WV, MT, and SD delegate predictions

A while back I broke down the likely delegate splits in Oregon and in Kentucky, now I'll take a look at the remaining states West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota.

I'll start with West Virginia, which has 28 delegates to award on May 13.  They break down as follows (from the Green Papers:

  • 10 delegates by statewide total

    • 7 At-Large delegates

    • 3 PLEO delegates

  • 18 district delegates

    • 6 delegates to WV-01

    • 6 delegates to WV-02

    • 6 delegates to WV-03

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"Head West, Young Man"

Today was kind of a big day for me.  I got what was a pretty big phone call, a first for me.  In fact, the Hillary Clinton campaign called me on my phone today.  (Yeah, nothing really Earth-shattering, but it is what it is and it made my day.)

I've accepted an internship with the Hillary campaign in South Dakota to help close out the primary season as strongly as HRC possibly can.  I'm not headed out just yet--May 17 is my departure--but I'm really extremely excited.

I grew up in Michigan, and now live in Florida, but my father's side of the family lives in South Dakota.  In fact, my great-great-grandfather settled a little town there called Platte.  There's about 1,600 people or so in that town.

I'm committing three weeks of my life, full-time, to helping Hillary win the nomination.  Obama supporters have not stopped shouting us down, they have not stopped claiming victory, they have not stopped driving a wedge through the Democratic Party that will surrender huge swathes of the electorate to John McCain.  Hillary has just doubled down with $6 million dollars.  This thing is not done.

I know it might be getting a little tired to some, but this is what I believe.  Hillary won't quit on us, we can't quit on her, and she needs us more than ever before now.  This is not over, this is a game of psychology, and although the clock does run low, the Superdelegates ignore the trajectory and the momentum of this race at their peril.  There is a lot to accomplish and only a little time to do it.  We need all hands on deck to head for the White House.

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Talking Heads (Media) Know Hillary Can Be The Nominee

It just dawned on me this morning as I was switching channels to get away from these talking heads on these Morning Shows. You do realize, they don't call them Morning News, because then they might acutally be expected to report NEWS as opposed to gracing us with their opinions and entertainment (if that's what you call it), however biased they may be.  Even they have come to realize the truth, that Hillary can become the Democratic nominee.

The talking heads went with the Obama theme that we were hearing for so many weeks by the Obama surrogates, asking Hillary to drop out of the Presidential campaign to turn it over to Obama, instead of him having to campaign and fight for the nomination, the night Hillary won Indiana.  A funny thing to do when someone wins a primary election and there are still so many more states yet to vote.

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SD expectations

The South Dakota primary is on June 3rd, and there's been some news on the primary. First, we get a poll next week:

A statewide poll next week could shed more light on whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments about the United States have had an effect on voters. The poll is being conducted by the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Steve Jarding, who is managing Sen. Tim Johnson's re-election campaign, thinks Obama turned out a good speech this week, but Jarding isn't sure it was enough. Some Democrats are concerned about how Wright's taped rantings will affect the race.

"You do hear that," Jarding said. "I talk to a lot of Democrats every day. It's on people's minds."

Sen. Hillary Clinton had a good shot at winning the South Dakota primary before, Jarding said, and now her chances have improved.

"This might be one where she could surprise people."

Johnson, one of the state's Democratic super-delegates, supports Obama. But Johnson will vote for Clinton at the national convention if Clinton wins the June 3 primary in South Dakota, Jarding said.

Johnson's a Senator who is up for re-election in a tough red state, but cruising to date, yet he's putting some hypothetical distance between himself and Obama; no doubt, due to the Wright attack on Obama.

SD Democrats met yesterday, and considered whether to open the primary to Independents, but it was decided to wait, and not institute that change for this primary.

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SD-Sen: Republicans Have Another Massive Recruitment Failure

With Republican Governor Mike Rounds demurring on the possibility of a Senate run against Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, the Senate GOP turned to scraping the bottom of the barrel to try to come up with another candidate -- who might serve as just the second conceivably viable challenger to a Democrat this cycle (the other being John Kennedy to Mary Landrieu in Louisiana). To this end, the National Republican Senatorial Committee worked hard to try to recruit former Lieutenant Governor Steve Kirby to run against Johnson. But that wasn't to be.

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby told the Argus Leader this morning that he will not challenge Sen. Tim Johnson in this year's Senate race.

Kirby, a Sioux Falls businessman, ended weeks of speculation with the announcement.

Kirby's decision not to seek the GOP nomination leaves three Republicans in the race: Joel Dykstra, the assistant majority leader in the state House; Spearfish businessman Sam Kephart; and former Ambassador Bert Tollefson. With only two weeks left before petitions are due to make the ballot, it's becoming less and less likely that another Republican will enter the race.

Kirby was one of several prominent Republicans courted by the party's leaders in Washington, D.C. to challenge Johnson, who is seeking a third term. He appealed to Republicans because of his statewide name recognition and wealth. But political observers also said he brought some baggage to the table following a bruising campaign for governor in 2002 in which he lost in the primary.

Of course it's worth noting that Johnson comes into this race with a whole lot of strengths, including a 73 percent favorable rating according to Rasmussen Reports. What's more, in head-to-head polling pitting Johnson and Kirby against one another, the Democrat wins by a 62 percent to 32 percent margin, per that same recent Rasmussen poll.

That all said, you can't just look at this recruitment failure in a vacuum; you must look at it in light of everything else that is happening in the race for control over the Senate. Indeed, this was the second major recruitment failure of the last week, on top of the many, many more we've seen throughout this cycle thus far. And with continual recruitment failures and retirement woes, as well as a huge cash-on-hand gap relative to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (we're talking well over 2-to-1, or $29.5 million to $13.2 million, when debts and obligations are taken into account), this is really turning out to be a terrible cycle for John Ensign and the folks at the NRSC.

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