Bil Browning

One of three things will happen tonight - what's your guess?

Filed By Bil Browning | February 05, 2008 1:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, open thread, Super Tuesday, three questions

My friend Steven Goldstein from Garden State Equality e-mailed me this great question a short while ago. I asked him if I could share it with all of you and get your thoughts. This has to be one of the most intriguing e-mail threads to be on, and I'm really looking forward to all of your opinions too.

"Taking off the hat of whom I support for President, and just as a political junkie, I see three possible scenarios.

Here’s my question. Regardless of whom you support – try to be objective LOL – give percentages to each of the below scenarios, with the three scenarios totaling 100 percent."

Of course, the "and why" is understood. Possible scenarios after the jump.

  • Possibility #1. Hillary Clinton has a decisive win in popular vote and delegates. Barack Obama’s surge fell short. He needed a few more days. This gives Clinton almost unstoppable momentum toward the nomination.
  • Possibility #2. Clinton and Obama split the popular vote and delegates, perhaps Clinton’s winning a bit more, i.e. 52-48 percent factoring out others still on the ballot. But Obama wins a big state or two like California and comes close in several other states. Obama thus wins the game of expectations. This gives Obama a decent amount of momentum. Not unstoppable but he’s the clear frontrunner.
  • Possibility #3. In a phenomenon that polls presaged but couldn’t fully capture because Obama’s surge was so rapid, including within the last 24 hours, Obama wins the night decisively and beyond what any poll or pundit had predicted. This gives Obama almost unstoppable momentum toward the nomination.

As many of you know, I've decided to support Barack. Laying that aside, I'd have to go with:

45% - 35% - 20%

I'll save the why's for the comment section after a few of you have answered too. *grins*


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Oh, the "and why"....

Polling is still in Clinton's favor, but it can't really capture the Obama surge of these past few days. BUT, Clinton has a better GOTV operation, and that counts for something, in fact, probably more than the "Yes We Can" vid that just came out, no matter how cool people thought it was. Plus option 2 is the easy prediction.

That said, Obama can "lose" today and go on to win the whole thing. Not likely, but it's possible.

I'm with you on what is going to happen...but I support Hillary. I still have issues with Donnie McClurkin and Obama love. But no matter who wins I will support them 110%.

Michael Bedwell | February 5, 2008 5:23 PM

A HUGE factor is being left out of this discussion: absentee ballots sent in weeks ago, both before the so-called Obama surge and Edwards' official withdrawal. It saddened me a little this morning to see all the names still on my live California ballot of those that are no more, from Edwards down. I’ve not looked into it deeply, but not only will votes for Edwards still count in some places, but his campaign was apparently insisting on staying on the ballot in some states where there was still an opportunity to remove him since he withdrew. Seems the strategy is to win enough delegates to still be an influence at the convention. Anyone know if other candidates are doing this? As for CA: from an Edwards blogger: “[According to] Garry Shay, the Chairman of the Rules Committe of the California Democratic Party. "The ballot will not be thrown out. It will count. If he gets 15 percent there will be a caucus to elect delegates. If he gets 15 percent statewide he will be entitled to add on at-large delegates."

Here are some pulls that might interest from the “San Francisco Chronicle”:

>>>> There were few reports of election-day problems, but the one that seemed to plague voters more than anything concerned those who declined to state a party preference when they registered, but who wanted to cast a vote for a Democratic candidate. Decline-to-state voters are not permitted to vote Republican, but can cast their votes for Democrat or American Independent candidates. In some precincts in Contra Costa County, independent voters were showing up to polls and poll workers were telling them erroneously that they could not get a nonpartisan ballot, a Democrat Party ballot or American Independent party ballot. The county had workers in the field trying to fix the situation, and were calling the precincts to explain that they needed to give those voters ballots.”

It’s a gloriously sunny day in San Francisco, and looks clear all over this “Super State.” The high side of these predictions would thus seem likely though:

>>> California's record turnout for a primary election - 7.9 million in 2000 - will be shattered if 8.9 million voters cast ballots today as expected. And the 56.6 percent turnout of registered voters predicted in a new Field Poll would be the highest since the 63.3 percent turnout in 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated George H.W. Bush for the GOP nomination and Sen. Edward Kennedy challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nod. "These are the type of numbers we see in a general election," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. "For a primary, this is unprecedented."

Depending on how one reads the first few lines of the following, it could contradict the numbers range in the above quote. Anyway, political pro Bil would probably get it better than any of us. I didn’t even know they could start counting absentee ballots before actual "election day."

>>>Election officials throughout California worked furiously Monday to count as many early absentee ballots as possible, hoping to get caught up before an expected crush of Election Day ballots that could significantly delay final tallies. More than 2.2 million mail-in ballots have been returned to registrars' offices. But with more than 3 million outstanding and an expected high turnout at polling places, registrars predicted AS MUCH AS 25 PERCENT OF THE OVERALL VOTE MAY GO UNCOUNTED ON ELECTION NIGHT. [emphasis mine]

Among the factors expected to slow California's tally:
_ Late-arriving absentee ballots will be tallied only after the precinct ballots are counted, and then only after a painstaking verification process. The sheer number of late-arriving ballots could leave registrars unable to call races until Wednesday, or later.
_ A switch back to paper ballots has forced four of California's most populous counties — Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Clara — to count ballots centrally, often with too few high-speed scanning machines to tally the votes rapidly. Los Angeles and Sacramento also will haul their ballots back to a single location.
_ A lack of optical scanning machines at individual polling places means precinct workers will not be able to catch errors made by voters and have them correct their ballots. Any ballots that are incorrectly filled out will have to be reviewed, and in some cases hand-copied, at central counting locations.

"We're working as late as we can to get them all counted," Kathi Payne, the registrar in San Bernardino County, said Monday.
A shortage of high-speed scanners has left that county — with 723,661 registered voters — predicting the preliminary counting will go into Wednesday morning. The return to paper ballots in 21 counties came after last year's security review of electronic voting machines by the secretary of state's office. The review found many of the machines could be hacked. In Riverside County, a printing error scored as many as 60,000 absentee ballots so deeply that they fell apart when voters removed them from envelopes. That problem was slowing a team of 16 election workers, who were painstakingly hand-copying the last of roughly 35,000 ballots onto intact ballot cards Monday night.

"We've been able to streamline the duplication process so it should all be solved by tomorrow," Registrar Barbara Dunsmore said. About 6,000 voters requested replacements.
Sacramento County officials also were dealing with an unexpected software glitch that caused their precinct scanning machines to reject some versions of the ballot, prompting the registrar to abandon them entirely and mandate central counting. That will stretch tallying into Wednesday morning, assistant registrar Alice Jarboe said Monday.

In addition to vote-tallying issues, some concerns had arisen about the voting process. Voter-outreach groups criticized the ballot in Los Angeles County, saying it could disenfranchise independent voters. The Democratic and American Independent party ballots given to independent voters who request them include an extra bubble specifying that the ballot is for that party's primary. The bubble appears before the list of presidential candidates.
If voters fail to mark that spot, the county's scanning machines will not read the selection for president.

Lawyers for the Los Angeles-based Courage Campaign said that violates California election law. The group sent a letter to Los Angeles County officials threatening legal action if the issue isn't addressed before Tuesday's election. "We did talk to the county, and they admit it's a problem," Courage Campaign chairman Rick Jacobs said. "They just don't seem to know what to do about it." Other groups, including the California League of Women Voters, said they had fielded numerous calls from independent voters asking how they could get a party ballot. "These voters are getting ballots that are blank, because they're not in a party, and it did not seem clear to most of the decline-to-state voters that they could request a party ballot," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Leslie.

Independents account for nearly 20 percent of California's registered voters. The GOP does not allow them to vote in the Republican primary, but Democrats and some other parties do. Los Angeles County's top election official said he did not think most voters would skip the required ballot entry. Primary elections in 2004 and 2006 had the same requirement. "It would almost be counterintuitive for someone to miss," said Dean Logan, the acting county registrar. "We have put this information in voter education materials, and we've provided real clear instructions."

BIG surprise NOT: McCainheads aren’t the only ones still trying to exploit homophobia:
>>>>Longtime Democratic activist Gloria Nieto, who heads the Silicon Valley Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic club, reported that this week she got four automated candidate calls - from GOP hopeful Romney and Republican former Sen. Rick Santorum, urging her to support the candidate "strong on family values." Nieto said she was "glad they spent their money on me," but laughed that she wasn't sure they supported her family values: She married her longtime lesbian partner Jo Kenny in Massachusetts four years ago.

Little bit of info the West Virgina Republican State Convention gave it's 18 delegates to Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul who spoke there yesterday got 0 votes he came in behind John McCain and Mitt Romeny came in second but WV is a winner take all state.