Barack Obama


New NYTimes poll has Obama leading 54-38

Many new polls out today. A new CNN poll has Obama now up in Texas. Gallup and Rasmussen national daily tracks showed no real movement, and have the race close. A new Gallup/USA has Obama up more than 10. But 2 polls out in Ohio have Senator Clinton still up by 7-10 points. So the news today is mixed, some evidence of more Obama movement, other polls showing the race stabilizing.

But the real news tomorrow will be the new CBS/NYTimes poll out tonight that has the race now at 54%-38% Obama/Clinton. This is a dramatic shift. Given its source, will probably drive the news coverage of the race for the next few days. Clearly this is not good news for Senator Clinton as she heads into the must win states of Ohio and Texas.

The question is whether this poll is accurate, and is capturing a new and significant dynamic in the race. If it is real I fully expect national polls taken at the end of the next week to have Obama up by mid to high single digits over McCain, a very weak candidate by any historical measure.

Update: Catch the drama of the race, live, Tuesday night on MSNBC at 9pm as Obama and Clinton meet in Cleveland for their final debate prior to all the important March 4th vote.

Rasmussen looks at the electoral college

The Rasmussen site has an interesting feature that looks at how the electoral college is shaping up this fall. Given the latest round of polling, it has the electoral college at 284 votes for the Democrat. But what is most interesting is how it projects what the likely battleground states will be - CO, FL, IA, MO, NH, NM, NV, OH, VA. I also not convinced that Arizona and Arkansas won't end up being in play but let us see.

So after all this money, time, debating etc it will all come down to these 9 states. 9 states. Will more come into play? Perhaps. But for now I agree with this first cut.

For a good visualization of the possible 2008 electoral college map look through the end of our recent report, Hispanics Rising.


Debate liveblogging......Cuba first

Amazingly Cuba leads the debate. Obama restates his support of a position NDN staked out in 2006 - start with loosening travel and remittances so as not to punish the Cuban people and Cuban families here in the US for the Castro era itself. While at the same time working with the new Cuban government to help them begin to open up their closed society and make the transition to a 21st century modern state.

On the economy Clinton does a much better job connecting with the struggle of every day people. Obama is a little flat. Tired. A little sick perhaps.

Immigration. I am so proud of CNN for working with Univision on this debate. Jorge Ramos is one of my personal heros, and it is great to see him here on national English television tonight. It is not sufficient penance, however, for their promotion of crazy Lou Dobbs and even crazier Glenn Beck.

Clinton just committed to introducing Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the first 100 days of her Presidency. Of course NDN is for that. Good for you Senator Clinton. Senator Obama, by talking about clearing the backlog, just raised the bar on what has been a very wonderful back and forth on immigration.

For more on NDN's efforts to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform click here. Good for both Senator Obama and Clinton for holding firm on this tough issue.

Update: Obama is gaining steam after a slow start.

I worked with Jon King closely in the 1992 NH primary when he was the AP reporter covering the Clinton campaign. He has been the star reporter of this election season, offering better analysis than just about any other reporter in the business. He has done a great job tonight, and this team of Campbell Brown, Jon King and Jorge Ramos is the best we've seen in this debate season. Perhaps with the exception of Charlie Gibson who did a great job in his double debate night.

This debate has been so interesting because the reporters have gotten out of the way, tossed out the silly requirement to speak in 60 second bites and let these important folks speak their minds.....

Barack just had a big big moment. When he is good he is very very good. Inspiring even. He is beginning to take control of the debate in a way I've never seen before.

Update 2: They are mixing it up now. I have to say that I am with Obama on this health care issue, and interestingly, the organization that has done more to fight for universal health care than any other, SEIU, agrees. His plan is real and so is hers. And of course whatever they propose will get altered in the Congress next year any way. I have always felt that Senator Clinton's focus on the differences in their health care plans was a little, let us say, political.

Update 3: Senator Clinton has had a very good night. It has been perhaps her best debate - though I haven't seen all 19!

Senator Obama has also been better tonight than I have ever seen in these debates. It has been a good night for both of them.

But ending with Iraq is not a great way to end for Senator Clinton. And Barack is doing a very good job here....and has done an incredible job in this last riff on costs of the war.

Update 4: Oops. Another 30 minutes. Here we go. Senator Clinton ducked the superdelegate question well. Barack did a very a good job connecting the need to let voters pick the nominee to the necessity of a having a people oriented government next year.

Hillary's close was excellent. Her best moment of the whole night.

A good night all the way around.

New Post polls has Texas tied, Ohio closing

New Post polls show as the voters of Ohio and Texas get closer to making up their minds they are beginning to fall in line with national trends. In these polls Clinton leads in Ohio 50-43, and in Texas 48-47.

If the race in Texas stays this close, given the way the delegates are allocated, Obama will walk away with many more delegates than Clinton, and will be able to declare victory there. And as we all know, the Clinton campaign has said unless she wins both states it will be hard for her campaign to continue. Nail biting time.

Update: Check out this new poll from Gallup showing dramatic gains for the Democratic brand, and what can be only be described as a national collapse for the GOP.

Sunday Update: Two new polls have Ohio and Texas within margin of error, with Obama up one in Texas, Clinton up 4 in Ohio. Tuesday is shaping up to be quite a night.


Obama wins, Clinton struggles

I thought Senator Clinton's speech tonight was a notch below what she has delivered on other nights. She looked and sounded tired. Not a great sign for her campaign as it enters this next critical phase.

McCain is raising his game up. He was much better tonight than previous nights, and is growing in confidence and finding his voice.

20,000 people for Obama tonight in Houston. 20,000. He also seemed a little tired tonight, and a little long, but man the visuals of the event were great. He talked more about America's role in the world, and of the economy tonight than previous nights. His narrative continues to evolve.

Now 2 debates in the next week, and a two week all important battle for Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.

Lots of stats tonight but the biggest one may be Obama's win with those who voted on the economy by more than 10 points. As I've been writing for some time if Obama were to win he would have retool his economic message, and better connect with the struggle of every day people. Winning on this issue has been the core strength of the Clinton campaign to date. Well tonight that changed, and this may have enormous implications for the March 4th contests. As CNN reports:

The exit polls showed 43 percent of Democratic voters said the economy was the most important issue in deciding their vote -- followed by the war in Iraq at 29 percent and health care at 25 percent.

Fifty-five percent of those who cited the economy voted for Obama, compared to 43 percent for Clinton.

An overwhelming 90 percent of the Democratic voters polled said the nation's economy is either "not so good" or "poor."

If you are in DC tomorrow please do come by our event at 12:30 at the Phoenix Park Hotel. Joining me will be Joe Trippi, Amy Walter of Hotline and our own Peter Leyden and Andres Ramirez. It will be a spirited discussion on this historic election season.

Wed am Update: Early analyses focus on Obama's growing ability to blow apart the very effective Clinton strategic triad of women, traditional Democrats and Hispanics. Obama won 49% of the women's vote last night, and won those making under $50,000 by ten points. Given his enormous margins of late, and the 25-30 swing towards Obama in the national polls, it was inevitable that his dramatic gains had to start coming from her coalition. Given that the economy and the struggle of the middle class will be one of the two or three defining issues of the 2008 elections, if Obama can maintain his new connection with these voters it has very important implications not only for the Democratic nomination but for the general election itself.

John McCain is going to have a hard time getting back in the game on economic issues. The economic policies of the Bush era have left a typical American family earning less than they earned in 2000, and may be leaving McCain with a slowdown or even a full blown serious recession just in time for the general election. Despite McCain's early efforts, this election is not going to be about tax cuts and new found conservative austerity plans. It is going to be a much bigger conversation, one about our common economic future, about restoring broad-based prosperity in a much more global age, or as we say at NDN, about creating an economic strategy for 21st century America that makes globalization work for all Americans. The Democrats are increasingly talking this way. It is not even clear yet that as as a national Party the GOP - or their new leader John McCain - even understands - let alone has plans to address - what has happened to average Americans in this terribly disapointing age of Bush. No matter his history, if John McCain doesn't develop a compelling economic narrative that speaks to the concerns of the struggling American middle class he will not be President of the United States. Security alone will not cut it this year, not in this economy.

The Obama surge continues - he leads Gallup by 7

After Super Tuesday I wrote that given the trends of the time Obama would soon be up by ten or so points over both Clinton and McCain. The Gallup 3 day track has shown Obama up 7 points over Senator Clinton for 3 days now, showing a permanent structural change in the race. In this latest track he is up 49-42.

t is amazing to look back and see that Hillary led by 20 points just a few weeks ago. As I wrote then what this means is that Ohio and Texas are going to be nail biters, as these states over the next two weeks begin to more accurately reflect the big national trends, and see lots of the two candidates.

What makes these numbers particularly interesting is Clinton's strength in what her campaign has called the "quality" states of CA, FL and NY, whose people make up a quarter of the nation's population. Assuming she still is leading Obama in these states, it means that his margins in other parts of the country - as been born out in the election so far - is huge. In the Gallup track Clinton led 52-39 on Feb 5th. Since then the race has shifted by a net of 20 points. It will take a while for the state polls to catch up on all this, perhaps not till the end of this week or perhaps mid week next week. My guess is by mid week next week - even before March 4th - Obama will be up over both other Senators by ten points in national polls, starting a round of stories and analysis about whether he has become the frontrunner not just in the Democratic primary but in the whole election....

But in the next two weeks we have Wisconsin and Hawaii and two more debates. So there is ample opportunity for Senator Clinton to change the emerging narrative, but it is getting harder by the day.

Update: The new Gallup track has Senator Clinton pulling within one. A blip? Clinton attacks starting to take effect? Too early to tell.

Are Young Superdelegates Following Trends Of Young Voters? A Street Team '08 Report

Over at MTV I explore the question of young Superdelegates and if they are following the trends of the 2008 youth vote.

Read the full post here:

There is a lot of talk about young voter turnout and about Superdelegates these days. Young people have emerged as a critical bloc of voters. The media, candidates and many naysayers of the youth vote are finally giving them and the issues they care about attention on the campaign trail.

It got me thinking-are the young Superdelegates following the trends of young voters and how much has the youth vote increased this year?

I decided to take a look at all the primary and caucus states that have voted so far in order to get a good sense as to the young voter trends-increase in turnout, preference of candidate, preference of Party-and then compare that to the Superdelegates under 36 that have come out as "pledged" to a certain candidate.

Trends of Party Preference: The Shift to Democrats

Young people are overwhelmingly going for Democrats this election cycle, following a trend since 2000. Mike Connery, a blogger over at Future Majority, put together this nifty graphic that shows the growing Democratic advantage among young people.



As you can see, already in 2008, young people are voting 65% for Democrats and only 34% for Republicans (it's actually up to 68% now since a few more states have come in after Mike created this graph as you will see later in this post).

Democrats have a 31% vote advantage headed into the Presidential elections not to mention all the down ballot races for Senate, House of Representative, Mayor, etc. this will affect.

While this is great news for the Democrats, it is not so good news for Republicans. But--and a big but at that--Democrats should be forewarned. Republicans had the youth vote during the Reagan years. Almost 60% of the young people then voted for Republicans and continued to vote for Republicans as a bloc of voters.

However, Republicans stopped talking to future groups of young people and it shows now in their numbers. If Democrats want a lasting majority, they need to continue targeted programs at young people or risk losing a big chunk of the electorate in the future. While young people make up about 21% of the electorate now, they will be 30% of the electorate by 2012 and that is a bloc of voters that can very easily swing elections.

State by State Breakdown: Over 4 Million Strong and Growing

Across the board young people have increased their votes in almost every state except in NY there was no increase. The average number of young people voting in a state in 2004 was 46,373. The average in this election cycle is 174,646. That is more than tripling the number of votes cast for 18-29 year olds. This is remarkable since many youth voting experts could have predicted a 15-20% jump, but no one predicted a 200% plus jump.



Read the full post here:

Jane Fleming Kleeb is the Executive Director of the Young Voter PAC which helps Democratic candidates and State Parties win with the 18-35 year-old vote through endorsements, on-the-ground support, training, strategy and money. She is a regular on Fox and is part of MTV’s Street Team ‘08 representing Nebraska.

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