Badger State Battleground

It's struck me that the critical contest in the Democratic race may be the Wisconsin race on February 19th, not the one on March 4th in Ohio and Texas as everyone seems to be assuming.  After Tuesday, Barack Obama is going to be the clear front runner in delegates, votes and money.

Wisconsin will be the first state that will vote after semi-official front runnerhood is conferred on Obama by the press. (Hawaii votes then too, but it's one of Obama's home states and hardly considered a 'bell weather').  In any case, while there are some points in Obama's favor there given the penetration of Chicago's media market into the southern part of the state, it's also the kind of blue collar state Hillary should be able to make inroads. The most recent poll taken there, shows Clinton in the lead 50% to 41%, granted it was ARG, but still.

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Clinton Leads in WI - BUT...

Worst...pollster...ever... says Hil leads in Wisconsin, 50-41.

Yes, it's ARG (maybe Zogby is actually worse, I don't know) but given the ugly nature of the February map I'll take good news where I find it.  WI has been a crucial state in many Democratic nomination battles (most entertainingly in Hunter S. Thompsons's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign trail '72") and maybe it will be again.  It could serve as a nice launching pad to a great day for Hillary on March 4.

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Too Close To Call: Wisconsin Heads Into the Homestretch

The other day, I started posting what I hope will be a few regular diaries leading into February 19th, on Wisconsin's primary.  The first diary was a bit of a meandering primer look at the state of affairs in Wisconsin.  I focused a bit more on organization since that's what I have seen (or not seen, as the case has been) in the course of the campaign.  Tonight, I'd like to explore a bit of what I see happening with the Obama campaign in terms of building on the tremendous enthusiasm I see from their camp.

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after the big night, now what?

A near-draw.  Obama wins most of the red states, Hillary wins the solid blue states (except Illinois).

So now what?  Barack Obama has a money edge and the advantage in the remaining February states.  Obama is favored in Washington state and Louisiana, and in the Beltway primary (though it will be close).  Obama is likely the favorite in Wisconsin.  Clinton has the slight edge in overall delagates, plus the Michigan and Florida wins.

But March 4 could change the scenario.  Texas, with the Latino vote, and Ohio, where economic issues will dominate, will likely go to Clinton.  She will regain a clear advantage in this race.

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OK, What About the Next Few States?

Now that Super Duper Tuesday has come and gone, seems like time to turn our collective attention to the next few states scattered around the county.  I have long maintained that Super Duper Tuesday would solve nothing and that the states that followed immediately after it would set the tone for the rest of the race and define the terms by which the candidates would fight for delegates.  Since I'm Peter from WI, and since I'm pretty well-connected to statewide Democratic politics, I figured I'd try to blog for the next couple of weeks leading into our primary on February 19th.  Read on for a grassroots and grasstops take on the primary here in Wisconsin...I'll start with this diary just being a bit of a primer.

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