Guam votes, and polls show suspensful run-up to May 6th

Neither candidates is willing to let any delegate go uncontested and Guam's 4 pledged delegates and 2 superdelegates have suddenly become very important in the race for the nomination. Guam is held its caucuses today and the vote counting is now under way, with Obama holding a lead as of 2am Guam time, 760 votes to 680 votes. Guam voters will also elect the chairman and vice-chairman of the Guam Democratic Party, and those two figures will be superdelegates. The allegiance of some of the candidates are known (2 favor Clinton, 1 Obama and 3 are undecided) and early results suggest that the ticket containing the Obama endorsee is heading for a win. [Update: As of 4am Guam time and 15 districts reporting out of 21, Obama is leading with 54% and the pledged delegates are likely to be split 2-2. Guam's most populous district has not yet been counted, so the Clinton campaign still has some hope.]

Meanwhile, polling continues to suggest a suspenseful run-up to May 6th as it is unclear whether either candidate will get the type of lead they need to meaningfully impact the race:

  • Zogby's tracking poll finds an uncharacteristically big swing in North Carolina. Yesterday, Zogby had Obama up 16%. Today, the margin is back to what we have been seeing from other polls, with Clinton trailing by 9%, 46% to 37%.
  • In Indiana, however, Zogby once again finds the race to be a toss-up, with Obama edging out Clinton 43% to 42% -- this puts Zogby at odds with other pollsters, with LA Times/Bloomberg the last poll showing Obama in the lead.
  • Finally, I missed the Insider Advantage poll from Indiana yesterday; it shows Clinton leading 47% to 40%. For those of you keeping score, there is remarkable consistency on this 7% margin (Insider Advantage, Mason-Dixon, Downs Center, Research 2000).
None of these results are particularly satisfying for either candidate, as Clinton needs more than a 7% lead in Indiana to give superdelegates pause; in North Carolina, Hillary's rise occured a bit too early for her own good as expectations have now shifted away from a devastating Obama victory to whether he can win in double-digits. There is even some discussion as to whether Clinton could win North Carolina. In fact, North Carolina has become the mirror image of Pennsylvania: The front-runner has a large lead to begin with, stumbles to single-digits with one or two polls showing the opponent actually in the lead. On April 22nd, Clinton barely won the expectations game, though a 9% victory would have seemed unsatisfying just three weeks earlier. Will the same happen in North Carolina?

Finally, Rasmussen released the first non-SUSA poll from Oregon today:

  • Obama is in the lead, 51% to 39%. SUSA's poll released on Thursday found Obama leading by a slimmer 6%.
Oregon votes on May 20th, the same day as Kentucky. If she is still in the race by then, Clinton can count on a huge advantage in that state, so Obama will need whatever he can get on that day to change the conversation and avoid a very tough end of May.

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  • I would appreciate it if commenters refrained from gratuitous insults and postings that contain nothing but disparaging remarks. In the interest of keeping a lively comment section in which all can participate, I will not hesitate deleting comments that go against these simple rules. Also, it could be all be much more civil if "anonymous" commenters who are regular posters identified themselves with an ID.

    By Blogger Taniel, At 03 May, 2008 12:43  

  • I don't see too many insulting Pro-Obama posters being deleted here. Perhaps if you were more even-handed in your response your "regulars" like Mike,Mark, and Dsimon wouldn't be so quick throw insults around. It seems the equally worded responses get deleted, but theirs remain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 May, 2008 12:53  

  • Anon,

    It does make a difference when strongly-worded comments are made by people who identify themselves so a meaningful conversation happen. I will also start deleting comments that use derogatory words to describe Clinton, for those are also starting to pop up with increasing intensity.

    By Blogger Taniel, At 03 May, 2008 13:00  

  • Taniel, using an "identity" defeats the ability to test arguments from both perspectives. Some of us are neither Obama or Hillary supporters, but rather party operatives. Our intent is to win as a party. "Strongly worded" is not an excuse for insinuating your opponent's stupidity. Those comments deserve equal rebuttal time and equally "strong" wording.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 May, 2008 13:06  

  • Anon,

    I have no reason to continue arguing back and forth. Strong arguments are no replacement for insults -- I don't know if you are responsible for exchanges that include words like "moron" and "idiot" since, well, they came from anonymous commenters, but there is no reason to take the debate to such a personal level and I have no intention of letting the blog that I work on every day degenerate in personal invectives. Period.

    By Blogger Taniel, At 03 May, 2008 13:27  

  • For the record:

    I have not on one single occasion tainted Senator Clinton. I actually quite like her a lot and was originally a supporter of her campaign and also contributed to her cause financially.

    My posts have been only, and I repeat, only about the statistics.

    I have only shot back at "anonymous", who has continually slung arrows at any poster here who even thinks to praise Obama, for whom I have respect, I like and now support.

    I personally am sick and tired of hit and runs from anonymous readers and can only encourage you, Taniel, to activate the moderation mode on your blog and force your readership to login with a valid email adress and a real identity.

    And now to statistics:

    I agree with you: it looks like the GUAM territorial convention (we call it a caucus, but that is it's official title) will bring, as expected, no advantage to either side. With only 4 delegates (8 delegates with 1/2 vote apiece = 4 delegates in the actual counting), most likely it will be a 2 - 2 split. I am not sure that the DEMS or the Guam participants are going to be too thrilled about 1/2 a delegate here and 1/2 there. It is possible, but not very practical.

    So, no tactical advantage for either side going into Tuesday's matchups, as expected. But I really thought that Clinton would win by a narrow margin. Instead, Obama may win, also by a narrow margin. Clinton did quite well in American Samoa and for this reason I thought she would come on strong here as well.

    And on a final note: I have never written things like "This will now be the end of X candidate", as a certain anonymous likes to do.

    If you, anonymous, were a party operative, then you would not be spewing such venom as you have. Nobody will believe this about you, the least of all, me.

    It is absolutely fascinating. On my own blog, as I was simply reporting the statistics and at that time it did not look good for Obama, I recieved not one single nasty email from any Obama supporter around the world. I received nice emails from Obama supporters, many disappointed, but none, and I mean, none of them nasty.

    As soon as the numbers started to change in Obama's favor and to Clinton's disadvantage, I started receiving numerous very nasty and extremely hateful emails from Clinton supporters and in such a volume that I almost considered closing my own blog.

    So, my experience with Clinton supporters has not been nearly as positive as with the Obama supporters.

    Tonight on my blog I will have the updated state by state matchup poll averages and related statistics. I will post again here and invite all to come and simply go through the numbers. It's all about the numbers, and the math is very straightforward. The numbers as clearly showing, in spite of three hard hits that Obama has taken, one hard hit that Clinton has taken, and the easy ride that John McCain is getting, that both DEM candidates have improved in some states - in different states - and are slipping in some states - in different states. The stats also show that there has been no massive shift anywhere, but incremental changes worth noting.

    Will check back later on tonight.

    You have a great website going, Taniel, keep it up. This is one of my favorite blogs to read, and I read it daily. My compliment.

    By Blogger Mark, At 03 May, 2008 13:32  

  • I think Taniel's original post which used the phrases "gratuitous insults" "nothing but disparaging remarks" has it right rather than the "strongly worded" phrase in the second post.

    Saying "X can't win" or "X is a liar" may be strongly worded, but without some kind of supporting statement they don't do anything to further discussion and lead some people to respond with just more of the same.

    As for Guam, it looks like it would take someone winning 63% of the vote to flip the pledged delegate allocation from 2-2 to 3-1. That's a hard number to hit anywhere.

    Odd point: Guam gets a pledged delegate per 43,000 population, PA gets one per 79,000. Seems biased on its face, but apparently the delegate allocation to non-state entities are fixed; for states, they're based on a combination of the proportion of votes from the state in the past three presidential elections and the state's electoral college allocation.

    By Blogger dsimon, At 03 May, 2008 13:48  

  • Dsimon you called Clinton a liar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 May, 2008 16:27  

  • Dear Taniel,Mike,Mark, and Dsimon. I've enjoyed your posts and this site for a couple months now. I don't always agree with all of you,but you've all been very civil and usually make reasoned points and arguments. Thanks. (and hopefully the "anonymous" won't ruin a decent site.)

    By Anonymous mpd, At 03 May, 2008 17:28  

  • Dsimon you called Clinton a liar.

    Yes, and I backed it up with a supporting statement. There's a difference between saying someone lied without providing evidence and saying "X lied and here is the evidence."

    Saying someone lied, or is evil, or has no ethics does not tell anyone anything. Discussing the alleged untrue statement, or an action, or an ethical problem can get us somewhere.

    I do not believe I ever used any of those terms or any terms like them without discussing the specific reason for it. If I didn't provide an explanation, then it was wrong of me to do so.

    By Blogger dsimon, At 03 May, 2008 17:43  

  • Taniel - glad you issued the warning. I enjoy this website and check it every few hours because a) you gave great articles and b) the comments are usually interesting.

    Expectations - Obama to win NC by at least 9 and to lose IN by 5%. If those two results occurred he would be OK. If Clinton supporters say oh well he was 20% up 3 weeks ago so to finish 9% ahead is not great all that needs to be said is Pennsylvania. Exactly the same Clinton started 20+% ahead and finished 9% ahead (yes 9 not the double digits that everyone spoke about on the night). She actually did less well than OH and the demographics were even more friendly to her than in Ohio. Also duri9ngthe PA campaign she had six weeks to campaign non stop there, she had her opponents have issues with Wright and the bitter comments so the press was good for her during that time. Therefore the pertinent question is why didn't she do better. Why can she not pout Obama away. She failed in Iowa, she failed on super Tuesday and she failed on March 4th (remember TX was very friendly to her with lots of Latinos and she wins by 4%).

    By Anonymous Mike, At 03 May, 2008 18:14  

  • I live in a small town in North Carolina - population about 5000 and early voting has been going on for 2 weeks and finished today. You could register and vote at the same time. I turned up at 12 noon (station closed at 1pm) and there was at least 25 people in a queue waiting to go in. This anecdotal evidence would seem to imply a pretty healthy turnout.

    I was also surprised by how little Governor Easley's endorsement seems to have helped Clinton. If anything it may have done her some harm./ He is unpopular. I am a Democrat and happy with how the state has been run but he has had a couple of ethic issues this year, has no machine and seemingly is not popular with my apolitical (ie normal) work colleagues. I am in the Triangle region of the state. Will be interesting to see the returns from Wake, Orange and Durham counties.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 May, 2008 18:18  

  • I am surprised by the way Clinton has played the gas tax issue. She is playing into the narrative that shew will say or do anything to win votes, she is condemned by undeclared superdelegates, she has annoyed the Democratic party hierarchy (Speaker Pelosi who she will have to work with next year) and by economists and newspapers. She may get a few votes but I really don`t think it is worth 1% extra in IN or NC.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 May, 2008 18:22  

  • she has annoyed the Democratic party hierarchy....She may get a few votes but I really don`t think it is worth 1% extra in IN or NC.

    When Superdelegate Joe Andrew flipped, it was equivalent to a more than 2 point shift in the Indiana vote. So if she lost some superdelegate support because of her stance on the gas tax, it would have to have a pretty hefty effect on the Indiana vote to justify it (a somewhat less hefty effect if you throw in NC).

    Hard to tell if it's going to change many voters' minds in the remaining contests. Some may like it who would not have otherwise voted for her; but some who wanted to support her may see it as the last straw. I don't know if there's much we can say beyond sheer speculation.

    By Blogger dsimon, At 03 May, 2008 18:33  

  • I have done an analysis of all polling data for all 50 states in Union (matchups Obama / McCain - Clinton / McCain) and worked out the polling averages.

    You can find all of the numbers here at my blog.

    Because I already did this once before, there is also a table comparing the margin averages from what I call "Poll Convergence I" and "Poll Convergence II" here

    If you take that data and turn it into an electoral map, then it would look like this. Feel free to stop by. David Leip has an incredible website. Lot's going on there. WARNING: on his website, the colors are reversed: red = DEM / blue = GOP.

    Guy: I have been watching the voter registration statistics in NC like a hawk. Here is how they look today, including the one-stop voting procedure:

    As of 05/03, exact voter registration statistics, from the :
    REPUBLICAN: 1,933,479 (33.30%) - +1,564 over 4/04
    DEMOCRATIC: 2,628,705 (45.28%) - +75,396 over 4/04
    INDEPENDENT: 1,243,810 (21.42%) - +31,879 over 4/04
    TOTAL DEM und IND combined: 3,872,515 (66.68%) - +107,275 over 4/04
    Total RV: 5,805,994 (100.00%)

    Absentee By Mail Ballots Returned: 18,021
    Absentee Onestop Ballots Cast: 337,685

    As of 04/04, exact voter registration statistics:
    REPUBLICAN: 1,931,915 (33.91%)
    DEMOCRATIC: 2,553,309 (44.82%)
    INDEPENDENT: 1,211,931 (21.27%)
    TOTAL DEM und IND combined: 3,765,240 (66.09%)
    Total RV: 5,697,155 (100.00%)

    Over 107,000 newly registered voters in NC! Woo-hoo! Democracy in action! Love it!!

    About the gax tax holiday: even the economists are on Obama's side. Even though the idea may sound nice, spread 70 dollars over 12 months and see what you really get: about 6 bucks a month in your pocket. And the big oil companies will keep the prices right where they are even if the tax holiday comes and will pocket the money. And when the time comes to shell out more for bad roads and crumbling bridges, you can forget that 70 dollar rebate and then have to shell out 120 instead to fix the roads.

    Looks good on paper. But it really is just a gimmick.

    And a bad way to go about it.

    Clinton does however have one excellent point: truckers would have considerably more in their pockets. This is true. And if we had more efficient 18 wheelers, they would also have more in their pocket.

    By Blogger Mark, At 03 May, 2008 19:13  

  • Mark - great analysis and date. So assuming a 50% turnout (approximately what other states have seen) then over 10% have already voted.

    Clinton will have annoyed Al Gore (a super superdelegate) because higher gas prices lead to lower usage (less driving, more efficient vehicles etc). Pelosi is also annoyed by the idea of congress voting on it. Mark Udall who is standing for the Senate in CO and is currently an undeclared SD who is also a congressman has hit back at Clinton's idea. Looks like at least 3 undeclared SD's don`t like the idea!!
    I take the point that supporters of Obama will not be swayed by this. So why do it? Shores up her support but alienates SD's and the party in general. But then the Clinton's were never that party orientated - 1994 midterms the Dems lose control of congress for the first time in 40 years. Could see the same in 2010 if Clinton was President.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 May, 2008 19:47  

  • Mark the gas tax as you have put forth is McCain's or Obama's old plan that does not replenish lost funds from the oil industry. Clinton's plan may not save you much in price, but the longterm gain of forcing big oil to reinvest rather than profit take is where economists would find value. When Obama helped push his plan through it did let oil companies pocket the difference like McCain's plan would today. Hillary's would not. Trying to obfuscate this major difference is dishonest. Btw, we have much more economic conveyances called trains.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 May, 2008 19:49  

  • Americans like divided governance. They would certainly vote in a republican congress in the event either Clinton or Obama wins. I think that's why Reid and Pelosi like Obama, job security.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 May, 2008 19:52  

  • Pelosi is also annoyed by the idea of congress voting on it....Looks like at least 3 undeclared SD's don`t like the idea!!

    Can't comment on Gore or Udall, but Pelosi has said that she will vote for the pledged delegate leader, so I don't think Clinton's support of the gas tax will affect her superdelegate vote.

    By Blogger dsimon, At 03 May, 2008 19:56  

  • Uh, sorry, forgot to close my link html command.


    By Blogger Mark, At 03 May, 2008 20:00  

  • Anon 19:49 I'm not sure you can "force" big oil (or any business) to reinvest. Business will gladly reinvest on their own to make MORE profit. Could you also please list an economist(s) who supports the Clinton plan?

    By Anonymous mpd, At 03 May, 2008 20:36  

  • See Businessweek, Exxon Profit Pirate or Tax Victim? The economists are unnamed but the explanation is there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 04 May, 2008 07:37  

  • dsimon - Udall issued a statement in response to Clinton's idea of having a congressional vote and seeing "who supports American families and who doesn't" - he said, quite rightly, that there are more than one way to support American families. So he sounded pissed and CO voted for Obama so I envisage him coming out for Obama in the end. Maybe sooner than he originally thought.

    This idea plays on the narrative that Clinton will say or do anything to get elected and panders.

    By Anonymous Mike, At 04 May, 2008 09:43  

  • anon7:37 thanks for the info, I'll check it out

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 04 May, 2008 15:05  

  • anon 7:37 Just read the Businessweek article and all it basically said (to me) was the oil companies are getting a free ride in the U.S. Not really news. No pro-con on gas tax "holiday", but thanks anyway.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 04 May, 2008 18:48  

  • By Blogger 艾丰, At 01 December, 2015 22:44  

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