Nevada and South Carolina thread

Presenting a thread in which you may all chew the fat about today’s presidential election action from South Carolina and Nevada. Republicans in South Carolina are holding an open primary (meaning any voter can participate in one primary or the other, regardless of their registration) to choose 24 delegates from the national total of 2380. It would normally be 47 delegates, but the state has been penalised for “allocating delegates outside of the Republican National Committee-approved timeframe”. The South Carolina Democratic open primary will be held next week, choosing 54 delegates from a national total of 4050. Forty-five of these are pledged to particular candidates; the remaining nine are unpledged “superdelegates” who attend the national convention as senior party office holders. In Nevada both parties will hold closed caucuses: closed means only voters registered with the party can participate, while caucuses means there is no secret ballot. The state’s Democrats get 33 pledged delegates along with eight superdelegates; the Republicans have 31 delegates determined by the caucuses plus three unpledged Republican National Committee members (the term superdelegates does not get used in relation to the Republicans, for some reason).

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

855 comments on “Nevada and South Carolina thread”

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  1. Romney and Clinton appear to have won NV, although how this can be determined at 2.15pm on voting day is a bit of a puzzle. It seems that votes are reported in as they are are cast rather than counted at the end of the voting.

    Anyway if that’s true it’s a big win for Clinton and correspondingly a big loss for Obama. Romney’s win doesn’t mean as much – 25% of NV Republicans are Mormons.

  2. Hello

    Is any kind person able to ut uo links to live US TV news programmes i.e. MSNBC / CNN / Fox specially those that don’t need advanced doownloads due to work firewall?


  3. Problems with malfunctioning electronic voting machines in South Carolina, looks as though the Republican machine is starting their dirty tricks campaign nice and early.

  4. No they’re not, they’re actual results. I understand now what’s happening. With a caucus the polls are not open all day: the caucus happens at a notified time, presumably at lunchtime in most cases, and once it’s done, it’s done, and you call in the results. So it’s mid-afternoon and most of the results are in. That’s why NV can report well ahead of SC, where it’s evening but no results are known. In SC they are having a primary and results are not notified until the polls close.

  5. Yes, it is ‘curious’ that precincts that would favour John McCain suddenly suffer voting machine problems, sounds as though Romney is the favourite son of the Repugnants. Apparently the problem has been human error, the machines were not reset to zero prior to ballot taking place, and this in a number of polling places. Surely that is elementary, part of a check list. I never cease to have a sad smile when I hear Shrub lecture the rest of the world about ‘DEMOCRACY’. Some of us remember Florida in 2000.

  6. Further on the issue discussed yesterday of the significance of delegates over states won by the Dem candidates – if Edwards keeps his vote up reasonably well in third place (hopefully higher than Nevada), he may well assist Obama at the convention, as explained in this article from the site Adam linked @ 2:

    “Close contest could make Edwards kingmaker”:

  7. These results are bizarre in Nevada. The Dem ones are identical to what the polls predicted but the Repug one with Romney winning by 38% is amazing. The polls predicted an average 5% win to him with the highest being 15%. And Ron Paul came second. What the hell is going on?

  8. Good result in Nevada for Hilary – should weaken Obama in SC too! The Democrat nomination will be over on 5th February.

  9. The sad thing for the Democrats is that Clinton is going to get their party nomination, but will have no chance of being President. What a disaster that is unfolding! Heaven help us all, if Huckabee gets the Republican nomination.

  10. Figure this. Obama wins in Nevada!!???
    “Obama’s loss was tempered by the fact that he actually won more delegates than Clinton by the complicated rules of apportionment that gave him credit for doing well across the state rather than in concentrated areas.”

  11. After a betting clean up on the Aus election I was looking to get my eye in on the US primaries.

    I couldn’t find any US based bookmakers for comparison against Betfair. The closest local betting device I managed to find was a prediction market…Intrade.

    Now I realise betting with US bookies on elections is illegal.

    I have a solution for all the US bookies…move off-shore to GITMO…no US Laws can touch you there!

  12. ESJ,

    I think you are right. Clinton is a “shoe in” for the Dems nomination and will go on to victory come November.

    The re-education plan you took over Xmas has obviously worked a treat!


  13. Clinton has the ‘big Mo’ now, and Mitt’s cock-a-hoop (for now). It looks like the Hispanic vote for HRC was very big, and of course, she’ on a roll with women. Obama may get SC, but Clinton is holding in the national polls.

    Nevada was amazing in terms of turnout. 2004 had 9,000 caucus goers, and this time 114,000. Democrats are hot to trounce Republicans, that is the message.

    Edwards did very poorly in Nevada (4%), and he spent money there, so if South Carolina is another poor show for him, will he pull the plug? And will that influence the distribution of votes against Clinton in any significant way?

    Meanwhile, a bit of gossip from a blog: Bill Clinton has flown from Nevada to Buffalo NY, so it looks like they might be ‘skipping’ South Carolina and concentrating on home turf before the Feb 5th vote.

  14. 24

    Funny, exit polls reported on the NYTImes blog seem to indicate that Huckster’s getting support on the burning issue there, immigration, and also on ‘values’.

    Gonna be interesting!

    (Huckleberry wants to deport 12 million people by the way! Yep, that sounds like a feasable plan. Ethnic cleansing anyone?)

  15. Cashburn in the primaries is astounding:

    Together, the top six candidates across both parties are projected to have brought in a total of more than $400 million and burned through at least 80 percent of it.


    Poor Hillary has had to cut down to just one jet instead of two!

    The early knockout strategy has been very expensive and not all that successful, but it looks like it will be thinner rations for the remainder of the country.

  16. The SC coast is McCain’s strength so watch closely for the inland returns (where Huckabee will do better).

    I think if McCain wins SC that will finish Guiliani and Huckabee, then Tsunami Tuesday will be a straight fight between Romney and McCain which McCain should win.

  17. It’s amazing how so much money and some much weight is given to states with so little relevance.

    All this posturing just so you can out psyche you own party rivals before the real action begins…what a bunch of fluffers!

  18. ESJ,

    McCain is the best candidate ( apart form his age) for the Republicans.

    If he doesn’t win their nomination, a Clinton-McCain ticket would sweep the election.

    Bit of a dream I know, but it would lock out all the crazies of the religious right as the US goes into a period of re-evaluation post Bush.

  19. Can some one explain to me why Mr Mccain cannot win a majority in Nevada
    republican primary… isn’t he a senator from a state very close by/

  20. Well GG,

    Ask yourself of all the candidates which would most likely use nukes. I think the answer is clear.
    Whilst McCain projects as an independent thinker he is super hawkish (not hard being the son and grandson of admirals).

    With a temper like he is reputed to have I could imagine without too much effort McCain nuking the Afghanistan/Pakistan border for instance. After all he thinks the problem with Iraq is that they didnt go in hard enough in the first place.

  21. American presidential elections have been very close in recent history. Clinton will get 5% extra of the women vote (at least), pushing her to a win. The Republicans can not smear her any more than they already have, so she will essentially be “invulnerable” to their attacks during the election. She has spent the last ten years tacking hard to the centre while building up a cash network, making her “safe” to swinging voters but also with a good “get-out-the-vote” machine (very important in the US). Her most dangerous period is now, when the activist wing of the Democrat party could punish her for being centrist by voting for someone else in the primaries.

    I would’ve voted McCain in 1999-2000 but now he is … too … damn … old.

    Romney would be the best Republican candidate (of a terrible bunch) because he has $1 billion to spend on his campaign. That is the one feature that the other Republicans don’t have.

    Bloomberg as an independent is interesting because he could act as a “Perot” or “Nader” and take 10% off the Democrats in the general. However, Clinton is a centrist candidate, so Bloomberg will poll poorly against her and pull out before the election, unless he has some vendetta against Clinton (he may, but a $250 million vendetta?)

    Clinton will stomp on the Republicans in the election if she gets the nomination. She is an excellent candidate.

    Once again (after reading about Nevada voting system) I am horrified at the total dysfunctional system they use there. It is has no redeeming features. This makes Clinton’s victories all the more impressive to me.

  22. 33


    “After all he thinks the problem with Iraq is that they didnt go in hard enough in the first place.”

    That’s his positions now, in fact he originally endorsed Rumsfeld’s notion that they could do it ‘lite’, but when it turned pear-shaped, he revised his thoughts, and then ultimately called for Rumsfeld ‘ouster’.

    It was General Shinseki who flatly told them that to hold a nation of over 20 million would require 500,000 troops, but Rumsfeld did not want to hear this so Shinseki got the bums rush.

    It is fascinating to watch the players dance around, altering their positions for political advantage, and McCain has been one of the best.

  23. Good chance Huckabee will catch McCain in the count. If that is the case McCain is finished and Rudy is viable.

    Bottom line – BLOODBATH

  24. 45 Brenton, VBG, if you go out in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. There would be some pretty scary people out there!

  25. The bloggers who think some of us comment on the role of religion in US politics too much should look at the CNN exit polls for SC. Religious alignments are easily the strongest predictor of who the SC Repub voters choose. Basically Protestant fundies vote Huck, and Catholics and atheists vote McCain.

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