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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Presidential Primaries: Wisconsin « Previous | |Next »
February 20, 2008

Voting takes place in the primary in snow covered Wisconsin today, with the emphasis of Obama and Clinton on the issues that John Edwards had made his own: the effect of the economic downturn on middle-class families and the working poor.

Wisconsin Democratic primary voters are not big fans of globalization judging by the exit polls. A majority (7 in 10) hold that U.S. trade with other countries takes more jobs from Wisconsin whilst a minority (fewer than one in five) said it creates more jobs for the state.

ThompsonMObama.jpg Mike Thompson

Will Wisconsin make the difference on the road to the White House by confirming Obama's front runner status? Will Clinton manage to minimize the losses? Will Clinton hopes to regain momentum be realized? Or will the race still go down to the convention? What role will the super-delegates play?

Obama's presidential campaign is having a very good run lately; they've taken victories in the last eight Democratic contests, they're getting super-delegates to defect from Hillary Clinton, and they are getting endorsements from major labor unions. Wisconsin's open primary rules are expected to play in Obama's favor because he has been courting independents and even disaffected Republicans. The polls say Barack Obama is the likely winner, though they don't show him that far ahead.

Paul Krugman worries about the backlash against Obama. When will his bubble burst? McCain is already launching daily and fairly harsh attacks on Obama.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:04 AM | | Comments (5)


the super-delegate transparency project link is good. You can click on the states and find out what is going on, eg., in Wisconsin.
It identifies all the superdelegates and their commitments, or lack thereof. It's the kind of democratic tool that today's political bosses are probably horrified to see as it makes the mechanics of the process open and transparent.

It shows that in states where Obama has won the majority of popular support, Clinton leads the endorsements from party elected superdelegates, 51 to 40, which is the primary source of Clinton's superdelegate advantage. It is a tool that helps to make the Democratic Party more accountable to the people instead of the political machine.

Polls in Wisconsin have closed; CNN, Fox and MSNBC all call Wisconsin for Mr. McCain. MSNBC and Fox is projecting Obama to win.

McCain's convincing victory is likely to increase the pressure on Huckabee to drop from the race - clearing the way for the Arizona senator to unify the party and begin the process of preparing himself for an extended general election campaign. Huckabee has vowed to remain in the race until McCain crests the delegate threshold of 1,191.

When asked about the mathematical impossibility of beating McCain, behind whom the entire party establishment has largely coalesced, Huckabee is prone to answer: "I didn't major in math. I majored in miracles, and I still believe in them."

Exit polls are showing that Mr. Obama is again eating into Mrs. Clinton’s base of women and blue-collar voters. She’s still got white women over the age of 50.
But she looks pedestrian compared to the soaring Obama on the hustings, with his can do message of hope, optimism and change that taps the heart of Democratic America.

Obama easily won the Wisconsin primary by a comfortable margin, extending his victory streak to nine contests. Can the Clinton campaign absorb nine consecutive losses? Were they in any way prepared for Obama to cut into her base, particularly with blue-collar workers and women? Obama dominated the state.

This defeat forces a wounded Clinton into a must-win scenario on March 4 as the nominating fight heads to the crucial states of Ohio and Texas. However, the ground has shifted, and Clinton's foothold looks insecure in the new politics of change, which resonates so strongly. It's all about the will of the people being expressed.

McCain is now lining up Obama with his talk about Obama wanting to "surrender" in Iraq just as the surge is "working". Will McCain’s portrayal of Obama as an empty vessel end up helping Clinton?

if McCain is firing shots at Obama, then the Republicans are implying that it is Obama, not Clinton, who will contest the Presidential contest for the Democrats. Yet another sign that Clinton is unable to stop the Obama momentum.

Obama is the front runner and the Republican smear campaign is beginning. Obama is being framed as an angry black radical linked to the Jew-hating fringe. The toxic smear is now bubbling up from the right-wing Republican sewers and the aim is to accuse Obama of being unpatriotic.

For Fox News Obama is an unpatriotic subversive Terrorist. He's a Muslim and he's a Manchurian candidate of sorts, bent on winning the election only to destroy America.