by georgep, Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:03:51 PM EST
The race for the nomination of the Democratic party has been one for the ages. Good, strong candidates have thrown their hat into the ring, and I believe we never had a field this strong. EVER. A strong top-tier with John Edwards, who despite personal hardship decided to enter the race and put his stamp on it. Barack Obama, a gifted speaker, talented politician and good role model for the future, and Hillary Clinton, the tireless worker who to me incorporates the best of all worlds. She is a populist like John Edwards was in this, his finest campaign. She excites and inspires many, many people to come out to vote for her, like Obama has done in many ways, many for the very first time in their lives for anyone, or for the first time for Democrats. She incorproates the best qualities of Dodd, Biden and Richardson, having been there for many years, at the gubernatorial level, the presidential level and the House level. I believe her to be the right choice for Democrats, and ultimately all Americans, at this time, in this place. She is ready to lead on day 1, and she won't take her commitment to the "little guy," the poor, the unemployed and underemployed lightly.
I am a proud supporter of her, and while I am not quite on the level of my wife in her full adoration for Hillary (I am more jaded from all these years of politicians promising to get the blue from the sky, but in the end delivering so little) I have become more and more convinced over this year-long journey that Hillary really means what she says, that she really is going to fight very hard to accomplish what she has put her mind to do. She will be a very tough nosed negotiator, and with her I am quite sure that she will not give in to demands from the minority Republicans in Congress just to "make good" with the other side, that instead she feels, like many of us, that our time has now arrived, that we can achieve many of our progressive goals with a Democratic Congress and the overwhelming backing of the American people on virtually all of the issues that are important to us.
I don't want us to squander this golden opportunity to elect the most competent, most "ready" and most "right" on the issues person we could possibly have. I will bend to the will of the Democratic electorate, but I am confident that most of my Democratic brethren will have reviewed the facts of this race, as I have, and will be voting to nominate Hillary Clinton, starting with an impressive day on Super-Tuesday. I may end up being wrong about this, but my feelings on this is that we will see a lot of support coming out for her, more so than for the opponent, in a vote of confidence and a willingness to put our collective trust in one candidate. I can't tell you the delegate count, or how exactly every race will shape up. But I believe that voters will come out strongly for Hillary across the board. With that, let the chips fall where they may.
Polls have been all over the place, and certainly they suggest a close race. But, if you look at the numbers closely, two stories emerge, and they simply don't match up. Today we have seen a Survey USA release out of California that pegs the race with Hillary well ahead in that state, 53% to 41%, a solid 12% lead. Another poll, the Mason-Dixon poll has the race as a 9% Clinton lead. Then there is ARG, which pegs the race as an 8% Hillary lead. All 3 pretty solid leads that promise a good showing for Hillary. However, there are 3 other polls that show a completely different picture: Zogby pegs the race as a 5% Obama lead. Suffolk U shows a 1% Obama lead, Rasmussen shows a tie as a 1% Clinton lead. There is no way to consolidate these numbers. By tomorrow night one set of pollsters will look totally out of whack. Either Survey USA, Mason Dixon, ARG will have egg on their faces, or Zogby, Rasmussen and Suffolk. The temptation may be there to simply split the difference, average these six polls out, and call it a day. But, the disparity is so large, so enormous, that it would do the race a great disservice to do so. Either the second set of numbers is correct, in which case Obama has a very good chance of showing a small win in CA on Super Tuesday, or the first set of numbers is correct, in which case Hillary Clinton is looking at winning the race with a pretty solid double-digit or close to double-digits margin. I personally believe that the first set of numbers will come to pass, and we will see a solid Hillary victory in California, but we shall know tomorrow night who is going to wear the dunce cap, Survey USA or Zogby.
Other polling has been equally all over the place, with one such example being Massachusetts, a state pegged as a very solid win for Hillary by Survey USA (they show a 17% Hillary edge) while Suffolk is actually showing an Obama edge of 2% and Rasmussen a very narrow Clinton edge. Again, these polls are so far off, that one set of numbers simply has to be completely off base, an absolute crash-landing into laughable pollster lore tomorrow for either Survey USA or, again, Suffolk and Rasmussen.
We shall see how things will turn out, but the large disparity of poll findings has been very interesting, and we will obviously hear the refrain again for at least half the polls taken: "What went so terribly wrong again?"
Those of you who missed it, here is a replay of the town hall that took place tonight.
It went very smooth, given the many satellite locations that had to be combined into one system. It was great to see so many people across the country excited, and while I agree with Todd below me that the town hall was primarily aimed at women, it did have a lot of substantive talk, a lot of meat. I was very pleased to hear her make a very strong case for withdrawal as quickly as possible, and once again she reiterated that she hopes to have all troops out of Iraq within a year (minus residuals, of course,) a clear sign that we WILL have strong troop movement out of Iraq right away (of course, Obama is roughly on the same level as for troop withdrawal, although I am not 100% sure if he will move as quickly on troop withdrawal as Hillary.) My wife, a high school teacher, enjoyed the education related question the most, as it hit home for her. I am most pleased that Hillary Clinton has made health care her signature issue, as I believe that to be our most urgent and pressing crisis, in need of immediate attention. That came through loud and clear in the town hall several times as well.
Now it is the turn of many of you (almost half of the voting population gets a chance to cast their votes,) so vote your conscience, review the platforms and programs, listen to the candidates, but also read between the lines. Get a feel for who you think will "bring home the bacon" for us Democrats, who will fight for us to make sure every issue that is dear to us gets a hearing and a vote, without dillution and without being watered down in the name of bi-partisanship, as watered-down is a compromise that most of our programs simply can't afford to undergo, lest they be virtually worthless legislation.
Vote your conscience tomorrow, and if you truly do so with all information at hand, all issues laid before you side by side, I believe it should be a vote for Hillary!