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Quick '08 Update: Spanish-language ads

- Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have stepped up their Spanish-language advertising. Perhaps their staff were watching the FL returns and heard how influential the Hispanic vote was for McCain. Whatever the reasons may be, it seems smart for both given the press coverage of late. Check the Wall Street Journal, CNN, LA Times (here and here), and Chicago Tribune for examples. The ads are below:

Hillary Clinton - "Nuestra Amigo"

Barack Obama - "El Nos Entiende"

Note: the Obama ad begins with a screen shot and text highlighting Kennedy's support for Obama. Obama's campaign clearly understands the value Kennedy brings to their effort to court Hispanics, which explains why the two sat down with Univision after the endorsement rally:

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Immigration as a wedge issue? Not so fast.

The National Immigration Forum just released a statement on how the immigration issue played in the Florida GOP primary. Here's the full statement from Doug Rivlin, Communication Director for the Forum:

Based on exit polls provided by CNN, which included questions about immigration and ethnicity, the results of the Florida primary are further evidence that the immigration issue is not shaping up to be the wedge issue some had hoped it would be. In fact, the deportation-only approach favored by many candidates seems to be more of a liability than an asset.

The exit polls show that the deportation-only approach to immigration was favored by a minority of Republican voters (40%), with the majority (58%) selecting either a temporary legal status (29%) or a path to citizenship (29%) for immigrants in the country illegally. Gov. Romney captured 38% of these deportation-only voters, compared to Sen. McCain's 26%. Meanwhile, Sen. McCain captured a majority of the majority of voters who selected temporary or permanent legal status for immigrants here illegally.

Similarly, Gov. Romney won among Republicans who identified immigration as their number one issue (43% to McCain's 25%), but these voters were only 16% of the Republican electorate.

So pandering to the deportation-only crowd, in which Gov. Romney, Gov. Huckabee, and Sen. Thompson have all engaged in to varying degrees over the past several weeks, doesn't seem to deliver a win, even in a Republican primary.

The flip-side - the harm a deportation-only approach does to a candidate - also shines through in the Florida results. While Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney split the non-Latino Republican vote (33%-33%), Sen. McCain had a big edge among Latino Republicans, winning both Cuban Republicans (54% to Romney's 8%) and non-Cuban Latino Republicans (53% to Romney's 21%).

These results are from just one state, albeit an important one, but they lend further evidence to what we have been saying about harsh anti-immigration positions in an electoral context. The benefits to a candidate of a strict deportation-only approach to immigration are practically non-existent, while the downside with the fastest growing group of American voters - Hispanics - of wanting to deport their families and neighbors can be decisive.

Gallup gives Obama good news

If you haven't become totally turned off by polling, check out the results from the latest Gallup survey. It shows Barack Obama closing in on Hillary Clinton's lead at the national level:

Barack Obama has now cut the gap with Hillary Clinton to 6 percentage points among Democrats nationally in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking three-day average, and interviewing conducted Tuesday night shows the gap between the two candidates is within a few points. Obama's position has been strengthening on a day-by-day basis. As recently as Jan. 18-20, Clinton led Obama by 20 points. Today's Gallup Poll Daily tracking is based on interviews conducted Jan. 27-29, all after Obama's overwhelming victory in South Carolina on Saturday. Two out of the three nights interviewing were conducted after the high-visibility endorsement of Obama by Sen. Edward Kennedy and his niece Caroline Kennedy.

Clinton's lead in the three-day average is now 42% to Obama's 36%. John Edwards, who dropped out of the race Wednesday after Gallup conducted these interviews, ended his quest for the presidency with 12% support. Wednesday night's interviewing will reflect the distribution of the vote choice of former Edwards' supporters as well as the impact, if any, of Hillary Clinton's popular vote win in Florida on Tuesday.

Whether or not this dwindles, holds, progresses with the Edwards factor is yet to be known. However, check out a few resources (here, here and here) for indications on where things could go.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Quick '08 Update

- Disclaimer: I really struggled to find newsworthy articles to put in this post. Yesterday was just so banal that I wondered when Washington and the broader political scene would become more exciting...Gosh! (That was for you, Mitt.) Obviously I'm letting my sarcasm get the best of me, as yesterday's and today's events are more action-packed than a Stallone movie.

- Just so nobody forgets, last night was the President's last State of the Union address. (Though in fairness, many eyes weren't necessarily on the 43rd President.) To see what the President emphasized in his address, check out this neat graphic from Time. For an analysis of what was actually said, check out either the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama each responded to the President's speech.

- Also yesterday, Sen. Edward Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama in Washington, DC. David Brooks has an interesting take on Kennedy's endorsement in his op-ed from the New York Times; and E.J. Dionne weighs in with an op-ed of his own in the Washington Post.

- In an interview with Tavis Smiley after giving his endorsement, Sen. Kennedy was asked about the supporters for both Obama and Hillary Clinton. It was one of the post-endorsement videos featuring one or both Kennedys.

- Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton received support of her own from the Kennedy family in an LA Times op-ed from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kerry Kennedy.

- As Chris Cillizza explores in one of his latest posts, John Edwards is still in this thing.

- The battle between John McCain and Mitt Romney in FL finally comes to an end today as primary voters in the Sunshine State will have the final say. It is way too close to call, as depicted by RealClearPolitics. While the Mac and Mitt battle it out, Rudy Giuliani is left to wonder where he'll end up when the results begin to come in.

- More Florida resources: If you're wondering if the results will be contested, or the process questioned, check out this article from the Miami Herald. If you're looking to understand the lay of the land in Florida, check out an interesting interactive graphic from the Post.

- Finally, if you're looking for a tally of delegates and super delegates, check out this post from Chris Bowers on Open Left.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

The next 10 days

The next ten days are going to be crazy. There's a lot going on and how it all works out in the end will be interesting for all parties.

Monday - State of the Union

Tuesday - Florida GOP Primary

Wednesday - Republican CNN Debate at the Reagan Library

Thursday - Democratic CNN Debate in Los Angeles

Feb. 2 - Punxsutawny Phil makes an appearance

Feb. 5 - Super Tsunami whatever you want to call it to make it sound important Tuesday

Also somewhere in there will be a possible endorsement for Obama from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius who is delivering the Democratic response to the State of the Union.

New Tools in 2008

As our New Politics Institute has stated, with the evolution of technology comes new tools which open up politics in ways we've never seen before. These new tools are reminiscent of how the introduction of radio and television changed politics. In last night's South Carolina primary, the 2008 version of these tools was showcased in all its utility. A few examples of what the Obama campaign did last night in particular:

  1. Prior to his victory speech, they sent out an e-mail message to supporters with a very personal message:
  2. We've just won a big victory in South Carolina.

    After four great contests in every corner of this country, and another record turnout today, we have the most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of Americans we've seen in a long, long time.

    You'll have a chance to make your voice heard next Tuesday, February 5th -- and I am counting on you.

    I'll be heading down shortly to thank our supporters in South Carolina.

    If you're reading this tonight, I hope you'll tune in at home so I can thank you, too.


  3. They also sent that same message to its supporters on Facebook who have added the Obama application.
  4. They also sent a text message to those who have signed up about the win and telling supporters to mobilize for February 5th.

It has been exciting to watch all of the candidates wrestle with and use tools like these to their advantage. It's something I'm sure we'll see much more in the days ahead. In fact, the Obama campaign just released a new Spanish language phone banking tool worth checking out.

Would McCain-Kennedy pass in a McCain administration?

On Meet the Press just now, John McCain was asked by Tim Russert if he would sign into law the legislation he wrote with Ted Kennedy on immigration reform. Note: the legislation, McCain-Kennedy, continues to serve as a framework for comprehensive immigration reform. McCain responded by alluding to the fact that the people don't necessarily want it. Perhaps he hasn't seen the polls.

Many remember the most recent attempt in the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put in the time and effort to try to get a good bill passed, but Republicans in the Senate blocked any good legislation from going forward. To this day, many wonder why John McCain distanced himself from the battle inside Congress until he appeared at a press conference with his colleagues in the Senate to try to save the bill.

The particular part of the transcript is below. Take a look at it and offer your thoughts on McCain and immigration in the context of the 2008 campaign.

MR. RUSSERT: If the Senate passed your bill, S1433, the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...would you as president sign it?

SEN. McCAIN: Yeah, but we--look, the lesson is it isn't won. It isn't going to come. It isn't going to come. The lesson is they want the border secured first. That's the lesson. I come from a border state. I know how to fix those borders with walls, with UAVs, with sensors, with cameras, with vehicle barriers. They want the border secured first. And I will do that, and, as president, I will have the border state governors secure--certify those borders are secured. And then we will have a temporary worker program with tamper-proof biometric documents, and any employer who employs someone in any other circumstances will be prosecuted. That means a lot of people will leave just, just normally because they're not going to be able to get their job. Then, of course, we have to get rid of two million people who have committed crimes here. We have to round them up and deport them. As far as the others are concerned, we were in an ongoing debate and discussion when this whole thing collapsed, and part of that, I think, has to be a humane approach. Part of it has to be maybe people have to go back to the country that they came from for a period of time while we look at it. But the principle that the American people want, secure the borders, reward no one ahead of someone who has either waited or has come to this country legally because they have broken our laws to come here. But I'm confident--look, there's, there's humanitarian situations. There's a soldier who's missing in action in Iraq. His wife was here illegally. America's not going to deport her. We have humanitarian circumstances. America's a generous Judeo-Christian valued nation, and we can sit down together. The--all leading Republican candidates now just about agree that with--using those principles that I just articulated, we can fix it. But secure the borders first.

MR. RUSSERT: But you would sign your bill...

SEN. McCAIN: It's not going to come across my desk.

MR. RUSSERT: It won't pass.

SEN. McCAIN: I--if pigs fly, then--look...

MR. RUSSERT: So it's dead.

SEN. McCAIN: The bill, the bill is dead as it is written. We know that. We know that. And the bill is going to have to be, and I would sign it, securing the borders first and articulating those principles that I did. That's what we got out of this last very divisive and tough debate. And we have to get those borders secured. That's what Americans want first.

SC called for Obama, McCain gets Crist endorsement

Two quick updates: Barack Obama wins the South Carolina primary and John McCain received the endorsement of Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Update: Rep. Jim Clyburn and tonight's turnout are clear winners tonight. With over 500,000 votes, the high turnout continues. To be specific: Obama himself received about 290,000 votes with 98% reporting, which is the same amount of votes from the same primary four years ago. Andrew Sullivan takes a pro-Obama look at the turnout.

Update II: Obama's speech is below. 

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Clinton ad: "Falling Through"

Hillary Clinton's new ad "Falling Through" focuses solely on the economy and her proposals to fix the problem. As she says in her debates, it's not about putting a band-aid on the problem.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Rudy and Mitt air Spanish-language ads

(Via PrezVid) Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have stepped up their game in Florida with Spanish-language TV spots. Check out Rudy's ad, "Un Plan" below:

As for Mitt Romney, his son Craig has been a definite help for the former Governor in the Sunshine State. Craig, who was a missionary in Chile, speaks fluent Spanish and has conducted numerous radio interviews on behalf of his father in the state. Check out Romney's ad, which Craig narrates, entitled "Mi Padre" below:

Romney also has another ad up entitled "Conservative Change":

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

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