Monday, January 28, 2008

A Classroom Revolt

Apparently the rank and file of the California Teachers Association stormed the Bonaventure (so to speak) when the board, holding their annual meeting at the hotel in Los Angeles tried to ram through an endorsement for Hillary Clinton.
Word is leaking out that CTA’s membership staged an outright mutiny at Los Angeles’ Bonaventure Hotel and bucked its own Board’s attempt to railroad through an early endorsement for Hillary. CTA’s elites apparently got a big wake up call when their effort to crown Hillary as the official choice of California’s teachers was upended by overwhelming resistance from rank and file Obama supporters.

Kristol Klear

In what has now become my favorite weekly op-ed, Bill Kristol annoys New York Times readers with his conservative insights on the 2008 race. This week's column addressed Bill's effect on Hillary in SC:
Hillary was ahead in South Carolina polls as recently as early December. And in fact, women made up 61 percent of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina, blacks 55 percent. If Obama was getting votes because of race and Hillary because of gender, Hillary had a perfectly good chance to win. Bill Clinton’s excuse is unconvincing and unseemly.
He's repeating the CW of the week, but his prediction for this week's action is interesting:
Right now, Hillary Clinton is ahead in the polls in almost all the big states voting. She is a tough and capable campaigner, and she may be able to hold on to those leads. But it is now clear that putting her in the White House brings a hyperactive Bill back in with her. Who needs it? Liberals and Democrats can get basically the same policies without the Clinton baggage, and in choosing Obama, they can nominate a more electable candidate.
So Hillary’s advantage in the polls will, I suspect, erode. The erosion could be hastened by the expected endorsement of Obama by Ted Kennedy on Monday. It could be helped further along if Al Gore hops aboard the Obama bandwagon later in the week. Meanwhile, Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader during most of the Clinton presidency, is actively supporting Obama. Talk to Democrats in D.C., and it’s amazing how many who know the Clintons well — many of whom worked in the Clinton administration — are eager that they not return to the White House.
This week, the Clinton team will dump every bit of opposition research it has on Obama. We’ll see how Obama responds.
But the moment of truth could come at the Democratic debate Thursday, in Los Angeles. Edwards may have dropped out by then. If so, it will be a one-on-one showdown. Even if he’s there, he’ll be effectively a bystander. Will Obama hold his own?
I’d say that even if you’ve (understandably) skipped the previous debates, this is one to tune into. I had a dinner scheduled Thursday night. I’m canceling it. The Giants probably won’t beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. But this could be the week Obama upsets the Clintons.
There's no way Edwards drops out before Super Tuesday, but Kristol is right, Thursday is Custer's last stand. I'll definitely watch the debate, but I won't be canceling dinner...more likely, I'll order the pizza in advance...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Southern Strategy

Well it seems like just about everyone has their eyes focused on the south this weekend. While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been chasing after every last vote heading into tonight's primary, the Republicans have branched out, with Mike Huckabee looking for some Super Tuesday votes in Alabama and Georgia:
"A quick email from the campaign trail in Florida. Two new polls released today show us in 1st in Georgia and tied for 1st in Alabama with Senator McCain. We are working hard to win these delegate rich, Super Tuesday primary states."
For Romney, Florida is a must win state, and the most recent poll I have shows Romney in striking distance of McCain:
From Subscriber Pages on The Polling Report
(use the link above to get the same data from for free)

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby tracking poll. Jan. 23-25, 2008. N=814 likely Republican primary voters statewide. MoE ± 3.4.

Republican Primary Trial Heat:


John McCain 31

Mitt Romney 28

Rudy Giuliani 15

Mike Huckabee 10

Ron Paul 5

Other 2

Unsure 9

If Romney pulls it out, we've still got a race on our hands. If McCain holds on, he's basically the nominee. Tonight should be a lot of fun...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Inevitability 2.0?

With McCain and Hillary's wins today, the question going into Florida is whether our original front-runners are once again on top. If Hillary can win next Saturday, at least among my unrepresentative sample of friends, all agree she'll be our first female nominee of a major party. If not, who knows.

On the Republican side, the comeback kid took his gains in New Hampshire, reminded South Carolina why some of them liked him the first time around, and eeked out a win against populist Mike Huckabee. I'm a Huckabee fan, but this is definitely the end of the line for him. Again, the unrepresentative sample agrees, Florida is about McCain and Romney. John has the momentum and Mitt the money. If Florida repeats South Carolina, all the talk of a brokered convention is off, and we've got our candidates. If I had to put my money anywhere, it's on those two.

Isn't it a little ironic that if the same question was asked a year ago today, you'd get the same answer... I understand why Hillary turned out the way she did, but McCain's comeback needs a better look from a numbers perspective. Exit polls analysis to come, later...