Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday catch-up, Tuesday predictions

Since I've been somewhat unplugged for the past few days, checked in with various sources for a little catch-up. As we head toward Tuesday's primaries...

SurveyUSA tracking poll in Indiana:

24 hours untill [sic] votes are counted in the Indiana Democratic Primary, Hillary Clinton defeats Barack Obama in the symbolically important popular vote, and possibly by enough to pick up more than a trivial number of net Convention delegates, according to SurveyUSA’s final pre-primary tracking poll conducted for WCPO-TV Cincinnati and WHAS-TV Louisville. In 4 tracking polls over the past 5 weeks, Clinton has never polled lower than 52%, Obama has never polled higher than 43%. At the wire, they finish: Clinton 54%, Obama 42%.

SUSA's tracking poll for North Carolina:

On the eve of the North Carolina Democratic Primary, with 25% of votes already cast, Barack Obama has no breathing room in his hope to defeat Hillary Clinton in popular votes, according to SurveyUSA’s 8th and final tracking poll, conducted exclusively for WTVD-TV, the ABC-owned TV station in Raleigh. On the final day of the fiercely fought campaign, it’s Obama 50%, Clinton 45%. There is no foreseeable outcome in North Carolina, regardless of which candidate wins the popular vote, where one candidate collects significantly more Convention delegates than the other. Therefore, the exact final vote totals have much more symbolic importance than real importance.

VastLeft's list laid out an excellent Clinton vs. Obama summary of why Hillary over Barry... point by point.

Jerome Armstrong put up two ads: one "closer" from Clinton and one from Obama, "probably his most negative ad to date." Jeralyn at TalkLeft offered a transcript on the Obama ad. Irony alert! Mr. New Kind of Politics uses a negative attack ad to accuse, "And what does Hillary Clinton offer us? More of the same old negative politics."

Clinton and Obama talked with local gay media in North Carolina and Indiana. The Obama interview was his first with local gay press. What took him so long? QNotes, which covers both NC and SC, posted the Clinton interview here, Obama interview here. In Indiana, the LGBT magazine, Reality, "along with bloomingOUT, The Bloomington Beacon, The Letter, Indiana Equality and The Word," asked questions of the candidates and published their responses here. (Via)

Riverdaughter coined the new term--
“Mitchellism”--and defined it as: "The tendency of the media to see American politics through its own eyes and to over value its impact on the voting public."

This tendency has been noted before by other bloggers who have referred to the Washington DC press corps and pundits as The Villagers, that self-selected authority of knowledge of what the voters will or will not tolerate. High-Brodersim is another variation and is the belief that the root of the problem in American politics is too much partisanship and if the Democrats would just sell out all of their beliefs and try to meet Republicans half way, there wouldn’t be any more fights and there would be unity and much rejoicing and we could all buy the world a Coke. Barack Obama is a disciple of High Broderism.

Funny un-ha-ha how the Obamasphere hasn't noticed the similarities between "post-partisan" rhetoric and High Broderism.

Riverdaughter went on to say, "But I have noticed a curious thing happening this primary season. I don’t think the voters trust the media much these days." I agree. Here's why: from a big picture perspective, an annual report on The State of News Media 2007 stated, "The press is no longer gatekeeper over what the public knows." In its "Public Attitudes" section, the report reiterated:

...the public’s confidence in 2006 according to some indices continued to slip.

And perceptions of bias, and the partisan divide of media, appear to be on the rise.

All that comes, of course, against a background of more than 20 years of growing skepticism about journalists, their companies and the news media as an institution. As we have noted in other reports,since the early 1980s, the public has come to view the news media as less professional, less accurate, less caring, less moral and more inclined to cover up rather than correct mistakes.

I suspect the disconnect between the public, which includes voters, and the media has widened this year.

Sometimes Bob Somerby's candor tickles me when he analyzes media bias:

COHEN (2/12/08): My Feb. 5 column was critical of Hillary Clinton for supporting a bill to make flag burning illegal. I have since learned from a reader that Barack Obama also supported that bill.

That’s right, dumb-ass! Clinton supported the flag-burning bill. And Obama supported it too!

But then, more than half the senate’s Democrats supported that bill, in June 2006. It was brought to the floor by Dick Durbin, Obama’s biggest senate supporter. Everyone understands the politics of these bills–everyone but [Richard] Cohen and [Gail] Collins, that is. Because they’re two of the world’s biggest androids, they keep singing the same tired songs.

Shhhhh! Don't tell the Hillary-haters at the Orange Sippy Cup™ who criticize Clinton over the flag-burning amendment. Their CDS-suffering heads might explode with reality.

Speaking of a lost grasp on reality, a Cannonfire update on the robocall controversy involving Women's Voices, Women's Votes demonstrates that "another Obamabot attempt to do the GOP's work" is still ticking as if it's "never been discussed before!"

Yesterday at the Left Coaster, eRiposte debunked the hoopla over the gas tax holiday:

Aside from the usual jokers rending their garments over it, I don't find the gas tax holiday back-and-forth to be particularly earth-shaking. I already linked to two Paul Krugman posts that touched on the gas tax issue in previous posts; one of Krugman's posts was a specific critique of Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain's different proposals and another was an op-ed where he again mentions the gas tax issue in a broader context. I agree with Krugman's view that Sen. Clinton's proposal is "pointless not evil".

All politicians pander and I've never said Sen. Clinton is above pandering. That said, her proposal has been misrepresented or distorted by the Obama campaign (see here and here) and by some in the media (see here). Sen. Obama's own history of pandering and his repeated voting in favor of a gas tax holiday in 2000 (when gas prices were much lower) make his current pronouncements on this matter, um, amusing....

My new friend Declarations of Pride posted a rallying cry: On Tuesday, the game will change!

On Tuesday, Hillary will vastly pad her lead in the popular vote. On Tuesday voters will show momentum for Hillary by way of votes of confidence for her that were once not thought to swing her way. Voters will change the game on Tuesday because the luster of inspiration isn't enough to make change happen. The voters will change the game on Tuesday because the Senator from Illinois is becoming less consistent. The voters will change the direction of the wave of democracy on Tuesday because electability is more important that hope alone. Hope can only be fulfilled if the hopeful win. Otherwise that hope was just a dream, and it appears that democratic voters are waking from the Obama dream as it turns to a nightmare where McCain could be President.

Voters are changing the game. Voters are continuing the shift in opinion. Whereas Barack was once seen as the only option, buyers remorse has set in, and the voters are changing the game to who they see as the GE winner: Hillary! Hillary has demonstrated over and over again a winning strategy that includes more than hope for change, but details, plans and understanding of how to make change happen. The voters are changing the game because they know that hope of change alone isn't enough. For change you have to have a plan. For change you have to have an understanding of the problem. For change you need stamina, charisma, and the will to fight on in the face of your enemies. Otherwise, your only hope is to return to sleep and dream of a reality that never had a chance.

Couldn't have said it better!

CREDITS: Cropped photo originally shot by Barbara Kinney.