Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wisdom Wednesday, Part 3

Does money talk? It does in campaigns, almost literally (TV and radio ads, robocalls, etc.). The first news today was that Hillary lent her campaign $5 million, and it's gone. Then that her top staff is going without pay (not that they can't afford it--consultants can clear millions on a national campaign; Hillary's guy Mark Penn's firm was recently paid more than $4 million), and they issued a fund-raising appeal.

Today the Obamathoners online took on the challenge, and as of 8:30 p. PT, they've raised nearly $6 million since the polls closed yesterday. [Actually, between the time I wrote this and posted it, they surpassed that figure, and are now approaching $6.4 million.] They expect to raise a total of 30 million in this short month of February.

Obama will campaign in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state, which all have contests on Saturday he is expected to do well in (also a caucus in Maine, which apparently Hillary has some hopes for, and a contest in the Virgin Islands.) He's also favored for next Tuesday in the Potomac primary of D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as Hawaii and Wisconsin the following week. It's not clear if Hillary will campaign more than symbolically in any of these. She has her sights on Ohio and Texas on March 4 and Pennsylvania on April 22. Today the Obama campaign announced it is officially opening its offices in Texas and Ohio, and has reassigned top staff that helped him win in Iowa and South Carolina to those states.

I quoted Kos last night saying it was on balance a win for Obama. Chris Bowers, who started the myDD site that grandfathered the Kos site, and who is a numbers guy, also sees the states and delegate count propelling Obama: " for the first time since New Hampshire, Obama now has a clear path to the nomination. The Clinton campaign is going to talk a lot of super delegates and a lot of Florida and Michigan, but right now Obama has the edge of pledged delegates, resources, and momentum generating activists. If he can sweep Beltway Tuesday, avoid a surprise in Wisconsin on February 19th, and then win both Ohio and Texas, he will be the nominee. "

As Bowers said, those are big "ifs." Texas and Ohio look like they're going to be tough, especially if Billary sees them as their last stand.

A few more loose ends from yesterday...Will anybody ever believe a Zogby poll again? They seem to have been the least accurate. The most accurate, according to Kos and the numbers he showed, was SUSA.

Television coverage: I watched MSNBC early, not only for Keith (who actually doesn't say much, compared to Matthews) but because they seemed to have fewer commercials than CNN. Every time I switched to CNN, they were in commercial. But by later in the night, I was staying with CNN, despite my aversion to Wolf Blitzer and his voice. They were just more substantive in their reporting and analysis of the numbers. Their political panel was no better, so I often zapped them but when I wanted hard info, I stayed with CNN.

My district in CA, where Bill Clinton made a quick visit that was front page news and the buzz for a week, went for Obama, 53.7% to 38.4% for Clinton.

I hope I can break my addiction to talking to myself about all this here. It's been fun, but I've got to get something else done!

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