2.10.2008

Maine results thread: Obama wins the Maine caucuses, makes it four in a row

7:30pm: Barack Obama has won the Maine caucuses, and the margin is showing no signs of narrowing. With 80% in, Obama is ahead 59% to 41%. This is a huge victory for Obama, and he increases yet a bit more his lead in delegates. The Maine breakdown is 15-9 for Obama.
More detailed analysis soon.

6pm: It's not looking close in these caucuses, as Obama is still up 57% to 42% with 57% of the vote in. Clinton continues to be doomed by caucuses at an extent that has become inexplicable. Obama did have an organizational edge, but the state's demographics looked good for Clinton, make such a large margin particularly painful.

5:45pm: Obama is looking very good for a fourth win in one week-end, and the one that could hurt Hillary the most. With 44% in, he is ahead by a large margin, 57% to 42%.

5pm: Here we go, with 11% in, Obama is up 51% to 48%, which is a difference of 7 "delegate equivalents" (i.e. delegates to the May state convention that are allocated at each caucus).

Original post: It's Maine's turn to go to the polls today, in a contest Hillary Clinton has to do well in. This is her one chance to win a state heading into January 19th (and perhaps even March 4th). The contest is a caucus, which should favor Obama, especially as he has reportedly put more resources in organizing the state. But the New England women have been a reliable constituency for Clinton, and she is hoping to ride that group to victory, just like in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Results should start coming in soon. Until then, the only news we have is turnout, which is reported to be very high once again despite bad weather.

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21 Comments:

  • It is surprising that the Clinton campaign cannot do well in Caucuses even when held in friendly areas of the US like Maine. For a campaign and candidate that touts experience I find this all the more surprising.

    If Clinton cannot organise and enthuse people in the Democratic nomination process then how do you expect her to go and win in November??

    She knew the rules ahead of time - just sour grapes to complain now. States are free to choose the process they want and if one third of states want caucuses then so be it.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 10 February, 2008 18:12  

  • I forgot to say that this is a wonderful site with really useful data and great commentary and analysis.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 10 February, 2008 18:13  

  • Well, the thing is.

    Obama has also won 9 Primary's. HC has only won 9 also.

    So this, "HE cant win in a primary" is a crock.

    It really seems that HC support is very concentrated. IE: "Latino vote, and "Home States".

    The Caucuses just happen to be in states outside her very narrow support.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 18:21  

  • Caucuses are not primaries and really shouldn't be given equal weight. If the primaries were all open, massive amounts of crossovers to both sides would occur. A single day for a primary in each state with both parties would stop this abuse. So basically, these caucus wins should be disregarded as a measure of a party's preference. It's simply a bad measure that skews the outcome.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 18:26  

  • Rubbish - caucuses are acceptable. Just because they are not primaries does not negate them. Also turnout has been significantly greater than in previous years.
    If HRC supporters cannot be bothered to caucus then she is not doing a good job enthusing people. Also shown by her having maybe 250,000 donors compared to Obama's 750,000. Maybe this is why her campaign manager was fired a few hours ago!

    By Anonymous Guy, At 10 February, 2008 18:42  

  • 18:42-You obviously support Obama. However, if republicans and independants were interfering by opposing your guy instead of falsely propping him up, you'd no doubt find this system flawed. Be careful how you define fair,because the result of this ballot stuffing is going to make the participation of Florida and Michigan a real possibility. Also the reaction of actual democrats,as in the superdelegates, is sure to counter this problem. Both of these counterbalances will viewed by Obama supporters to be unfair. Too late now to remedy them all, but let's take all these factors into consideration next time. The inclusion of Michigan will be the most contentious because Obama and Edwards were both lumped in together as "uncommitted". "Train wreck" indeed. I think Mr. Dean will be the fall guy this year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 19:07  

  • There are definitely problems with caucuses. They disenfranchise soldiers serving overseas, expats like myself (currently working in Canada, but voted in the NY primary), people who do shift work and can't make the caucus time, individuals who can't afford child care during the caucus time, individuals who can't afford to own a car (caucus locations aren't in as many locations as polling booths usually).

    As a result they tend to over-represent the affluent and the urban, but make things exceptional difficult for the poor and rural vote.

    They're not anti-democrat, but they're not perfect. I hope in the future that more states adopt primaries since they're better able to reflect the demographics of the state.

    I suspect that there is an enthusiasm gap that contributes to Obama's better showing in caucus states as well though.

    By Anonymous asmo, At 10 February, 2008 19:09  

  • Oh, and the "real states" picked Hillary. I found that comment on CNN very funny. Somehow the states that carry the burden of the rest of the country are now somehow the only real ones. Red vs. blue, black vs. white, and now the paying in states vs. the states on the dole. What's next? Alphabetical order? Bush really succeeded in slicing and dicing us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 19:13  

  • I am an Obama supporter but want to see a Democratic nominee win fair and square.

    Obama is ahead in pledged delegates , ahead in votes cast (primaries and caucus) and ahead in states won. He is also ahead in fundraising. He is a one term senator and she is meant to have this great machine - doesn't look to great at the moment.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 10 February, 2008 19:42  

  • Looks like the less than one term senator has the big machine. I don't think he'll be able to call himself the underdog after Tuesday. Frontrunners make big targets. Btw, caucuses are not "votes cast" because they're weighted differently. Face it, no matter who wins this nomination it'll be impossible to call it "fair and square" with a straight face. At least all we're differing on are petty issues that congress will sort out anyway. Both democratic candidates can carry forth our banner. They've both pledged to support the other. Barack is drilling it home today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 20:12  

  • One of the reason that Obama does well in Caucuses is there aren't any absentee ballots. Flodida and California has millions of the ballots sent in weeks before the primary - sent when Clinton was ahead in the Polls. Why doen't the media mention this

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 20:27  

  • Actually, some caucuses do allow absentee ballots. I was surprised to learn in Nebraska yesterday that voters could participate by absentee ballot.

    Also, it's ridiculous to suggest Obama's support from indies and Republicans is ballot stuffing. Isn't it the point to appeal to the greatest number of voters possible?

    I have no problem with superdelegates, but accepting the vote from Florida/Michigan seems unfair given that no candidates were able to campaign there.

    By Anonymous Andy, At 10 February, 2008 20:39  

  • It's all unfair. And it certainly is ballot stuffing when members of another party are allowed to participate in a Democratic nomination process. Gee, let's let Iranians vote in open elections to determine the next Pope. It shouldn't be so hard to see that open caucuses are suspect. A party function should be restricted to party members. Let them join if they support a party. This system is a joke! I'm all in favor of every vote counting and I'd go one step further and call for mandatory voting with fines to support publicly financed elections. It works in other countries. That could really bring about change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 21:08  

  • So how exactly are caucuses more vulnerable to ballot stuffing? For these, at least, you have to officially register as a Democrat. Many primaries don't even require that.

    By Anonymous Andy, At 10 February, 2008 21:22  

  • Not all require registration. Some are open to members of all parties. Some are just making a declaration. Then delegates are distibuted unevenly. Even primary distibution is done unevenly. Superdelegates get to pick arbitrarily. And if Fla. and Mich. are included,there are a whole host of issues to contend with. This just doesn't cut it these days and with all this youth involvement,there's no better chance to right this system than now. I know I'd like to have my government set-up in a way that everybody knows is fair and square. If fact,I can't imagine someone standing up and stating "I want my voting system to be preferencial." Frankly, it's embarrassing. I guess I'm a little too idealistic, but I can hope.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 21:34  

  • Now Tuesday is another open primary! Republicans,independants, or anybody can vote for or against either Democratic candidate for any reason. How is that democratic? Like Barack said today, nobody should be voting against someone,they should be voting FOR someone. When the Greeks put their black or white marbles in, none of them could take marbles out. This is a mockery of the principle of democracy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 22:15  

  • I simply don't agree with your complaints about the open contests. I don't think that indies and Republicans are voting against Hillary. I would argue they are voting for Obama and probably plan to do so in November.

    How is it democratic to deny someone the chance to vote for Obama for the nomination if they plan on supporting him in November?

    By Anonymous Andy, At 10 February, 2008 22:23  

  • If they support a democrat now then they should register as a democrat. Haven't you paid attention to the trend in primary voting taking place? Democrats were urged by Dailykos to vote for Romney to vote against McCain in retaliation for republicans trying to boost Obama to win to make it easier for McCain to win the general. It's naive to think that these same McCain supporters aren't still pushing for Obama. I know the polls now indicate that Obama is stronger against McCain. Still,if you scour the blogosphere you find and extraordinary number of McCain supporters stating that they'd vote for Obama or McCain. Would you reverse all of your stances on every issue like that? It just doesn't compute that any voter could be torn between two completely opposite agendas. Further, there are Hillary-haters like Rove that are supporting Obama just to vote against Hillary. Obama is working overtime to cut these anti-voters loose. An open caucus or primary is too vulnerable to deceitful activities to be trusted.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10 February, 2008 22:58  

  • Well, you can believe in conspiracy theories all you want about Democrats working to screw up the Republican process or vice versa. However, you have no real evidence of such occurrences have affected the results of any contests. A look at the exit polling in these contests will clearly prove you incorrect.

    You cite Democrats supporting Romney in Michigan. The exit polling shows that Dems made up 7% of the vote and gave McCain most of their support, not Romney.

    As for Republicans driving Obama to victory, that notion also doesn't hold up. In Alabama, Republicans gave more support to Clinton, while indies split evenly between the two. In Arizona, Republicans were just 2% of the electorate, not enough to swing the results, while independents did vote for Obama, but not overwhelmingly. In Arkansas, Clinton won independents by more than 20%. In Delaware, Obama slightly edged Clinton for independents. In Florida, Republicans actually supported John Edwards the most, while Clinton carried independents. In Massachusetts, Clinton again won independents.

    I can list more results if you'd like. My point is that the winner of each state is the one likely to carry the most independents, while Republicans aren't likely to make a difference because their percentage of the electorate is too small. Prove me wrong with facts, not anecdotes.

    You are also foolish to believe that every voter fits simply into a Democratic or Republican mold. I find it very much possible that a voter could be torn between candidates of both parties.

    By Anonymous Andy, At 11 February, 2008 00:57  

  • Clinton,Obama, and CNN don't think it's a "conspiracy theory" because they're acting on it. All three of them are taking steps to acertain the extent of this. Exit polling tells you nothing about the intent of voters. These anti-voters are being condemned by Obama in his speeches and CNN and the DNC have floated split ticket ideas. CNN did polling on how many people of each other's base would not support the other candidate and found some thirty percent would not. The real test will be in the general. If Obama get the nomination and McCain wins, we'll know that Karl Rove has struck again. He's publicly stated his intentions and it would be foolish not to heed them. Then again this electorate was foolish enough to elect bush twice!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11 February, 2008 07:18  

  • Can anyone come up with a policy issue that would make someone vote for Obama/McCain?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11 February, 2008 07:32  

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