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Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bellweather Watch

It's settled: Obama and McCain. I didn't vote, but this is a lucky restaurant for me and Mrs. TMcD: it's the place where two years ago we went for lunch so she could clue me in that she was preggers, and it's the place we were eating eight months later when she went into labor (although she didn't really figure that out until an hour or so after we left, meaning she had to call me at work with some vague story about needing a ride to her doctor's appointment: "Oh, you mean you wanted me to come home immediately?"). Great fried chicken and turnip greens, BTW.

Anyway, note the final tallies. I'm less surprised that O-man won than that the Dem slate so dwarfed the Pubies. Located on the square, this place is run by conservatives and haunted by all the local lawyers and pols. I saw Bob Corker there in 2006 scrounging for votes and getting warm fuzzies from patrons. Not exactly a liberal hotbed.

In other Tsunami-Tues news, I missed the California love-in, but I was struck by two things in the subsequent cable news coverage. First, although blog reaction suggested HRC won the first 1/2 and O-town took the second, all the talkie heads focused on was how Barry took her down on the Iraq issue. Second, Chris Matthews is obsessed with the celebrity audience. The funniest thing is that he acts like they were all retarded children, repeating comments like, "Do you think they really understood what the candidates were talking about?" and "How does Hollywood campaign money differ from the 'real' campaign money?" What, did Topher Grace bring poker chips? Does Matthews not royally and shamelessly kiss the ass of any celebrity who will slink onto Hardball (I'm lookin' at you, Affleck)? Criminey! Hey, Matthews, you're a preening B-list teevee celeb who gets skewered on SNL more than Britney. Stop acting like you're not the one who needs a safety helmet.


At 8:14 AM, Blogger Frances said...

Don't fail now, City Cafe bellweather!

As of now Obama is hardly ahead ANYWHERE in any Super Tuesday state poll.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

From what I've seen, he's ahead in IL, CT, and GA, they're even in AL, and he's closing the gap fast in CA and MA. He's also considered a favorite in some small red states: ID, KS, ND, AK. If his numbers continue to close nationally, he'll do OK on Tuesday, but she'll probably still do a little better.

California is obviously the big prize. We had an Obama surrogate come speak yesterday, former MS Gov. Ray Mabus, and he seemed to think HRC would hold on and win CA but was otherwise very optimistic (as you'd expect in that role). He claimed to have seen daily Obama polls showing that the gap had closed from 14 to 4 in TN. Who knows? One thing that helps, however, is that if polls show HRC up everywhere and the gap does indeed close by Tuesday, Obama will win HUGE in the expectations game.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Frances said...

TMcD, I fear you may be too optimistic. I hope you're right. And all these polls do still have a large # of undecideds. Maybe things will break Obama's way. This is still a volatile race.

But if you turn to the polling roundups available at or, you'll see that the only Super Tuesday states where Obama is actually ahead are Illinois, Idaho, Colorado and Georgia (and the Idaho, Georgia and Colorado leads are not out of the margin of error). Hillary is up everywhere else polls are available, with either small or large leads.

Many of the small states aren't polled, and so we don't know where they are. But out of 19 states where there are polls available, Hillary is ahead in 15, Obama in 4.

Some of Hillary's leads are very large -- as in AR, UT, NJ, OK, NY.

MA is still strong for Hillary, too; it appears that the Edwards voters broke for Hillary there. The last poll with Edwards in it showed 43% for Hillary and 37% for Obama. The newest poll there has 57 for Clinton and 33 for Obama. ACK. A big MA loss will be bad news for Obama if it turns out that way, because the spin will be "Obama had endorsements from all the statewide leaders, and that's all he could do."

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Frances said...

Do you really feel like TN is going Obama's way. Polls don't look good. Once again, it seems that Edwards voters in that state are breaking for Hillary. Recent polls here: .

At 5:15 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Frances, your polling is more up to date than mine, but what I was going off of was yesterday's Gallup which had the national race down to a slim 3 point lead for HRC. Now that the Edwards departure has more fully sunk in, HRC seems to have climbed back to a 7 point lead, but that could just be a steady 4 or 5 point lead with daily margin of error. Hard to say. Still, Big O seems to be moving up over the last week, and if that's the real trend, it's hard not to see how he will do better than projected in individual states. How likely is it that he's getting all his current poll boost from post-Super T states? Not very. My guess is that there's a big undecided vote out there, and they'll break one way or another (but not even) on Tuesday.

As for TN, I don't know what will happen here. Where I am, the most active segments of the Dem vote are blacks, black gowns, and blue hairs. Unfortunately, the last group probably predominates and they're for HRC. For what it is worth, HRC has ZERO presence on our campus. I know of no faculty who support her, and I have never heard a student express any enthusiasm. Not so for Obama, who, unlike HRC, has an active student group and lots of sympathizers. Granted, that's his demo. And it may have influenced the City Cafe vote (we're a mile away, and the one time that poll misfired was in a close mayoral race where a faculty member was the main challenger and close loser). But I've got my fingers crossed for good weekend buzz and a fast finish.

Be nice if Edwards gave a surprise endorsement, but it looks like he wants to keep his options open for a big appointment no matter who wins.


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