn up."

Video of the interview with "gotcha" Russert is contained in the link to the raw story article.   One to two brigades per month are to be pulled starting January 2009.

4. Commentary:  History vindicates Clinton

Without much comment, since the "racial crap" is hopefully behind us now, a commentary that is setting the historical record straight on what apparently got this flap started in the first place (if it wasn't the earlier excuse making that NH voters showed latent racism in a Dinkins- Wilder-effect way.)  

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/1 4/opinion/main3710235.shtml

More after the break...

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Hillary proposes stimulus plan for poor and low-income families to stave off recession

A stimulus package, designed to address a looming recession?  Republicans would instantly go the tax-cuts for the rich route.  After all, when the company does well, it all trickles down to the unwashed masses, and everybody is happy.  Except, it never works out that way.  Along the way, the middle-class, lower-middle-class and poor never see the promised benefits.

The plan consists of 3 parts:

A $30 Billion package for low-income families hit hard by the mortgage crisis.

A $40 Billion package in "other spending," mainly for the poor and umemployed.

An additional $40 Billion in tax-rebates for low-income and middle-income families.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080111/pl_n m/usa_politics_dc

Clinton upstages Republicans with stimulus plan

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Friday proposed $70 billion in emergency spending to stave off a possible U.S. election-year recession, upstaging Republican rivals who clashed over the economy but offered few specifics.

The New York senator, who hopes to become the Democratic nominee in the November election, proposed $30 billion to help low-income families hit by the mortgage crisis and $40 billion in other spending, mainly for the poor and unemployed.

The former first lady, trying to build momentum after her narrow New Hampshire primary victory over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, also urged Congress to prepare an additional $40 billion in tax rebates for low- and middle-income families to be implemented if the initial stimulus fails.

FINALLY someone proposing a recession stimulus that does it from the OTHER SIDE, the trickle-up side of the equation.  The relief would most likely be spent immediately, and therefore would have a much more immediate and powerful effect than the GOP's typical bandaid, tax-relief for wealthy individuals and corporations.    


Clinton released her economic proposals amid warnings that a recession is increasingly likely. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted at "substantive" interest rate cuts on Thursday and President George W. Bush is considering his own economic stimulus package.

"I don't think we can wait. ... Too many people will be hurt, too many jobs will be lost, too many homes will be foreclosed on," Clinton said, urging the Congress to work with the president to avert a slide toward recession.

The plan immediately came under fire, with a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney charging the plan increases spending, "ignores innovation and instead grows the size and role of government."

Damn right, we can't wait.  It is time to pass a low-income relief package right now.  People are hurting now, energy costs have gone through the roof, we are on the brink of a recession, and it is felt most dramatically by the poor, low- and lower-middle income earners.

This $110 Billion shot-in-the-arm stimulus is what is needed.  Good work, Hillary.

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