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Dont forget about what else is in the balance

As usual when a Presidential Election comes along every four years, people outside of America forget that there are other elections too. While not as interesting as mid-term elections, the elections for Congress and Governorships are hotly contested.

The House of Representatives is elected for a two year term. The house has 435 seats. Its is currently controlled by the Democrats (235 Democrats to 199 Republicans, one vacancy). There are thirty-two incumbents retiring from the house. Most commentators don’t see the House changing sides, and I have to agree. The Republicans will make gains, but not enough.

In the Senate elections, 33 class II senators are up for election, along with two special elections (one in in Wyoming and another in Mississippi) who will serve the remainder of the Class I Senators term. The Senate is currently evenly balanced with 49 senators for both the Republicans and the Democrats, but control rests with the Demorcats due to two independents who caucus with them (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut). Democrats possess a field advantage in 2008, needing to defend only 12 seats, while Republicans must defend 23. In addition, five Republicans, but no Democrats, have announced that they are retiring. I don’t see much changes but six states held by Dems voted for Bush last time round, and four states held by Republicans voted for Kerry and these could change hands. Meaning a possible Republican majority? Not likely but could happen.

In terms of Governorships, or gubernatorial elections as they are known, are taking place in 11 states. They are Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah and Vermont. Of these six are held by Democrats and five by Republicans. Of these only Missouri looks like the only one to change hands going Democrat.

Also this November sees a raft of local elections and of course ballot measures, so far 73 of these have been certified in 17 states. But I think I leave them for another post!

Palin takes her gloves off

Finally the Sarah Palin shows how she got the name “Sarah Baracuda”.

Democrats are accusing the Republicans of using “swift boat tactics” but this is a presidential campaign which always gets personal! Voters have to know if the candidate is fit for office and someone who was “palling around with terrorists” is sure as hell not.

Palin and Homosexuality

Palin seams to get a lot of bad press lately about her attitudes towards homosexuality, but those of you who pay attention to my google shared items or my friendfeed would have seen that have an excellent post on Palin and her ACTUAL position on homosexuality. The video is below, but do read the original post also.

So, while I disagree with how the whole choice thing comes across, but maybe she does think like Bruce comments, that she means choice to come out. So that is the Presidential Candidate and Vice Presidential with good attitudes towards homosexuality!

If the polls are right…

Via HotAir

New York could become a Battle Ground State! Thats according to the latest Siena Poll the voting intentions were Obama 46% and McCain 41%. This is in comparison to last months poll which had Obama on 47% and McCain 39%. The gap is closing as there is less undecided voters.

New York is traditionally a Democrat state and hasn’t voted Republican since 1984. Will it change to a republican this year? If NY does change to a Battle Ground State then it will force Obama to spend money there to shore up support and means it cant invest it in other Battle Ground States, this could create a new dynamic in this years election as if NY becomes a Battle Ground State then that is 31 Electoral College votes up for grabs and would make it the largest one! Currently Florida is the largest Battle Ground State with 27 electoral college votes.

It will be a fun Fall (Autumn!!!)

Dem Dark Horses: Michigan and Florida.

As most people with an interest in the current nomination procedure. Michigan and Florida were stripped of their Delegates by the DNC for breaking party rules. Now it seams there will be a re-vote in these states to allow the states to be seated at conevntion.

What will this mean for the race? Clinton won both states, but she was the only name on the ballot in Michigan, so the re-vote will have Obama’s name on it. This could also lengthen the primary season and cost the Democrats more money when they need all the money they can get to ensure a Democratic victory come November.

There is a number of stories floating around in the media and US Blogs about this.

According to Politco, there are 5 options for the DNC . They are:

1. The Heck With Them Option: Michigan and Florida broke the rules and should suffer. If they are not made to pay for moving up their contests, 2012 will be even more chaotic than 2008. Strip Michigan and Florida of their delegates, and let the chips fall where they may.

2. The Kumbaya Option: Can’t we all just get along? Let’s seat Michigan and Florida the way the voters voted, and if this helps Clinton, that’s the way the nomination crumbles. The major problem with this, however, is that neither primary was exactly normal. Clinton was the only person on the Michigan ballot, and all the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida.

3. The Split the Baby Option: Give 50 percent of the delegates to Obama and 50 percent to Clinton. At least this way, the voters of Michigan and Florida will not be insulted and will not punish the Democratic nominee in November.

4. The Mulligan Option: Do it over. Hold new contests. Maybe a caucus in Michigan and a primary in Florida. (Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, has said he would support a do over in his state.) This option seems to be gaining in popularity within the party. The new contests could be held on the first Tuesday in June, along with Montana’s and South Dakota’s. Sure, this would cost millions, but nobody ever said democracy was cheap.

5. The Lone Ranger Option: Just wait for somebody to ride into town and save the day. Maybe Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean will be able to negotiate a settlement between Obama and Clinton. Except that a source at the DNC told me Dean is in no hurry to intervene. “He wants to let the voters have their say,” the source said. “We need to take a step back. We still have 10 states [plus Guam and Puerto Rico] left to vote and 600 pledged delegates to be determined.”

(Full Story)

But what are the numbers involved? Florida lost 210 pledged delegates and 28 superdelegates, and Michigan lost 156 pledged delegates and 25 superdelegates. Thats more then then the half that are still to play for!

In a statement Howard Dean, head of the DNC, showed what is imported for the Democrats come November.

“As we head towards November, our nominee must have the united support of a strong Democratic Party that’s ready to fight and ready to beat John McCain. After seven years of Republican rule, I am confident that we will elect a Democratic president who will fight for America’s families in the White House. Now we must hear from the voters in twelve states and territories who have yet to make their voices heard.”

(Source: Marc Ambinde Blog)

This is the crux of it for the Dems, they need to sort it quickly, they need to avoid divisions, if they are to beat McCain in November.

First in the Nation Race A Mistake?

Late last year and early this year, US States were battling each other to be the “First in the Nation” to vote on who will be the Presidential Candidates for the two major parties.

It worked for niether party. In this unprecented nomination battle, to took until Super Tuesday for a Republican Front Runner (which the media got wrong) to really come forward. With the democrats, all it did was lower the field to two.

Why is it Unprecented?
For me working from my living memory (i.e. the 2000 and 2004 nominations) by Super Tuesday or just after we knew who would be the Nominee for both parties. This year is the mother of nomination battles. Hukabee dropped out last night after a strong showing on Super Tuesday, but he couldnt match McCain. So McCain is the ‘presumptive’ nominee of the Republican Party.

The state of the Candidates, Delegate wise
Who is doing better Clinton or Obama?

Firstly these numbers all depend on which news organisation you follow so I will give a sample below.

CNN have Obama on 1,451 delegates and Clinton on 1,365. CBS have Obama on 1,512 and Clinton on 1,423. Fox News has Obama on 1,477 and Clinton on 1,391.

Has you can see Obama has about 100 delegates more then Clinton, but there are 601 delegates still up for grabs.

So which states have the voting power to decide who wins the Democratic Nomination?

Pennsylvania will be the last of the Delegate rich votes to go to the polls on April 22. Pennsylvania has 158 delegates. May 6th will see the next big numbers as Indiana (72 Delegates) and North Carolina (115 Delegates) go to the polls. If thats dosent produce a winner May 20th sees Kentucky (51 Delegates) and Oregen (52 Delegates). if that dosent produce a winner it could fall to Puerto Rico (55 Delegates) on June 7th, which will be the last nomination contest this year, to decide the Democrat Nomination. Still a few interesting battles ahead.

The Full list of states to vote are:
* Wyoming (Caucus) on March 8th, which has 12 Delegates,
* Mississippi (Primary) on March 11th, which has 33 Delegates,
* Pennsylvania (Primay) on April 22nd, which has 158 Delegates
* Guam (Caucus) on May 3rd, which has 4 Delegates,
* Indiana (Primary) on May 6th, which has 72 Delegates,
* North Carolina (Primary) on May 6th, which has 115 Delegates,
* West Virginia (Primary) on May 13th, which has 28 Delegates,
* Kentucky (Primary) on May 20th, which has 51 Delegates,
* Oregan (Primary) on May 20th, which has 52 Delegates,
* Montana (Primary) on June 3rd, which has 16 Delegates,
* South Dakota (Primary) on June 3rd, which has 15 Delegates,
* Puerto Rico (Caucus) on June 7th, which has 55 Delegates.

So who will win the Democratic Nomination?

There is a blog I subscribe to, Declarations of Pride, who seams to flip-flop (his words) between Hilary and Barack. But his latest post somes it up for me, especially the line

I know Obama can fix this country, but I think that Hillary WILL fix this country.

(His emphasis).

I think its going to be really close but PA will decide who gets it. If Clinton wins, she will be back on a roll and will give her momentum to win Indiana and North Carolina. If Obama wins PA, he will win Indiana and North Carolina. Whoever wins those 3 states has it won.

I made two predictions at the start of this year, with regards to nominations. I got the Republican one wrong (Guiliani) but I’m still looking okish on my Democratic Prediction (Clinton). I wonder will I be right?

Super Tuesday: New Mexico still a tie….

Well its coming down to a wisker in New Mexico. At the moment tallies from the reporting precincts have Clinton on 49% of the vote and Obama and 48%. Its been neck and neck there since yesterday and neither candidate can pull ahead. New Mexico has 26 delegates for convention and think it will play out like this across the US. Clinton and Obama will trade wins and states whos delegates dont cont cause they broke party rules (Michigan and Florida) might come into play to break the deadlock who knows!

Over all Obama has won the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Conn., Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minneasota, Missouiri, North Dakota and Utah.

Clinton on the other hand won in the following states, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Mass., New Jersey and New York. I think Mike Gavel will drop out of the Democratic race soon enough (bet ye for got he was running!)

Though Obama won in Alabama, Clinton will have more delegates from Alabama then Obama as she won more precincts. Delegate estimates (emphasis on estimates!) have Clinton on 823 and Obama on 741. It is estimated that 2,025 delegates are needed to win.

For the Republicans, McCain i think has it. It has swept up California, New York and Illinois all delegate rich states. Huckabee was the surprise of the day winning in five states and Romney won 7 states. I think Romney really need to go away and think if he should continue.

McCain won in the states of Ariyzona, California, Conn., Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Oklahoma. Romeny won in Alaska, Colorado, Mass., Minneasota, Montana, North Dakota and Utah. Huackabee won in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virgina.

The Republican Delegate estimates look like this, bear in mind most republican states have a winner takes all situation for delegates unlike the proportional system used by the democrats. McCain has 680, Romney has 270, Huckabee has 176 and Ron Paul has 16. It is estimated that you need the support of 1,191 delegates to win the nomination.

Thats it for now. Hopeful will blog about Lisbon and Germany tonight. Unless something unexpected happens in New Mexico!

Super Tuesday: States with final Results 10am CET

Heres a rundown of full results as at 10am CET

Dems: Obama wins here with 53% of the vote leaving Clinton behind on 43%. In the important delegate race, Obama gets 9 to Clintons

Reps: McCain wins here with 45% of the vote giving him 18 delegates. Romney comes second with a 33% of the vote and Huckabee comes third with 15%. The important threshold for delegates in 15%.

Dems: Obama streaks ahead here and wins with 79% of the caucus goers supporting him. Thet gives him 15 delegates to Cintons 3 (And 17% of the vote!)

Dmes: Another cuacus victory for Obama this time giving him 74% of the vote and 23 delegates. Clinton has 26% of the vote and 9 delegates.

Dems: the smallest of margins sperates the democratic contenders in this state. Obama and Clinton have evenly split the delegates between. In the actual vote Obama won by 1% leading Clinton 49% to 48%.

Reps: McCain did a similar feat here. He beat Huckabee by 1% and Romney by 4%! The results were McCain 33%, Huckabee 32%, Romney, 29%. Is Huckabee making himself the prosective VP candidate?

Reps: Caucus goers here preffered Romney with 38% supporting him. McCain (22%) and Huckabee (15%) were pushed to third and fourth respectively as Ron Paul came second with 25% of the support.

North Dakota
Dems: Again caucus goers supported Obama giving him 61% of the vote and 8 delegates. Meanwhile Clinton got 31% and 5 delegates.

Reps: Here caucus goers again supported Romney giving him 36% of the vote. McCain came second with 23%, Ron Paul third with 21% just pushing Huckabee into fourth on 20%.

Dems: Here Clinton wins by a margin of 14%! She gets 55% of the vote getting 24 of all those important delegates. Obama gets 31% and gets 14 delegates.

Reps: McCain beats Huckabee to win this state with 17% of the vote to Huckabees 33%. Romeny comes third with 25% of the vote. McCain gets 32 delegates to Huckabess 6.

Dems: Clinton wins here on 54% of the vote compared with Obama’s 41%. This leaves her with 34 delegates and Obama with 21.

Reps: Huckabee here beats McCain to win 34% of the vote and 12 Delegates. McCain gets 32% and 7 delegates. Romney comes third with 24% and 3 delegates.

West Virginia
Reps: One of the tighest caucus results I’ve seen. Huckabee edges out Romney by 5%. He has the support of 52% of state delegates compared to Romney’s 47%. McCain got 1% of the vote!

Will put up further results when I get them.

Super Tuesday: Results so far. 9am CET

These are the results I have at hand from CNN at 9am CET. With 24 states holding contests its a biggie. Especially with delegate rich states as California and New York being the big ones. All percentage figures are of Precints Reporting results unless otherwise stated.

Dem Primary: Obama (99% precincts reporting)
Rep Primary: Huckabee (99% precincts reporting)

Dem Caucus: Obama (98%)
Rep Caucus: Romney (90%)

Dem Primary: Clinton (82%)
Rep Primary: McCain (81%)

Dem Primary: Clinton (87%)
Rep Primary: McCain (87%)

Dem Primary: Clinton (48%)
Rep Primary: McCain (47%)

Dem Caucus: Obama (99%)
Rep Caucus: Romney (95%)

Dem Primary: Obama (99%)
Rep Primary: McCain (99%)

Dem Primary: Obama (100%)
Rep Primary: McCain (100%)

Dem Primary: Obama (99%)
Rep Primary: Huckabee (98%)

Dem Caucus: Obama (97%)
Rep Rimary on May 27th

Dem Primary: Obama (97%)
Rep Primary: McCain (97%)

Dem Caucus: Obama (100%)
Rep Caucus on February 9th

Dem Primary: Clinton (97%)
Rep Primary: Romney (96%)

Dem Caucus: Obama (81%)
Rep Caucus: Romney (82%)

Dem Primary: Obama (100%)
Rep Primary: McCain (100%)

Rep Caucus: Romney (100%)
Dem Primary on June 3rd

New Jersey
Dem Primary: Clinton (99%)
Rep Primary: McCain (99%)

New Mexico
Dem Primary: With 54% of precints reporting Clinton is 2% ahead of Obama. Its far from over here. Its too close to call
Rep Primary on June 3rd

New York
Dem Primary: Clinton (99%)
Rep Primary: McCain (99%)

North Dakota
Dem Caucus: Obama (100%)
Rep Caucus: Romney (100%)

Dem Primary: Clinton (100%)
Rep Primary: McCain (100%)

Dem Primary: Clinton (100%)
Rep Primary: Huckabee (100%)

Dem Primary: Obama (99%)
Rep Primary: Romney (99%)

West Virginia
Rep Caucus: Huckabee (100%)
Dem Primary on May 13th

McCain is now definatley the frontrunner for the GOP nomination and Clinton and Obama are still neck and neck. Its still all to play for.

Up Next Feb 9th
Kansas caucuses (Rep Only)
Louisiana primaries
Nebraska caucuses (Dem Only)
Washington caucuses