2008 Campaign Weekly Roundup (February 4-8, 2008)

[Republished from 2008Central.net]

A roundup for February 3-8 on the Democratic side...

  • Super Tuesday Results:
    • Hillary Clinton won Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
    • Barack Obama won Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah.
    • The winner of New Mexico is yet to be determined, but with 99% of precincts reporting Hillary Clinton is currently ahead by 1,123 votes.
  • Delegate Standings Projections (including superdelegates):
    • Hillary Clinton: 1076
    • Barack Obama: 1006
  • The Obama campaign has stepped up its argument that if Hillary Clinton is the nominee elected Democratic officials in conservative areas may suffer from a backlash by sending out a mailer that blames the Clintons for Democratic losses between during the 90's and the 2000 election.
  • The Clinton campaign clashes with MSNBC and just two days after TPM asks"Is Obama Being Hurt By MSNBC And His Other Media Worshippers?"
  • Debatarama: Hillary Clinton challenges Obama to a debate a week (including one on Fox News) between now and March 4.  After some back forth, the campaigns eventually agreed to hold two debates - one in Ohio and one in Texas.
  • Obama campaign pushes for the release of Hillary Clinton's tax returns.  When pressed on this issue during a press conference call, Clinton Communications Director obfuscated by asking "When will Senator Obama release the complete details of his relationship with Tony Rezko?"
  • Barack Obama picks up Washington's Governor Chris Gregoire; Clinton gets Rep. Norm Dicks.
  • Fund Race: Following reports that Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign $5 million dollars, the Obama campaign used this information to kick off a fundraising blitz, which the Clinton campaign countered.  Now that the dust has cleared, the totals so far since Super Tuesday show Obama with an edge, but Hillary Clinton isn't getting blown away:
    • Barack Obama: Over $7.5 million (figures disclosed yesterday, so this number is sure to be higher now)
    • Hillary Clinton: About $8 million; 75,000 new donors (figures disclosed today)
  • Bill Clinton promises to be nice going forward, clarifies his role in a Hillary Clinton administration; JW criticizes.

A roundup for February 3-8 on the Republican side...

  • Super Tuesday Results:
    • John McCain won Arizona, California, Connecticu, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma.
    • Mitt Romney won Alaska, Colorad, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Utah.
    • Mike Huckabee won Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia.
  • Delegate Standing Projections:
    • John McCain: 724
    • Mitt Romney: 281
    • Mike Huckabee: 196
    • Ron Paul: 14
  • Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign on February 6 and noted that he was motivated in part out of concern that continuing his quest would help get Obama or Clinton elected, which would mean surrender to terrorists (Romney's argument).
  • Fred Thompson endorsed John McCain and called on the rest of the party to get behind McCain.
  • Mike Huckabee promises to carry on with his campaign and demonstrated his commitment to the trail by appearing as a guest on the Tyra Banks Show (you have respect anyone that wants something so bad that they're willing to sit across from Tyra for an hour...shudder).
  • James Dobson backed Mike Huckabee; Huckabee's connection to televangelist Kenneth Copeland are likely to be the subject of a Senate investigation into Copeland's ministry (we blogged about Huckabee's connection to Copeland in late January).
  • Ron Paul's blimp was grounded after being vandalized.
  • Question: Ron Paul making a third party run?  Answer: No.
  • Cindy McCain taken to task on her "grudge list" among other things.

There's more...

Huckabee's Last Stand

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What often goes unmentioned about Tuesday's Virginia primary is that it is an open primary. As I wrote a week ago, some Republicans, assuming McCain would have sealed the deal on Tuesday, were planning to vote in the Democratic primary in order to help Hillary Clinton secure the nomination (working under the assumption that she'd be the easier Democrat to beat.) But the fact is, Virginia is very much being contested on the Republican side.

From First Read:

While everyone is proclaiming McCain the presumptive nominee after Romney's exit, the GOP race still isn't over. And do remember that McCain has never been a good front-runner -- he has always seemed to trip up when in that position. Huckabee is still in the race, and his last stand is Virginia. He may not say it, but it's pretty obvious when one looks at the potential Republican electorate. Should many indies and moderate Republicans decide their vote is better spent in the Dem primary, then Huckabee's passionate evangelical supporters could be enough to keep things close.

So not only may McCain's base (independents and moderates) sit the Republican primary out and vote Democratic, but with Romney's exit, the conservative anti-McCain vote has but one option: Huckabee. Interestingly, Survey USA was in the field when Romney bowed out and released the results from the small 1-day sample (237 LVs, Feb. 12, MOE +/- 6.5%) they had collected prior to Romney's exit. The results show McCain with 45% and Romney and Huckabee splitting 42% of the vote. But things aren't quite as dire for McCain or likely to be as close a call as First Read suggests, for McCain actually wins 41% of the conservative vote (which makes up 62% of the expected Republican primary turnout.) Assuming this is close to accurate (note that the poll does have a very high MOE since it's such a small sample) Tuesday shouldn't even be close for McCain, although, always the superstitious one, McCain isn't taking any chances, airing three ads in Virginia in advance of Tuesday's vote.

As for the impact on the Democratic primary, I don't expect there to be much of a spoiler effect by cross-over voters. In Survey USA's final Democratic poll of Virginia (588 LVs, Feb. 7-8, MOE +/- 4.1%,) Clinton wins 40% of both Republicans and Democrats. Her poor performance among independents against Obama could be mitigated by a lower than expected turnout of independents in the Democratic primary (in favor of what is a somewhat competitive Republican primary,) but for the most part, her campaigning in Virginia yesterday and then again tomorrow when she appears in front of the VA Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson dinner (Obama will be there too,) is about minimizing losses and maximizing delegates in a contest she is expected to lose by double digits.

By the looks of a new Survey USA poll out of Maryland (737 LVs, Feb. 7-8, MOE +/- 3.7%), which also votes on Tuesday, a similar dynamic appears to be developing there. Clinton likely won't be too terribly damaged by losses in Virginia and Maryland (even if they are by double digits) since they're expected, but Clinton had better hope she can avoid a new Obama juggernaut narrative if he sweeps the contests this weekend and on Tuesday. Chris Bowers has a good post about the state of the upcoming contests and sums up what Clinton needs to do over the next few days:

Obviously, Obama looks really good over the next five days, where 360 pledged delegates are at stake, total. The goal for Clinton, I think, is to limit the damage by winning a state or two (possibly Maine or Virginia?), and keeping Obama's pledged delegate lead under 100, thus giving her the perception of an "overall" delegate lead. Currently, my latest pledged delegate count is Obama 896, Clinton 878, with 18 delegates still outstanding form Super Tuesday. In order to take a pledged delegate lead of 100 or more, Obama needs 230 of the 378 pledged delegates floating around between now and Tuesday. Unless he scores a 2-1 blowout in Washington, I doubt he will win quite that many.

There's more...

Dean Crazed! Romney Out! Huckabee In! McKinney ...in?

It has been reported today that DNC chair Howard Dean views himself as someone akin to former-Soviet Dictator Josep Stalin. According to Dean, if the Democratic nomination is not cinched by spring he sees it as his role to breakup the fete. The Chairman wants to employ insiders to choose the party's nominee. In such a scenario is there a leap as to who the nominee will be? Does a lobbyist drive a Mercedes?

There's more...

Will Cheney Be Asked to Resign?

I know this has been discussed as a possibility in the past, but recent developments could cause the event to happen.

As you all know, John McCain pretty much has the Rep
ublican nomination in the bag now (unless conservatives decide to side with Huckabee in the last minute - which I doubt).  You also know that conservatives are steaming over the idea of McCain being their leader.

Here's a thought for you to discuss.  Are the conservatives angry and desperate enough to ask Vice President Dick Cheney to resign early?

There's more...

Huckabee Lives!

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If the exit poll numbers are even close to right in the southern states, Mike Huckabee is going to emerge out of February 5th a player. From Stoller:

Huckabee (who already won West Virginia today):

   * Alabama: Huckabee 42 percent, McCain 33 percent, Romney 20 percent
   * Tennessee: Huckabee 34, McCain 28, Romney 23
   * Arkansas: Huckabee 33, McCain 21, Romney 19
   * Georgia: Huckabee 34 percent, Romney 31 percent, McCain 30 percent

Despite a lot of talk about a McCain-Huckabee alliance (drink!) word from MSNBC is that the McCain camp is NOT happy about the prospect of the three candidates' essentially splitting the states tonight. The upshot: while Huck splits the anti-McCain vote, it's also a sign that McCain is not able to consolidate the conservative vote and gives Romney more time to become the conservative alternative.

Rachel Maddow just put it well. The story out of tonight:

Huckabee lives!

Timmeh just said it's about bargaining power, I don't know, seems to me it's a matter of buying Romney time for the conservative message to spread throughout the country that McCain is not acceptable.

There's more...

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