May 062008
 

Things are progressing pretty much as expected in the Indiana and North Carolina Democratic presidential primaries this evening. There are 72 pledged delegates at stake in Indiana and 115 in North Carolina.

The networks have already called North Carolina for Barack Obama. With 4% of the precincts reporting, he is leading Hillary Clinton 64% to 34%.

No winner has yet been projected in Indiana. 37% of the precincts have reported. Mrs. Clinton is currently leading with 56% to Mr. Obama’s 44%. Thus far, the voting pattern seems to be following what we have seen in most of the rest of the nation. Senator Clinton does well in the less populated rural areas while Senator Obama carries the more densely populated urban and suburban areas.

Mr. Obama will ultimately come out of the evening winning the most delegates, but Mrs. Clinton will spin her win in Indiana into a much bigger deal than it is. The battle will continue for at least another week.

On the Republican side, John McCain (the presumptive nominee) is squeaking out a pair of victories. As of this writing, he has 77% of the vote in Indiana and 79% in North Carolina.

10:00 PM CDT – Final update of the evening. Indiana: 86% reporting – 52% Clinton, 48% Obama. North Carolina: 91% reporting – 56% Obama, 42% Clinton. The popular vote, for those keeping track of such things, both states combined – Obama, 1,342,269; Clinton, 1,168,993 (a difference of 173,276).

Prediction: Senator Obama will clinch the nomination on May 20. Enough superdelegates will commit to him between now and then to allow the voters in Oregon to put him over the magic number of 2,024 on that date.

Gas War

 Posted by at 20:27  Democrats, Election 2008, Politics
May 052008
 

Remember the gas wars? For you young-uns, that was when competing gas stations would lower their prices to entice you to purchase their gasoline rather than their competitor’s. Ah, the good old days.

It seems was have a gas war of sorts going on in Indiana and North Carolina tonight. Those two states hold their presidential primaries tomorrow and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are arguing over Mrs. Clinton’s (and John McCain’s) silly plan to suspend the federal gasoline tax for three months. (It will never happen, and wouldn’t really help anyone if it did, but it makes for good politics. There really are no other issues we should be talking about, are there?)

They are both running “final argument” ads in those states tonight.

    

I’m predicting that nothing much will really be decided tomorrow. The two candidates are likely to split the states and, with the way Democrats apportion delegates, will end up with roughly the same number of pledged delegates.

Hillary Clinton is not going to become the Democratic nominee without a whole lot of old-fashioned back-room wheeling and dealing politics. The Democratic party will be destroyed in the process. The problem is that she just doesn’t care.

The good people of Indiana and North Carolina could end this thing tomorrow. If Barack Obama walks away with convincing victories in both states it should become abundantly clear, even to Hillary Clinton, that she has no shot at the nomination. Please, let it be so. It really is getting to be time for Senator Obama to begin focusing his attention on handing John McCain and the Republicans the humiliating defeat in November they have earned and so richly deserve.

Really.